Western Merchants and Intra-Asian Trade: John Henry Duus at Treaty port Hakodate (Part One 1861-68)

Steven Ivings


This article examines the business activities of John Henry Duus, a long-standing foreign resident of the treaty port of Hakodate. In the first of this two-part article, I trace Duus’ background and focus in on his efforts to conduct business at Hakodate in the 1860s. Though Duus’ efforts to foster trade between Japan and western countries proved largely fruitless, he played an important role as a local agent for Chinese and China-based western firms and thus was active in fostering intra-Asian trade. As an Asia-born Anglo-Dane who first came to Hakodate as a British merchant but later switched allegiances to Denmark and served as Danish consul, Duus’ career also points to the cosmopolitan background of western treaty porters at the more peripheral treaty ports such as Hakodate.


intra-Asian trade; treaty ports; Hokkaido; Japan; western merchants

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/shashi.2021.51


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