Rare Geological Map of Japan by Fesca & Harada, 1885: First Geological Map, Detailed Legend, Pioneering Cartography
Rare Geological Map of Japan by Fesca & Harada, 1885: First Geological Map, Detailed Legend, Pioneering Cartography
Rare Geological Map of Japan by Fesca & Harada, 1885: First Geological Map, Detailed Legend, Pioneering Cartography
Rare Geological Map of Japan by Fesca & Harada, 1885: First Geological Map, Detailed Legend, Pioneering Cartography

Rare Geological Map of Japan by Fesca & Harada, 1885: First Geological Map, Detailed Legend, Pioneering Cartography

Regular price$39.00
Sale Ends Tonight: Use Code DAD20
Unique Maps Co. Exclusive
  • Handmade in the USA

    Your map will be handmade in the US

    The Unique Maps Co. has state of the art production facilities in North Carolina and Michigan, and specialist large format facilities in New Jersey and California. Your map will be printed, framed and personalised in the US.

    Making and dispatching maps locally keeps delivery times down (2 to 3 days) and means your map should always arrive in perfect condition.

    I also have production hubs in 22 countries around the world, which means you can buy this map as a gift for someone and I will make and deliver the map locally. They won't have to pay any tax or import duty.

    Learn more about local production and delivery

  • Free delivery 
    in 2 to 3 days

    Delivery in 2 to 3 days

    Your map should be delivered in 2 to 3 working days with free delivery.

    Express delivery is available at checkout which can reduce the delivery time to 1 to 2 days.

    Please note that personalised maps, and larger framed maps, can take longer to produce and deliver.

    If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, contact me and we can discuss your options.

    Learn more about delivery times

  • Premium hardwood frames

    Premium hardwood frames

    My framed maps are handmade by professional, experienced framers from sustainably sourced hardwoods.

    This means your framed map will feel solid and well-made.

    My standard frame colours (black, dark brown, white, oak and gold) are available for all map sizes worldwide.

    Custom framing is available for an additional fee.

  • Certified sustainable + 
    we plant trees

    Sustainability & Tree Planting

    Here at The Unique Maps Co., we have an unusually high affinity for paper. After all, without paper, there can be no maps!

    That's why all of our paper, frames and packaging are from FSC certified sources.

    But we don't stop there. We've partnered with Treeapp to plant trees around the world.

    If you spend $60 or more, we'll plant a tree in your name.

    Learn more about tree planting & sustainability

  • 5 stars 'Excellent' rating on Trustpilot

Need help ordering?

Call the workshop or WhatsApp me any time.

Personalise your map to make it truly unique (+$50). I will seamlessly add a message, place, or illustration. See some amazing examples.
"Original" looks just like the product photos. If you want an older looking map, select Aged (+$10). See some examples.
As seen in
Payments secured by bank-grade 256-bit encryption

The Geological Map of the Japanese Islands, created in 1885 by Max Fesca and Toyokichi Harada, stands as a monumental piece in the history of thematic cartography. This pioneering map is the first geological map of Japan, marking a significant leap in the scientific understanding of the country's geological landscape. It vividly showcases the intricate geological formations across the Japanese archipelago, including Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Each region is meticulously detailed, providing an invaluable resource for geologists and historians alike.

The map is an exemplary infographic, using a sophisticated color-coded legend to represent various geological formations. This visual approach not only makes the map aesthetically pleasing but also highly informative, allowing users to easily distinguish between different rock types and geological periods. The inset map of Hokkaido adds an extra layer of detail, ensuring that even the most remote regions are thoroughly covered. This level of detail and clarity is a testament to the advanced cartographic techniques employed by the mapmakers.

Max Fesca, known as the ‘Father of Modern Japanese Agriculture,’ and Toyokichi Harada, a groundbreaking geologist, collaborated to create this foundational work. Their expertise is evident in the map's precision and depth of information. Fesca's background in pedology and Harada's geological acumen combined to produce a map that not only serves as a scientific document but also as a piece of art. The collaboration between Japanese and German experts during the Meiji period, a time of significant modernization in Japan, is beautifully encapsulated in this map.

The historical significance of this map cannot be overstated. It represents the dawn of modern geological mapping in Japan, moving beyond crude sketches to a comprehensive and detailed representation of the country's geological features. This map was a critical tool for scientists of the time and continues to be a valuable reference for understanding Japan's geological history. It reflects the broader scientific advancements of the late 19th century and the growing importance of international collaboration in scientific endeavors.

In addition to its scientific value, the map is a stunning visual document. The use of different colors to denote various geological formations creates a vibrant and engaging image. The detailed coastlines, mountain ranges, and volcanic areas are not only informative but also visually striking. This map is a perfect blend of form and function, making it a prized possession for collectors and enthusiasts of historical maps and geological studies.

Places on this map

  • Regions:
  • Hokkaido
  • Honshu
  • Shikoku
  • Kyushu
  • Geological features:
  • Various geological formations indicated by different colors (as per the legend on the map)
  • Mountain ranges
  • Plains
  • Volcanic areas
  • Notable islands:
  • The main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu)
  • Smaller surrounding islands as part of the Japanese archipelago

Notable Features & Landmarks

  • The map includes a detailed legend with color codes representing different geological formations.
  • The map covers the entire Japanese archipelago, including the main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.
  • The map is divided into a grid system, likely for easier reference and navigation.
  • The inset map of Hokkaido provides additional detail for that region.
  • Various geological features such as mountain ranges, plains, and volcanic areas are highlighted.
  • The map uses a variety of colors to represent different rock types and geological periods.
  • The title "Geological Map of the Japanese Islands" is prominently displayed in both English and Japanese.
  • The map includes detailed coastlines and island outlines.
  • The map was created using pioneering cartographic techniques for its time.

Historical and design context

  • This map is the first geological map of Japan.
  • It is part of the foundational work of thematic cartography in Japan.
  • The map was created by a team of experts led by Max Fesca, a German pedologist known as the ‘Father of Modern Japanese Agriculture’.
  • The map features 23 pioneering double-page maps, including the first general geological map of Japan by Toyokichi Harada.
  • Toyokichi Harada, a ground-breaking geologist, created the first general geological map of Japan, which was only preceded by crude geological sketches.
  • This map is a foundational work in the study of the geology of Japan.
  • The map was created in 1885.
  • Max Fesca and Toyokichi Harada were the mapmakers.
  • The map is an infographic thematic map, conveying geological information in an illustrative way.
  • The map represents a significant advancement in the field of geology in Japan.
  • It marks the beginning of modern geological mapping in Japan.
  • The map reflects the collaboration between Japanese and German experts during the Meiji period, a time of significant modernization and scientific advancement in Japan.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at every size, but I always recommend going for a larger size if you have space. That way you can easily make out all of the details.

This map looks amazing at sizes all the way up to 70in (180cm). If you are looking for a larger map, please get in touch.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x16in (40x40cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps to see if something else catches your eye.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a gallery style black ash hardwood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. My standard frame is around 20mm (0.8in) wide.

I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

Six standard frame colours are available for free (black, dark brown, dark grey, oak, white and antique gold). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Most maps are also available as a framed canvas. The map is printed on matte (not shiny) canvas, stretched over a box frame, and then 'floated' within a simple wood frame. The end result is quite beautiful, and there's no glazing in front of your map.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I print and frame maps in 22 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about The Unique Maps Co.

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

Map ageing

I have been asked hundreds of times over the years by customers if they could buy a map that looks even older.

Well, now you can, by selecting Aged before you add a map to your basket.

All the product photos you see on this page show the map in its Original form. This is what the map looks like today.

If you select Aged, I will age your map by hand, using a special and unique process developed through years of studying old maps, talking to researchers to understand the chemistry of aging paper, and of course... lots of practice!

If you're unsure, stick to the Original colour of the map. If you want something a bit darker and older looking, go for Aged.

See some amazing examples of Aged maps.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 4,000 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on (818) 804-4732