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Chinese Literature
Yuditu 輿地圖

The Four Categories of Literature
Yuditu 輿地圖 is a map of Song period 宋 (960-1279) China. A rubbing of it is now stored in the Rikkyaku Studio 栗棘庵 in Tōfuku Monastery 東福寺 in Kyōto, Japan. It consists of two large sheats with a length of 207 and a width of 196 cm. Neither the name of the drawers nor the time of its production are indicated, yet from the place names it can be estimated that it must have been produced at latest in 1265. The original is lost, but a rubbing of it had been brought to Japan in 1279 by a Buddhist monk called Chan Master Fozhao 佛照禪師. The title of the map is written at the top, and in the upper left corner the numbers of students are indicated that passes the state examinations in various prefectures of Song China. The map shows the Southern Song empire 南宋 (1127-1279) but stretches out to Japan in the east and the Congling Range 蔥嶺 (Pamir) in the west. In the south, part of India can be seen, and the Indonesian archipelago. Mountain ranges are indicated by shading and small trees, rivers by lines, and lakes by a wave pattern. Place names are written in square boxes. While in China proper, the names of prefectures are written, the southwestern region is dominated by the names of indigenous peoples. In the northern and northeastern parts of the map, a lot of information on the history of these regions is provided.

Source: Zheng Xihuang 鄭錫煌 (1992), "Yuditu 輿地圖", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Dilixue 地理學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), p. 468.

August 15, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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