The streets of Dejima

Restoration of Dejima from early 19th century

Restoration works have been undertaken to represent Dejima’s early 19th century state, when director of Dejima Jan Cock Blomboff and  resident physician Siebold were playing vital roles. Starting with the Chief Director’s Residence, 10 buildings have been already restored so far.

Besides, the stone embankment from the era when the Portuguese originally inhabited Dejima, the stone warehouse from the end of Edo period when Ryoma Sakamoto and others accomplished their achievements and the wooden Western-style building from the Meiji period, have been completed its restoration on Dejima.

These restored buildings enable you to trace the changes in the history of Dejima each occurred throughout the different period.

The Dejima- history parallels the history of modernity in Japan.

 

The Nanman-trading period

For 65 years, from 1571 when the Portuguese’s ship arrived in Nagasaki Port to 1636 when the construction of Dejima was completed, trade with Portuguese, Spanish and Italian were pursued. They settled in Nagasaki- city and that resulted in the familiarization of the Nanman culture to the people in Nagasaki.

A stone embankment built in those days was unearthed during the excavation. Dejima disappeared once because of the reclamation, but it has appeared 100 years later.

 

The Japan-the Netherlands trading period

The Shimabara Rebellion broke out in 1637, and it left severe damages to the Tokugawa Shogunate. Later the Portuguese were expelled from Japan in 1639 and Dejima, which had just completed its construction was temporarily empty. It left merchants in Nagasaki, who invested in the construction of Dejima, very disappointed.

Before long the Tokugawa Shogunate ordered that the Dutch trading post on Hirado should be moved to Dejima in 1641. It marked the start of the Japan- the Netherlands trade in Nagasaki.

The restoration undertaken so far is from the early 19th century, around 1820 when the chief director Blomhoff and the resident physician Siebold were playing important roles.

 

After the opening of Japan

The Edo Shogunate finally opened Japan for trade with foreign powers in 1856 and began commerce in Yokohama and Hakodate. Dejima in Nagasaki closed its 218 years long history of its monopoly on trade with the Netherlands.

After the opening of Japanese trade, other Western merchants came to Nagasaki. New western-style buildings and stone warehouses on Dejima were built accordingly.

The stone warehouses which are restored today, belonged to Hutman and Company which Kaientai (a kind of corporation leaded by Ryoma Sakamoto later the Edo period) came to trade with. Afterward, Dejima would contribute as the settlement for foreigners.

 

After the Meiji period

Western-style buildings, i.e.Former Dejima Protestant Seminary and the Former Nagasaki International Club from the Meiji period, still remain on Dejima.

Former Dejima Protestant Seminary is the oldest Protestant seminary in Japan. The Former Nagasaki International Club was used by a group composed of financial experts centered Tomisaburo Kuraba, (a son of T. Glover), who pushed for the establishment of  the club.

 

The reclamation around Dejima was completed at the same time as the completion of the Former Nagasaki International Club. However, the shape of Dejima eventually disappeared through the years.