AbstractIn 1673 Return, English East India Company's ship despatched to Taiwan and Japan in 1671, entered in the port of Nagasaki, Japan, and asked to reopen the trade relation between Japan and England. Its arrival had been informed to the Tokugawa Shogunate beforehand by Holland East India Company, VOC, when the ship sailed out from Taiwan. The ship was immediately restrained by Nagasaki governor, who questioned the captain many times making reference to Edo Shogunate frequently. Finally the ship was ordered to leave Japan without any permission of trade. So far many Japanese historians published articles concerning this event in the context of various issues, such as Christian prohibition policy of Tokugawa Shogunate, National segregation policy of Japan, Coast Guard system of Nagasaki governor and so on. But why did the English government resume asking the Japanese government to re-establish trade relationship in 1670s, which had been closed since 1623? What had happened in the relation of two countries after fifty years of no correspondence? VOC had established good trade and political relationship with Tokugawa Shogunate before the English Government began to reconsider the reopening of the trade. In Europe England and Holland had wars three times, in 1652-54, 1665-67, and 1672-74. In Asia the two countries were in competition each other in Java, Moluccas, and Japan not politically but in trade. What did the English Company plan to form the trade relation by sending Return to Japan in the context of international mercantilism? This paper will investigate the Court Minute of the company and put a new light on the policy change of trade goods from woolen or worsted of England to calico of India.
TypeDepartmental Bulletin Paper