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A Japanese lacquerwork board inscribed with the name of each Dutch trading post opperhoofd and the number of ships from the Netherlands arriving in Japan each year; a Japanese gold coin stamped with the Dutch lion emblem; Japanese porcelain with a decoration based on a Dutch original design; and ribbons from the wreath laid by the emperor of Japan at the National Monument on Amsterdam’s Dam Square in honour of the victims of the Second World War: these are just a few of the objects in the Rijksmuseum collection connected with the shared history of Japan and the Netherlands.
For almost 250 years the Netherlands was the only Western nation permitted to trade with Japan. Traders were not allowed to leave the little island of Dejima in the bay of Nagasaki. In the 20th century the two nations went to war. Objects in the Rijksmuseum testify to this unique and turbulent history, characterized by admiration and interest, but also misunderstanding and mistrust.
Foreword by Togo Kazuhiko. A narrow bridge is part of the Country Series published by the Rijksmuseum, in association with Vantilt Publishers. Each book in the series uses objects in the Rijksmuseum collection to explore the shared history of the Netherlands and one of the following countries: Indonesia, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Ghana, South Africa, India and Suriname.
This series was awarded 'The Best Dutch Book Designs' 2015.