This year marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Physician Philipp Franz von Siebold on the Dutch trading post of Deshima in Japan. To commemorate this occasion the Dutch flag was hoisted at the Deshima open-air museum by the director of Japan Museum SieboldHuis, Kris Schiermeier together with descendants of von Siebold, the Dutch deputy Head of Mission, Theo Peters and the mayor of Nagasaki, Shirō Suzuki. Nagasaki and Leiden it should be noted, have been twin cities since 2017.
There used to be a flagpole on the west side of the former island of Deshima when Siebold lived there in the early 19th century. For over 100 years the flag and flagpole had served as a landmark on Deshima also acknowledging the Dutch who resided there. The flag and flagpole were also symbols of the trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands.
In the second half of the 19th century the trading post on Deshima lost its function and the flag and flagpole disappeared. This year a new flagpole was installed on Deshima at its original location commemorating the 200th anniversary of Siebold’s arrival in Japan. Today the Dutch flag was hoisted again for the first time and will continue to be flown on Saturday and Sundays and on Japanese and Dutch holidays.