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Archive for July, 2012

Hand Drawn Illustrated Maps – Hokkaido

 :: Posted by admin on 07-19-2012

Hand drawn illustrated maps are perhaps some of the most charming kind. Hokkaido is a small Japanese island that is home to the Ainu, the indigenous people of northern Japan. There are only a small number of Ainu remaining, but they have managed to hold on to their roots and stay true to their indigenous culture.
One of the most interesting things about their culture is their traditional “Yukar”, which is a form of “oral literature”. The Hokkaido hold a lot of festivals, religious celebrations and craft fairs. If you want to see a different side of Japan to the high tech, bustling streets of Tokyo, then a visit to Hokkaido is a good way to get a taste of the history and culture of old-fashioned Japan.
These festivals are collected together in Deborah Davidson’s hand-drawn map of Hokkaido. This map illustration is clear, simple and bold. It includes traditional thematic elements such as crabs, shells, and dolphins to highlight water bodies, and uses carefully positioned flowers to highlight cities and festivals. This, combined with the ink lines and bright colors, produces a unique, striking, and easily understandable illustrated map.
As with most illustrated maps, the geography is simplified to preserve a strong and clear style. The key point of this map is to show the locations of the festivals and other cultural attractions that a visitor to the island would be interested in.
This beautiful map also includes a hand-written key that includes a lot of detail about each location. the key is detailed and informative. The penmanship is clean and clear, and adds to the charming flavour of the map.
The artist that created this map also does a number of other hand-drawn art, including Etegami art. If you enjoy their style, you can pick up some of their illustrations on Etsy.

Abstract Illustrated Maps and Japanese Culture

 :: Posted by admin on 07-04-2012

The Japanese enjoy rather different forms of art to many western cultures, and that is reflected in everything from their modern entertainment choices to the way they put together their Illustrated maps.
Artist Masaku Kubo has created some beautiful illustrated maps of Japan. One of his recent pieces is a map of Kamakura, Japan. This map covers Sagami Bay and the area surrounding Kamakura Station. To the west, is Enoshima, and to the north, Yokohama, but htese are not shown on the map.
The map is not a faithful scale representation of the area, although it does follow roughly the right shape. Instead, it picks out some of the most interesting attractions of the area, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Hachimutsu-en Honey Shop, and the Zuisen-Jiu temple, and highlights those.
As a tourist guide, this map is beautiful – it contains lots of information about the area, informing tourists that they “Must ride this adorable Enoden train”, and that it’s a long walk to the temple. These points are illustrated with large, clear pictograms that any traveller would understand, regardless of the language they speak.
There are few geographical elements highlighted on this map. The bay is shown, as are a few hills and green areas, but most of the map features built- up areas and attractions, describing roughly where they are in relation to the nearest train station. The bright colours and the simple, rugged “stamp effect” make this an interesting piece of modern Japanese art.
Masako Kubo is a prolific illustrator. He has produced everything from stamps to maps and campaign posters for environmental campaigns. He has also produced book covers for several authors, including some English Language authors. This means that everyone can own at least some of his works.