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stepping stones of maritime history


The Vollenhoven was bought in 1660 in Zaandam.

The Vollenhoven arrived at Batavia on January the 17th, 1661 and made several journeys between Siam, Batavia and Japan.


According to the daily diaries kept at Casteel Batavia of the year 1663, the Vollenhoven was supposed to sail from Siam to Japan, but she never reached her destination. According to the diaries, she was last spotted near Canton. It is thus uncertain whether or not the Vollenhoven indeed shipwrecked at the Danjo-Gunto Islands as the Dutch Asiatic Shipping database states.


From 1641 to 1859, the Dutch held a trading post on a small, artificial island called Dejima, situated right at the waterfront of Nagasaki city. This island of approximately 13,696 m² served as the bottle-neck through which Japan remained connected to the Western world throughout a period now known as the Sakoku-Jidai (1641-1853). This was a period during which Japan had virtually shut itself off from the outside world, in order to marginalize foreign influences. At the time, the Dutch were the only western country to trade with Japan. Apart from trade, Japan looked to the Dutch for importing rarities, documents, literature and all things foreign in order to keep updated on developments in the outside world. This brought about a whole new branch of study which was called rangakuor 'Dutch Learning'. It encompassed myriad subjects related to western sciences and world views, including subjects such as medicine, the military arts and philosophy. After Japan reopened its borders to the rest of the outside world in 1853, the Dutch lost their trading privilege and other nations such as the USA soon took hold of business.


Master: Bastiaan Jansz. van Nieuwendam


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