To the end of the world – Travelogue Hokkaido
During our research on the Dutch – Japanese relationship between 1609 – 1868 we came across a travelogue of Cornelis Jansz. Coen, first mate on the VOC–vessel Castricum. A report about a unique voyage of discovery to the islands currently known as Hokkaido, Sakhalin and Kuril. An expedition that was led by the Dutch cartographer and explorer captain Maarten Gerritsz. Vries, also referred to as De Vries (1589 – 1647). Intrigued and inspired by the beautiful and conscientious travelogue of Coen and Vries, we wanted to go to Hokkaido ourselves. We made new contacts and we gained new insights in the Japanese identity, in the indigenous Ainu culture of Hokkaido, in the layered relationship between oral traditions, written history and mapping, and in the current meaning of the old Ainu expression “the end of the world”. We expect that all this will enrich both the preparations and the actual realisation of our Edo Sampu 2020 project.
Text Jan van den Berg
The quotes of Cornelis Jansz. Coen’s journal are taken from Reize van Maarten Gerritsz. Vries in 1643 naar Japan, Amsterdam 1858.
With special thanks to the people of Hokkaido, Mami Odai & the Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio, the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies, Netherlands Embassy in Japan, Dutch Culture.
ISBN ISBN 978-90-822153-4-2