BC: "BBC - Religions - Islam: Safavid Empire (1501-1722)." BBC. 9 July 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.
FC: Alfred Janssen Voyage from Holland to the Safavid Empire, the Mughal Empire, China, Korea, and Japan 1619-1620
1: Table of Contents | Table of Contents......P1 Safavid...............................P2-4 Mughal..................................P6-9 China....................................P10-14 Korea...................................P15-19 Japan..................................P20-23 Bibliography...................P24 | Luisa V.- Safavid, Mughal Allen M.-China, Japan Celine H- Korea, Mughal P1-Adams
2: Nothing was more welcoming than the sight of non-African land after weeks of sailing along Africa's eastern coast. The crew was elated as they steered into the port of Bander Abbas. As we slowed our speed and got closer to the city, the architecture and design of the city astounded me. I'd never seen anything like it before. Many of the buildings had tops that were rounded, while some had completely flat roofs. When I was first able to get off the ship to get a permit to keep my boat in the harbor, I got my first look at the complex patterns that decorated every | Safavid | April 27, 1620
3: building. Europe's architecture is nothing like Safavid architecture. Although there were not many people out and about (I'd been told that the Safavid preferred to rest and take advantage of the uxuries life had to offer), I was still astounded by the types of clothing seen | on those who did walk the streets. As in any society, there were still those who wore clothes fit only for servants, but the obviously wealthy men wore large turbans on their heads. I'd never witnessed anything like it. I was drawn to what seemed to be the most popular area of the city. I walked under an archway of the largest and most beautifully decorated building in sight, and was met with the sight of a busy marketplace. Outside this large triangular area, there had been few people in a hurry, but here, everyone seemed to have a
4: however, was that these people devoted large amounts of their money to their religion. There were shrines everywhere, and I couldn't even begin to imagine how much the construction and decoration must have cost, or how long it must have taken. I spent longer in the mosque than I did in the marketplace, but soon realized that I must be disturbing those in prayer, so I went back out onto the bright streets. I saw in front of me a door leading to a building just as magnificent as the one I was leaving. I tried to enter the building, but was pushed aside by a | place they needed to be. I remained in the commercial area for only a few minutes before leaving for the more relaxed environment of the rest of the city. As I left the triangular area, I noticed a large door to my left that led into the magnificent building. It was almost empty, but I knew at once what the building must be used for. It was a mosque, where the people of the city practiced Islam. I know very little about Islam, only that it was the main religion of this empire. From what I could tell from being inside the mosque,
5: meet with the city's leaders about trade with Europe. We talked for awhile longer, but when I saw the sun sinking lower in the sky, I was alerted to how long I'd been away from the ship. I rushed off immediately, cursing myself for getting carried away with the excitement of being in a new place. | a large man, who demanded to know what I wanted with the Shah. I knew nothing of any Shah, so I told him so. His eyes grew wide. He couldn't believe I'd never heard of the Shah. I explained that I was European, and he introduced himself as the Nazir, or Court Minister, responsible for keeping the citizens of the empire in contact with the Shah. He explained to me that the Shah tried to make the people have a voice, and his job was to make sure those voices were heard. I asked what the Shah was doing in Bander Abbas, and was told he was just there to
6: Mughal | May 15, 1620 | Safavid’s beauty was astounding- I stayed for about a week before I sailed on my journeys, enjoying the culture so different from the Western ways and the sun, so little seen in my native Holland! The crew enjoyed themselves too, and it was with increased enthusiasm they went back to work on the ship to bring us to our next new land. We soon arrived in the Mugal Empire. The sounds and smells of the harbor hit us, enticing us in. Everywhere we looked, there were people selling fish, meat, fresh
7: fresh vegetables, beautifully woven rugs along with many other things. A few ships were in the harbor, being built. The economy of Mughal is obviously trade and market based. It is similar to my homeland Europe, which has an economy also based on agriculture, at least in the rural areas. I consulted my books to find out the political history of Mughal. I have learned on my past explorations that coming to a country unknowledgable of the current government is very unwise! | THe power over Mughal is handed down by the royal family from father to son. The only time the dynasty was interrupted was when King Babur's son, Humayun, was overthrown bu Sher Shah Suri, who started the Suri dynasty in 1540. Humayan was able to regain his throne in 1555,
8: but he died a few months later and the throne was taken by his son, the thirteen-year-old Akbar the Great. While exploring the main commercial areas, I found that the most common items for sale
9: Wonderful colors. Everywhere I went, I was tempted to buy something, whether it was the colorful clothing and blankets, or the delicious smelling food. | were of the cloth variety. There were magnificently woven rugs of many colors, and hundreds of different clothing items. I asked a woman working in a clothing shop about this peculiar fact. She replied that textile production was very profitable for the Mughal Empire, and that there were cotton manufacturing units scattered throughout the state. She also informed me that dying the cloth makes it much more valuable, and that was why all the clothes and blankets were such
10: China | October 18 1620 | It appears that in poor judgement in hopes of seeking adventure during my trades, I have left Mughal by Camel, making my journey ever so longer. But alas, I have arrived in a foreign country, savages abound, in the mud and grass, yellow in skin tone, and it appears that they communicate through a series of scribbles. A new discovery indeed! I shall call it the land of Scribbles! | Edit* It appears that I have arrived in China. | ___________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ | This is all done and well though as it will only give me greater opportunity to trade for some goods along the way, and hopefully having a rendez-vous with the ship somewhere along the next country, Kora or something of the kind.
11: On my way through China, I had the luxury of coming across a Chinese trader by the name of Hung Chi, Hung had learned Dutch through his contact with other Dutchman in profession, one that did give him much of a life, he explained. He had told me of Confucious, a wise and dead philosopher who had explained the working of society, and politics rather than god. That this was their teachings, and what had been their religion also, strange, as western Europe would surely hold a march against this. But this had been not all, as he had only stirred the waters for me and my kind beforehand. | Note*Do not find it offensive in China to be looked down upon, traders are the lowest caste in the Orient. It is apparently because we do not "work" as peasants do. Is moving through the lands, risking bandit attacks, death, and disease any less dangerous from working a patch of vegetables? I think not!
12: It also appears that the Chinese are in fact an Empire, passed down patrillinealy, not so much royal families being wed as he had back in Europe.... it's odd, the similarities, that is. Royalty is apparently seated in an area called the "Forbidden City", what kind of treasures I may bring back to Europe are at the moment only in my imagination, and I imagine that they are great. | Note* Although the government appears to be powerful and rich, they do not tax the peoples, except on the occasion of salt, metal, and land. They manage to thrive on this, although back home we were taxed for goods also... how is this? Noticed this while conversing with Hung Chi while in a market.
13: In the market I had purchased rather curious cans of paints(?) for woods, they're said to be good for making it last longer. It dries clear and with a marvelous sheen, but with a harsh odor that causes dizziness. There may be a possible place for this, I'm planning to see if I could find a market back in Europe. There are also stunning white and blue pieces of pottery, such beauty will surely find the eyes of the wealthy. | October 23 1620 | I am along the river now, almost to the shores. It's curious, along the way, i've noticed flooded areas to grow what seems like grain, I've also noticed a massive amount of boats in the river transporting goods... huh.
14: Korea | January 18, 1621 | I finally arrived in Korea and met up with my ship and crew. Their voyage was marred by storms deep at sea, but the crew and ship arrived safely at the coast. They met many traders from all over the world, hearing stories of lands all around the world. They couldn't believe some of the strange animals! A giant black and white striped cat exists, much like a common cat you'd find in Holland but 10 times bigger!
15: The stories wowed the crew. Unfortunately, my stories of my travels in China were less interesting now to them, but it didn't matter. We're in a new culture! The people on the shore were selling delicious foods. Most dishes here involved rice somehow. I learned from one enthusiastic market man than rice is the main crop of Korea, and almost every food here involves it somehow- thank | goodness I like rice! Seems like me and the crew will be having a lot of it. I sat down to eat with another traveler. He told me that Korea's government is a dynasty, currently in the Joseon Dynasty. This however is on the decline- there has recently been much internal strife and struggle in the country. The government had issues because of
16: Japanese and Manchus invasions. The Royal Court was divided over foreign affairs. I shudder while the traveler tells me this-Europe's Kings and Queens are much more stable than this, and their people usually love them. I asked if me and my crew would be safe here or if we should move on. He had been in the country for a few months and hadn't had any issues, so | I decided it would be safe to stay and explore for a little while. One big difference between my home culture and the culture here is the religion. Europe is all Christian, while Korea is a mix between Confucianism and Buddhism. The common people are Buddhist, while the government is Confucianism based.
17: Not wanting to intrude on the Korean's worshi0 time, even to learn about their strange religion, I moved on and started shopping. I noticed some social divisions in the Koreans. Some were obviously very rich, and walked with a air of importance. The whispers of the market people all had one common word on their tongues: the Yangban. This was the rich and powerful of Korea. On the total opposite scale is the Baekjeong, the 'untouchables'. Most people I met were peasants. This is similar to European culture with that Europe has social classes too that rule your occupation and opportunities. The royal class | can be compared to the Yangban, the slaves of Europe are like the untouchables, and most are peasants. After I left the market, I went to a display of the local art. It was beautiful- people were everywhere enjoying the paintings. A lot were landscapes, and a very different style from the super realistic, detailed art of Europe. I very much enjoyed Korea, but I didn't want to push our luck and run into a dangerous situation, so my crew and I left Korea.
18: Japan | Japan, I have finally arrived here to do my business. It's so beautiful here, that's all I can really say, arts and nobility abound! And how wonderful, I can acquire steel here in Japan, one of the first times I have been to civilization that could. However, this country is not too different from that of China, there are still plenty of flooded lands, all carrying the same grain, rice, from what I've learned. | Feburary 16th 1621 | Note* as I walk through these areas, I notice glares, and hate in the eyes of those who inhabit these lands...
19: However, this is not to worry as i continue on into the towns, visiting what appears to be the local theatre. It's amazing, they had preformed a play that had included very bizzare looking characters. They had all appeared to be scowling and wearing bright make up and clothes, and had even fought with weapons. This is truly favorable to that of slow and dramatic plays back in Europe. What excitement! | I've also purchased a small (what seems to be) book, apparently it tells the tale of great warriors in their past. It's strange, most literature back in home is kept soley to the church and almost are all religious texts. This is truly interesting. | Note* when walking by blacksmiths, that they had been folding steel. When i had asked, it had turned out that it makes the metal much more flexible and stronger, this is a process we must acquire.
20: It appears that the folded steel produced by the blacksmiths go towards only one known purpose so far, these swords, belonging to warriors called samurai, an apparently elite class. It's amazing, apparently no one else can bare arms but them and their higher-ups, and that touching their blades are such a disgrace that it could be punishable by death... I'm lucky that I had restrained myself when i had passed that blacksmith's store earlier... | (Above) A small pocket of samurai I had found, it appears they were searching for something/someone.... | Apparently these warriors, or "Samurai" work for rich men called Daimyos, that hold political power and great wealth, accumulating it through the taxing of land which the main populace lives upon.... It shows remarkable similarity to China.. | Property tax similar to Europe? Must investigate.
21: Feb 20 1621 | This is no time to stall, it appears that I am being hunted. An act recently passed that would result in the Europeans being hunted by the Japanese.. | Apparently we're being accused of being the stepping stones of conquest, more than fifty Jesuits have already been murdered, I may be next. Although religion is not openly practiced in Japan, this is a very harsh reaction. I still find it funny even though the situation is grave, the CHRISTIANS are being persecuted for once? Hah. | I can hear them outside, I guess this is it... God Save my Soul... | Feb 21 1621 | It appears it has not my time to die, not yet. all Europeans, on the exception of the Dutch, are being deported from Japan, and only the Portugese and Spanish were to be executed. Looks as if i will be around a tidbit longer. | I will rest easy tonight. | -Alfred Jannsen