This is a work in progress – the province-level map for the Chrysanthemum War campaign.

I’m drawing this with Campaign Cartographer 3 and Fractal Terrains 2.3, both from Profantasy Software.

Hida Province map
Hida Province - a work in progress

I took the GTOPO30 data I used for the central Honshu map, then focussed in on the Hida area in FT by trial and error (ideally, the southern border of Hida wouldn’t touch the map border, but this was the fourth or fifth attempt at getting the area view right, and I rated it ‘good enough’).

I couldn’t use the trick of drawing over the satellite data that I used in the Honshu map, as it’s far too pixelated at this resolution, so I had FT output CC2 contours.

I found some details of rivers, notable peaks and main 19th-century settlements in an academic report on historical Hida fisheries, drawn from a detailed 18th-century survey, the Hidagofudoki. Fortunately, the map in that document was using the same Mercator projection as my FT export.

I extracted the map from the PDF using PaintShop Pro and brought it into a temporary layer in CC3, then played with sheets so it overlay the filled contours but the rivers, province border, peaks and settlements would sit on top of it.

Tracing complete, I figured the map was becoming nice enough to display, so I chose some sheet effects for various layers:

I applied a paper texture to the filled contour and contour bar sheets.

I duplicated the province border onto a mask layer, drew a box matching the map border, and combined the two into a filled multipoly, coloured mid-brown. A 50% transparency dims out the surrounding provinces and leaves Hida nice and clear.

I put an Alpha Blur on the politcal border sheet to emphasise Hida even more.

And I added a couple of locations my googling of the Hida area had thrown up – the gorgeous Kamikochi Valley, just outside the borders, and Shirakawa-go, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Still to do:

Name the main rivers. I may also hide some of the smaller ones (it’s a bit cluttered at the moment).

Add agricultural and vegetaion details found in another academic study, also drawn from the Hidagofudoki, which maps the 19th century villages and their agricultural speciality (rice only, millet only and rice/millet combination), and the prevailing forest types throughout the province. It’s in Japanese, but Google Translate gets me the map key.

Then I’ll begin the game elements, which will be largely fictitous – campaign daimyo’s provinces, fantasy elements, etc.

I’m very much looking forward to this game. Hida has a lot going for it as a setting. It’s rugged (mountainous on its borders) and gorgeous and, in the early Sengoku period, contains mostly minor daimyo who didn’t leave much of a mark on history – it’s rife for fictional exploitation.

Hida Takayama Folk Village
Hida Takayama Folk Village, by Eckhard Pecher, released by him under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

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