Such a wonderful project. I'm really impressed with how much thought you guys have put into the development of each facet of the map, from calligraphy to colour to its presentation etc. The mixing of styles is really nice, incorporating many of the strengths of each style to make it unique. I love those little puffs of smoke erupting from the mountains (if my eyes deceive me, the mountain smoke above Odawara looks like a simpsons-style girl kissing :P).
IMHO, I think the larger places would look better with some kind of symbol associated with it, either above or below the calligraphy boxes. Perhaps a small triangle coming out of the box to point to its location? Otherwise it looks like it's for a province or region (will you include those as well?). :)
On a tangential note: I'm really interested in 14th-16th century Japan but have come short on finding detailed maps on each of the old provinces that existed then and their respective ownership/occupation. If I ever get the time or find the right person interested in such a large task, I'd really like to see an approximate year (or monthly) account of the wars that occurred then and the movement of clan troops & supplies across and within provinces in a modern Japan map. I've found a couple decent maps on a macrolevel with all the main locations identified but nothing scaled down to specific regions. I realise a lot of that information for that period is difficult to find let alone believe its authenticity (or hasn't been translated yet!) but it's a curiosity I've had for a while. =/ I was wondering if you had come across anything like that in your own research or can point me to a few places that has that information? Happy to continue this via PM so as not to derail your thread. :)
Thank you for the comment, Sharpes, as well as the thoughtful suggestion!
The map continues to drift unfinished at this point, though we have the calligraphy finished and we know how to proceed. We just need to find the time for it. The Vagabonds game itself has been taking up all of our free time. We are currently near completion of the next (and hopefully final) draft.
The Edo period is much, much different from the 14th-16th centuries (roughly the Sengoku period). Shogun: Total War, for example, is focused around the Sengoku jidai (creating a war game in the Edo period would be incredibly boring). Vagabonds is all about shattering the samurai-centric perspective of Japanese culture and history.
That being said, creating a map of the Sengoku period with the information you desire is not impossible, but it would be an immense challenge. The information is available, just not necessarily in English. The target map would have to be huge, otherwise it will be cluttered. You might want to pick a specific conflict, or a specific two clans to focus on for the 200 years you wish to document. The Uesugi vs the Takeda come to mind, and there's a good deal of information on that if you're willing to go to the library. Also, the folks at Samurai Archives are friendly and knowledgable, and would be willing to help you. One fellow there is particularly interested in the particulars of samurai warfare and military doctrine, if I remember correctly.
You'll also find a bunch of maps showing what clan occupied what territory in a given timeframe. These tend to be accurate, but in a general sense. Political boundaries were not very elegant during that time, for obvious reasons, so most of those borders are approximations. Additionally, the power, prestige, and influence of a daimyo was greatly dependent on his connections, in addition to (sometimes rather than) the amount of land he was in control of. That's why Sengoku period maps can be confusing; you'll have a family simultaneously "controlling" two domains on the opposite side of a province, or even an entire region. If you look at a lot of non-European, authentic Japanese maps of the time period, you'll often see labels rather than borders to show political power or influence.
Good luck to you!
Hi there Cartographer's Guild,
This map has gone way beyond our original expectations, so much so that we have modeled an entire Kickstarter campaign around finishing the darn thing. We want to print beautiful, physical, archival prints of it on Japanese paper (washi), and develop an accompanying booklet for understanding the time period. Check out our Kickstarter, A Land of Narrow Paths.
And again, a huge thanks to people in this community. Without the Cartographer's Guild, we never would have found Vandel, who continues to be a pleasure to work with. And, your suggestions have been incredibly useful in developing this map (and we'll continue to ask for them as we finally push this through the finish line).
This map is one of my faves here at the CG, and I just want to say again what a wonderful project this is. I wish you all the best with it! I'll definitely be making a pledge for the Kickstarter. :)
I was thinking, maybe you could consider reaching out to the folks at DramaFever. At the moment, they mainly provide Korean dramas, but I've noticed lately that they're starting to add more from Japan. They might be willing to promote your project/Kickstarter. For example, in conjunction with Edo-period dramas they've either just added, or will be adding soon.
I've seen many, many comments from other DramaFever members, about how they want to see more Japanese dramas added. And period dramas (from both Korea and Japan) are always extremely popular, so there's a very large pool of potential interest there. I know if I had seen an article from them about new Edo-period dramas, along with your project, I would have been very intrigued.
So, just a thought... :)
Thank you very, very much for your contribution, Neyjour! Glad to have you on board. :)
And what a wonderful idea. Do you know of any forums or social areas where DramaFever is discussed? Or are you recommending that I contact them directly? Indeed, this project would be fantastic for anyone interested in period-specific dramas, books, anime, etc.
Thank you again for the contribution, and the suggestion! Please share it with your friends, too.
You're very welcome! :)
Originally Posted by tinyaltar
Unfortunately, they don't have a forum on their site, and I don't know of any external discussion sites/forums for them (a Google search didn't turn up anything). But yeah, I was thinking you could contact them directly: How do I Contact DramaFever?
They only have a very small selection of Japanese dramas at the moment, but I know they're gearing up to add more. Their site search doesn't reveal them, but with a Google search (for specific titles) there are quite a few pages that pop for some of the most popular ones, with an option to get notifications when episodes are added. Plus, they just recently sent out a survey poll to members, asking about which countries people are interested in, and Japan and Taiwan were specifically listed, along with "Other". So I think they already know it's a given that the Asian ones are going to be the most popular.
An article from them, promoting new Edo-period dramas + your project, would garner a lot of interest. I honestly don't know how open they'll be to it, but it can't hurt to ask. :)
But another place you could promote at, yourself, is JDorama.com. It's a large community (over 40,000 members), specifically for Japanese dramas, and has a forum (slide down to the bottom of the main page).
On a related note, when I first became interested in anime, I'd never even heard of the "Edo period"... until I watched Samurai Champloo. :D
Again, a great suggestion there (JDorama)! I don't think many forums appreciate unsolicited Kickstarter ads, though, even if I do genuinely believe that community would get something out of this project. The reason I posted here is because this whole thing kind of began at the guild. I will work on it, though, and might try to post something in the "Learn Japanese" section. I'll also look into the DramaFever thing. Many thanks for the tips.
Samurai Champloo is a great show. I also recommend Mushishi for a subtle, beautiful Edo period manga/anime about a wanderer. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely one of my favorites. :)
Posting about it here is perfectly fine! And professional-quality products (which yours definitely is) can even go in the News section. :)
I do understand your concerns about posting in other forums. The only other suggestion I can think of is to make use of your deviantART gallery by posting a really nice promotional mock-up, showcasing one version of the digital map, a photograph of the other version (printed, with one of the corners slightly rolled), a page or two from the PDF booklet, a photo of the physical booklet cover, a photo of the cards (if you reach that goal) fanned out, etc., etc. And include a detailed write-up about it all (with links) in your Artist's Comments.
EDIT: Or, you could do the write-up in a journal entry, and showcase all the different pieces of the project in separate gallery posts.
Obviously, that idea would be for after the Kickstarter is finished, and everything has been made, printed, etc. But the way it's going so far, it looks like you have a very good chance anyway of reaching your stretch goals. :D
Thanks for the Mushishi rec! I've not heard of that one. I'll definitely check it out! :)
Many thanks for all the suggestions and kind words. We'll definitely be posting some pretty fun updates in the near future, which will include some new samples. :)
Things were slow yesterday, but picked up in the evening, overnight, and then this morning a tad. We passed our first stretch goal (the $4k mark). If we get to $5k, all backers receive a complimentary, print-and-play card game. Pretty cool, in my opinion. ;)
Hi folks! We're on the last day of our Kickstarter. Thought some of you might be interested. Thanks again for all the support here! I'm excited to say that, in many ways, this project was only possible because of the guild.