Pieter Nuyts (also spelt Nuijts) was the third Dutch Governor of Formosa. He was a father, a businessman, an explorer and a politician. He was also opportunistic, sometimes to his own detriment. This episode looks at his time as governor of Formosa.
In editing I discovered my Dutch pronunciation let me down a few times, especially toward the beginning of the recording. The Dutch pronunciation of Nuyts is ‘notes’, while the English pronunciation is ‘newts’.
Before continuing Zheng Zhilong’s story, we take a moment to look at piracy in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding seas, briefly discuss two unlikely samurai and get an understanding of the Chinese concept of the Mandate of Heaven.
For those interested in reading more about former Dutch colonies in Asia, read more here.
For those interested in reading more about foreigners who became samurai, read more here (but ignore the picture of Tom Cruise).
The Summer holidays are here and as a teacher this means I have free time, so I’m going to visit family – some of whom I have not seen in ages. This means I will be away for about six weeks, give or take a week. Not to worry, though. I have books and will get a lot of reading done, so I can jump back into recording upon my return.
Born in Fujian Province (like Li Dan) and having spent his teenage years working abroad in European settlements in Asia (like Li Dan), Zheng Zhilong was constantly getting into trouble (like Li Dan) and angled his life toward piracy (like Li Dan). It seems inevitable that these two would meet and become the closest of allies.
Li Dan was arguably the greatest of the pirate princes that operated within the Taiwan Strait. He single-handedly built an empire, uniting the pirate bands from Japan to Java into a coalition – the first Asian mulitnational congolmerate – and he did it all through the cunning use of multiple personas, crafty underhanded dealing and sheer charisma.
After the Dutch were forced off the Penghu Islands (Pescadores), they established themselves on Taiwan’s southwest coast. The Chinese authorities were happy with this, as the Dutch were now outside of Chinese territory. The Dutch would continue to try open trade negotiations with the Chinese. They also began to explore their new surroundings, getting into conflicts with locals, while also making new friends. They were expanding their empire – but what exactly is an empire?
The Alliance of Throne and Altar For those interested in learning more about the connection between organised religion and governmental control, take a listen to this podcast from Prof. C.J.
Prior to the Dutch arrival, the Taiwan indigenous peoples had no written language. For this reason, we have little in the way of records of these people before the 1600s. In order to understand the impression they would have of the newly arrived Dutch, we take a look at how European hygiene habits changed from the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment era. We also take a brief look into cultural diets.
In this episode we take a brief overview of the history of the Southern Asia and the Far East, paying particular attention to trade and the spreading of religion. This will give us at understanding of the world that the Dutch were stepping into.
The Dutch begin to challenge the Portuguese in the Far East. Here is a link to a site that shows the rise and fall of the Portuguese colonial empire.
The second part of this brief overview of Japan looks at the three great unifiers of Japan, the introduction of arquebus muskets, the Japanese attempt to invade Korea and their mild interest in taking control of Taiwan.
As some of you may have known, I appeared as a guest aboard the Cold War podcast produced by Cameron Reilly and Ray Harris aptly named A Cold War. To be fair, I was a bit nervous being interviewed by these giants in the podcasting world and ended up going off on far too many tangents; something which I warned them I was prone to do. Also the slight lag in response time made social cues a little more difficult. Still, I feel the interview went well. They must have concurred as they released the interview. My interview came out in parts to fit their release schedule and I am happy to announce that all episodes are now out. I have linked to them below.