Joeseon-Dutch relations began with the prince Maurits'
expression in the letter addressed to Dokugawa Iyeyas(Óìô¹Ê«Ë¬)
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
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, ¡ºNew 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.