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Wu Shijian Tribute Trade
Oct 19, 2017

Wu Shijian Tribute trade

First, the Japanese royal family and businessmen on the Ming Ting's offer, such contributions, the Ming Dynasty generally have value "return", in essence, is the tribute trade. In the early Ming Dynasty, Ming Taizu, in view of the Japanese invaders and Hu Weiyong passed the crime of Japan, refused to accept the Japanese side of the object, and the implementation of the sea ban policy. According to the Japanese ancient books, "Good Neighbors" records, Japan in order to restore Japan-China trade, in the Ming Dynasty Emperor Wen three years (1401) sent messenger Fengtong good, and "sacrifice", which includes " Knife handle ". Ming Dynasty edict also specifically mentioned this handle "sword". Then, the first year of Yongle (1403) Japan's second "sacrifice", the number of knives increased to a hundred. After the knot in the knife is almost one of the most important items, knife varieties also increased. To record the record of Xuande nine years (1434), for example, once on the "offer" of the scabbard is too knife two, black lacquer sheath is more than one hundred, long knife a hundred handle, a total of 202. Preserved ten years of Jingtai and Chenghua nineteen years of the two records, the number of knives and Xuande nine years the same, indicating that the two is fixed. (20) Because of the lack of documentation, we have no way of knowing how much the Japanese sword is in China in the name of tribute. Some people have done statistics, only the Japanese Ashikaga royal dynasties to the Ming Dynasty Yingzong before the emperor's knife, there are more than 1,200, these high-quality Japanese weapons, mainly for Ming Ting's "Guilin Jun" So far still can see. (21) of course the actual number is certainly much larger than 1,200.

Second, the survey trade. In the early Ming Dynasty, Japanese businessmen often under the guise of "tribute" in the name of carrying private goods for trade. Owned "private" especially in the sword. In this regard, the Ming government has repeatedly banned, requiring each "tribute" to carry the sword "no three thousand." (22) Yongle first year, the Japanese tribute to carry weapons sold in the folk, Rites Shang Li Zhigang asked forbidden, and confiscated officials. And the beginning of the throne of the Ming emperor in order to "to Mu China," the foreign Yi said, "the court broad meaning", advocated by the official market price acquisition. (234) However, in order to control the Sino-Japanese trade, but also to distinguish between the pony boat and trade ship, Ming Chengzhu Yongle two years (1404) and Japan formally signed a trade treaty, provided that the Japanese merchant ship to China, must carry Ming Dynasty issued by the "survey" to carry out the trade under the name of tribute. The provisions of ten years a tribute, two hundred staff, two ships. Obviously, this limit is far from meeting the actual needs of the two countries' trade, especially the Japanese side. Xuande early, the Ming Dynasty slightly adjusted, increased to three hundred people, the ship three, but still insist on a decade tribute. In fact, the limits of the boat is difficult to strictly enforce the survey, the size of the trade, the frequency is greater than the Ming Dynasty quota. Japanese merchant ships routinely to the Ming Dynasty "contribution to the party", the sword is the above mentioned two hundred and twenty. In addition is the "king attached to the goods" and the envoy and the monks and laymen and other "self into the material", are actually commodities. Ming Dynasty does not allow private private vend weapons, the Japanese sword sword generally by the official acquisition, the price is very good, "a knife in Japan priced at eight hundred thousand text and even a thousand text, and the Ming Dynasty price for the five thousand text, visible At that time the profits as much as four or five times.