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Article ID ASN0506


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Map shows the King of Japan with his cortege


dated 1669


Montanus (1625-1683)

Arnold Montanus (1625-1683) was a Dutch theologian and historian. In addition to extensive editorial work, he has written numerous historical treatises dealing with the peoples and culture of the New World and the overseas activities of the Dutch. Although he never left Europe himself, his books, translated into many languages, had a great influence on the European perception of the area concerned. De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld (The Unknown New World) and Gedenkwardige Gesantschappen der Oost-Indische Maatschappy in′t Vereenigde Nederland (Memorable Embassies of the East Indian Society in the United Netherlands) are his best known writings. He published Guiccardini's description of the Netherlands in Dutch in 1612, translated Giovanni Gioviano Pontano's (Pontanus) description of the trading city of Amsterdam from Latin in 1614, and published Mercator's Cosmographicae Meditationes in 1621. The additions to the text in Hondius' edition of Mercator's great atlas are probably also from his pen. Montanus bought seafarers and employees of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) information and travel reports, and published them in 1669 in the publishing house of Jacob van Meurs (1619–1680).

Historical Description

In the 16th century, Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries first reached Japan and initiated direct commercial and cultural exchanges between Japan and the West. Oda Nobunaga used European technology and firearms to conquer many other daimyos. His power consolidation began in the so-called Azuchi Momoyama period. After Nobunaga's death in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in the early 1590s and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. He was appointed Shogun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603 and founded the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (modern Tokyo). The shogunate enacted measures such as the Buk-Shohatto code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyōs and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy, which spanned two and a half centuries of weak political unity known as the Edo period (1603-1868) . During the isolation of Japan in the Edo period, entry and exit for Japanese and foreigners were prohibited. With the exception of limited exchanges with China and the Netherlands, who were the only Europeans allowed to stay in Japan on the artificial island of Dejima off Nagasaki in 1639, there was hardly any contact with other states. The Tokugawa family retained control of the other daimyo for over 250 years. This period was marked by great prosperity for the Japanese people. The population grew steadily. Today's Tokyo grew into the largest metropolitan area in the world during this time. The economic growth of modern Japan began during this period, leading to road and water transport routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures, banks, and insurance for the Osaka rice brokers. The study of western sciences (Rangaku) continued through contact with the Dutch enclave in Nagasaki. The Edo period led to Kokugaku ("National Studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese. In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Kanagawa Convention. Later similar treaties with other Western countries brought economic and political crises with them. The cabinet took over Western political, judicial and military institutions, organized the privy council, introduced the Meiji constitution and assembled the Reichstag.

Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)26,5 x 34
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


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