Uncovered: A Japanese village outside Phnom Penh

For once! An archaeology story in Cambodia that doesn’t link back to Angkor. Remnants of a 17th-century Japanese village were unearthed outside Phnom Penh. It seems that Japanese settlers had set up colonies in Cambodia, probably to facilitate trade. There have been other colonies found in Vietnam.

17th century Japanese village uncovered in Cambodia
AP via AOL news, 13 February 2008

A site of a Japanese village dating back to the 17th century has been found in the outskirts of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, a Japanese archaeologist said Wednesday.

Hiroshi Sugiyama, chief research fellow at Japan’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, said that based on research since 2004 and analyses of excavations and documents, the site in Ponhea Lueu Commune, about 25 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, is a Japanese village dating back to the 17th century.

Based on on-site research, excavations and historical documents, Japanese people came to Cambodia aboard ships between 1601 and 1635, he said.

Read the full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

3 thoughts on “Uncovered: A Japanese village outside Phnom Penh”

  1. Interesting, cos you don’t hear about Japanese settlers in other parts of SE Asia. And that was in the days before the Japanese tourists all running around with cameras!

  2. i just found out that besides Vietnam and Cambodia, the Japanese also had a settlement in Ayutthaya around the 17th century. it looks like they were quite busy! I wonder if there were any other similar settlements further down south, in the Malayan peninsula and the Indonesian islands…

  3. I wonder do the script at Angkor Wat temple since Khmer Empire era have the name of Sakai people (ancient ppl of Japanese).

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