Dutch Trading Post on “Dejima”

Dutch ship De Liefde

In 1600, a Dutch ship drifted down to the shore of Bungo (present day: Oita Prefecture). This led to the first exchange between Japan and the Netherlands. The drifting ship was De Liefde. A mate of De Liefde was William Adams ( later Anjin Miura), who played a significant role as a diplomat, receiving the favor of Ieyasu Tokugawa.

Gaining information about Japan from Anjin, the Netherlands dispatched two ships to Japan to demand the permission for opening the trading post in Hirado in 1609, followed by the opening of the British trading post .Since then, the bitter competition for trade among Portugal, the Netherlands, England, China and Japan which was trading by shogunate-licensed trading ship Shuinsen, became more severely. Since the Shimabara Rebellion, the Tokugawa Shogunate became much more vigilant against Portugal and resulting in the expulsion of the Portuguese from Japan, while the Netherlands gained the trust of the shogunate by bombing Hara-jyo( a Japanese castle located on Shimabara Peninsula) to show their respect to the shoguante. In this way, the Netherlands monopolized the trade with Japan.

The Hirado Dutch Trading Post moves to Dejima

After the Portuguese were expelled from Dejima in 1639, Dejima became empty even though it had just been constructed. However, the Dutch Trading Post in Hirado was moved to Dejima in 1641. Dejima carried out its significant role as the only window opening to “the West”which contributed to the modernization of Japan.


The Dutch Fusetsugaki

Dutch officials were required to provide information about Christianity through such means as the infiltration of missionaries and Portuguese so that the persecution of Christians came into force and the Portuguese were completely expelled from Japan. This was one of the conditions for the permission to enter the Japanese ports. After Dutch ships arrived in the port of Nagasaki, the interpreters would visit to request the obtained information from the Chief Factor. The interpreters translated all information provided by the Deputy Factor and gathered it, attaching his signature and seal to send it to the Edo Shogunate through the Nagasaki Magistrate’s office. The document sent to Edo was called the “Fusetsusho”.

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