The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Character list

Book I


Kawasemi - pregnant, concubine of Shiroyama, mother of Naozumi

Orito Aibagawa - mid-wife, student of Maeno, burn on left side of face

Maeno - doctor, elderly scholar

Uragami - doctor

Tomine - Chamberlain of Shiroyama


Daniel Snitker - former Acting-Chief of Dejima, for one year, guilty of dereliction of duty for a warehouse fire

Anslem Lacy - Captain of the Shenandoah, American, Revolutionary War vet, from the Carolina states

Unico Vorstenbosch - Acting-Chief of Dejima

Jacob de Zoet - clerk to Vorstenbosch, red-hair

P.G. van Overstaten - Gov. General Dutch East Indies

Melchior van Cleef - Deputy (security) of Dejima, swarthy-bearded piratical face, handshake crush bones

Gijsbert Hemmij - former Chief prior to Snitker, died of a "stomach fever" on way home from Edo

Boerhaave - first mate


Tys - grandfather of Zoet

Geertje - sister of Zoet

Kobayashi - interpreter first rank

Sekita - interpreter, ample rear end

Ogawa Mimasaku - interpreter first rank, two sons died, adopted Uzaemon as heir

Ogawa Uzaemon - interpreter third rank, mid-20s, open intelligent face

Marinus - doctor, 50s, walking stick, enlightened scholar and traveler

William Pitt - monkey soot-on-snow colored, sail-cloth jerkin

Wybo Gerritszoon - laborer, lantern-jawed, pig-tailed tattooed strongman

Ivo Oost - laborer, half-caste, 18, gold-hair and oriental eyes

Peter Fischer - senior clerk, 20s, Prussian, brown hair balding, former rifleman in Surinam

Con Twomey - carpenter, 20s, Irish from Cork, close-crop hair and half-moon face

Arie Grote - cook, missing teeth, shark-hide hat

Eelattu - paid assistant to Marinus, from Ceylon, young handsome barefoot


Hanzaburo - interpreter, attached to Zoet, boy

Ponke Ouwehand - junior clerk

Kichibei (aka "Herpes") - interpreter, attached to Ouwehand

Ignatius - slave

Piet Baert - sailor from Netherlands

Cupido - servant/slave of Vorstenbosh, plays music with Philander

Anna - Zoet's girlfriend in Netherlands

Shiroyama - Magistrate

Omatsu - Magistrate


Kosugi - constable

Philander - servant/slave to Vorstenbosch

Goto Shinpachi - interpreter third rank

Hori - interpreter

Weh - servant of van Cleef, dark skinned youth. Later re-named Moses.

Iwase - interpreter

Yonekizu - interpreter


D'Orsaiy - slave, South Africa

Johanes van der Bruck - customs officer at Batvia

Hofstra - captain of Octavia

Muramoto - student of Marinus, bone setter, eldest

Kajiwaki - student of Marinus, youth

Yano - student of Marinus

Ikematsu - student of Marinus, pocked-faced


Quebecois - carpenter on Shenandoa, wraith-like

Enomoto - Abbot, bald

Zwaardecroone - Durch merchant at Batvia, Zoet's backer


Motogi - interpreter, sunken-eyes

Isohachi - interpreter first rank

Narazake - interpreter second rank, pox-scarred

Namura - interpreter second rank, charismatic

Otsuki Monjuro - director of science academy Shirando, bearded

Sjako - slave, Malay, works in garden

Book II


Otane - herbalist of Kurozane, elderly

Mohei Jiritsu - acolyte

Genmu - Master Abbot

Yoten - Master


Kagero - sister

Ayame - servant

Suzake - Master, shrine doctor

Yayoi - sister, 16yo, pointed ears

Kiritsubo - sister, withered arm

Umegae - sister third rank

Hotaru - sister, cleft-lip

Minori - sister first rank, closed eye-lids

Izu - Abbess

Asagao - sister, lips fused into circle

Sadaie - sister, large eyes, misshapen feline skull

Zano - acolyte

Satsuki - housekeeper

Sawarabi - sister ninth rank

Chuai - acolyte (aka "swollen toad")

Maboroshi - acolyte

Hashihime - sister, pink-eyed

Hatsune - sister, blind, 17 years at shrine

Yugiri - sister

Ju'nin -


Yoshida Hayato - bone disease

Awatsu - algebraist

Haga - druggist, ape-nosed

Omori - painter in Dutch style

Aodo - historian

Yanaoka - doctor from Kumamoto

Arashiyama - interpreter

Ozono - chemist, squat size

Banda - engineer, elderly

Sugita Genpaku - scholar of Dutch, elderly

Nakagawa Jun'an - scholar of Dutch, elderly

Shizuki - interpreter


Nishi - interpreter, monkey-faced

Yokose -

Yoshio - interpreter

Yohei - servant of Uzaemon, bow-legged

Kiyoshichi - servant of Ogawa

Saiji - servant of Ogawa, stick-limbed


Okinu - wife of Uzaemon

Hisanobu - Ogawa's dead son

Shuzai - interpreter, swordsman teacher of Uzaemon

Chimei - Master at shrine

Book III


Robert Hovel - Lieutenant

Wetz - sailing master

John Penhaligon - Captain of HMS Phoebus

Chigwin - steward, young

Abel Wren - second Lieutenant

Banes or Panes - marine

Walker the Scot - marine

Waldron - gunners mate

Moff Wesley - boy, Penzance

Jonas Jones - cook

Michael Tozer - Cornishman

Rafferty - pox-scarred

Jack Fletcher -

Nash - surgeon

Cutlip - Major, from NSW Australia

Talbot - third Lieutenant


Malouf - midshipman

Flowers - coxswain

Smeyers - carpenter

Hartlepool - half-caste, wiry, pony-tailed

Wily - ships chaplain, gnarled


Note: 125 listed in order of appearance. There are probably another 30 not listed, but after Book I it became clear many characters were 1-act and so I tired of tracking them - in any case, these are all the important names, and many not so important.