View Full Version : Ukiyo-e styled maps - my own challenge

12-04-2007, 10:39 AM
There's been a mapping project on my mind for quite a while now, my own Superstition Valley map which was more "artistic" than functional - its in the same theme of my next project.

In case anyone didn't know, I am half Japanese (my mother's full japanese), and I've been wanting to create authentic looking but artistically stylized maps in the style of Japanese wood-block printing or Ukiyo-e (Yu-key-oh-eh).

I'm currently researching both Japanese Ukiyo-e maps and Ukiyo-e landscape prints for mountain samples, waterfalls, coastlines, forests, lakes and rivers, structures (castles/pagodas/towns) and folklore monsters.

I've attached some Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and maps to give you an idea of what I working with. Curious these maps/prints were created prior to America opening up Japan in 1868, yet they have meridians and parallels...

Though the attached maps are true map, I plan to create a ficticious map of possible Japanese Island. Of course I plan to also create all pertinent map objects and have available for purchase/download. 8)

12-04-2007, 10:52 AM
Great idea. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. It looks like quite a difficult style to emulate.


12-04-2007, 11:17 AM
Again since this is supposed to be a fantasy map, I will also be creating monsters, people, landscape objects to be used as map objects...

1. Oni
2. Tengu
3. Hokusai's waterfall

Rather than the previous map samples, think of the map I'm designing as more what you'd find on a Japanese Screen - more artistic than functional, though I may create towns that are more traditional maps, than my Superstition Valley - where I used single buildings to represent towns.

12-04-2007, 11:17 AM
I have always loved Ukioye art and would love to see a map in this style.

12-04-2007, 01:09 PM
Great idea! I'll be reading with interest!

12-05-2007, 04:42 PM
My first attempt at creating mountain objects - studying several ukiyo-e prints from Hiroshige - a renowned Ukiyo-e landscape master.

Still needs some work, but using transparent layers in Xara to emulate watercolor.

The waves, will be used as highlights around important sites along the coast, peninsulas and such. I don't plan to cover the entire ocean surface with waves just coastline, as showing shallow waters might be used on a traditional map.

Needs work, but any feedback? 8)

12-05-2007, 05:12 PM
That's breathtaking! Hiroshige is one of my favourite artists and you're really doing him justice here. The 'misty' bottoms of the mountains look perfect as do the trees and hell, it all looks great!

01-14-2008, 11:56 PM
Ever on my quest to find resource material for creating Ukiyo-e map objects, I decided to dig through the piles of books at my mom's house and low and behold - I discovered that which I had not thought existed...

A ukiyo-e map by Hokusai created around 1830 (towards the end of his life). This map in many ways is similar to style and angle of the kind of maps and style I wanted to create.

This is "Map of Shiogama and Matsushima at Oshu". The second image is a closeup near top center - large town area and peninsular tip, showing the detailing I'm really going for. This was a rare find - exactly what I need.

01-16-2008, 05:17 AM
Great news! I'm so happy that you are continuing with your project. I have a couple of Ukioye books at home, I'll take a look at them and see if I can find anything of interest and if so scan them for you. Also check out the Japanese Historical Map website (http://www.davidrumsey.com/japan/view.html)if you have not already - it may have more useful references.