The Deshima Diaries 1641-1660

The Dagregisters Kept by the Chiefs of the Dutch East India Company Factory in Nagasaki, Japan.

The present volume of The Deshima Diaries consists of the journals that were kept by the chiefs of the Dutch trading post in Japan during the first two decades of the so called seclusion period (1640-1868). The employees of the Dutch East India Company – from 1640 the only Europeans in Japan - had to give up their relatively free life in the port of Hirado and were forced to move to the tiny island of Deshima in the Bay of Nagasaki. Continually surrounded by Japanese guards, spies, cooks, concubines and interpreters they were eager to continue their trading activities with their Japanese hosts. Every year, with a few exceptions, the chief of the factory and two or three staff members travelled to Edo to pay obeisance to the Shogun. The diaries in this volume describe in detail how the Dutch merchants grappled with the severe restrictions that were imposed on them, but their writings also shed surprising light on social and economic life in Nagasaki and beyond.

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Cynthia Vialle, Leiden University, has published on a variety of topics related to the VOC, such as the Company’s gift-giving practices, its trade in Japanese lacquerware, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, and other goods. Currently she is preparing a transcription of the correspondence of the Dutch factory in Hirado, Japan (1609-1633) with an English translation for publication.

Isabel Tanaka-van Daalen is Associate Researcher at the Historiographical Institute, Tokyo University. She is preparing a PhD thesis on the role of the Japanese interpreters in information gathering and the formation of new knowledge and has published various articles on different interpreter families and their dealings with the Dutch on Deshima. She has also been an editor of the Kodansha’s Nederlands-Japans Woordenboek (1994) and the Yogakushi Kenkyu Jiten (Encyclopedia for the Study of the History of “Western Learning”), Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 2021.

Leonard Blussé, Ph.D. (1986), Leiden University, is Professor emeritus of the History of Asian-European Relations at that university. He has published monographs, translations, Dutch and Chinese source publications and many articles on East and Southeast Asia, including The Chinese Annals of Batavia, The Kai Ba Lidai Shiji (开吧 历代史纪) and other stories 1610-1795 (Brill, 2018).
Editors of the Deshima Diaries series:
Dr. J.L. Blussé and Dr. W.G.J. Remmelink
Editorial Note
List of Figures


Introduction to the Contents of the Deshima Dagregisters of 1641–1660

Deshima, the Dutch Factory in Nagasaki: A Brief Introduction

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Maximiliaen Le Maire: 9 June–31 October 1641

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Jan van Elseracq: 1 November 1641–29 October 1642

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Pieter Antonisz Overtwater: 29 October 1642– 1 August 1643

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Jan van Elseracq: 1 August 1643–24 November 1644

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Pieter Antonisz Overtwater: 24 November 1644– 29 November 1645

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Reijnier van Tzum: 30 November 1645– 27 October 1646

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Wilhem Versteeghen: 28 October 1646– 10 October 1647

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Frederik Coyett: 3 November 1647–9 December 1648

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Dircq Snoucq: 9 December 1648–5 November 1649

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Anthonio van Brouckhorst: 5 November 1649– 25 October 1650

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Pieter Sterthemius: 25 October 1650– 1 November 1651

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Adriaen van der Burgh: 1 November 1651– 3 November 1652

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Frederik Coyett: 4 November 1652–12 November 1653

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Gabriel Happart: 12 November 1653–31 October 1654

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Leonard Winnincx: 31 October 1654– 23 October 1655

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Johannes Boucheljon: 23 October 1655– 1 November 1656

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Zacharias Wagenaer: 2 November 1656– 26 October 1657

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Johannes Boucheljon: 27 October 1657– 23 October 1658

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Zacharias Wagenaer: 23 October 1658– 3 November 1659

Dagregister of Opperhoofd Johannes Boucheljon: 4 November 1659– 26 October 1660
Remarks on the Use of the Indexes
Index of Ships’ Names
Index of Geographical Names
Index of Non-Japanese Names
Index of Japanese Names
Subject Index
All interested in the history of Tokugawa Japan, and anyone concerned with the history of trade and society in early modern East Asia and the VOC in particular.
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