Ayutthaya

The Japanese Village

 
 
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The Japanese Village is located in the south of the City Isle, which is the location of foreign communities that came to trade with Ayutthaya—be they the Portuguese Village, the Dutch Village or the English Village. These foreigners were granted land by Thai monarchs to build their communities in the same area. The Japanese arrived in Ayutthaya in the reign of King Maha Chakraphat and trade between Ayutthaya and Japan expanded in the reign of King Naresuan the Great. The kings on both sides frequently presented tributes to each other. A number of Japanese came to trade with Ayutthaya and to serve as volunteer soldiers and to live here. A Japanese by the name of Yamada Nagamasa came to serve as an official in Ayutthaya, and he was promoted to the title of Okya Senaphimuk. His statue is on display in the exhibition hall of the Japanese Village.

On the occasion of the centennial celebration of the relationship between Thailand and Japan in 1997, the Centre for Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre was established and so was the Japanese Village. The Village was built on the location of the old Japanese Village, where evidence of a settlement on this particular site was found in the form of, for example, wooden rectangular columns with Japanese inscriptions and cannons. In the compound of the Village there is an exhibition hall, known as the Annex, for permanent exhibitions. The open-air area is divided to serve as the site for a Japanese garden and a display of junks from various nations.