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The Description of the Ainu and the Japanese by Gavriil Davydov (1807)

https://doi.org/10.24412/2658-6444-2021-1-95-116

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Abstract

In 1802, upon the orders of the Russian-American Company, Ensign Davydov and Lieutenant Khvostov were sent to deliver food supplies to the Russian colonies in America. In 1804, the Company repeatedly ordered these two officers to make the voyage to America. Before their departure, they met Rezanov, who arrived to Kamchatka after his unsuccessful mission to Japan, where he was supposed to establish trade relations. Due to this failure and the attempt to save Russian colonies and expand the territory of the Russian Empire, Rezanov decided to start trading with the local inhabitants of the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin. This study will examine the information about the Japanese, their settlements in the Kuril Islands, and the local inhabitants of the Kuril Islands - the Ainu. This research is based on the unique historical document The Journal of the Voyage of an American Company Tender Avos’ in 1807, under the Command of Ensign Davydov, which gives a detailed description of the Japanese, the Ainu, their settlements and compares them to the Russian ones.

About the Author

O. V. Klimova
Higher School of Economics National Research University
Russian Federation


References

1. Otdel Rukopisei RNB [Department of Manuscripts of the Russian National Library]

2. Q. IV. 430. Inv. 6017. № 29 Jurnal Puteshestviya Amerikanskoi kompanii tendera Avos v 1807 godu, pod komandoyu michmana Davydova [“The Journal of the Voyage of an American Company Tender Avos’ in 1807, under the Command of Ensign Davydov”]

3. RGAVMF [Russian State Archives of the Navy]

4. Fond Kruzeshterna [Krusenstern Collection]

5. F. 166 Op. 1 L. 9-10. Vypiska iz pisma Leitenanta Khvostova k ego ottsu iz Okhotska [Extract from Liutenant Khvostov’s letter to his father from Okhotsk]

6. F. 166 Op. 1 D. 4671 L. 13, L18-18 ob., L. 21, L. 22, L. 25, L. 26, L. 39 ob., L. 119, L. 140, L. 149, L. 158-158 ob., L. 197 - Pis’ma “Pod vyisochaishim Ego imperatorskogo Pokrovitelstvom Rossisko-Amerikanskoi kompanii Ameriko Rossiiskih oblastei Pravitelya Baranova” [Letters of the “Under His Imperial Patronage of the Russian-American Company Americo Russian Area’s Governor Baranov”]

7. F. 14. Op. 1, ed. hr. 183. Ekstrakt iz jurnala fregatyi Yunonyi, plavaniya ot Okhotska v gubu Aniva i obratno v Kamchatku Gavan Petra i Pavla. Sentyabrya s 24, noyabrya po 10e chislo 1806 goda [The extract from the logbook of frigate Yunona, the journey from Okhotsk to the Aniva bay and back to Kamchatka, the port of Peter and Paul. From 24th of September till 10th of November 1806].

8. F. 166 Op. 1 D. 4667 L. 37, L. 38, L. 50 Prikaz Komande transporta Yunony Komandiru sudna ego flota G-nu leitenantu Khvostovu [The Order to Yunona’s Team to the Commander of the vessel of its fleet Mr. Lieutenant Khvostov]

9. F. 212 Op. 11, Ed. Hr. 2944. L. 40-42 Instruktsiya N.P. Rezanova nachalniku Sekretnoi ekspeditsii N.A. Khvostovu o plavanii k Kurilskim ostrovam i Sakhalinu ot 8 avgusta 1806 g. [The Instruction of N. P. Rezanov to the Chief of the Secret Expedition N. A. Khvostov on the voyage to the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin from the 8th of August, 1806].

10. AVPRI [Archives of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire]

11. Fond RAK [Collection of the Russian-American Company]

12. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 172, L. 1-6 Pismo N. Rezanova M. M. Buldakovu iz Petropavlovskoi gavani o namerenii uiti v Ameriku [Letter from N. Rezanov to M. M. Buldakov from Petropavlosk Bay about his intention to leave for America].

13. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 173, L. 1-3 Pismo Rezanova rodstvennikam ot 26 Maya 1806. [Letter from Rezanov to his relatives on the 26th of May 1806]

14. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 174, L. 1-2 Sekretnoe pismo N. P. Rezanova [Secret Letter from N. P. Rezaonov]

15. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 195, L. 5-6 “O dozvolenii Pravleniyu Rossiiskoi Amerikanskoi Kompanii zanyat ostrov Sakhalin” [“About allowing the board of Russian American Company to occupy the Sakhalin Island”]

16. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 195, L. 5-6 Pismo knyazyu A. B. Kurakinu [Letter to Duke A. B. Kurakin]

17. F. 339 Op. 888 D. 195, L. 5-6, L. 7-7jb., L. 9-9ob. “Vypiska iz Docladnoi zapiskig. Ministra Kommertsii ot 7 Avgusta 1808 g. o ekspeditsii Leitenanta Khvostova I michmana Davyidova byvshyh u yaponskih beregov” [Extract from the Memorandum of the Minister of Commerce dated 7th of August 1808 on the Lieutenant’s Khvostov and ensign Davydov’s Expedition, who travelled to the shores of Japan].

18. F. SpbGA I - 7 op. 6 1802 god D. 1, papka 37. L. 26-446. Jurnal ishodyashih bumag Rezanova [The Journal of Rezanov’s Outgoing Papers].


Review

For citations:


Klimova O.V. The Description of the Ainu and the Japanese by Gavriil Davydov (1807). Russian Japanology Review. 2021;4(1):95-116. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.24412/2658-6444-2021-1-95-116

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