Gunpowder, cannons and coastlines: military upgrades and coastal defenses of Nagasaki as seen through the Hideshima archives
In December 2018 Leiden University was able to acquire a small wooden box of archival material found in a storage house in Saga, formerly belonging to the Hideshima, a family of translators to the Dutch serving under the daimyō of Nabeshima. Drawn and written in a time where Nabeshima Naomasa executed his vision for a strong coastal defense of Nagasaki amidst escalating international tensions and unequal treaties, these materials offer a glimpse onto the drawing board of the artisans, gunners and translators charged with carrying out the monumental task of building a dyke and installing cannons on several islands in front of the coast of Nagasaki.
This is the first major collection of rare materials acquired by the presenter in her additional role as curator of rare Japanese materials. This presentation will therefore also touch on the process of acquisition to repackaging and describing the items from scratch as a novice. Active feedback, criticism and suggestions are welcomed from the expertise in the audience.