Wang Zhi (pirate)

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wang.

Wang Zhi (Chinese: 汪直 or 王直)[1] was a Chinese pirate and trader of the 16th century, one of the chief named and known figures among the wokou ("Japanese" pirates) prevalent at the time. It is said he was aboard the Portuguese ship of Fernão Mendes Pinto when it landed on Tanegashima, off the coast of Japan in 1543, marking the first contact between Europe and Japan.[2]

In 2000, a monument was erected to Wang Zhi in his hometown of Huangshan City. In 2005, two Chinese professors defaced this monument, explaining that Wang Zhi was a "race traitor".[3]


  1. ^ Note: The History of Ming records his name as 汪直, whilst the Annals of Zhejiang lists his name as 王直.
  2. ^ Arano, Yasunori. "The Formation of a Japanocentric World Order." International Journal of Asian Studies 2:2 (2005). p189. (Arano points out that the ship, carrying a number of Portuguese, and famous for this first European-Japanese contact, may have in fact been a Chinese junk.)
  3. ^ 新華社通信オンライン2005年2月2日記事「日本人が建てた倭寇の墓壊す=「中国人蔑視」と反発−安徽省」