Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Anglo-Japanese trade agreement (1613): a Bodleian treasure


In 1613 Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made a personal agreement with representatives of the East India Company, granting them trade privileges in Japan.

The East India company had been drawn to Japan by what it imagined would be abundant selling opportunities.

The exhibit at the Bodleian Library, dated 12 October 1613, is thought to be one of two copies given to John Saris, commander of the Clove, which reached Hirado on 11 June 1613, almost two years and two months after leaving England.

Ieyasu's seal is visible at the top of the document, which grants Saris privileges for trade in Japan

Continue here for an image and a translation of the agreement, and a video.

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