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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Joseon and Netherlands > An attempt to have trade with Joseon



The Joeseon-Dutch relations began with the prince Maurits' expression in the letter addressed to Dokugawa Iyeyas(ʫˬ) in 1610 that he wanted to have trade with Joseon.


Prior to this, the first chief of the VOC branch in Hirato, Specx wrote a letter to the "17 Lordships". According to his letter, he obtained information that Joseon had a great demand for tin and purchased it a lot. He examined the possibility of trading with Joseon by sending 60kg of pepper to Tsushima.

However, since Tsushima was afraid of the intention of Edo Bakuhu, Specx thought it was difficult to have a trade with Joseon.

However, he reported that it was very difficult to give up
trade with Joseon because of a large profit.

On the other hand, VOC in a better position in trade with Japan laid down the right of trade in Southeast Asia and at the same time, gave an order for the exploration of Joseon including the Chinese area to Cornelis Reijersen in 1622. A Dutch fleet set sail soon after, but it ended in failure because of the typhoon and the inappropriate period of the voyage.



However, VOC never gave up its trade plans with Joseon

On Dec. 7, 1635, Willem Verstegen working in Nagasaki presented a written opinion to the council of VOC and the governor-general in Batavia. It was about islands of gold and silver (a kind of Treasure Island) around Japan. It is a legend which had been handed down to Europe. Verstegen strongly suggested that VOC also set out to explore the islands of gold and silver and the target area included China and Joseon.


It could not be executed until 1639. After a failure, a new attempt to explore the islands of gold and silver was decided early in 1643, but it also failed.




In mid-17th century, New Chinese Map Book (Novus Atlas Sinensis)was published in Europe by Martin Martini, who returned from China temporarily in 1655. The record says that there are many mountains with plenty of gold and silvers hidden in Joseon. It greatly helped European people to think of an unknown land, Joseon as the warehouse of treasure.







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