There were a number of written reports and various accounts concerning the Opium War that circulated in Japan at the time, and I would now like to take a look at some of the more important of the historical materials I have acquired. Generally speaking, there were two sorts of contemporaneous reports: those conveyed as part of overseas intelligence which the shogunate obtained, via the Nagasaki Administrator (bugyō), from the director (or ‘Captain’)a of the Dutch trading factory at the island of Deshima, near Nagasaki; and those conveyed piecemeal from Chinese merchant vessels that called at the port of Nagasaki. In his preface to the Ahen ibun, the editor Shionoya Tōin wrote: ‘I worked to compile news from the documents and detailed records of the Chinese merchants and Dutch residents here. They have filled to overflowing the box in which I keep them, and it is sufficient to make me realize the great quantity of detail here.’1
KeywordsAmid Opium Dispatch Incineration
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