The site of the former Japanese village in Ayutthaya with its small museum is a well-known and popular tourist attraction. The muban yipun, as it is known in Thai, was one of the most important Nihon machi or Japanese settlements in early modern Southeast Asia. As such, it has received considerable scholarly attention in the early 20th century. Historical documents not only in Japanese and Dutch but also in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish were gathered and analyzed in much detail.
This talk will first provide a summary of the settlement’s overall history. It will then offer a reinterpretation of the official relations between the kings of Ayutthaya and the early Tokugawa shoguns based on the literature on Tokugawa foreign relations, which has largely ignored Siam, while also being ignored itself in Thai Studies.
Photo: David M. Malitz, cropped
David M. Malitz is a Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) in Tokyo, where he works on the past and present of Japanese-Southeast Asian relations with a focus on Thailand. He received his doctoral degree in Japanese Studies from the University of Munich. Prior to joining the DIJ, David taught at the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He is also a non-resident Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, and a member of the Modern Monarchy in Global Perspective Research Hub at the University of Sydney.