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Dutch-Japanese connections

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Dutch-Japanese connections

I will be visiting Amsterdam in December for 6 days. I've been to Amsterdam before, but it was nearly 20 years ago. I am a Japanese music--and by extension Japan--specialist, and I'm interested in exploring connections between The Netherlands and Japan (both historical and modern). Most specifically, I'm interested in the Dutch activity at Dejima off the shore of Nagasaki during the Edo period (17th and 18th centuries). I've been to Nagasaki a couple of times and know their side of the story. Now I'd like the Dutch view of that history.

Can anyone comment on the National Maritime Museum? Are there any exhibits that feature trade with Japan?

I hope to get a photo of the Oost-Indisch Huis, which I think is now a part of the University of Amsterdam. Is that correct? Is the interior of the building accessible to the general public? I'm happy to just see the outside; I'm just curious about access. Is there anyplace else that would have information on the Dutch East India Company?

I'm also planning to go to Leiden to the Japan Museum Sieboldhuis.

Is there anyplace else that might be of interest to me? I'm not obsessive about this, and if I miss something, well, it's just an excuse to visit Amsterdam again. But I am very much looking forward to exploring this topic (while also enjoying other aspects of Amsterdam!)

Thanks very much for any suggestions you might have.

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1. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

Well surely you have read the novel "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" about Dejima? I'm not sure how historically accurate it is but I loved the read. …wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thousand_Autumns_of_…

[Is there anyplace else that would have information on the Dutch East India Company?]

Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. http://tropenmuseum.nl/en/node/213

I don't know how much the Scheepvaartmuseum (maritime) has about it, perhaps you can contact them directly?

Stadsarchief (City Archives) may also have some books and info about it.

Here is some more info about Dutch / Japanese connections:

- iamsterdam.com/en-GB/…Japan

- Amstelveen / "Japan along the Amstel" iamsterdam.com/en-GB/…Amstelveen

- www.geheugenvannederland.nl/…

Good luck!

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2. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

I just found that there is a museum dedicated to Japan in Leiden: http://www.sieboldhuis.org/

The Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, also in Leiden, also seems to have a large Japan collection. See http://volkenkunde.nl/.

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3. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

Thanks very much to both of you for your suggestions. I'll check them all out.

Cecile74, yes, I have read "The Thousand Autums of Jacob de Zoet" and I loved it! The beginning and end are amazingly historically accurate, to the point that you can actually identify the real people that some of the characters are based on (including Philip Siebold). The middle part of the book is pure fantasy, though.

Thanks again!

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4. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

Yes I figured as much about the middle part

:-) although some descriptions of the hill and palace may be based on real places.

Amazing how little a place Dejima was. But I read similar stories about the start of Cape Town, only very few Europeans actually living and working there and controling things...

In 2009 (I think it was that year) Amsterdam celebrated 400 years of trade connections with Japan and there were special exhibitions and such, perhaps you can retrace some of that online if you use Dutch search terms... '400 jaar handelsbetrekkingen japan' or simply 'japan nederland 400 jaar' or something like that.

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5. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

In the Rijksmuseum is a small exhibit about the Japan connection. If I remember well there is even a scale model of Dejima. I will look it up for you.

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6. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

Rieto--thank you so much!

Ceclie74--Thanks for the phrases to Google in Dutch. I'll see what I can find.

7. Re: Dutch-Japanese connections

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