Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Resting Place for the Dutch

Given the extent to which the Dutch traded and explored in different parts of the world, it is perhaps unsurprising that many of them never returned home. I have seen Dutch cemeteries in Jakarta and Bogor, Indonesia and Dutch epitaphs in my hometown of Norwich, of which more in a later blog. One notable resting place for the Dutch is the Hollandsche Begraafplaats (Dutch cemetery) which nestles amongst Japanese, Russian and English graves on Mount Inasa overlooking Nagasaki, where the Dutch had a trading post from 1641-1860. Possibly the first Dutchman to be buried here was the opperhoofd (chief merchant) Hendrik Godfried Duurkoop who died in 1778 on board the ship 'Huis ter Spijk'. He had been infected by malaria on a visit to Batavia, now Jakarta. There are now some twenty graves inscribed with Dutch epitaphs in the cemetery and these provide a lasting monument to the Dutch connection to Nagasaki and Japan.

References: https://dutchculture.nl/en/japan-renewing-interest-dutch-cemetery-nagasaki
Dutch National Archives (Nationaal Archief) Journal of the Factory in Japan (Dagregister van de Factorij te Japan) The Hague.

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