Unjust, Cruel and Barbarous Proceedings: Japanese Mercenaries and the Amboyna Incident of 1623

Adam Clulow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In 1623, the Dutch governor of Amboyna, an important clove-producing island in modern-day Indonesia, executed a group of English merchants and Japanese mercenaries accused of plotting to seize control of the VOC castle on the island. After news of these events reached Europe, the Amboyna Massacre, as it came to be called in England, rapidly became invested with great consequences as English and Dutch leaders fought over the issues of blame and compensation. This article examines the Japanese mercenaries accused by the VOC, the silent participants whose cause was not taken up by any national government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15 - 34
Number of pages20
JournalItinerario: journal on the history of European expansion and global interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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