Reports on Research Surveys by Year

November 12-20, 2014

A Survey of Blomhoff, Fissel, and Siebold Collections held at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden

Conducted by National Museum of Japanese History (Matsui “Blomhoff and Fissel Team”)

Research Location: Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, the Netherlands

Local Contact: Matthi Forrer

Participants: Yoko Matsui (Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo), Kuniko Forrer (SieboldHuis)

From 1817 to 1823, the director of Deshima, Jan Cock Blomhoff (1779 – 1853) following in the footsteps of Seibold, collected a wide array of materials related to Japan. After returning to the Netherlands, he created a catalog describing the items he collected, and in order to translate this catalog, we conducted a review of the original copy held at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology).

Checking the records against the original items to determine what information was meaningful took much more time than was originally anticipated, but we were nevertheless able to affirm abundance of handicrafts from pre-modern Japan displayed in the collection. As these items were scattered throughout the museum's archives, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the curators for their full cooperation in painstakingly retrieving them one by one.

(Text: Matsui)