Constructed in 1636, Dejima would later become a place where the Dutch East India Company would install a trading post, allowing the transport into Japan of both Western goods and the latest news of overseas current affairs. At the same time, Japanese goods, along with information about Japan, would be relayed to the West.
During the long period of national seclusion (1641-1859), Dejima was the only door open to the outside world and gave Nagasaki the status of Japan’s sole international trading port. Dejima played an important role in the development of culture, industry, and science in Japan by serving as a gateway to the West. Many ambitious Japanese scholars traveled to Nagasaki to study Rangaku (“Dutch learning”, i.e., Western science) including medicine, chemistry, weaponry, navigation, and astronomy.
The fan-shaped artificial island of Dejima no longer exists, lost to the repeated reclamation of the bay. Currently, Nagasaki City is engaging in plants to restore Dejima to its 19 century state. To carry out this restoration, foundation stones, stone walls and many other remains were excavated and some are exhibited inside the carefully reconstructed buildings. The buildings were constructed using traditional Edo period method and installed European furniture based on early 19th century drawings of the island and models of Dejima’s buildings that are preserved in the Netherland. Other exhibitions including the history of Dejima and Western learning and a miniature Dejima provide visitors with a sense of everyday life on Dejima.
Furthermore, visitors can slip back in time to the era of the trading post by renting a Kimono. Usually it takes half an hour to put on a Kimono, but in this Kimono shop, you can dress up in the traditional Kimono in just 3 minutes. Dressing up in a Kimono and taking pictures against a backdrop of Japan-meets-West buildings is becoming a popular activity for visitors.
- Nagasaki City
Updated March 2017
|Access information||Take the streetcar to Dejima and walk|
8:00-19:00 (on special occasions)
|Days Closed||Opens year round|
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