• Dickie Zebregs

Namban: Art for the Barbarians

The Barbarians were Europeans coming to Japan in the 16th century aboard their ships along the southern China Sea trading routes. When the Portuguese arrived in eastern waters in 1497, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and crossed the Indian Ocean to Calicut, it was only a matter of time before they would reach the land of the Rising Sun. In 1543 the first Portuguese traders and sailors set foot ashore in Japan, which marked the start of a beautiful cross-pollination of style and splendour in art.