Ryōan Keigo (了庵桂悟 1425–1514?) was a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk and diplomat in the Muromachi period. He was the chief envoy of a 1511–1513 mission sent by the Ashikaga shogunate to the court of the Zhengde Emperor in Beijing.
In 1486, the Rinzai monk Keigo was the 171st abbot of the Tofuku-ji monastery when the honorific title "Ryōan" was conferred by Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado. He was already considered famous when he was designated by Ashikaga Yoshizumi to lead the 1511 mission to China; and Yoshizumi conferred the further honorific title "Butsunichi Zenji," perhaps with the intention of impressing the Chinese.
Mission to China
The economic benefit of the Sinocentric tribute system was profitable trade. The tally trade (kangō bōeki or kanhe maoyi in Chinese) involved exchanges of Japanese products for Chinese goods. The Chinese "tally" was a certificate issued by the Ming. The first 100 such tallies were conveyed to Japan in 1404. Only those with this formal proof of Imperial permission represented by the document were officially allowed to travel and trade within the boundaries of China; and only those diplomatic missions presenting authentic tallies were received as legitimate ambassadors.
|1511-1513||Yoshitane||Keigo||Zhengde||Party of 600; returned with Zhengde tallies; returned leftover tallies from the Jingtai and Chenghua eras.|
- Jinshin nyūmin ki
- Goodrich, L. Carrington et al. (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644, Vol. II, pp. 1149-1150.
- Goodrich, pp. 1231-1232.
- Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time, p. 27; publisher's blurb.
- Fogel, pp. 110-113.
- Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 13-ISBN 9780674032590/10-ISBN 0674032594; OCLC 255142264
- Goodrich, Luther Carrington and Zhaoying Fang. (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644 (明代名人傳), Vol. I; Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644 (明代名人傳), Vol. II. New York: Columbia University Press. 10-ISBN 0231038011/13-ISBN 9780231038010; 10-ISBN 023103833X/13-ISBN 9780231038331; OCLC 1622199
- (French) Titsingh, Isaac, ed. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652], Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 300555357
- Yoda, Yoshiie. (1996). The Foundations of Japan's Modernization: a comparison with China's Path towards Modernization. Leiden: Brill. 10-ISBN 9-004-09999-9/13-ISBN 978-9-004-09999-9; OCLC 246732011