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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oranda Slope & Western Residences in Nagasaki


Oranda Slope or Dutch Slope is an area of western style houses in Nagasaki close to the Confucius Shrine and Oura Catholic Church.

The Dutch had been permitted to trade on the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki throughout the Edo Period. With the opening up of Nagasaki to other foreigners as a Treaty Port in 1859, nationals from Britain, the USA, France, Russia and other countries began to settle. The Japanese residents of Nagasaki referred to all non-Asians as "Oranda-jin" - Dutchmen.

Oranda Slope, Nagasaki

Most people associate western residences in Nagasaki with Scottish businessman Thomas Glover (1838-1911) and Glover Garden.

However, there are quite a few other original houses of western traders dating from the late 19th century still standing in Nagasaki. Some of them are private residences and some are opened as museums.

Western Residences in Nagasaki

The houses near Dutch Slope are characterized by their clapboard exteriors, wooden shutters, tiled-roofs in the Japanese style, wide verandas and chimneys. In the main, they are painted an attractive sky blue color.

Western Residences in Nagasaki

Among the buildings still standing in this area are the wooden, former Russian consulate and the brick former British consulate at the bottom of the slope.

The former Russian consulate now serves as the Former Kyoryuchi (Foreign Settlement) Private School History Museum (free admission) detailing the history of Christian mission schools in the area. The building also served as the Prussian consulate, US consulate and as housing for missionaries during its time in active use.

The Russell Kinenkan (Russell Memorial Hall) is a wooden building dating from 1868 that serves as a history museum. Elizabeth Russell was a Methodist missionary and the founder along with Jennie Gheer of present-day Kwassui College - a school for girls.

Western Residences in Nagasaki

Nagasaki, 850-0911
Google Map of Dutch Slope

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