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He came from a wealthy and well-connected family in Milan, and like many gentleman scholars of his day, he had a keen interest in geography. Thanks to his connections in high places, Monte met with the first official Japanese delegation to visit Europe when they came to Milan in 1585. Perhaps as a result, his depiction of Japan contains many place names that don’t appear on other Western maps of the time. Like many mapmakers of the era, Monte had a tendency to fill in the empty spaces on his map. Animals roam the land, and his oceans teem with ships and monsters.
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