Riches and Realities: The Uncommon Wealth in David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

  • Ching-chih Wang


The riches that Dutch tradesmen acquired from their trading post at Dejima represented the most uncommon colonial wealth in their expansion of the Dutch Empire. The way they negotiated with the Japanese intermediaries and their uncommon submissiveness to the bakufu government generated not only riches but also realities of Japan’s increasing reliance on Rangaku, the Dutch Learning. This chapter, therefore, examines the Dutch empire’s politics of wealth executed in the land of “a thousand autumns” and argues that Rangaku, the uncommon wealth for Japanese intellectuals and the common colonial commodity for Dutch traders, drastically changed Japan from a restrained pre-modern state into a strong colonial country, aiming at building a rich Japanese Empire in East Asia.


Rangaku Uncommon wealth Dejima Shogun’s hostages A thousand autumns 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-chih Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Taipei UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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