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The Dutch and Japan Sharlyn Scott “ The Red Haired Barbarians” in Japan The Dutch factory in Hirado. 1669 engraving by Montanus. Map of Nagasaki Hishu Nagasaki no zu 1802 34 x 46 cm. Publisher: Bunkindô, Nagasaki Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 1 Slide: BG K9/420

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The dutch and japan sharlyn scott l.jpg
The Dutch and JapanSharlyn Scott


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The Red Haired Barbarians” in Japan



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  • Map of NagasakiHishu Nagasaki no zu180234 x 46 cm.Publisher: Bunkindô, NagasakiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 1Slide: BG K9/420

  • Dejima is the fan-shaped island, left above center. Its area was approximately 70 by 210 meters, and was connected to the mainland by a guarded wooden drawbridge. The square artificial island further to the left was for the Chinese traders.



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We are not Christians! We are Hollanders!”


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  • 17th century Japanese depiction of Dutch traders.





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  • Dutch on their roundsOranda-jin junkan no zu32 x 22 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 9Slide: BG K9/428

  • Dutchmen on a court journey with musicians and an elephant, a gift to the shôgun.


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  • [Camel and dromedary]182130.5 x 22.5 cm.Publisher: Nawaya, NagasakiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 8Slide: BG K9/427

  • These animals were brought to the shôgun in Edo with the court journey of 1821. The text provides details about camels.

    • Two camels that were imported in the 6th month of the year Hunsei 4 (July 1821) in a Dutch ship. They come from a place called Mecca, in the country Arabia. The male is five years old, the female four years.The height is nine feet and the length 2 ken (3,60 metre).Just like oxen and horses in this country, the animal is used in farming only.(When it lies down) the animal bends its legs in threes, and when it is loaded it will carry over 1000 katti (1 katti = 625 grams). It walks over 100 ri (100 miles) a day.If it is allowed to eat until it is satisfied, it will not eat for five days afterwards.The females and males of this animal are very attached to one another.


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  • Dutch on their roundsOranda-jin junkan no zu22.5 x 32 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 10Slide: BG K9/429

  • This is a free interpretation of the journey to the governor of Nagasaki in 1844.


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  • [Dutchman with telescope]43.8 x 16.3 cm.Publisher: YamatoyaInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 11Slide: BG K9/430

  • The telescope was one of many Western inventions introduced to Japan by the Dutch.


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19th Century Nagasaki-e


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  • Dutchman weighing goodsOranda-jin kamotsu o kakeruCa. 184543.5 x 16 cm.Publisher: Yamatoya, NagasakiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 13Slide: BG K9/432

  • The Dutch trader is weighing ivory elephant's tusks that are left on the scales. There is a notebook under his left arm.


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  • Dutchman and Javanese servant playing with dogsOranda-jin kurombô girô ken zu37 x 25 cm.Publisher: Daiyoshi-han (Yamatoya), NagasakiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 17Slide: BG K9/436

  • The Dutch official is accompanied by a servant from Java, Indonesia, which was a Dutch colony at the time.


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  • Dutchmen preparing ointmentKômô-jin koyaku neri no zu25 x 19.4 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 15Slide: BG K9/434

  • The Japanese were very interested in Western medicine, which was unknown in Japan before the arrival of the Dutch.


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  • Portraits of figures from barbarian countries: the king of HollandBankoku jimbutsu zue: oranda no kokuo186135.2 x 23.6 cmArtist: Ichieisai YoshitsuyaPublisher: Ebiya Rinnosuke, YokohamaInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 27Slide: BG K9/446

  • A caricatural fantasy of King William III rather than a portrait, accompanied by a satirical poem:

    Even the people

    who write with crabbed hand

    are craving for

    the Elevated Way

    of our Country


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  • Dutch ship HollandOranda sen zu180230.5 x 22.5 cm.Publisher: Bunkindô, NagasakiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 2Slide: BG K9/421

  • The yellow flag in the center carries the emblem of the VOC, the Dutch East-India Company, but it is upside down. The text gives details about the ship's size and distances between Japan and other parts of the world.


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  • Dutch ship HollandOranda fune no zu1859Artist: YoshitoraPublisher: Shimaya, Yokohama36.5 x 25.5 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 31Slide: BG K9/450

  • Top left, the portrait of a Dutchman, top right, an admiring text about Dutch ship building and navigation.

    • Text:(right to left)A long time ago the Dutch already were very skilled in navigation, and Dutch ships sailed around the world.The Dutch are very well versed in shipbuilding and of how to use ships profitably for foreign markets.They chose good materials and worked like when building up stone walls; they used iron nails and filled up cracks with tar and hemp.In the fourth month they sailed from their country (from Indonesia, the journey from Indonesia lasted much longer) and in the sixth month they arrived here.When (the ship arrives) in Nagasaki and the cannons, which are placed side by side, are fired, clouds appear and make the ship invisible. When the smoke has risen, the sails that had been visible in large numbers suddenly appear to have been rolled up.Upon departure they also fire cannons, and before the smoke has risen they have already hoisted the sails, astonishing the spectators.Their maneuvering is truly miraculously fast and mysterious.  


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  • Dutchman training horse HollandOranda-jin bajutsu no zu44 x 16 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 14Slide: BG K9/433

  • The Dutch imported good horses to Japan, and taught riding and dressage.


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  • Depiction of a Dutchman HollandOranda-jin zu30 x 12.5 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 16Slide: BG K9/435

  • The shôgun expressed the desire to have a bird of paradise. The Dutch brought a peacock, but that would not do.


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  • True portrait of a Dutchman HollandShôsha Oranda-jin186134.2 x 23.7 cm.Artist: Ichikawa YoshikazuPublisher: Sanoya KiheiInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 25Slide: BG K9/444

  • A Dutchman and a Chinese servant.


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  • Dutch trading agent admires the peonies as the body of his wifeOranda-jin shôkan fukikusa shôbi no karada186134.9 x 24 cm.Artist: Gountei SadahidePublisher: Moriya Jihei, YokohamaInv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 26Slide: BG K9/445

  • The female portrait represents the wife of the trading agent, far away.


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  • [Hunting a Monkey] wife36.8 x 25.4 cm.Inv.nr.: NEHA SC 477 nr. 38Slide: BG K9/458

  • A group of Westerners on a hunting party for monkeys.


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  • Slides 4 & 5: 1707 map of Japan, with a cartouche representing the audience of William Adams with the Shogun. From Naaukeurige Versameling der Gedenk-Waardigste Zee en Land-Reysen (a seies of accounts of famous voyages). Thought to be by Pieter van der Aa. )

  • Source: International Institute of Social History (Netherlands). “Exhibition of Japanese Prints”. http://www.iisg.nl/index.php . Retrieved 23 July 2007.


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