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Hong-wu: Year 5, Month 10, Day 21

16 Nov 1372

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In the past, because the Korean tribute envoys had been coming too frequently, the Emperor sent Yan-an-da-li, a former member of the Yuan Bureau of Military Affairs, to instruct Korea in the Imperial Will and to take gifts of silk gauze and patterned fine silks to confer upon the king [Li] Zhuan. When Yan-an-da-li arrived in Korea, Zhuan sent the palace official Jiang Ren-yu to present a memorial of gratitude to the Imperial Court and to offer tribute of 17 horses, a brocaded bag, bows and arrows, a gold saddle, ginseng and other products. At this time, this country sent Jin Xu and others to the Court in order to offer felicitations on the New Year, and they reached the capital first. As the New Year was still a long time off, the Emperor did not want to detain their envoys and thus, when Ren-yu arrived, all were ordered to return home together. The Emperor thus spoke to the Secretariat officials, saying: "Formerly, because Korea sent tribute too often, Yan-an-da-li was sent to go and transmit the Imperial Will to them. Now, within a year, tribute has arrived several times. This causes difficulty for the people and the envoys suffer many hardships coming across the sea and travelling by road. For example, when Hong Shi-fan was returning home, he fell into great danger, but luckily there was someone to assist him escape and he was able to return and tell of the affair. But otherwise, he may well not have arrived. In ancient times, the various marquis sent a small embassy yearly to the Son of Heaven and every three years sent a large one. As for the fan states and distant countries beyond China, they were only required to come to Court once every reign (世見而已). The presents they brought as tribute were not excessively extravagant. Now, Korea is very close to China and its people are familiar with the classics, histories and cultured things. Their music and ritual are much like those of China and it cannot be considered together with other foreign countries. It should be ordered to send an embassy once every three years and to come but once a year. The local product tribute it is required to bring is but ten bolts of locally-produced cloth. They are not to bring too much. The Secretariat is to arrange for my Will to be made known to them. Also, the newly-submitting distant countries of Champa, Annam, Xi-yang Suo-li (Alt: Xi-yang, Suo-li), Java, Bo-ni, San-fo-qi, Siam (Hu) and Cambodia are also to be advised clearly of my Will." Because the [Korean] envoys had already returned, the Secretariat, in accordance with the Emperor's wishes, sent a despatch of instruction to their king. There was also an Imperial order issued requiring that medicinal preparations (藥餌) be conferred upon Zhuan.

Tai-zu: juan 76.3b-4a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 4, page 1400/01

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/hong-wu/year-5-month-10-day-21, accessed September 23, 2019