Johannis de Rijke

civil engineer from the Netherlands

Johannis de Rijke (5 December 1842-10 January 1913) was a Dutch civil engineer. He was a foreign advisor to the Japanese government in the Meiji period.[1]

Johannis de Rijke, statue in Aisai, Aichi

Early lifeEdit

Rijke was born in Noord-Beveland in the Netherlands.[2]


In 1865, Rijke worked the chief construction foreman for water projects near Amsterdam.[3]


Rijke was a government advisor in Japan from 1873 to 1903. He worked on flood control and water management projects. He led projects which improved the ports of Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hiroshima (Ujina) and Fukuoka (Hakata).[3]

After 1891, Rijke was an official of the Home Ministry. He became Vice Minister. It was uncommon for a foreigner to be promoted to such high rank in a Japanese government bureaucracy.[4]


In 1876, Rijke worked on Yangtze River projects.[5]

In 1901, worked on the Yellow River flood control project.[1]


  • Order of the Sacred Treasure, 1903[3]
  • Order of Orange-Nassau, 1911.[2]
  • Order of the Dutch Lion, 1913.[6]
  • Order of Leopold.[2]

Related pagesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "De Rijke, Johannes" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 152.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 (in Dutch) Rijsbergen, Dennis. "Johannis de Rijke, ridder van de rijzende zon," Archived 2013-05-05 at the Wayback Machine Beroemde Zeeuwen. 27 August 2009; retrieved 2013-4-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chubu Regional Construction Bureau, "The Father of the Riparian Work on the Kiso-Sansen: Johannis de Rijke"; retrieved 2013-4-5.
  4. Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, "Dutch-Japanese relations, Dutch Civil Engineers in the Meiji Period" Archived 2016-12-09 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2013-4-5.
  5. Yellow River Conservancy Commission, "Speech by Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange," 2005; archived; retrieved 2013-4-5.
  6. (in Dutch) Noord-Beveland, "Standbeelden Johannis de Rijke, Colijnsplaat"; retrieved 2013-4-5.

Other wesbsitesEdit

  Media related to Johannes de Rijke at Wikimedia Commons