The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan

Paperback | June 21, 2016

byAdam Clulow

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The Dutch East India Company was a hybrid organization combining the characteristics of both corporation and state that attempted to thrust itself aggressively into an Asian political order in which it possessed no obvious place and was transformed in the process.

This study focuses on the company's clashes with Tokugawa Japan over diplomacy, violence, and sovereignty. In each encounter the Dutch were forced to retreat, compelled to abandon their claims to sovereign powers, and to refashion themselves again and again-from subjects of a fictive king to loyal vassals of the shogun, from aggressive pirates to meek merchants, and from insistent defenders of colonial sovereignty to legal subjects of the Tokugawa state. Within the confines of these conflicts, the terms of the relationship between the company and the shogun first took shape and were subsequently set into what would become their permanent form.

The first book to treat the Dutch East India Company in Japan as something more than just a commercial organization, The Company and the Shogun presents new perspective on one of the most important, long-lasting relationships to develop between an Asian state and a European overseas enterprise.

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From the Publisher

The Dutch East India Company was a hybrid organization combining the characteristics of both corporation and state that attempted to thrust itself aggressively into an Asian political order in which it possessed no obvious place and was transformed in the process. This study focuses on the company's clashes with Tokugawa Japan over di...

Adam Clulow teaches East Asian history at Monash University.

other books by Adam Clulow

Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 21, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231164297

ISBN - 13:9780231164290

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Customer Reviews of The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A different look at "closed" Japan After reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet this historic look at the interaction of the Dutch and Tokugawa Japan seemed like a smart follow up. Boy was I right. No simple history of the contact between the Dutch East India Company and the supposedly closed Tokugawa shotguns, this book offers up a very different narrative of the colonial era. Though that may be the wrong term since The Company and The Shogun shows how the Dutch only managed to hang on in 17th and 18th century Japan because they were willing to position themselves as vassals of the Japanese State. Shatters the myth of just how Europe interacted with Asia in this era. It also shatters the myth about how closed Japan was to the world - though the years covered are pre Dejima. Plenty of nations were conducting trade with Japan. An interesting read.
Date published: 2016-11-12

Extra Content

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsArchival SourcesIntroduction: Taming the DutchPart 1. Diplomacy1. Royal Letters from the Republic2. The Lord of Batavia3. The Shogun's Loyal VassalsPart 2. Violence4. The Violent Sea5. Power and PetitionPart 3. Sovereignty6. Planting the Flag in Asia7. Giving Up the GovernorConclusion: The Dutch Experience in JapanNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

A most valuable contribution to Japanese political history.