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Wan-li: Year 38, Month 10, Day 15

29 Nov 1610

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The Ministry of War re-submitted seven proposals on maritime defence put forward by the Fu-jian Grand Coordinator Chen Zi-zhen: "....5. On prohibiting the large ships which sail to Japan, so as to close the route by which the Japanese are enticed. The Fu-jian people trade on the seas for a living and in the past they all went to sea from Hai-cheng and traded with the various islands in the Eastern and Western Oceans. There was a prohibition on fake warrants, a prohibition on spending winters abroad (壓冬) and a prohibition on leaving the borders to engage in unapproved trade. However, we did not cut off their trading avenues, as we did not want them driven into rebellion by poverty. Recently, as trading with Japan has been far more profitable than trading with Luzon, some evil persons bribed the local officials who issued warrants (票引) without authorization, and they went to sea as they wished. Now, large tall-masted ships stretch in an unbroken line to Japan. There is the danger that in future, these traders will collude with and provide assistance to the Japanese. Such danger is beyond words. Now we must find out how they are being guided (繇引), strictly prohibit the spending of winters abroad and prohibit the building of large ships which violate the size limits. Further the power over warrants and salaries should be returned to the maritime route commander, and the various offices should not be permitted to directly issue warrants. Those who rely on influential persons to obstruct the officials and those who are caught violating the prohibitions should be arrested by the grand coordinator and be prosecuted under the law. In serious cases, the details should be fully memorialized and the offenders should be punished for the crime of communicating with the fan and enticing the Japanese..." An Imperial order was issued noting: "The maritime yi are spying on our coastal borders. Defence arrangements must be tight. Implement the measures as proposed."

Shen-zong: juan 476.3a-4b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 117, page 8985/88

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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-38-month-10-day-15, accessed May 26, 2017