Satsuma, Japanese Pirates, and Ming China

  • Masuda Wataru


Zhou Cuizhi (perhaps Zhou Hezhi) arrived in Japan, and, as described in the Riben qishi ji and other Chinese texts, ‘forged a father-son bond with the King of Satsuma.’ This may have been no more than Cuizhi’s own self-promotion or perhaps a narrative of interesting exaggerations by rumor-mongers. We should not overlook the fact that the relationship between Satsuma and Cuizhi or someone like Cuizhi, namely a Chinese pirate-trader of that time, may be based on wildly inaccurate or baseless stories. Let me dig a bit further into this question now.


Main Route Chinese Text Imperial Court Merchant Vessel Overseas Trader 
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  1. c.
    Xu Xueju, Jiajing dongnan pingwo tonglu (Nanjing: Jiangsu shengli guoxue tushuguan, 1932); Guochao dianhui (Taibei reprint: Xuesheng shuju, 1965), 4 volumes.Google Scholar
  2. k.
    Masuda here makes the common error of attributing authorship of the Chouhai tubian to Hu Zongxian. It was really the work of Zheng Ruozeng. This has been demonstrated now by several scholars, including Tanaka Takeo and Wang Xiangrong. See, for example, Tanaka Takeo, ‘Chūkai zuhen no seiritsu’ (The Formation of the Chouhai tubian), in his Chūsei kaigai kōshō shi no kenkyū (Studies in the History of Overseas Relations in the Medieval Period) (Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1981), pp. 215–26, a reprinting of his 1953 article which appeared in Nihon rekishi; Wang Xiangrong, ‘Guanyu Chouhai tubian’ (On the Chouhai tubian), in his Zhong-Ri guanxi shi wenxian lunkao (Essays on Materials in the History of Sino-Japanese Relations) (Changsha: Yuelu shusha, 1985), pp. 159–217: and Stanley Y. C Huang, ‘Cheng Jo-tseng,’ in Dictionary of Ming Biography, ed. L. Carrington Goodrich and Chaoying Fang (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 204–08.Google Scholar

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© Joshua A. Fogel 2000

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  • Masuda Wataru

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