Nihon Kankei Kaigai Shiryō: Oranda Shōkan-chō Nikki Genbunhen no 13 (Diaries kept by the Heads of the Dutch Factory in Japan. Vol.XIII January 1,1652 - November 12,1653)
344 pages, A5 format
April 19, 2019
University of Tokyo Press
Diaries Kept by the Heads of the Dutch Factory in Japan are the official diaries that were kept by the chief factors of the Dutch East India Company in Japan, the only Europeans to maintain relations with Japan during the Edo period. The Dutch East India Company, which rapidly expanded throughout Asia in the seventeenth century, established trading posts known as factories in various localities and made it obligatory for them to keep diaries together with account books. Many of these are today preserved at the National Archives of the Netherlands (Nationaal Archief) in the Hague, and those of the factory in Japan are the best preserved, with the diaries for more than two hundred years, from 1633, having survived almost in their entirety.
The Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo possesses microfilms of the original diaries, and it has been providing researchers in Japan and abroad with basic source materials for research by publishing transcriptions of the original text, edited with the cooperation of native speakers, and accurate and complete Japanese translations.
Volume 13 of the original text, published on this occasion, contains transcriptions of the diary of Adriaen van der Burgh from January 1, 1652, to November 3, 1652, and the diary of Frederik Coyet from November 4, 1652, to November 12, 1653. (Adriaen van der Burgh’s diary from November 1 to December 31, 1651, was included in Volume 12.)
Van der Burgh was born in Amsterdam and arrived in East India in 1641 as a seniormerchant, and he first came to Japan as chief factor in August 1651. Coyet, on the other hand, was a Swede who had been born in Stockholm, and he began working as an employee of the Dutch East India Company in 1643, serving as chief factor of the Dutch factory in Japan in 1647–48 and returning to Japan as chief factor in 1652. The Dutch East India Company had many non-Dutch employees, and Coyet was one of them.
The text is in Dutch, and notes have been added in English. The original text is written in a form of Dutch cursive script that was used in the seventeenth century, and the grammar and spelling often differ from present-day usage. The text also includes special terms used in East India at the time. Although the writers, being factors of the Dutch East India Company, would have had a certain level of literacy, there is considerable variation in their vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, and expressiveness due to differences in their backgrounds and careers. All this may give the impression that this publication is of no interest to most people. But I would urge anyone with an interest in languages and their history to take a look at this book, for they will be able to gain a glimpse of the chaotic world of language at a time when modern Dutch was being established and evolving and was being widely used in Asia.
These Diaries Kept by the Heads of the Dutch Factory in Japan form part of the series Historical Documents Relating to Japan in Foreign Countries, which is being compiled and published by the Historiographical Institute as a basic source for the study of Japanese history. Diaries Kept by the Head of the English Factory in Japan (complete) and Jesuit Letters Concerning Japan have also been published in this series.
(Written by MATSUI Yoko, Professor, Historiographical Institute / 2020)
Table of Contents
Abbreviations of the titles of the reference books for the footnotes
Dagregister des Comptoirs Nagasaki sedert 1 januarij 1652 tot en met
3 november 1652
Dagregister des Comptoirs Nagasaki sedert 4 november 1652 tot en met
10 november 1653
Index to Volume XII
List of Dutch ships