A view of Deshima and Nagasaki bay / Virtual Rare Map Fair


Description: VON SIEBOLD, P.Fr.B.
Title: Gezigt op de haven en de baai van Nagasaki..
Published in: Leiden 1832-1852

Size: 13.0 x 21.1 inches.
33.0 x 53.5 cm.

Condition: Lithography. Slightly browned and repair of split upper and lower part center fold. Margins cut close. With pinholes in four corners.
Condition Rating

A very rare birds-eye view showing Deshima and Nagasaki bay. Von Siebold was born in Würtzburg, in Germany, and worked for the Dutch government as a doctor in Java. In Japan, where Von Siebold arrived in 1823 at the age of 27, he demonstrated his skills in medicine. His reputation allowed him to go beyond Deshima and to buy a house outside Nagasaki.
Dejima, also Deshima (literally 'protruding island') in modern Japanese, was a fan-shaped artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki that was a Dutch trading post during Japan's self-imposed isolation (sakoku) of the Edo period, from 1641 until 1853.
The island was constructed in 1634, on orders of shogun Iemitsu, and originally accommodated Portuguese merchants. The Shimabara uprising of 1637, in which Christian Japanese took an active part, was crushed with the help of the Dutch. After the Portuguese and other Catholic nations were expelled from Japan in 1638, the shogunate ordered the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) transfer its mercantile operations from the port of Hirado to Deshima. From now on, only the Chinese and the Dutch could trade with Japan. It is significant that Deshima was a man-made island, hence not part of Japan proper. Thus the foreigners were kept at arm's length from the sacred mainland of Japan.
It was a small island, 120 m by 75 m, linked to the mainland by a small bridge, manned on both sides by guards, with a gate on the Dutch side. It contained houses for about 20 Dutchmen, warehouses and accommodation for Japanese government officials. The Dutch were watched by a number of Japanese officials, gatekeepers, night watchmen and a supervisor (otona) with about 50 subordinates. There were a number of merchants for supplies and catering and about 150 interpreters (tsuji). They all had to be paid by the V.O.C. Dejima was under direct central supervision of Edo by a governor, called a bugyo, responsible for all contact between the V.O.C. and Edo.
Every Dutch ship, that arrived in Dejima, was inspected by the bugyo. The sails were seized till the ship could leave again. Religious books and weapons were sealed and taken in custody. No religious services were allowed on the island.
Reference: Walter / OAG, fig.19.
  • Number: 1630304 (09099)
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