Detail of map of Akitsushima

These maps represent the fictional world of Katherine M. Lawrence’s Sword of the Taka Samurai books, but are rooted in actual geography and the historical record.

I hand-drew these because the author and I were unable to find any actual Japanese maps from the 12th century, or even centuries after. Actual maps of Japan during the Heian era seem to be nonexistent. There are some maps from a few hundred years later—maps made by European explorers, but Katherine and I felt it was better to create our own to evoke the period and setting. I hand-drew the topographic features and added the roads and political regions by referencing historical documentation. Some parts particular to the story are fictional.