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Japanese Imperial Maps as Sources for East Asian History: A Symposium on the History and Future of the Gaihozu

October 8, 2011 - 8:30am
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center

Stanford University owns a large but uncatalogued set of Japanese colonial surveys (gaihōzu), mostly from the 1930s and 40s, including detailed topographical maps of the entire empire as well as thematic maps for Manchuria. While similar materials also exist in other collections (the Library of Congress, as well as more than a dozen other institutions in the US, Taiwan, & Japan), these maps have mostly lain outside of the purview of colonial historians until now. This symposium will examine the utility of these colonial maps as tools for historical research. Our presenters represent a diverse, international group of scholars who are interested in reconstructing past landscapes—whether urban or rural—and analyzing colonial development priorities and practices by using cartographic documents as a resource.

Co-operating Libraries at Stanford: The Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections, East Asia Library, Hoover Archives


8:30-8:45         Breakfast & Registration  8:45-10:15       Session 1         

YAMAMOTO Kenta (Kyushu International University): “The Gaihōzu Digital Archive and Its Agendas”

Discussants: KOBAYASHI Shigeru (Osaka University) / Kären WIGEN (Stanford University)

10:15-10:30   Coffee Break   10:30-12:30   Session 2          YAMACHIKA Kumiko (National Defense Academy of Japan): “What Was Written in Gaihōzu of the Meiji Era?: The Analysis of Explanatory Notes and Legend Symbols” Yoshihisa Tak MATSUSAKA (Wellesley College): “Mapping Russo-Japanese Spheres of Interest in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, 1907-1915” David TUCKER (University of Iowa):  “The Ambiguous Position of the Emperor in Manchukuo” Discussants: Catherine PHIPPS (Memphis State University) / Bruce BATTEN (J. F. Oberlin University) 12:30-1:45    Lunch Break 1:45-3:15      Session 3 David FEDMAN (Stanford University):  “Triangulating Chōsen: Gaihōzu as Product and Process in Colonial Korea” Ti NGO (University of California, Berkeley): “Framing Economic Development: Japanese Imperial Maps of the South Pacific and their Implications” Discussant: Martin LEWIS (Stanford University) 3:15-3:30        Coffee Break 3:30-5:00      Session 4 ISHIHARA Hiroshi (Nara University): “The Gaihōzu and My Research Works” Lori WATT (Washington University in St. Louis):  “The Imperial Cartographic Hand-off?: From the ‘Japanese Imperial Land Survey’ to the Army Map Service” Discussant: Hwaji SHIN (University of San Francisco)

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVP requested by October 5 to Sayoko Sakakibara at Please include name, affiliation and field of study.

Event Sponsor: 
Center for East Asian Studies
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