This article introduces cartographical studies of each region of Asia since ancient times, dividing broadly into West Asia, India, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Inner Asia. However, the studies of Japanese cartography are so numerous that they will not be listed here, in order to keep the quantity of material at a manageable level.
The discovery of a great variety of maps from archaeological excavations of ancient tombsin China was a major occurrence in the field of the history of Asian cartography after the Second World War. It caused the revision of several former theories on the history of ancient しhinese cartography. One receives the impression, however, that much Chinese research seems to be at the level of introducing their source material. Future research must aim to be a true historical study which clarifies the chronological order and the genealogical relationship of each work.
Generally speaking, in the countries in Asia even the existing status of sources for cartological history has not been made clear, so we regret to have to say that their research of the history of cartography is also in an early stage
A manuscript on physics composed of 160 leaves of Japanese paper, having been preserved in the Kume Museum (Tokyo), was made open to public on the occasion of the Exhibition "Kunitake Kume and Bei-0 Kairan Jikki (The Iwakura Embassy Itinerary)" held at the Museum in 1985. Inspection of the MS revealed that it was written by K. Kume (1839~1936), a Japanese historian, who compiled Bei-0 Kairan Jikki (first published in 1878 and now available as 5 volumes of Iwanami Bunko). Detailed analysis of the MS has made clear that it was a partial translation from a Dutch book, Eerste Grondbeginselen der Natuurkunde (1847~) by P. van der Burg (1808〜1889) enlarged with free and wide-flung annotations of Kume's own. In the present paper, given are the results of comparative study among the MS, Grondbeginselen, Bei-0 Kairan Jikki and the related literatures