The oldest known map in Japan is a topographical drawing discovered on a stone wall inside a tomb in the city of Kurayoshi, in Tottori Prefecture, dated to the 6th century AD. Depicting a landscape of houses, bridges, and roads, it is thought to have been made not for practical navigational purposes, but rather as a kind of celestial cartography given to the dead to maintain a connection with the world of the living and allow them to orient themselves when moving on to the other world. Similar maps have been found in other kofun burial tombs as well. There is also evidence that at least rudimentary surveying tools were already in use in this era. One of the oldest written references to maps in a Japanese source is found in the Kojiki, the oldest history of Japan, in which land records are mentioned. The other major ancient history, the Nihon Shoki of 720 AD, describes a map of the ancient city of Naniwa (modern Osaka. The first map of provincial surveys is thought to be in 738, as described in the Shoku Nihongi. The earliest extant maps in Japan date to the 8th century, and depict the ownership of square rice field plots, oriented to the four cardinal directions. Shinto shrines held maps that they used for agrarian reform, differentiation of property, and land holdings. The system by which these maps were measured was called jouri, measured in units called tan and tsubo.
The Imperial Court of the Emperor Koutoku (孝徳天皇) put the Handen sei (班田制) into execution in 646 (大化2年) and asked each province to submit maps of their land holdings, known as denzu. This was considered the first attempt in Japan to draw accurate landscape in picture maps.
During the Emperor Shoumu's reign (聖武天皇), maps known as Gyouki-zu (行基図), named for the high priest Gyouki, were developed. Gyouki himself served as a civil engineer, although there are no explicitly known direct connections between himself and maps. The connection between his name and the term Gyouki-zu is thought to be derived from his authority as a priest and perceived connections between maps and geomantic rites to drive away evil spirits. The term Gyouki-zu was widespread and used for maps which illustrated the routes from the Imperial capital to each province in Japan. These maps covered a broader area, and include a much larger portion of what is now known as Japan, giving an idea of the extent of known territory at the time. Maps from these early surveys, show the northeasternly extent of Japan to be near the island of Sado, the westernly extent as Kyushu and the southernly extent as the tip of Shikoku, indicating a relative relationship of orientation, but lack of knowledge of the true cardinal directions, as Kyushu stretches much further south than Shikoku, and Sado is closer to north than northeast. More important was relative position, especially in terms of the relationship between the capital in Yamashiro Province (Nara Prefecture), and as long as the maps accurately depicted this relationship, they were considered useful. The style and orientation of the Gyouki-zu is much in line with the general overview of Japanese maps as described above, and it was this style that formed the dominant framework in Japanese cartography until the late medieval and Edo periods.
During the latter half of the 16th century and beyond, traditional Japanese mapmaking became influenced by Western techniques for the first time with the arrival of Dutch and Portuguese knowledge through the trade port of Nagasaki. The theory of the Earth as a sphere is thought to have arrived with Francis Xavier in approximately 1550, and Oda Nobunaga is believed to have possessed one of the first globes to have arrived in Japan. Japan thus saw full world maps for the first time, changing notions of a Buddhist cosmology matched with physical geography. The first known printed European-style map was made in Nagasaki in 1645, however, the name of the map's creator is unknown. World maps were made in Japan, but they were often gilded and used for largely decorative, as opposed to navigational, purposes and often placed Japan at the center of the world. Marine charts, used for navigation, made in Japan in the 1600s were quite accurate in depictions of East and Southeast Asia, but became distorted in other parts of the map. Development also continued in traditional styles such as the Gyouki-zu, the improved and more accurate versions of which are known as Joutoku type maps. In these Joutoku maps, coastline was more defined, and the maps were generally more accurate by modern standards. The name "Joutoku" is derived from the name of a temple in Echizen Province (Fukui Prefecture), after a map drawn by Kano Eitoku.
The first attempts to create a map encompassing all of Japan were undertaken by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1591, late in the Sengoku period. However, it was not until the Edo period that a project of that nature would come to full fruition under the auspices of the Tokugawa government. Kuni-ezu were maps of each province within Japan that the Edo government ordered created in the years of 1644 (正保元年), 1696 (元禄9年), and 1835 (天保6年). Each of the three kuni-ezu was called Shouhou kuni-ezu, Genroku kuni-ezu, and Tenpo kuni-ezu. The purpose of kuni-ezu was to clearly specify not only the transformation of boundaries of provinces, roads, mountains, and rivers but also the increase in kokudaka (石高) following the development of new field. Maps of each country were drawn in a single paper, with the exception Mutsu Province (陸奥国), Dewa Province (出羽国), Echigo Province (越後国), and Ryuukyuu Province (琉球国) where a several pieces of paper were given. The Genroku kuni-ezu depicted the territorial extent of Japan as reaching from southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the north to the Ryuukyuu and Yonaguni Islands in the south. A major flaw in these maps, however was the unreliability of surveying techniques, which often involved lengths of rope that easily became distorted, resulting in distortions in the map based on the survey as well. This was largely seen as an unavoidable flaw however. In 1719, the Edo government created a map covering all of Japan based on the Genroku kuni-ezu and completed as Nihon ezu (日本絵図). Maps of roads, sea routes, towns, and castles all become more accurate and detaield on a smaller scale at around this time.
そして、いよいよ伊能忠敬さんの「伊能図（いのうず）」になります m(_ _)m
Ino Tadataka started learning Western astronomy when he was 52 years old. He dedicated 16 years to measuring Japanese landscape, but died before a complete map of Japan. The map, called Ino-zu, was completed in 1821 (文政4年) under the leadership of Takahashi Kageyasu (高橋景保). In 1863, the Hydrographic Department of British Royal Navy published the map of the Shelf Sea around the Japanese islands based on the Ino-zu and the accurate geographic location of Japan became widely known. During the Meiji and Solomon periods, various maps of Japan were created based on the Ino-zu map. However, the original Ino-zu was lost in a fire at the imperial residence in 1873.