Although much of the contact between the Dutch and Japanese between 1609 and 1860 involved trade, several people on each side engaged in cultural and intellectual exchange. On the Dutch side, the head of the trading post in the late eighteenth century, Isaac Titsingh, was a well-educated, cultured man who helped Japanese learn Dutch and told them about cultural and scientific developments in the West. He struck up friendships with several Japanese including the daimyō of Tamba and rangakusha Kutsuki Masatsuna (1750-1802). Titsingh and Masatsuna corresponded with each other after Titsingh left Japan, first for Chinsura in Bengal and then Europe. Rather touchingly Masatsuna would ask Titsingh to correct his written Dutch. Masatsuna, who like all Japanese, could not leave the country, would ask Titsingh to supply him with Dutch books and in return he would send Titsingh rare Japanese and Chinese coins. Masatsuna was an avid collector of Dutch and other European coins and he wrote a book on Western coins, Seiyō senpu (西洋銭譜, 1787), many of which Titsingh had supplied to him. In the wood-block printed book Masatsuna presented images of the coins and used these as a motivation for discussing their countries of origin. One coin is a Dutch East India Company duit. It has ‘DUYT IAVAS 1783’ on one side and a transliteration of this in Arabic script with the Arabic numerals for 1783 on the other side. Some coins have the VOC insignia, but perhaps the most interesting example of a Dutch coin is one dated 1779 on page 30. On one side it has the French motto of the House of Orange, JE MAINTIENDRAI. On the other side is an extensive Dutch inscription, commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the Union of Utrecht (1579). In the accompanying description Masatsuna renders Utrecht in katakana as ヲイトレキトwoitorekito. This is but one of the many ways in which Japanese engaged with the Dutch language during the Tokugawa period.
p. 30 of Kutsuki Masatsuna's Seiyō senpu The keen-eyed readers of Dutch will note a couple of mistakes but it is no mean achievement to reproduce this in wood cut.