Monday, 13 June 2011

Dejima - Nagasaki

Japan was closed to foreigners for over two hundred years during the 17th and 18th centuries, due to a fear of the spread of Christianity. The only place that was kept open to outsiders within that time was the tiny island of Dejima, just off Nagasaki. This was first inhabited by Portuguese missionaries and traders, but when they were banned from Japan, the Dutch took over and Dejima played a fundamental role as the only open window to the West. It was a centre for trade and also housed the Dutch employees who conducted trade. Influences from both Holland and Portugal seeped into Japanese culture, just as certain Japanese cultural elements were taken back to Holland. This model village shows how the island may have looked and many of the houses and warehouses have been beautifully restored.
This is how one of the houses would have looked and is a reproduction of a model that was taken back to Holland to show to the Dutch how the Japanese lived.
This was one of the living quarters of the head clerk.

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