Japanese missions to Ming China
Japanese missions to Ming China represent a lens for examining and evaluating the relationships between China and Japan in the 15th through the 17th centuries. The nature of these bilateral contacts encompassed political and ceremonial acknowledgment as well as cultural exchanges. The evolution of diplomatic ties accompanied the growing commercial ties which grew over time.
As many as twenty trade missions traveled from Japan to China between 1401 and 1547. Every one of these missions were headed by a Zen Buddhist monk from one of the so-called Kyoto Gozan (京都五山, Kyoto gozan) or "five great Zen temples of Kyoto", consisting of Nanzen-ji, Tenryū-ji, Shokoku-ji, Kennin-ji, Tofuku-ji and Manju-ji.
The economic benefit of the Sinocentric tribute system was profitable trade. The tally trade (勘合貿易, kangō bōeki in Japanese and kanhe maoyi in Chinese) was a system devised and monitored by the Chinese. The tally trade 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.
Over time, the conditions of this mutually beneficial tally trade would evolve beyond its initial perimeters.
|1401–1402||Yoshimochi||Soa (祖阿)||Yongle||The formal diplomatic letter conveyed to the Emperor of China was accompanied by a gift of 1000 ounces of gold and diverse objects; returned with Ming ambassadors Tianlun Daoyi (天倫道彝) and Yian Yiru (一庵一如)|
|1403–1404||Yoshimochi||Kenchū Keimitsu (堅中圭密)||Yongle||Keimitsu was chief abbot of Tenryū-ji monastery. the mission party returned with Ming ambassadors Zhao Juren (趙居任) and Zhang Hong (張洪); also accompanied by monk Daocheng (道成); conveyed "Yongle tallies"|
|1404–1405||Yoshimochi||Myōshitsu Bonryō (明室梵亮)||Yongle||First tally vessel, returned with Ming ambassador Yu Shiji (俞士吉)|
|1405–1406||Yoshimochi||Minamoto no Michikata (源通賢)||Yongle||On orders of Ming emperor, repatriated captured Chinese pirates; returned with Ming ambassadors Pan Ci (潘賜) and Wang Jin (王進)|
|1406–1407||Yoshimochi||Kenchū Keimitsu (堅中圭密)||Yongle||Tribute mission of gratitude to the Ming; returned with Ming ambassador|
|1407||Yoshimochi||Kenchū Keimitsu (堅中圭密)||Yongle||With an embassy of 73, Keimitsu paid tribute and returned captured pirates|
|1408–1409||Yoshimochi||Kenchū Keimitsu (堅中圭密)||Yongle||the large mission party consisted of 300; Keimitsu paid tribute, offered captured pirates, and returned with Ming ambassor Zhou Quanyu (周全渝)|
|1410–1411||Yoshimochi||Kenchū Keimitsu (堅中圭密)||Yongle||Bringing news of installation of Shōgun Yoshimochi; returned with Ming ambassador Wang Jin|
|1433–1434||Yoshinori||Ryūshitsu Dōen (龍室道淵)||Xuande||Embassay of 220; returned with Xuande tallies; accompanied by Ming ambassadors Pan Ci and Lei Chun (雷春)|
|1435–1436||Yoshinori||Jochū Chūsei (恕中中誓)||Zhengtong||Returned with remaining Yongle tallies|
|1453–1454||Yoshimasa||Tōyō Inpō (東洋允澎)||Jingtai||Embassy of 1200 (350 reached the capital); returned with Jingtai tallies|
|1468–1469||Yoshimasa||Tenyo Seikei (天與清啓)||Chenghua||Returned left over Jingtai tallies to Ming and returned with Chenghua tallies|
|1477–1478||Yoshihisa||Jikuhō Myōbō (竺芳妙茂)||Chenghua||Embassy of 300|
|1484–1485||Yoshihisa||Ryōhaku Shūi (了璞周瑋)||Chenghua|
|1495–1496||Yoshizumi||Gyōbu Jumei (堯夫壽蓂)||Hongzhi||Returned with Hongzhi tallies|
|1509||Yoshitane||Song Suqing (宋素卿)||Zhengde||Solo Hosokawa mission|
|1511–1513||Yoshitane||Ryōan Keigo (了庵桂悟)||Zhengde||Party of 600; returned with Zhengde tallies; returned leftover tallies from the Jingtai and Chenghua eras|
|1523||Yoshiharu||Sōsetsu Kendō (宗設謙道)
Rankō Zuisa (鸞岡瑞佐)
|Jiajing||Ōuchi had over 100 in party; Hosokawa had over 100; each domain sent own chief ambassador; parties clashed at Ningbo|
|1539–1541||Yoshiharu||Koshin Sekitei (湖心碩鼎)||Jiajing||Party of 456; solo Ōuchi mission|
|1547–1549||Yoshiteru||Sakugen Shūryō (策彥周良)||Jiajing||Party of 637; Ōuchi vessels; returned Hongzhi and Zhengde tallies|
- Japanese missions to Sui China
- Japanese missions to Tang China
- Japanese missions to Joseon
- Mizuno, Norihito. (2003). China in Tokugawa Foreign Relations: The Tokugawa Bakufu’s Perception of and Attitudes toward Ming-Qing China, pp. 109-112.
- Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time, pp. 110-113; publisher's blurb.
- Fogel, p. 27.
- Baroni, Helen Josephine. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, p. 116.
- Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia, p. 471.
- Titsingh, p. 323.
- Verschuer, Charlotte von. (2006). Across the Perilous Sea : Japanese Trade with China and Korea from the Seventh to the Sixteenth Centuries, p. 113.
- Goodrich, L. Carrington et al. (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644, Vol I, p. 85.
- Verschuer, p. 114.
- Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674032590 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. ISBN 9780231038010; ISBN 9780231038331; OCLC 1622199
- Mizuno, Norihito. (2003). China in Tokugawa Foreign Relations: The Tokugawa Bakufu’s Perception of and Attitudes toward Ming-Qing China, p. 109. excerpt from Japan and Its East Asian Neighbors: Japan's Perception of China and Korea and the Making of Foreign Policy from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century, Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 2004, as cited in Tsutsui, William M. (2009). A Companion to Japanese History, p. 83.
- Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
- (in 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
- Verschuer, Charlotte von. (2006). Across the Perilous Sea : Japanese Trade with China and Korea from the Seventh to the Sixteenth Centuries (Commerce extérieur du Japon des origines au XVIe siècle) translated by Kristen Lee Hunter. Ithaca, New York: East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2006. ISBN 978-1-933-94703-7 ISBN 978-1-933-94733-4 ISBN 1-933-94733-0; OCLC 76809488
- Yoda, Yoshiie. (1996). The Foundations of Japan's Modernization: a comparison with China's Path towards Modernization. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-9-004-09999-9; OCLC 246732011