Signatures of Japanese soldiers executed at Amboyna

Analysis

11 mercenaries signed the judicial documents at Amboyna although some were clearly not literate and marked the document with a cross. The names of the 11 are as follows:

  • Hytieso, age 24, born in Hirado (七蔵)
  • Sidney Migiell, age 23, born in Nagasaki
  • Peter Congi, age 31, born in Nagasaki
  • Soysimo, age 26, born in Hirado
  • Thome Corea, age 50, born in Nagasaki
  • Tsiosa, age 32, born Hirado (長左)
  • Quiendayo, age 32, born in Karatsu (久太夫)
  • Sinsa, age 32, born in Hirado (神三)
  • Tsauinda, age 32, born in Chikugo (左兵太)
  • Zanchoo, age 22, born in Hizen (三忠)
  • Sacoube, age 40, born in Hirado (作兵衛)

We don't have the original signatures but rather a copy made by a Dutch scribe in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Although decipherable, it is clear that the Dutch scribe struggled to reproduce the complex Chinese characters for 七蔵 (Shichizo). The scribe was clearly far more comfortable with Sidney Miguel’s signature, a sweeping, self-confident, Europeanized scrawl that looks similar to the extravagant signatures used by VOC officials. These signatures are interesting because they show the very different backgrounds of some of these soldiers. Miguel was clearly capable of straddling multiple worlds.