17th century Japanese village found in Cambodia
Posted by ampontan on Thursday, February 14, 2008
IT’S A SHAME this report is so short, because it would be fascinating to hear more details.
Here’s how the two-paragraph story on the Indian news site Kerala begins:
A site of a Japanese village dating back to the 17th century has been found in the outskirts of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, a Japanese archaeologist said Wednesday.
Based on on-site research, excavations and historical documents, Japanese people came to Cambodia aboard ships between 1601 and 1635, he said. “There were about 100 Japanese living in the village during that period of time, and most of them were engaged in religious affairs and trading…”
And that’s about it. But that raises the inevitable questions: Who were they? Why did they leave Japan? How did they wind up in Cambodia? What religious affairs did they conduct? Who did they trade with? What happened to them?
Alas, that’s all I could find.
The report is based on an address in Cambodia by Sugiyama Hiroshi, the chief research fellow at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. I couldn’t find a report on their website, either in English or Japanese.
Let’s hope someone releases more information soon.