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Announcements

Discovery of Historical Documents Related to William Adams

2021.08.04
The International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), in collaboration with the National Archives of The Hague and the Faculty of Letters of Leiden University, has been conducting research on the Hirado Dutch Factory documents held by the National Archives of The Hague. In the course of this research, we have discovered copies of four letters written by Jacques Specx, the first head of the Dutch factory in Hirado, to William Adams (Miura Anjin).
 
That we have been able to identify the sender and recipient of these letters, although only the place and date of writing are specified, is of great significance for the use of the archive. Moreover, because the letters contain summaries of the contents of Adam's letters, we can also understand to some extent the contents of these letters that have not survived.
 
This discovery fills in the gaps in Adams's activities between 1611 and 1612, a period for which there were few historical clues until now.
 
This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI 19K01010 "Fundamental Research on the Structure of Japan-Dutch Relations in the Early Modern Period" and the Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation.
 
 
Project Leader: Professor Frederik Cryns, Research Department, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
 
  • The first page of the packet with letters pertaining to the Dutch Factory in Japan (Nationaal Archief 1.04.02:1054)The first page of the packet with letters pertaining to the Dutch Factory in Japan (Nationaal Archief 1.04.02:1054)
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