This volume contains the diary kept by Jan van Elserack beginning when he assumed the office of chief factor from November 1, 1642 and ending on October 29, 1642 when the author left Japan aboard the fluyt Zayer.  By the time of his departure, Elserack had remained in Japan for more than a decade.
On June 9 1640 the VOC was forced to move its factory from Hirado to Nagasaki.  Orders from Edo would from this point on be transmitted directly through the local governor in Nagasaki to the Dutch, without passing through the complicated channels used before.
In their first year in Nagasaki, the Dutch experienced considerable frustration because of their new circumstances.  Complaints regarding these difficulties were submitted to Batavia, and in turn the Governor-General, Antonio van Diemen, drafted a petition to the bakufu asking for improved conditions for the Company’s servants. (Appendix IV)  Although the petition was not forwarded to the bakufu’s councilors, the main complaints—destruction of residences and the storehouse in Hirado, prohibition on the re-export of unsold goods, compulsory enforcement of pancado pricing and forced burial at sea for those Dutch who died in Japan—were all considered by the authorities.
Elserack visited the capital from December 4, 1641 to March 12, 1642. (pp. 24-73)
Events in and around Japan
The economic depression of 1640 caused the bankruptcy of a number of wealthy merchants in Osaka and Kyoto.   This seems to demonstrate that maritime restrictions exerted an important influence on Japanese merchants trading with foreigners.   Devastating fires in Edo and Kyoto are recorded in the diary. (pp 85-86)
On August 11, 1642 the first report of the arrival and capture of a party of five Jesuits and their servants in Satsuma reached the Dutch.   The Jesuits had hired a junk at Manila and came to Japan with a Spanish pilot and mainly Chinese crew.  After being captured, they were brought to Nagasaki, tortured and eventually executed.
Dutch Personnel
The soldijboek or allowance book for 1640 recorded 27 Dutchmen, including four officers of oppercoopman rank, one of coopman rank, three officers of ondercoopman rank, nine assistants, one surgeon, two midshipmen, one steward, two boatswains and four boys.  As of November 1641 there were approximately 20 Dutch residents in the Nagasaki factory.
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:
Dagh-Register des Comptoir Nanga[sackij] gehouden bij den E. Jan van Elserac[k. opper]coopman ende opperhooft over’s Compagnies  omm[eslach] in Japan near ‘t vertreck van den E. Maxi[miliaen] Lemaire, ‘tzedert primo November 164[1 tot] 29 October 1642.
NFJ 56 (KA 11686)
A microfilm copy of the manuscript is also available in the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo  (6998-1-3-12, 7598-2-1)
The above text has been fully collated by the editors with other manuscript copies in the Overgekomen Brieven en Papieren uit Indie series.  These include VOC 1140 (KA 1049).
Five documents are appended for the sake of reference. These include instructions for Elserack from his predecessors and letters from the Governor-General to Elserack and the governor of Nagasaki.
A comprehensive index is provided for this volume.
1 November 1641 - 29 October 1642 (Volume Six)