Fine antique engraving of Tokyo, then called Edo, after a view by Arnoldus Montanus. While the capital of Japan and Imperial Court was still in Kyoto, Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, during this period becoming one of the biggest cities in the world. Chiyoda Castle is at a distance in the center background, with Nihonbashi River to the left. Many palaces of daimyo, or feudal lords, are labeled in Marunouchi district, the area within the outer moat.
At number 31 (below number 23 and to the right of the Castle), Zōjōji Temple (Xaca Temple) is shown.
In the foreground, two groups are traveling in procession, one away from and the other towards Edo on one of the five Gokaido roads.
Montanus' Denckwürdige Gesandtschafften der Ost-Indischen Gesellschaft (1669), translated into English by John Ogilby as Atlas Japanensis, with accounts collected from emissaries of the Dutch East India Company, offered a rare glimpse into Japan under the isolationist Tokugawa shogunate. James Clavell's novel Shogun is set during the rise of Tokugawa Ieyasu to the shogunate.
Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.