The wild west outpost of Japan’s isolationist era | Curio
News and insights read out for you.
10,000+ audio articles. 50+ world-leading publications.

All in 1 subscription.

Narratively

The wild west outpost of Japan’s isolationist era

38 mins | Apr 24, 2022
story image
"Debauchery, intrigue, romance: Dejima had it all." From the early 17th to mid-19th centuries, Japan was closed off from much of the world, only maintaining limited trading routes with China, Korea, the Ryukyu Islands and the Ainu people. This is why, when the Dutch traders first set eyes on Dejima in 1641 - a tiny artificial island in Nagasaki Bay - they could have been forgiven for taking the next boat back to Europe. During Japan's isolationist period, Europeans were tolerated only on the island, solely for the silk, sugar, and other trade opportunities they brought and entirely on Japanese terms - Christianity, western women and even funerals were forbidden. Rob Goss explores the island's extraordinary history as a thriving Dutch trading post, where the West was permitted to meet with the East and a place like no other.
Get unlimited access free for 7 days, then $6.67/month (billed annually)
Get started