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Special Collections

Early and Historical Maps

The early and historical maps are found in several areas.

Japanese Imperial Maps and Charts

Maps and charts were a fundamental tool of the imperial state up until the end of World War II. A large category of Japanese maps is known as gaihōzu 外邦図, referring to maps of areas outside Japan proper. Overlapping the gaihōzu category are the “Captured Japanese Maps.” These refer specifically to Japanese maps confiscated by the Allied occupation authorities post-war. Many copies of these maps were distributed to mostly American libraries as a thank-you for contributing to war-time cartographic knowledge. Japanese nautical charts from the 1920s to 1930s formed the basis for later topographic maps of the 1940s. Approximately 3,000 plus sheets from 1910s to 1940s are held in the UHM Map Collection. We are gradually making them available through our digital repository.