Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The Hirado Project

The correspondence of the Dutch factory in Hirado, Japan, 1609-1633

Duration
2015  -   2017
Contact
Cynthia Vialle
Funding
Stichting Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation
Partners

International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) Kyoto Prof. dr. Frederik Cryns

The publication of the annotated transcriptions and English summaries of the correspondence of the Dutch factory in Hirado, Japan, 1609-1633.

The archives of the VOC in The Hague hold correspondence from the period 1609-1633 written to and from the factory at Hirado, the first VOC trading post in Japan. This period is important for the establishment of Dutch presence in East and South-east Asia as well as the development of the Tokugawa Shoguns’ international policy ultimately leading to closure of the country. Over 500 letters from this period have been preserved. They do not solely mention details of trade, they also give us insight into Japan’s international policy, Dutch-Japanese relations in this period, and Dutch relations with other regions in Asia. The goal of this project is to publish full transcriptions of the letters with annotations. English summaries will also be provided, so that foreign researchers not conversant in seventeenth-century Dutch will be able to make use of these rich historical materials. Our collaborator in Japan will translate the letters into Japanese for Japanese readers.

Connection with other research

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