This volume contains the diary kept by Francois Caron during his term as chief factor from February 4, 1639 to February 13, 1641.  The diary also includes three sets of daily accounts of factory affairs kept at Hirado by Jan van Elserack.
 
The armed participation of the Dutch factory in the shogun’s suppression of the peasant’s rebellion that occurred in Arima in 1637 further weakened the Portuguese position in Japan relative to the Dutch.  Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun, established an embargo on Portuguese ships from August 1639.  This policy reflected the shogun’s determination to exterminate Christian influence in Japan.  The same strategy prompted the destruction of Dutch storehouses on Hirado in 1640.
 
Caron was appointed chief factor on July 10, 1638.  While staying in Edo between May 2 and June 27, 1639 Caron requested some modifications in trade regulations.  Upon his return from Edo, Caron recorded the arrival of eleven Dutch vessels at Hirado between July 30 and September 21.   The shogun’s order to deport those Portuguese in Japan was brought in advance to Hirado, and then an oral announcement was made in Nagasaki by a special envoy from Edo.  Caron made a second trip to Edo between April 17 and July 27, 1640.  At this time, the decision to move the VOC factory from Hirado to Nagasaki was suspended to the efforts of friendly ministers in the bakufu.
 
One week after Caron’s return to Hirado, the shogun’s commissioners supervised the beheading of 61 Portuguese in Nagasaki.  On December 1641, Caron handed over his office to Maximiliaen le Maire.
 
Texts for Transcription
 
The original manuscripts for this transcription are preserved at the Nationaal Archief.  They are found in both the Archief Nederlandse Factorij Japan (NFJ) and the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie Archief (VOC).   Previously they were all classified under one section, the Koloniaal Archief (KA). The basic text for this transcription is:
 
Dagregister d'  1639, 1640 & 1641
NFJ 55 (KA 11686)
 
A microfilm copy of the manuscript is also available in the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo  (6998-1-3-10, 7598-1-13)
 
The above text has been fully collated by the editors with other manuscript copies, namely VOC 1131 (KA 1040), VOC 1133 (KA 1042) and VOC 1136 (KA 1045).
 
Appendices
 
A letter concerning the state of the Company's affairs in Japan is appended for the sake of reference.
 
Index
 
A comprehensive index is provided for this volume.
 
4 February 1639 - 13 February 1641 (Volume Four)