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Tian-qi: Year 5, Month 4, Day 1

6 May 1625

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The Fu-jian Grand Coordinator Nan Ju-yi memorialized: "The maritime people use the seas as their fields. The more prominent of these people are merchants who trade with the Eastern and Western Oceans. Officials supply them with warrants and the military and the civil administrations depend on the proceeds for half their funds. Thus, these merchants are not subject to legal prohibition. How do we know that these commercial ships are indeed going to these countries and not going to Japan? The less prominent people are fishermen and their small boats (舴艋) are innumerable. Although they have been prohibited from building large double-masted ships, have been organized into tithings and made responsible for each others' actions, and are not permitted to venture far out to sea, they have long fished around the various islands of the Eastern fan. If they are excessively restrained, their livelihood avenues will be cut off. It is thus that they continue to go to these dangerous areas.... Added to this are the 'red yi'. Evil persons attach themselves to them in droves. Such persons also lead the Japanese to assist the yi, and guide the yi in helping the Japanese. The yi use all the Chinese goods which they are supplied to bribe the Japanese and, as the Japanese are addicted to Chinese goods, they do everything they can to assist the yi. Further, the yi and the Japanese, together with the pirates in the ocean join together to form a hostile force...Now, the Grand Defender Yu Zi-gao has memorialized: `The Quan-zhou person Li Dan has long operated in Japan, and his relative Xu Xin-su is now in custody. We should keep Xin-su's son as a hostage and send Xin-su to go and instruct Dan to realize achievements in order to atone for his crimes. If Dan will act for us, the yi will be isolated and we will be able to defeat them.' On this basis, I sent the Maritime Route Commissioner Sun Guo-zhen there. They discussed the matter repeatedly and finally [Li Dan] agreed. Subsequently, the Japanese ships were gradually drawn away. The pirates all dispersed and the yi were isolated without support. When the Great Army approached, they abandoned their fortress and fled. According to recent reports on the 'red yi' by spies, they still have several ships anchored in the Eastern fan, but they are going to proceed to Luzon. Luzon is one of our subordinate countries and now there are many merchants taking advantage of the Spring tides to go there. If they meet the yi at sea, the results will indeed be unfortunate. This is the first of the concerns. The Eastern fan is a refuge for the Japanese pirates. Although they are temporarily estranged from the yi, they have long been lured by the profit from the yi and their forces will again join together. The lesser of them will plunder in the ocean, while the major will want to trade. They will then spread and it will be difficult to defeat them. This is the second concern. Even ignoring the `red yi, the Eastern fan pirates will follow and rely on the Japanese. In our southern provinces (陸梁), those who attach themselves to the yi will indeed bring calamity to us, while those who do not attach themselves to the yi will still by themselves constitute a calamity for us. I secretly asked the grand defender: `If we could get the yi and the Japanese to destroy each other, we could reap the benefits.' The grand defender said: `Yes, yes. We will try that. However, the people of the seas are talkative and we did not achieve our goal of using yi to attack yi......" The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War.

Xi-zong: juan 58.1a-2a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 130, page 2661/63

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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/tian-qi/year-5-month-4-day-1, accessed March 23, 2017