Feudal Japan: Who were the 1st Europeans to make contact with the Japanese? What did they Bring? What was the significance of the cultural interaction?
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit Japan.
Portugal didn’t build anything in the Portuguese style while there, but objects and utensils were created that were hitherto unknown to the Japanese.
This included furniture they were not familiar with, such as tables and chairs, chests, table writing desks and cabinets, as well as religious objects in different materials, such as gilded lacquer, devotional paintings and sculptures, and oratories with doors in which paintings in copper, called seigan, were placed.
The converted, living in colleges and seminaries, became the most skilled in these activities, particularly in sacred paintings, engravings and in the art of printing using mobile characters. Although the shape of such objects was foreign to Japan, the decoration continued to be traditional, using the techniques of uruxi, maqui-é, in fact, lacquer, gilt and mother-of-pearl inlays.
The Portuguese sent large carracks, their largest trading vessels, to do business with Japan and China. However, the Portuguese court strictly regulated who was allowed to do business with the Asian companies. They generally offered trade with Japan to the captain who bid the highest, effectively giving the throne a large cut of all profit done in China and Japan.