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The Company and the ShogunThe Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan$
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Adam Clulow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164283

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164283.001.0001

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The Shogun’s Loyal Vassals

The Shogun’s Loyal Vassals

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter Three The Shogun’s Loyal Vassals
Source:
The Company and the Shogun
Author(s):

Adam Clulow

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164283.003.0004

This chapter describes the shift in the Dutch East India Company's policy towards Japan, in which the company had transformed its agents from representatives of the “king of Holland” or the sovereign lord of Batavia, to loyal vassals of the Tokugawa shogun. Repeating again and again that they aspired only to be dutiful vassals who stood ready to present their service, Dutch representatives crafted a distinctive rhetoric of subordination that came to underpin their interactions with the shogun. The result was a remarkably durable, although conspicuously unequal, framework for interaction that remained in place until the nineteenth century. The Dutch, to their dismay, soon found that they were called upon to perform duties and ceremonies as befitting vassals of the shogun, at great cost to themselves.

Keywords:   Japan, Tokugawa shogun, Dutch representatives, nineteenth century, king of Holland, lord of Batavia, subordination

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