Japan's first coffee shop [Coffee's past and future]

<Dinner party at a Dutch trading post, illustrated by Keiga Kawahara>

Coffee encountered by Japanese people at a Dutch trading post

The relationship between Japanese people and coffee is almost the same as the history of exchange between Japan and Western civilization. However, coffee had not yet entered the country during the Sengoku period, the first point of contact.

This encounter had to wait until the 1700s, when coffee, which was widely popular in the Arab world, made its way to Western Europe and began to spread.

At that time, Japan was in the Edo period, and its contact with Europe was limited to trade with Dutch merchants in Nagasaki and Dejima (so-called national isolation policy).

The Dutch East India Company entered the coffee trade early on, and in addition to importing and selling coffee, they also transplanted coffee to colonies such as Java. Naturally, coffee was quickly brought to Japan. However, it did not become a trade item.