Ino’s Documents appointed as                                                   NATIONAL TREASURES

IT HAS BEEN almost 200 years since Tadataka Ino (伊能忠敬) passed away. Tadataka made the first accurate coastal maps of Japan. He was born at Katori City, Chiba Prefecture in 1745.


It took Tadataka nearly 16 years to complete his project. He walked 3700 days and took 40,000,000 steps along Japan’s coastline, nearly 44,000 km, longer than the equator. Tadataka traveled 230 out of 365 days, and averaged 12km a day.


In honor of his remarkable feat, a statue of Tadataka stands at Tomioka Hachimangu,

Fukagawa, Tokyo, where Tadataka wished for travel safety at every departure. The stick Tadataka carrys is not a walking stick! It is called Wankarashin (彎窠羅鍼), a stick with an azimuth compass and leveler. Tadataka’s achievement was inherited throughout the Meiji, Taisho, Showa eras and had a big impact on the development of map science.

Today there are only two scrolls existing in the world which depict his work. They are Urashima Sokuryo no Zu (1806) and Mitarai Sokuryo no Zu (1806). Both are located in Kure city.


Recently, Takehisa Igaki (井垣武久) from the Kure Board of Education, found some similarities in a painting by local artist Kiyoshi Asai and the scrolls. He identified the mountain depicted in the Urashima scroll as Mt. Shiratake in Hiro. Some neighboring islands in the Seto Inland Sea were also narrowed down. It revealed that Tadataka’s measuring took place in the Nagahama, Hiro, Aga and Ondo districts.


“A painter must have accompanied Tadataka and painted the scenes,” says Takehisa. Among his many assistants was a sword carrier. A steel sword has the capability to influence compass readings so Tadataka wore a bamboo sword while working. His attendant held the real sword for him.


Since the fifth delegation, the Shogunate sponsored Tadakata’s map work. A number of clan officials and village helpers made a long procession and accompanied Tadataka.

This March, 2345 items of documention, maps and drawings were designated as National Treasures. The scroll Urashima Sokuryo no Zu is kept at Irifuneyama Museum (Important Cultural Property) in Kure.


Photos   Top: Tadataka statue, Tomioka Hachimangu, Tokyo

              Left: Japan coastlines as traveled by Tadataka

              Right: Part of Urashima Sokuryo no Zu drawn in Bunjinga style (Chinese style)


伊能忠敬没後、約200年が経つ。 忠敬は日本で初めて正確な沿岸地図を作った人物で、生まれは1745年、千葉県加鳥市である。 


忠敬は16年近くかけて、この事業を成し遂げた。赤道よりも長い日本の海岸線、約44,000kmを、40,000,000歩3700日かけて歩いた。 365日のうち230日を歩き、その移動距離は1日平均12kmになる。


偉大な功績を称えて、忠敬像が東京都深川市富岡八幡宮に立つ。そこは忠敬が出立する際、旅の安全を祈った神社である。忠敬は棒を持って歩いていたが、それは杖ではない。方位コンパスと地ならし機を備えた「彎窠羅鍼」と呼ばれる棒である。 忠敬の偉業は、明治・大正・昭和へと受け継がれ、地図科学の発展に大きく寄与した。