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Wan-li: Year 5, Month 7, Day 3

7 Jul 1577

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Previously, the Censor Chen Wen-sui, regional inspector of Yun-nan, memorialized 10 proposals on restraining and guarding against the native people and the yi:

"1. On sending orders to the various yi. The Mang chieftain of Ava-Burma and Si Ge of Meng-yang are wrangling while Han Ba of Mu-bang and Pa Wen of Gan-yai are feuding and trying to kill each other. The region is gradually becoming unmanageable. We should promulgate instructions by which to dispose of the cases of those who formerly sought the seals and gold warrants of Ava-Burma and the various other offices. Those who requested permission to inherit posts should also be provided with the Imperial calendar. If they continue to engage in aggression and disturbances, plans for punishment and elimination should be decided upon.

"2. On bringing the three pacification commissions to peace. The three pacification commissions guard against the six pacification superintendencies without and protect Jin-chi and Teng-chong within. Recently, they have all had internal troubles. Their armed strength has declined and they have been unable to safeguard their areas. We should pay attention to soothing and assisting them. In Nan Dian, we should assign Dao Luo-can fields, so as to strengthen his allegiance. In Long-chuan, we should assist the isolated Duo Zhong in order to consolidate his position. In Gan-yai, we should determine and promulgate who is to inherit the post, so as to legitimize the succession.

"3. On establishing a commander to control matters. In the three pacification commissions, we should establish one assistant regional commander's position and also station troops there. Being close, he will be able to examine and handle yi matters. The Lin-an assistant regional commander should be shifted and based at the Hong-guo Post, where he will be well-located to train troops and prepare defences to guard against the Mang chieftain.

"4. On building walls. To the South of the Teng-chong city wall, we should build an outer perimeter wall. The three pacification commissions should all be ordered to build city walls.

"5. On the necessity of ensuring sufficient grain for the troops.

"6. On prohibiting communication with the yi.

"7. Relaxing the rules and regulations governing succession to and inheritance of posts. In succession to or inheritance of native official posts, because the various offices contradict each another in their examinations and the clerks engage in extortion and guileful actions, it results in alienation. It should be required of the grand coordinator and grand defender that when a yi office advises of the need for succession, they immediately send an assistant commissioner to personally investigate and to bestow the approval. In order to facilitate the change-over, of the silver they should pay, it should be permitted that half be paid in grain. If the person reported as due to inherit the post is still a juvenile, he should be provided with headwear and a belt, and when he reaches maturity he should be formally appointed to the post. If the main branch of the family has no heir and a secondary branch has someone capable of controlling the region, he should be appointed in accordance with the precedents and there should be no need for a further investigation.

"8. Being lenient in respect of those in Yi-xi. Si Ge and the Mang have been feuding for generations. Recently, he has reformed and returned to allegiance. Although Han Ba had attached himself to Mang and rebelled, he has been quite repentant. They should be appointed to their former posts and be given back their warrants and seals so as to sway them.

"9. On selecting officials.

"10. On assessing achievements and crimes. In previous years, the grand coordinators and grand defenders maintained good relations and they achieved success everywhere they went. However, during the Jia-jing (1522-66) reign, the grand coordinators had great power and the grand defenders began to shirk their duties. In recent years, in the use of troops against the bandits, they did not act in accordance with the plans and did not act in ways commensurate with their posts. Further, when things went badly, they were able to shirk off the crimes. They should all be punished."

The ministry re-submitted the memorial, noting:

"A warrant, a seal and a set of credentials should be issued. A previous official Liu Jian made proposals in respect of Meng-yang, saying that if Si Lu was appointed as an official he could still be controlled, while if he was not appointed as an official, he would arrogate a title to himself. It might be best to appoint him as an official. This is the best policy for controlling the yi. In bringing to submission the distant yi, we should start with the yi close by. In handling yi matters we should start from governing them within. It is requested that all be approved as memorialized."

This was approved.

Shen-zong: juan 64.1a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 99, page 1415/16

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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-5-month-7-day-3, accessed October 23, 2019