Letter from Hendrik Brouwer to Pieter Both, 1613


“We consider the Japanese to be bold men. Their monthly salary is also low and besides they can be maintained with a small cost of rice and salted fish. With the instructions that you gave me last time, we wanted to send three hundred men with this ship, but because more provisions would have to be brought, only 68 heads were shipped, including 9 carpenters, 3 smiths and 2 or 3 plasterers, the rest sailors and soldiers. If you value the service of these, there will always be enough people here [to recruit] as his majesty has given us his consent to take out as many as we wish.”

Hendrik Brouwer to Pieter Both, 29 January 1613, De archieven van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, VOC 1056: 34v.
1. What does Brouwer think are the major advantages for employing Japanese mercenaries?