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In 1598 a flotilla comprising five ships set sail from Rotterdam in the direction of Asia. The five ships were the flagship Hoop (Hope), the Vice-Admiral's ship Liefde (Love) and the ships Trouw (Faith), Geloof (Belief) and Blijde Boodschap (Gospel or Glad Tidings). The route was kept secret because the fleet was not to go via the Cape of Good Hope but to sail via South America, and the Strait of Magellan, an as yet unknown and hazardous route, to the Moluccas, for trade.

Only two ships, the Liefde and the Hoop, reached Chile in a good enough state to be able to sail further. During the crossing in the direction of Japan, the ship Hoop went down in a storm, so only the Liefde was to reach Japan on 19 April 1600. The seafarers were given a friendly welcome by the Japanese. This visit would lead to an exclusive and unique partnership between the two countries for several hundred years.

The island of Dejima is a part of our shared heritage. And so is the Dutch cemetery at the other side of the bay, as well as some other funerary monuments. 

Click on the prefectures in the menu to see the different places of Dutch burials in Japan. Below a number of informative articles for introduction.


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