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Wan-li: Year 29, Month 2, Day 1

5 Mar 1601

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Ma Tang, the Tian-jin River Vice Director of the Directorate for Imperial Accouterments, forwarded the local tribute products offered in tribute and the luggage of Li Ma-dou of Da Xi-yang. The Ministry of Rites memorialized: "The `Collected Statutes' only note the country of Xi-yang and the country of Xi-yang Suo-li, and do not record Da Xi-yang. The veracity of the claim is uncertain. Also, he has resided [in China] for 20 years, and is only now offering tribute. This is different from those who reside in the distance and who, admiring righteousness, come especially to offer tribute. Further, the tribute offerings are pictures of the Lord of Heaven (天主) and of the mother of the Lord of Heaven, which are not noted in the classics (屬不經), and in the luggage he has brought, there are the bones of spirits and other goods. If they were spirits, obviously they could ascend in the air. How then has he obtained such bones? They are what Han Yu of the Tang dynasty referred to as `evil and repugnant vestiges, which should not be allowed to be brought into the palace'. Further, these local products have been sent directly, without being examined and translated by our ministry. This involves the transgression of improper submission by the vice director examination. It also involves the crime of negligence of duty by ourselves. These crimes cannot be shirked. Also, Imperial orders were issued requiring that he be sent to the ministry, but he did not go to the ministry for investigation by interpreters, but instead is privately lodging in monk's quarters. We do not know his intentions. It is noted that the precedents require that all tribute yi have rewards conferred upon them in return, and that tribute envoys be banqueted and rewarded. Li Ma-dou is a yi who has long been resident here and he has offered tribute by himself. Although there is no precedent for this, as he has made great efforts in travelling here and has offered his small gifts, he perhaps should be rewarded, so as to sway this person from the distance. It is requested that he be rewarded at the same levels as those people who have brought tribute from the country of Siam and who have been kept in Guang-dong, and that he be given the value of the goods he has presented. Further, Li Ma-dou should be given headwear and a belt in accordance with the precedents to take back home. He should not be permitted to secretly reside at either of the two capitals or have dealings with the eunuchs, as this will lead to further complications." There was no response to the memorial.

Shen-zong: juan 356.1a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 112, page 6647/48

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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/wan-li/year-29-month-2-day-1, accessed October 23, 2019