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Chapter Summary

The annals of the Dutch East India Company, VOC, as well as the very limited number of journals and travel accounts written by its employees, provide valuable source material for the history of the European presence in Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Olof Eriksson Willman had enlisted in the Company as a soldier bound for the garrison in Batavia, headquarters of the Dutch trading empire in Asia. His main objective was to travel as far as possible from Europe and see the world, and he carefully recorded everything that he considered worthy of note during his years in Asia, and especially in Japan. Having had the benefit of a university education, albeit prematurely interrupted, he was able to note down his impressions and observations with some precision.

Keywords: Asia; Batavia; Dutch East India Company; Japan; Olof Eriksson Willman



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