Leopold Willem Ras

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Leopold Willem Ras (died 1847) was a Dutch merchant-trader and diplomat.


Ras travelled from Europe to work in East Asia with the Dutch East Indies Company (or Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch).

Ras was sent to Japan as a records keeper/bookkeepr or warehouseman.[1] At this point in Japanese history, the sole VOC outpost (or "factory") was situated on Dejima island in the harbor of Nagasaki on the southern island of Kyushu.

Ras became acting Opperhoofd or chief negotiant and officer of the VOC trading post. His role had to change after the death of Dejima's chief official, Gijsbert Hemmij.[2] In 1798, Hemmij died at Kanegawa near Edo during the return journey to Nagasaki after a formal audience at the shogun's court in Edo.[3]

The difficulties Ras confronted were exacerbated by a fire which destroyed the VOC warehouse and other structures on Dejima.[2]

In 1847, Ras died in the Banda Islands, which are part of the Dutch East Indies.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Archives of the Netherlands: "Inventaris van de archieven van de Nederlandse Factorij in Japan te Hirado en te Deshima, 1609-1860," p. 19.
  2. ^ a b Janetta, Ann Bowman. (2007). The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the "Opening" of Japan, p. 209 n. 13., p. 209, at Google Books
  3. ^ Historiographical Institute. (1963). Historical documents relating to Japan in foreign countries, pp. 57-58.
  4. ^ Kwartierstaat van Jeanne Antoinette Lewis (Genealogy of ....)


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gijsbert Hemmij
VOC Opperhoofden at Dejima
8.7.1798 - 17.7.1800
Succeeded by
Willem Wardenaar