オランダ人牧師モンタヌス (1625頃-1683)は来日した経験はない｡ しかし､ 日本には深い関心を示し､ カトリック宣教師の記録やオランダ商館の報告書などを参考にして本書を著わしたといわれている｡ ポルトガル人と日本人との交流および関係悪化､ それに続くオランダの進出､ 鎖国成立後の長崎・平戸の様子､ さらにはオランダ人に対する日本人の接し方などが述べられている｡ 特に､ キリスト教の弾圧については多くの紙幅をさいて説明している｡ |
Arnoldus Montanus (1625-1683) was a Dutch missionary and educator, who is remembered chiefly as the editor of the present work. Following the publication of the first Dutch edition in 1669, translations into English, German and French followed in quick succession, and the work enjoyed a high reputation.
The 454 pages of text trace the chequered pattern of Japanese history during the century or so from the rise of Oda Nobunaga to the early years of the Tokugawa bakufu as seen through the eyes of European visitors to the country, and provide a glimpse of the manners and customs of the various regions they traveled through. Material is drawn from sources ranging from the records of the Dutch East India Company to the writing of Spanish and Portuguese missionaries. The illustrations, being the work of European artists, tend to have a somewhat Chinese flavour, that country being considerably better known in Europe at that time. Nevertheless this hardly detracts from the appeal and value of the book, one of the earliest of its kind to appear in print in Europe.