Miffy in Dejima
Dick Bruna's character Miffy in Dejima.


From Dejima to Tokyo

Dutch diplomatic locations in Japan since the 1850s

This study is the first complete history of Dutch diplomatic locations in Japan. It has been commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo.

In the 1850s, Japan signed commercial treaties that ended Japan’s 220-year-old policy of national seclusion. Soon after, the old Dutch trading post on the island of Dejima in Nagasaki was closed.

For over two centuries the relationship between Japan and the Netherlands had been based on exclusivity. Now, Dutch diplomats in Japan had to find new ways of working and new places to do this work, in a country that was opening to the world and radically reorganizing itself.

Little was known about the locations where these Dutch diplomats created this new relationship between the two countries. This study fills that gap and introduces new discoveries, deepening our understanding of how Dutch envoys moved from Dejima to Tokyo.

During the research stage, this site functioned as the public notebook of the study. Many of the raw unedited notes, organized in notebooks, as well as a small selection of primary documents will remain available for your research.

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