2022 Volume 15 Pages 8-20
‘Utamakura’ are well-known sights in ancient Japanese literature, and are typical of Japanese traditional landscapes. In early modern times, people rarely knew their exact location. Tatsuta is a famous ‘Utamakura’ in Nara prefecture where many people link it with the image of beautiful ‘Momiji,’ maples with red leaves. This paper aims to consider how the landscape of ‘Tatsuta’ was comprehended through analyzing the descriptions of the travelogues in early modern times. Travelers evaluated the landscapes based on the image of the literature, but they often indicated that real landscapes were different from the images in the literatures. In early modern times, there were still traditions and natural features concerned with literature in Tatsuta, which were thought to be made by villagers based on the literatures, and they affected how travelers comprehended landscapes. For example, it was not until villagers planted maples, that travelers began to enjoy real maples on the Tatsuta River. Travelers comprehended the landscape of Tatsuta through overlapping the knowledge of ancient literatures, which have been transmitted in different ways in early modern times, with the real world. This paper is significant in that it leads a better understanding of the traditional Japanese view of landscape and the process of its formation.