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Jan Cock Blomhoff

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Jan Cock Blumhoff, or Blomhoff, was head of the Dutch East India Company factory at Nagasaki from 1809 to 1823.

While in Japan, Blomhoff became an avid collector of tea utensils. He also developed a relationship with a Japanese woman (a prostitute from the Maruyama district named Itohagi) and had at least one child by her.

In 1817, he returned from Batavia to Nagasaki accompanied by his Dutch wife Titia Blumhoff, their child's wet-nurse, and Titia's sister-in-law.[1] These three women were quite likely the first non-East-Asian women to enter Japan in over 150 years, since the expulsion of a number of women in 1661. Though the shogunate authorities refused the women permission to remain in Japan, there was not to be another Dutch ship for four or five months. During these few months, they attracted considerable attention, were visited by a number of Rangaku scholars and others, and were painted by Kawahara Keiga and Ishizaki Yûshi.

References

  1. Timon Screech, Obtaining Images, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 348.
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