The basic concept of reconstructing the Hirado Dutch Trading Post
The Hirado Dutch Trading Post stood for 33 years, from 1609 until 1941. During that time its appearance changed considerably. The reconstruction takes October 1640, when the VOC was at its wealthiest and just before it was demolished, as its point in time. While trying to gain understanding for nationalizing the site of the Trading Post, we continue to work hard to finalize the reconstruction. If we would make a perfect reconstruction of the Trading Post as it was in 1640 we would have to clearly separate the Trading Post from the rest of the city by a stone wall. Also, in order to make a nearly perfect reconstruction it would be necessary to create a bypass for the Tanoura Prefectural Highway, which runs through the Cultural Heritage site.
The plan does not merely aim to reconstruct the building and its construction, software that enables the visitor to interact with the exhibitions is even more important. We want to educate more people about the fact that during the Hirado Era Dutch-Japanese interaction was relatively free. We aim to become a facility where you can bodily experience international exchange of the 17th century. In order to achieve this goal present exchange programs are necessary.
The reconstructed Hirado Dutch Trading Post should be considered as the symbol of Hirado, “Island of History and Romance.” In addition, it will play an important role in the continuation of making Hirado a city where history is relived. In other words, we work towards making Hirado a city with the Hirado Dutch Trading Post at its center. In order to do so we need to cooperate with important projects such as the “Foreign Exchange Project” and the “9th Hirado Harbour Project” and open up to the development of new software and establish human resources.
The role of the Hirado Dutch Trading Post during the international exchange between Asia and Europe in the first half of the 17th century was huge. We are trying to restore part of the Trading Post’s function in our modern society. In other words, we are trying to make the reconstructed Hirado Dutch Trading Post the lived-in virtual realm as it was in the first half of the 17h century.
Reconstruction and Maintenance plan
1. Maintenance and partial reconstruction of the excavated remains, such as the stone wall and the Dutch well.
• Reconstruct the stone wall on the mountain-side
• Maintenance of the Dutch well and its surroundings
2. Reconstruction of the 1639 Dutch warehouse
• The building we are reconstructing is the 1639 storage house.
3. Research the environment and facilities surrounding the building through excavations and historical records.
• Indicating the position of what are assumed to be remains of the 1637 warehouse
4. Maintenance of the comment bulletin board and the exhibitions
5. Establishment of a visitor’s parking place and a hiking route.
• In 2000 a parking space was made in the Hirado harbour, from which the visitors could walk up to the Hirado Dutch Trading Post.
^ The plan to join the 1639 Trading Post with its surroundings is still under construction. Extremely valuable remains have been left in the surrounding area of the Hirado Dutch Trading Post, which has been recognized as National heritage.