AS EARLY AS April 1869, Terashima, Minister of Foreign Affairs, applied to me in reference to the possi­ bility of a complete survey of the empire. Strangely enough, what were judged to be fairly accurate maps of the country were already in existence when the foreign treaties were signed. These were on too small a scale, and were lacking in detail, but they depicted the course of rivers , the outline of mountains, and the situation of towns with considerable accuracy. In fact, so correct was the line of the coast delineated, that it was adopted by the British Admiralty for the charts , by which ships were navigated. 1

This went to show that, at some time or other, people having a knowledge of trigonometrical survey­ ing must have resided in Japan. These may have been the Portuguese or the Dutch, or the learning may have been obtained from Sidotte, 2 the Italian priest whose services were so appreciated in the early part of the 18th century by the Taikun of that period. 3 From whatever source the information was obtained, however, there was no trace of the possession of it by any native, so far as was known to me, when Europeans finally settled in the country.