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Herinneringen uit Japan
De erven Fran├žois Bohn, Haarlem 1833 - First edition. highlights. Octavo. Original paper wrappers. See description for condition. VIII, 268 Pages followed by 2 pages of advertisements. A rare and interesting account of Hendrik Doeff's recollections of the customs, traditions, religion and culture of Japan during his appointment as "opperhoofd", Dutch commissioner in the Dejima trading post in Nagasaki. Doeff, born in 1777, left Holland to go to Batavia in 1798 with the . Soon after arriving, he was sent to Decima, Japan in 1799 to succeed Gijsbert Hemmij as scribe, only to find that Decima had undergone many catastrophes. Doeff returned to Batavia to report the poor situation Deshima was in. Doeff was appointed as scribe to Willem Wardenaar who became the new opperhoofd of Deshima and together with 3 assistants, they left for Deshima in 1800 on the American ship 'Massachusetts'. The Dutch were at war with England and they did not dare to send a Dutch ship. Wardenaar was able to create order on Deshima but left after 2 years due to asthma and proposed to appoint Doeff as the new opperhoofd, which was carried out on August 22nd 1803. In the years to come, Doeff found himself in confronted with many problems which he resolved in a very diplomatic way. Various times the Russians and British tried to take control of trade monopoly that the Dutch had on Deshima. This failed and Doeff gained considerable respect from the Shogun. During the Napoleontic regime in Holland, Deshima was the only part in the world where the Dutch flag was raised. The British and Chinese were far more superior at sea and between 1807 and 1817 only one Dutch ship made it from Batavia to Deshima. Batavia was taken over by the British and Doeff was more or less on his own with only 6 other Dutchmen having survived terrible diseases. Doeff learned the Japanese language and is the first westerner known to have written haiku, two of which have been found in Japanese publications from the period of his stay in Japan. He also wrote the first Dutch-Japanese dictionary. In 1817 Doeff and his men finally left Deshima and headed back to Batavia. In 1819 he set sail to Holland, but the vessel struck water and was shipwrecked. Fortunately the passengers were picked up by the American ship "Pickering". With the shipwreck, Doeff saw all his notes made in the 19 years of his stay in Japan disappear in the sea, including his smuggled copy of the Dutch/Japanese dictionary. Fortunately a copy was presented by Doeff to the Shogun of Japan. The loss of his notes did however not stop Doeff publishing this wonderful work offered here, in which he explains in the foreword that the shipwreck and loss of his memoirs prevented him from writing a more detailed account. Hendrik Doeff was decorated for his loyalty and courage upon his return and a portrait was made by order of the state, which was considered a great honor. Unfortunately Doeff was unsuccessful in getting his wages for the many years he was unpaid during his appointment. Condition: Original speckled paper wrappers, Spine reinforced by 19th century washi paper; very slight water staining to the outer top margin of the first and second title page; Title and Introduction pages coming loose from binding (can be restored); Light water staining to outer margins of pages 145-174; light brownish water staining to pages 129-146 in the text. Overall a good copy. Extremely scarce and of great historical importance. A modern English translation of this title is avaialble. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Meijering Art Books]
Last Found On: 2016-06-15           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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