(13 September 2016) The maps were captured in the waning days of World War II as the U.S. Army took control of Japan. American soldiers confiscated thousands of secret Japanese military maps and the plates used to print them, then shipped them to the United States for safekeeping.
Stanford has so far led the way in scanning these maps—7,353 at last count—and the university is putting them online for anyone to explore or download. Tohoku University Library in Japan also has a large online collection, indexed in both Japanese and English. (The maps that survive in Japan were apparently saved by cartographers who’d devoted their careers to making them and defied orders.)
TVN has the story in full