July 10, 2018

Japan: Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network Meeting in Nagasaki

From 8 to 11 December, Asian heritage institutions came together in Nagasaki to share knowledge and cooperate on VOC heritage projects.

The Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network is an international network of institutions in the public and private sector that work with the heritage of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The network aims to share knowledge and research on shared cultural heritage and cooperate on future historical research initiatives. Currently, the network consists of heritage institutions from Ambon, Ayutthaya, Banda, Galle, Hirado, Jakarta, Melaka, Nagasaki, Tainan and Ternate.

The first two days of the meeting in Nagasaki consisted of a symposium open to the public as well as a meeting on future cooperation, and site visits with information exchange on the reconstruction of Dejima. The last day was spent in Hirado, where the participants visited reconstructed VOC trading post and a collection related to shared cultural heritage.

Nagasaki and the Dejima bridge
After the first meeting of the Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015 and the second in Ayutthaya, Thailand in 2016, this year’s meeting was held in Nagasaki, Japan. Nagasaki opened the new main bridge to Dejima this year, finishing the last stage of reconstruction of this man-made island that was occupied by the Dutch Trading Post. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands was present at the opening. Dejima was Japan’s only window to the Western world, and vice versa, for almost 250 years. The ceremony marked the conclusion of the Holland-Kyushu 2016-2017 programme.