[Bird's-eye View Illustration of Ōedo (Ōedo Chokan-zu)
Painted by Kuwagata Keirin Tokyo Shiryō Collection 025-D1

This is a map that looks out eastwards from Edo Castle and depicts the view of a bustling city and Hinomi-yagura (fire watchtowers). The course of rivers and the coastline is also included allowing us to understand how the streets of Edo appeared at the time.

Keirin, the author of this bird's eye view illustration was the grandson of Keisai Kuwagata. Keisai had a unusual career changing from an Ukiyo-e painter to becoming a painter for the Tsuyama clan (present day Okayama Prefecture) and he specialized in bird's eye view illustrations. Keisai left a number of bird's eye view illustrations of Edo such as 'Bird's Eye View of Greater Edo' and 'A Glance at Edo painted on Folding Screen', and the strong influence of his grandfather can clearly be seen in this illustration by Keirin.
Bird's eye view illustration is the paiting that depicts the view of the ground as if seen from the point of view of a bird flying in the sky. This kind of illustration became popular in the later years of Edo when perspectives began to be adopted.