The Deshima Diaries 1641-1660: The Dagregisters Kept by the Chiefs of the Dutch East India Company Factory in Nagasaki, Japan. (Hardcover)
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.