Reland's map of Japan was the first map to use Sino-Japanese characters on a European printed map and represents a radical departure from prior European maps of Japan.
Instead of following prior European maps and geographical sources, Reland utilized Japanese maps, most notably a map from the library or Benjamin Dutry, a former director of the Dutch VOC (East India Company). In some respects, this represented a tremendous leap forward in the geographical depiction of Japan, such as in the treatment of Kyushu and in naming the 66 provinces.
The map first appeared in 1715 in volume 3 of Jean Frederic Benard's Recuiel de voiages. It was thereafter reissued by Reland and Wilehm Broedelet in a larger format in 1715, for inclusion in folio atlases. The plates from the enlarged edition were purchased by Joachim Ottens in about 1720 and thereafter reissued under his name and later the names of his sons, Josua and Reiner. Large inset of the area around Nagasaki and an ornate dedication cartouche, with about 20 coats of arms. A fine example in full color.
The Ottens brothers, Reiner and Joshua, operated a successful printing partnership in the mid-eighteenth century (fl. 1726-1765). They began the venture in 1726, publishing maps and other prints as “R & I Ottens.” They specialized in the reprinting of others’ work, especially Guillaume De L’Isle. In 1750, Reiner died; his soon, also Reiner, took his place, but the firm began listing their works as “Joshua & Reiner Ottens.” The firm lasted until Joshua’s death in 1765. Joshua’s widow, Johanna de Lindt, sold their remaining stock of plates in 1784.