Titia: The First Western Woman in Japan
Rene BersmaISBN: 9074822533;
Book DescriptionDrawn from contemporary documents, private family correspondence and the Deshima logbooks, Titia is neither a history nor a novel or an official biography. Rather, it is a tribute to a woman who achieved an accidental place in history by being the first Western woman to travel to Japan in the 19th century. In violation of the self-imposed policy of isolation decreed during the Edo period (1603-1868), she accompanied her husband, Jan Cock Blomhoff, who was to assume the post as Director ofthe Dutch trading post on Deshima in the Bay of Nagasaki. The Japanese government ordered her deportation. Fortunately, Nagasaki's painters, including Kawahara Keiga, immortalized her before she left three and a half months after her arrival and these depictions were to prove most influential in representations of Western women in Japanese art. Separated from her husband, she died in 1821 of physical and mental exhaustion resulting from her experiences. Set against a backdrop of...
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