A CHANGING JAPAN IN A CHANGING WORLD AS SEEN BY DE CONINGH, A DUTCH TRADER IN YOKOHAMA
left730123000Japan is one of the countries that have realized significant changes especially after it was forcefully opened by European gunboats. A study of the changing Japan in a dynamic world can only be achieved through the analysis of works on Japan done by such authors as Coningh (a Dutch merchant). Assendelft de Coningh in his book, A Pioneer in Yokohama: A Dutchman`s Adventures in the New Treaty Port, relates his life encounters at an island named Deshima as well as at Yokohama`s port in the late 1850s.1 Coningh offers an unprecedented personal experience of his daily life in the fast growing Japanese treaty ports. He also gives the reader an outstanding perspective on the economic, political, and military forces that placed significant pressure on the sprouting Japan. Coningh`s book has a general introduction which provides important cultural and historical background together with a summarized biography of Coningh. The book has considerable footnotes which explain various terms, cultural references, and names which are likely to be unaccustomed to modern readers. Coningh narrates the short-lived Japanese `Gold Rush` to battles and terrorist attacks, from the dangers of global commerce to hysterical problems associated with miscommunication and translation.2 These encounters show t...