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Cast in silver : the rise and demise of Kyushu corsairs in a unifying Japan, 1540-1640 Petrucci, Maria Grazia 2017

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CAST IN SILVER: THE RISE AND DEMISE OF KYUSHU CORSAIRS IN A UNIFYING JAPAN, 1540–1640  by  Maria Grazia Petrucci  MA, The University of British Columbia, 2006  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (HISTORY)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  May 2017  © Maria Grazia Petrucci, 2017 ii Abstract Piracy in Japan was transformed both politically and economically between 1550 and 1640, in the period of Japanese territorial unification. With the advent of the silver trade, what had been an independent economic enterprise became a sponsored one. Japanese piracy increased in the sixteenth century, and in a structurally different manner from what had transpired in previous centuries. It was now structurally organized as a trade enterprise and was often sponsored by landed power holders. For this reason, pirates are defined herein as corsairs, since they were sponsored by and dependent on daimyō. With a sole focus on Kyushu, this dissertation examines events affecting the Kyushu daimyō, taking as catalyst the annexation of Ryukyu. Revived by the silver trade in Kyushu, Japanese pirates were allowed to find their own economic and political niches in the territories and coastal areas that they occupied. As their economic circumstances improved under the sponsorship of those in political power, in most cases they also found it necessary to adopt a political demeanour—that is, of corsairs—that fitted the times. Further, legislation that aimed to eliminate piracy let them collude further with local daimyō for political protection; failure to do so resulted in the disappearance of smaller, less powerful, piratical clans. The unification of Japan and adverse economic conditions tied corsairs to local power holders. The Korean wars of Hideyoshi (1592–98), and the subsequent battle of Sekigahara, resulted in the deaths and reallocations of powerful corsair clans. Their piratical endeavours were brought to a close not only by the unification wave and its legislation, but through all-encompassing wars that changed the economic and political conditions such that piracy became less than desirable from the point of view of the central government. It was eliminated, while as an international activity piracy was left to foreign mercenaries such as the Dutch and Chinese. iii Lay Summary The main purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the economic effects the silver trade had on the piratical clans of Kyushu from the mid sixteenth to the early seventeenth century. The need for such an inquiry and analysis lies in the fact that very few studies in English are available on the topic of Japanese piracy. In addition, this study looks at the transformation that brought Japanese pirates closer to local rulers while Japan was being territorially unified as a nation under the Tokugawa regime. The fact that the increasing availability of silver led to pirates becoming corsairs became a challenge to the political will of the new rulers, who consequently suppressed pirates and corsairs by monopolising silver production and imposing strict trading policies.  iv Preface This dissertation is an original, unpublished and independent work by the author.  A paper based on Chapter 3was published in the Journal of Northeast Asian History, vol. 10 no. 1 (summer, 2013) as “Salt, Shores and Shipbuilding: the Geo-political, Interpersonal, and Economic Networks of the Ōtomo Corsairs of Northern Kyushu.”  v Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v List of Tables ............................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii List of Maps .................................................................................................................................. ix Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................x Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1 Introduction: Cast in Silver: The Rise and Demise of Kyushu Corsairs in a Unifying Japan, 1540–1640 ................................................................................................................1 1.2 The Historiography of Pirates (and Corsairs) in Japan ........................................................5 1.2.1 Why Use the Term Corsairs for Japanese Pirates? ................................................18 1.3 Dissertation Methodology, Structure, and Sources............................................................32 Chapter 2: The Development of Japanese Pirates as Corsairs  on the Maritime Routes from Japan to Ryukyu, 1520s–1570s ...................................................................................................48 2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................48 2.1.1 The Competition for Maritime Routes in the Yamato–Ryukyu Trade: Piracy as a Gateway to Foreign Markets, 1490–1590 ..............................................................51 2.2 The Rise and Fall of the Ryukyu Kingdom as a Transshipment Centre, 1450–1530 ........61 2.3 The Role of the Tōkara and Amami Ōshima Islands: From Seven Islands to Treasure Islands ................................................................................................................................72 2.4 The Economic Shift from Ryukyu to Tsushima Caused by the Discovery of Silver, 1540–60 ................................................................................................................................77 2.5 Conclusion .........................................................................................................................92 Chapter 3: The Political and Economic Networks  of the Corsairs of Northern Kyushu.....95 3.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................95 3.2 The Ōtomo Corsairs’ Geopolitical Integration and Associations in Northern Kyushu .....98 3.3 The Ōtomo Corsairs’ Economic, Strategic and Religious Networks ..............................112 3.3.1 The Kibe...............................................................................................................112 3.3.2 The Manai Group Led by the Watanabe Clan .....................................................122 3.3.3 The Last Phase of Corsairing: The Wakabayashi in the Changing Economic and Political Environment of Northern Kyushu .........................................................131 vi 3.4 Ōtomo Corsairs in Yoshiaki and Yoshishige’s Territorial Aggrandizement, 1530–86 ...138 3.5 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................148 Chapter 4: The Closing Door: The Effects of the Silver Trade on Hizen and Hirado’s Piracy ..........................................................................................................................................150 4.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................150 4.2 The Conflictual Aspects of Hirado: Sino-Japanese Piracy Rivalries in Hizen ................154 4.3 The Fukahori Pirate Clan .................................................................................................156 4.4 The Kozasa Clan ..............................................................................................................165 4.5 The Boost to the Silver Economy and its Effects in Hirado and Hizen ...........................180 4.6 Sino-Dutch Piratical Networks as a Legitimate Trading Option, 1609-1625. .................193 4.7 The Losses of Japanese Mercantile Entrepreneurs versus the Foreign Pirate Networks .200 4.8 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................203 Chapter 5: The Annexation of Ryukyu as a Catalyst for the Transformation of Piracy in the Southern Domains of Satsuma, 1599–1620s ......................................................................205 5.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................205 5.2 The Condition of the Shimazu Lords at the Outset of Tokugawa Rule ...........................207 5.3 The Annexation of Ryukyu as the Apex of the Tokugawa Economic Policies ...............220 5.3.1 Tokugawa International Trade Regulations: The Shuinjō ...................................227 5.3.2 Tokugawa Domestic Policies: The Itowappu Nakama and the Coinage of the Silver Chōgin .......................................................................................................231 5.4 Shimazu’s Objectives in the Tokugawa International Trade Policies .............................238 5.5 Changes in the Shimazu-Ryukyu Trade ..........................................................................250 5.6 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................256 Chapter 6: The Disappearance of Kyushu Corsairs ...............................................................258 6.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................258 6.2 Japanese Corsairs: Further Constraints in the Early Tokugawa Period ...........................260 6.3 The Political Environment after Sekigahara leading to the Battle of Osaka, 1600–14 ...272 6.4 The Anti-Christian Edicts and the “Christian” Shimabara Rebellion ..............................284 6.5 The Economic Rebellion and the Expulsion of Portuguese Traders (1637–39) ..............291 6.6 Foreign Corsairs: The Chinese and Dutch at Hirado (1620–40) .....................................299 6.7 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................311 Chapter 7: Conclusion ...............................................................................................................313 7.1 Dissertation Goals ............................................................................................................313 7.2 Limitations and Delimitations ..........................................................................................325 Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................329    vii List of Tables Table 1-1. Table of Weights, Measures, and Currency .................................................................46 Table 5-1. Prices for Textiles Calculated per 1 Tan ....................................................................246     viii List of Figures Figure 3-1. Watanabe monjo, Ōita Kenritsu Sentetsu Shiryō Kan..............................................127 Figure 3-2. Ōtomo Sōrin’s cannon at Ōtomo kan Park, Usuki city. ...........................................130 Figure 4-1. Detail of tuff bricks of the Kozasa Fortress, influenced by Korean architectural techniques ..................................................................................................................169 Figure 4-2. Tomb of Kozasa Sumitoshi, located at Taira no ura Fortress. Photo: Wolfgang Michael ......................................................................................................................181 Figure 6-1. Mattheus De Couros, Cartas Rejecting Jesuit Involvement in the Battle of Osaka (1616). ........................................................................................................................287 Figure 6-2. The tomb of Zheng Chenggong at Hirado. Photo: the author. .................................302     ix List of Maps Map 1-1. Map of Japan ..................................................................................................................47 Map 2-1. Maritime routes from Satsuma to Ryukyu. ....................................................................50 Map 2-2. The Harbour of Naha and the Island of Kumejima, Ryukyu Koku Zu dated 1696. With permission of Okinawa Prefectural Library. ................................................................69 Map 3-1. Kyushu, showing a detail of Kunisaki Peninsula. ..........................................................97 Map 3-2. Kunisaki Peninsula, Keichō Kuniezu circa 1610, Usuki shi bunkazai kanri senta. .....123 Map 4-1. Map of Kozasa and Fukahori’s controlled territories...................................................153 Map 4-2. (Nanaetsugamma. Particular of Blaeus map of Japan, Iaponia Regnum, 1655. Copia Digitais Publica.  Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal). .................................................154 Map 6-1. Route of the Nakagawa house to Kyushu. ...................................................................272 Map 6-2. Shimabara and Amakusa. .............................................................................................292   x Acknowledgements I am grateful to my supervisor Professor Tim Brook, whose support throughout this process has been vital, and to my Committee Members, namely Professors Richard Unger, and Sebastian Prange, for their patience. I would like to thank also Professor Leo Shin and Professor Nam-lin Hur for having accepted to be my examiners, with Professor Millie Creighton. I would like to acknowledge the Japan Foundation, which provided a fellowship that allowed me to undertake research in Japan at the University of Kyushu from 2010–11 under the supervision of Professor Nakano Hitoshi. I would also like to mention and give my thanks to a myriad of others who have not only taught me the academic facets of doing research in Japan but also supported me with their friendliness and availability. Among those I thank Professors Nakajima Gakusho, Hattori Hideo, Saeki Kōji, and Itoh Kōji, and my classmates in Japan, too numerous to name, with whom I shared hours of long library studies at Hakozaki and Ito Campuses. A special thank you to Kyushu University Manuscript Library (aka Bunka Shi) Chief Librarian Mr. Kajishima Masaji, who spent many hours sharing resources and information, and even feeding us students both intellectually and literally, by sharing his own tea-times and lunch times with all of us graduate students. A word of thanks goes also to the various professors in the diverse manuscript libraries where I had become a well-known foreign guest, namely the Yamaguchi Prefectural Librarian Professor Kanaya Masato and Professor Matsubara at the Sentetsu Manuscript Library in Oita. My gratitude goes as well to the friends of the Usuki Cultural Research Centre, namely Mr. Kanda Takashi and Ms. Hieda Satomi, to the Oita City Hall Historic Resource Centre, in the person of Mr. Tsubone Shinya; and I cannot forget the kindness of the people in charge at the xi Iwami Historic Manuscript Centre and to Mr. Metsugi for his help in locating material at Iwami, nor the availability of Professor Oka Mihoko who allowed me to spend two weeks in Tokyo doing research at a critical time, just two months after the great earthquake of March 11, 2011 (according to the original plan I should have been in Tokyo on March 12!). I also would like to mention all the friends at the Fukuoka Public Library (manuscript section) who allowed me over a period of six months to study manuscripts from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, widening my horizons and skills in the reading of primary sources. Among other academic friends I have to thank Professors Kawato Takashi, Adam Clulow, and Olah Csaba for their help and expert knowledge. A thank you to my whole family, in particular to my sister who, worried because I had been in Japan when the earthquake struck, envisioned me going to pick up old manuscripts buried beneath corpses in some unknown Japanese library, and urged me to travel back home! Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to all my editors who withstood the lengthy process of my creation with patience and professionalism.    xii Dedication  Dedicated to everyone who guides others in the darker moments of their lives, like a lighthouse guides lost seafarers in a tempest.1  Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Introduction: Cast in Silver: The Rise and Demise of Kyushu Corsairs in a Unifying Japan, 1540–1640 This study is an assessment of the major pirate clans of Kyushu and their transformation into corsairs for Kyushu’s lords, brought about at first by an increased commercialization and then influenced by the silver trade during the wars of territorial expansion. It is also an assessment of their demise, due to silver and trade regulating policies implemented by the newly established Tokugawa government from 1603, soon after Japan’s territorial unification, until 1639. At the same time, it offers an analysis of pirates’ (and corsairs’) economic realities, both domestic and in dealing with international trade, such as diplomatic or tribute trade and illegal trade, also called piratical trade (bahan bōeki); these economic realities allowed piracy in all its facets to co-exist and to thrive within the mainframe of politically established tributary trade systems that in turn underwent drastic changes. Internationally the tribute trade regulated by Ming China clashed with the mercantile trade performed by the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch, especially after the discovery of silver in Japan. Domestically, the competition between the Japanese government (bakufu) and local Kyushu lords for maritime routes and new markets in East Asia was fought on the seas, employing pirates (and later corsairs) who carved a niche in such competition for themselves. Between the late fifteenth and late sixteenth centuries, the maritime routes from southern Kyushu to Ryukyu were one of the main stages of such competition. By taking as a catalyst the kingdom of Ryukyu, from the fifteenth to the early seventeenth century, I intend to demonstrate how pirates were co-opted into becoming corsairs, authorized to undertake their maritime 2  activities in various geopolitical settings due to the effects of a commercial economy augmented by the silver trade, from the Amami Ōshima and Tōkara archipelago to the coasts of southern and northern Kyushu. Hence, this study analyzes the extent to which the silver trade affected the transformation of pirates into corsairs in Japan from 1542 to circa 1592, coupled with an explanation for why they were not integrated into the maritime trading landscape that emerged in the Tokugawa period, instead opposing it until the battle of Shimabara in 1639, when pirates and corsairs were replaced by smugglers. However, to write in the first place about this transformation and about the use of the term corsairs in the context of Japanese history, I find it useful to compare, and in some cases to contrast, the geopolitical environment in which Mediterranean and Japanese corsairs dwelled. In Japan, as well as in Europe, to engage in the war of corsa was a violent but institutionalized maritime activity; the institutional element distinguished it from piracy. Corsairing is here interpreted as a form of alternative commerce cum legitimated maritime violence, influenced by political instability that occurred in time of crisis—a commerce of war, as outlined in the work of historian Gonçal Lopez Nadal, whose conception of corsairing is understood as an alternative to neutral trade and smuggling.1My hypothesis is that Japanese pirates, who became corsairs, came to be eliminated at first by the Toyotomi edicts and later by Tokugawa economic policies, and were then replaced by proxy trade or neutral trade and by smugglers. This hypothesis mirrors Nadal’s theory on corsairs, which has shaped my approach.2 In Kyushu, corsairing began due to political instability; conflicts among various daimyō to expand into each other’s territories were sustained by piratical trade or bahan bōeki, trade                                                  1 Gonçal Lopez Nadal, “Corsairing as a Commercial System: The Edge of Legitimate Trade,” in Bandits at Sea ed. R. C. Pennell (New York: New York University Press, 2001). According to Nadal, neutral trade was trade carried out by a proxy, while smuggling was an enterprise whose political engagements differed from the war of corsa. 2 Nadal, “Corsairing as a Commercial System,”125-135. 3  exercised by illegal means by pirates, merchant-pirates, and corsairs.3 In addition, late sixteenth-century Japanese society was what Nadal would have considered “economically thwarted by an unchallengeable commercial competitor” which was Ming China, due to the maritime bans imposed, off and on, on Japanese trade.4 Given the impossibility of trading legally, the Japanese became pirates and later corsairs. Historical events in Japan in the early seventeenth century suggest that Nadal’s theoretical model can only be applied to the Japanese case with a twist, as the corsairs, whom Nadal sees as being preceded by a proxy trade and later by smugglers, by the mid-seventeenth century came to be suppressed in favour of neutral trade or proxy trade performed by the Dutch and Chinese—often in conflict with each other—or by smugglers. My project dealing with piracy reassesses Japanese territorial, political, and economic unification from a southern maritime perspective. Kyushu was very much central to trade in Southeast and East Asia. Internationally, it deals with piracy between Japan and other nations (in political and geoeconomic terms) such as Ryukyu, Ming China, and Korea to a certain extent, while analyzing the causes for piracy and its transformation as rooted in the export of silver coupled with Japanese domestic policy and issues; as such it represents a novelty. Until now, scholars who have dealt with piracy and silver exports, chiefly Kobata Atsushi, have not explored Japanese domestic policies in the transitional period from the late Sengoku to the early Tokugawa period, mostly because to do so is rather cumbersome, as the issue of trade becomes intertwined with domains versus central government policies. On the other hand, scholars who have dealt with piracy have only looked at the life of commoners, like Amino Yoshihiko, or the history of violence; some have treated pirates as naval forces at the service of local lords. By                                                  3 In my view, pirates were not authorized to exercise violence and trade by any authority but their own and merchant-pirates were mostly merchants who traded illegally and were perceived as pirates by their own authorities, while corsairs had the backing of powerful rulers to trade and, if necessary, to perpetrate violence. 4Nadal, “Corsairing as a Commercial System,”130. 4  looking at pirates mostly in a static unchangeable environment or when analyzing their environments, they have limited their analysis to the Sengoku period by briefly acknowledging the disappearance of pirates as the new regime took over. These authors have stopped their investigation with the end of the old regime, not dealing with the problematic of what happened to pirates in the new regime. This dissertation, by portraying the functions and transformation of piracy, geographically from Ryukyu to northern Kyushu and chronologically from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century, overlaps a conventionally established boundary between the late medieval period and the early modern one, and attempts to demonstrate the dynamic transformations taking place during a period of state formation. Furthermore, it reassesses Japanese pirates as corsairs and as dynamic characters with multiple identities and roles that allowed them to divide their loyalties among various organizations and enterprises. Therefore, it does so by taking into consideration the economic and political changes affecting Japanese pirates historically termed kaizoku (sea gangs or pirates 海賊), keigoshū (protection groups 警護衆), kaihei (naval militia海兵) and, to a certain extent, kaishō (merchant pirates 海商), often also mistaken as wakō (multiethnic pirates 倭寇), and residing in Kyushu. I refer to the pirates of Kyushu as corsairs because no comparable Japanese terminology corresponds to “corsair” as a person, but only in reference to “corsairs’ ship” (shakusen).5 Second, this project is significant for understanding the historical context of state formation, particularly in regards to the control of sea lanes and the acquisition, control, and export of an important economic resource: silver.                                                   5 Ōyama Shigeyuki, “Kaizoku (the Corsairs) ni okeru Bairon no hangyu,” Hiroshima daigaku sōgō gakakubu kiyo 5 (1999): 127-147. Ōyama Shigeyuki, a Japanese linguist, claims that the word for pirate is a synonym for corsair because indeed the differentiation can be only made from a European viewpoint. 5  1.2 The Historiography of Pirates (and Corsairs) in Japan In order to contextualize my enquiry, it is important to first discuss the historiography of pirates and corsairs in Japan and particularly in Kyushu proper, which for centuries represented the gateway for access to the Inland Sea and the centres of consumption such as Kyoto and Osaka, the loci of imperial and military authorities. In addition, Kyushu had several harbours that provided commercial nodes to trade with Chosŏn Korea, Ming China, and in the south, Ryukyu and South East Asia. Its maritime history comprises diplomatic and commercial exchanges intertwined with piracy. Pirates in Kyushu assumed main roles in the above-mentioned interactions and between local rulers and foreign countries. Extant written records dating back to as early as the ninth century document pirates raiding the Kyushu coast. Silla (Korean) pirates, led by the infamous Chang Pogo, and pirates from the Amami Ōshima Islands attacked Kyushu harbours and looted ships frequently. The Sumitomo tsuitōki (Record of the Pursuit and Capture of Sumitomo) demonstrates that Japanese pirates were also active. After his appointment as provincial secretary in Iyo (Shikoku), Fujiwara no Sumitomo, the son of a middle-ranking family of the noble Fujiwara lineage, became the leader of pirates, and in 941 he raided and destroyed the temple complex of Dazaifu, a symbol of imperial power in Kyushu.6 The episode of Sumitomo is well known because it was recorded and because Sumitomo was tied to the nobility, but it also shows the presence of voiceless and statusless pirates who fought to survive. By the fifteenth century, the Rōjōdō nihon kōroku (Record of travelling to Japan) written in 1420 by Song Hŭi-gyŏng (1376–1446), an envoy to Japan, documents that pirates had become organized. Song wrote of organized Japanese pirate                                                  6 Bruce Batten, Gateway to Japan: Hakata in War and Peace, 500-1300 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006), 93-95. 6  gangs extorting toll fees at maritime straits where they resided. In Amakagaseki (nowadays the Strait of Shimonoseki) at 5 ri 7 from the toll barrier his ship encountered pirates who boarded at night with smaller vessels and identified themselves as escorting ships.8 Song expressed doubt about their being pirates instead of naval militia intended here to mean maritime warriors sent by a legitimate ruler in their function as naval protection. They were in fact pirates, controlling the strait that escorted diplomatic envoys. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Tsushima, the Islands of Gotō, Hirado in Hizen, and the islands close to Hakata, had several pirate clans residing there, the so called wakō (倭寇) in the modern Japanese language and waegu in the Korean language (pirates of mixed ethnicities, mainly Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, some European and Southeast Asians).9 The word wakō, however, was only used to describe pirates who arrived on Chinese and Korean shores in both Korean records, such as Haedong chegukki, and the later Chinese record, Chouhai tubian, among others. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, wakō attacks and pillages on the Korean coast became so intense that the Korean court negotiated with the Sō daimyō of Tsushima to eliminate piracy in exchange for more trade relations.10 Chinese scholars, basing their claims on Chinese texts, interpreted wakō as mainly composed of Japanese pirates, while Japanese scholars, such as Matsura Akira, consider wakō to be the pirates that looted ships and villages ashore on the Chinese and Korean coasts.11 Although                                                  7 Luis Frois,  Historia de Japam, vol. I, ed. José Wicki (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa, 1976), 23. One ri was approx. 4 km. Tonomura Hitomi stated that one ri was 3.93 Km. Tonomura Hitomi, Community and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), xvi. 8 Song Hŭi-gyŏng, Rōjōdō nihon kōroku, ed. Murai Shosuke (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2008), 80-81. 9 In the same record the word for navy (suigun 水軍) also appears, but it came to be used in Japan only in the Edo period (1603-1867). 10 Prominent in the field of piracy between Korean and Japan are scholars like Murai Shosuke, Saeki Kōji, and Kobata Atsushi. 11 Matsura Akira, Higashi Ajia kaiichi no kaizoku to Ryukyu (Tokyo: Akira Matsura, 2008), 22-23. 7  Chinese and Korean sources identify wakō as Japanese pirates (wa), in the early 1980s Tanaka Takeo promoted the distinction between wakō as multiethnics and mostly Chinese nationals, and kaizoku, or Japanese pirates residing in Japan.12 Tanaka wrote mainly about Chinese residents in Japan, such as the merchant pirate Wang Zhi, calling him a wakō as he engaged in illegal trade between China and Japan. Similarly, Sakuma Shigeo considered wakō primarily as merchant pirates who tried to avoid the Ming maritime bans.13 Another interpretation of wakō is offered by the groundbreaking work of Murai Shosuke, who has distinguished his studies on piracy by referring to wakō as multiethnic maritime forces comprised also of Japanese people and interpreting them as peripheral men. Those peripheral men, also termed wajin, represented those whose nationality or status was unclear, inhabiting Japans’ porous borders, islands, and coastal areas, and who interacted either by violent means on their own, or in other cases by being hired as seafarers or naval militia, engaging in piracy to survive.14 The idea of identifying wakō as Chinese in Japan and as non-Japanese or with blurred statuses has been a convention adopted by several scholars to discern Japanese pirates from multiethnic pirates. Matsura Akira, who has studied sixteenth and seventeenth century wakō through Chinese sources, views wakō as predominantly Chinese people who pillaged and ransacked villages ashore, and who resided in the small islands between Japan, Korea, and China.15 Thus, Japanese pirates, or kaizoku, residing in coastal Japan were distinguished from the cosmopolitan wakō, who were interpreted as non-Japanese or as having a minority of Japanese people in their ships and located abroad or in the peripheral islands of southern Japan.                                                  12 Tanaka Takeo, Wakō: umi no rekishi. (Tokyo: Kyoikusha, 1986), 151-160. 13 Sakuma Shigeo, Nimei kankei shi no kenkyū (Hiroshima: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1992), 280. 14 Murai Shōsuke, “Chūsei no wajintachi,” Kyushu shigaku 107 (1993): 2-3. See also Watanabe Miki, “Jūroku seiki sue kara jūnana seiski hajime no chugoku tōnan engai ni okeru ryukyujin zō,” Shigaku zasshi 10 (2007): 3–4. 15 Matsura Akira, Higashi Ajia kaiichi no kaizoku to Ryukyu (Tokyo: Akira Matsura, 2008), 22-23. 8  The dichotomy in interpreting only Japanese pirates as kaizoku and multiethnic pirates as wakō is nevertheless problematic in a region like Kyushu because several wakō clans, intended here as multiethnics pirates, resided there and colluded with Japanese pirates at several levels. If we consider wakō, as Tanaka Takeo did, Chinese merchant-pirates like Wang Zhi, who colluded with Japanese pirates (kaizoku) and became naturalized in Japan, or who intermarried with Japanese as in the Zheng clan, the separation in terms of nationality and in terms of their activities was negligent. As will be demonstrated in later chapters about the Nejime and Tanegashima clans, the Japanese took on various identities and dealt with Chinese merchant-pirates, wakō, and seafarers along their maritime boundaries and sea routes. Pirates in Kyushu not only belonged to mixed ethnicities but were also naturalized in Japan and by commercial entities like the Portuguese and Dutch traders, therefore assuming multiple identities and dynamic (not static) roles; as such, they have eluded full treatment by Japanese and western scholars on Japanese piracy.16 In a region where the written Chinese language was a cultural unifier and where pirates could assume diverse identities according to their provenience, residence, and even their employer, it becomes difficult to distinguish people according to contemporary national boundaries. Until the Edo period, whoever came from east Asia was called a tōjin regardless of their country of origin, although it is known that most tōjin were Chinese or Koreans, or coming from the continent. Therefore, the distinction between wakō and Japanese kaizoku has been used to propose certain national discourses by recreating ethnic and maritime boundaries that in the past were rather porous and indistinct.                                                  16 Arano Yasunori, “The Formation of a Japanocentric World Order,” International Journal of Asian Studies, 2, no. 2 (2005): 185-216. See also Iwao Seiichi, “Li Dan Chief of the Chinese Residents at Hirado: Japan in the Last Days of the Ming Dynasty,” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Tōyō Bunko 17 (1958): 27-83. Arano Yasunori has dealt with Chinese who assumed Japanese nationalities while residing in Ryukyu or southern Japan. Iwao Seiichi has written about the multiple identities of the Chinese who resided in Hirado while working for Portuguese and Dutch commercial enterprises. 9  In 1547 the monk Sakugen wrote the Nyūminki (Record of Entering Ming China) about a tributary mission to the Ming in which “all the pirates of Japan” were called to escort as protective patrols for the envoys’ ships, showing the participation of pirates in diplomatic trade; he particularly mentioned the “naval protection from all the bays and shores of the country of Tsushima.”17 This naval protection was provided by the confederated families that were controlled by the Sō house rulers of Tsushima. Tsushima’s pirates, however, were the wakō, who were mostly condemned by the Koreans in their detailed documentation. But in Japan they were Japanese pirates, and as the Nyūminki indicated, they were already providing services as corsairs tied to the Tsushima rulers. The Nyūminki is a valuable contemporary record that validates the services provided by pirates in official diplomatic exchanges, but it does not reveal their voices in the first person. Genealogies written by Japanese pirates in first person were collected and transcribed during the Edo period in some domains in southern Honshu. Such is the case for the three Murakami pirate clans who became corsairs for the Mōri house, and whose genealogies mention their piratical endeavours by 1644.18 An earlier source, the Bukebandaiki kaizoku ke ikusa nikki (commonly referred as Bukebandaiki), assumed to be written by members of the Murakami family, describes the pirate families that fought in Hiroshima Bay (Miyajima) in the mid-sixteenth century.19 Throughout the seventeenth century, a new literary genre dedicated to piratical accounts was created to extol the heroic exploits of loyal samurai and intrepid pirates.                                                  17 Sakugen, Nyūminki, see Makita Tairyō ed., Sakugen nyūmiki no kenkyū, vol. 1 (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1965), 353. 18 Sumida Choichi comp.,“Santōryū suigun ridanshō,” Kaiji shiryō sōsho, vol. 5 (Tokyo: Genshodo, 1930), 93. The Santōryū suigun ridanshō, written in 1740, was one of the literary books whose protagonists were the pirates of the sixteenth century. 19 Bukebandaiki santō kaizoku ke ikusa nikki (1740), photos, Yamaguchi Prefectural Library, Manuscript Section, Yamaguchi. This version of the Bukebandaiki was the original 17th century book. I was unable to consult the printed version, edited by Katayama Kiyoshi in 1997-1998. 10  Moreover, the resurgence of romanticized warrior tales included the writing of secret piratical histories, and fictional manuals began to be published in the 1740s. Some of these pirate family stories are the extant Santōryū suigun ridanshō, the Noshima keden, and others.20 Contrary to the history of the Seto Inland Sea, in Kyushu, pirates’ genealogies are not present, with the exception of the records of Kuki Yushitaka and of his house, which was relocated from central Japan, Awaji Island, to Kyushu during the Tokugawa regime.21 Kyushu was first conquered in 1586 by the forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi; after Toyotomi’s death, it passed into the hands of Tokugawa retainers. Therefore, the pirates and corsairs who fought in Kyushu did not remain under the patronage of one single daimyō, as did those of the Murakami clan under Mōri’s patronage. Yet records of pirates near the coastal area of Hirado exist in a collection of documents from the Edo period not authored by pirates themselves. In northern Kyushu as well, records authored by pirates also exist, not as genealogies but as collected documents often stored in private collections. It is possible that there were pirate genealogies and that those records have been lost, or that the pirates’ existence was left unrecorded due to their patrons’ defeat, such as with the Ōtomo house. This is why up until now only the Murakami families of the Seto Inland Sea have been interpreted as pirates in Japan, leaving serious gaps in Japanese, as well as Kyushu, centuries-long maritime history. Consequently, their stories can be traced only by studying extant records like prefectural or cities’ histories, collected and published from the Meiji period forward, in an attempt to retrace and reclaim local histories.                                                  20 Sumida Choichi comp., “Santōryū suigun ridanshō,” in Kaiji shiryō soshō, vol. 12. See also Noshima Keden, in Kaiji shiryō soshō, vol. 5. 21 Kuki Yoshitaka’s records are stored in the Naganuma Bunko collection of Kyushu University. The authenticity of these 17th century books has not yet been validated by contemporary documents. 11  In the Meiji period (1867–1911), the history of pirates in Japan began to be studied critically with cultural historian Kumi Kunitake (1839–1921),22 who identified pirates as sea folks (ama), and later with Yanagita Kunio (1875–1962), who studied peripheral people to better understand how Japanese society dealt with capitalism.23 In 1942, Takegoshi  Yosaburō (1865–1950) examined Japanese piracy within the context of the Japanese imperial expansion overseas as a way to gather economic resources to legitimize historically the role of Japan as leader of East Asian countries.24 Takegoshi justified piracy to reinforce the Japanese colonial ideology during his time, although instead of Manchuria he envisioned the South Seas as maritime territory open for conquest.25 In the same period, Aida Nirō (1897–1945), studying within the framework of Japan as a civilizing society, focussed on the study of premodern seafarers and pirates and their economies as controllers of toll barriers.26 Aida, by looking at pirates’ economic enterprises, has promoted the idea that pirates’ control of toll barriers and maritime check points did in fact promote commerce, contrary to Tokuda Ken’ichi, who has instead claimed that pirates’ activities hindered commerce.27 It is my view that pirates could have done both. The promotion or hindrance of commercial activities depended on their relationship with major mercantile houses, associations, and in their protection enforcement, as well as their political and religious affiliations.                                                  22 Ōyama Kyohei, “The Fourteenth Century in twentieth Century Perspective,” in The Origins of Japan’s Medieval World: Courtiers, Clerics, Warriors and Peasants, ed. Jeffrey Mass (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 363. 23 Yanagita Kunio, Kaijo no michi (Tokyo: Iwanami bunko, 1978), 11. 24 Takegoshi Yosaburō, The Story of the Wakō: Japanese Pioneers in the Southern Regions (Tokyo: The Kenkyusha Ltd., 1940), 2. 25 J. Charles Schencking, “The Imperial Japanese Navy and the Constructed Consciousness of the South Seas Destiny, 1872-1921” Modern Asian Studies 33 (October, 1999): 769-796. 26 Aida Nirō, Chūsei no sekisho (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1983), 193-194. 27 Tokuda Ken’ichi, Chūsei ni okeru suiun no hattetsu (Tokyo: Shokasha, 1936), 193. 12  Postwar Marxist historians, in trying to separate history from supporting politics and government ideologies, have focussed their studies in religious folklore, temple pilgrimages, and the studies of the economies of seafarers in opposition to land-tenured elites such as Shinjo Tsunezō (1911–1997), who studied the documents of the toll barriers of Hyogo in addition to compiling several prefectural histories.28 It is interesting that mainly postwar historians, defined as “folklorists,” in opposition to those following marked Marxist ideologies, or that came from Marxist ideological backgrounds, in writing the histories of landed lords and courtiers also analyzed Japanese religions—often an inspiration for the militaristic spirit and of purer forms of Shinto—reframed pirates as an integral part of a Japanese past that was composed also of the less influential and by the voiceless, represented not only by peasants but also by the “non agrarian” layers of society. Instead of seeing a dichotomy of scholars, I think that most Marxist scholars evolved their thought by expanding their scope to the landless social strata by looking at religions, ethnographies, ethnologies, and regional biohistories, reinterpreting local documents. One of these historians was Naganuma Kenkai (1883–1980), whose family had connections with Shinto Shrines. He had first begun to study Shinto and eventually relocated to Kyushu, where he became interested in the echelon of society that comprised “people who sailed ships such as maritime merchants, commercial shipping people, maritime warriors, sailors and pirates,” the latter defined as naval samurai (船上の侍).29 Naganuma not only collected a vast amount of material on pirates in Kyushu and neighbouring lands such as Shikoku and the Seto Inland Sea, but also seafarers, shipping associations, mercantile houses, temples, and diaries related to Shikoku, Kyushu, and the Seto Inland Sea.                                                  28 Shinjo Tsunezō, Chūsei suiunshi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Hanawa Shobo, 1995), and see also by the same author, “Chūsei ni okeru sekiji kenkyū no hitotsu,” Chiiki shi kenkyū Kiyo 20 (March 1991): 1-34. 29 Naganuma Kenkai, Nihon no kaizoku (Tokyo: Seibundo, 1955), 2-3. 13  The watershed of Japanese maritime history, however, is represented by Amino Yoshihiko (1928–2004), who revisited social history not in terms of class but as the history of the people, and in the early 1980s reconceptualized the study of pirates as sea people in non-agriculturist roles, mainly looking at their economic enterprises and temple/shrine associations and their roles as temple purveyors (hijiri and others). Amino’s view of seafarers who engaged in piracy in meagre seasons has been widely accepted, but this perspective is not devoid of problems. In the first place, Amino deconstructed pirates as “sea folks” (kaimin) as a part of a larger social network that included temple, merchants, and local authorities, disengaged from estate-based economies. In addition, by perceiving pirates as sea folks, Amino largely deemphasized their maritime violence. His concept not only portrays a less violent version of sea folk, but it has also dissociated the economic lives of pirates from their political environments.30 Similarly, Sakurai Eiji studied pirates as seafarers in relation to the economy of temples and shrine.31 Looking at piratical violence, Katsumata Shizuo (1934–present), who dealt with social history, has interpreted pirates within the larger movement of social violence and resistance to established power in his studies of Ikki rioters.32 Another group of historians has looked at pirates’ hierarchical ties with established power holders or patrons; among them, Nagahara Keiji redirected his attention to the relationships between the patronage that existed between landed lords and the landless layers of the seafaring population. In Nagahara’s studies of the relationship between pirates and landed daimyō, he claimed the former as expendable naval forces, otherwise interpreted as mercenaries, and at other times as retainers or even as merchant-pirates, according                                                  30 Amino Yoshihiko, Nihon no rekishi wo yominaosu (Tokyo: Chikuma Shoten, 2005), 345-350. 31 Sakurai Eiji, Nihon chūsei no keizai kōzo (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 1996), 275. 32 Katsumata Shizuo, Ikki (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1982), 33. 14  to their relationship with local lords.33 In the same group of historians, Udagawa Takehisa instead interpreted pirates as mercenary forces, 34 whereas Kyushu historian Toyama Mikio has analyzed the naval forces under the Ōtomo house as retainers.35 Conversely, Fujiki Hisashi affirmed pirates to be irregular naval forces and, as such, mercenaries that provided services to lords; they benefited economically and politically from a certain degree of patronage, not as retainers but as semi-independent naval militia.36 Although Fujiki’s view applies to certain clans as they provided alternative or supplementary naval forces as “irregulars”—it was certainly the case in fifteenth century Kyushu—but it can no longer be applied to Kyushu’s corsairs in the sixteenth century. Furthermore, Kyushu historians who have dealt with piracy at the local level thought of those pirate clans as very regular naval forces. These opinions will now be considered, beginning with northern Kyushu, where Akutagawa Tatsuo and Fukugawa Kazunori have collected vast amounts of pirate clan documents in the territories of Kunisaki, Hayami, Tsukumi, the Gulf of Beppu, Kitsuki, and other littoral locations in a series of volumes entitled, Saikoku bushidan kankei shiryōshū (Collected documents related to warrior groups of the western Provinces). Fukugawa’s interpretation of those clans follows the hierarchical Sengoku daimyō-retainer relationship.37 Toyama Mikio also seems to rely on daimyō-retainers’ relations to explain the type of military forces represented by pirates and corsairs; he went as far as to study the group related subconnections that tied the Ōtomo family to its subordinates. Contrary to such outdated views, recent historians such as Mieno Makoto and Yagi Naoki hold views that                                                  33 Nagahara Keiji, Sengokuki no seiji to keizai kōzō (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1997), 167. 34 Udagawa Takehisa, Nihon no kaizoku (Tokyo: Seibundo, 1983), 6 . 35 Toyama Mikio, Daimyō ryogoku keisei katei no kenkyū (Tokyo: Shinsankaku, 1983), 526. 36 Fujiki Hisashi, Zōhyōtachi to senji: chūsei no yohei to doreigari (Tokyo: Asahi Shimbusha, 1995), 127. 37 Fukugawa Kazunori, “Bungo Suigun ni tsuite no Kōsatsu,” in Kawagoe Shoji ed., Kyushu chūsei kenkyū, vol.3 (Tokyo: Bunkyu Shuppan, 1982), 291-366. 15  Ōtomo’s military forces were obeying diverse layers of powers, not necessarily in a vertical hierarchical order but as horizontal organizations that operated across borders and by engaging people across a varied social spectrum in terms of tactical skills.38 On the other hand, southern Kyushu historians have dealt mainly with international relations and the role that pirates played as either a threat to trade or as a complement to it. Among these scholars, Niina Kazuhito, who studied the Shimazu clan and their pirate relations, viewed those pirates as retainers in all aspects, whereas Kuroshima Satoru interpreted them as capably carving their niche, not only for local power holders but also in competition with bakufu-sponsored pirates of the Seto Inland Sea. Other historians, such as Hashimoto Yu and Hamashita Takeshi, have also dealt with Kyushu piracy. Hashimoto dealt with it mainly in relation to the international tribute trade,39 while Hamashita Takeshi explained the rise of piracy in opposition to the Ming maritime prohibition, viewing private trade as illegal and mostly performed by pirates as interpreted from a Sinocentric view.40 In that group can be included also Arano Yasunori, who conceived the term “piratical state of affairs” (Wakoteki Jōkyō) to refer to the maritime conditions that existed at the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of seventeenth century in the maritime areas between Ming China, Korea, Japan, and Ryukyu.41 In addition to Japanese scholars, since the late 1970s other scholars have become interested in studying pirates located in Japan, either designated as wakō or kaizoku, depending upon if they were dealing with Chinese, Korean, or Japanese sources. Early scholarship dealing                                                  38 Mieno Makoto, Daimyō ryogoku shihai no kōzo (Tokyo: Kokura Shobō, 2003). See also Yagi Naoki, “Bungo Ōtomo shi no seika,” in Yagi Naoki ed. Bungo Ōtomo shi: chūsei saigoku bushi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Ebisu-Kosyo Publications, 2014), 19. 39 Hashimoto Yu, Nihon chūsei kokusai kankei (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2005), 251. 40 Hamashita Takeshi, China in East Asia in the Global Economy eds. Linda Grove and Mark Selden (London: Routledge, 2011) 40-57. 41 Arano Yasunori, Edo bakufu to higashi Ajia (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2003), 19. 16  with Japanese piracy is represented by Charles Boxer,42 who has touched on piracy in Japan by looking at Portuguese international relations. He was followed by Delmer Brown, who studied piracy in terms of technological exchanges.43 George Elisonas has looked at the political aspect of piracy coupled with the conquest of Kyushu and the Korean invasions,44 while Kenneth Robinson has dealt with piracy from a Korean political standpoint by examining Korea’s relations with Japan.45 Worthy of mention is the work of So Kwan-wai, who studied Japanese piracy by looking at Chinese (often inaccurate) records of the Korean wars of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.46 Adam Clulow has recently touched on the history of Hirado and its piratical background by examining Dutch-Japanese relations.47 Rather than looking at the types of hierarchies or patronage, since the early 1990s, Shikoku historian Yamauchi Yuzuru, using archeological evidence of maritime fortresses, has dealt with local pirates’ enclaves and their relationship with their environment, in terms of fortress building, management of harbours and toll barriers, and as productive economic local forces that contributed to the expansion of commerce.48 Yamauchi Yuzuru’s work has also been groundbreaking from a local history viewpoint, as he has pinpointed not only the economic enterprises created by piracy in their own environment, but also to international trade and interaction, seen through the diverse maritime routes and their access to the Seto Inland Sea. Another local historian, Kishida Hiroshi, has analyzed the routes of pirates from Shimane to                                                  42 Charles Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1951), 248-307. 43 Delmer Brown, Money economy in Medieval Japan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951), 28-29. 44 George Elisonas, “Japan’s Relations with China and Korea” in Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 4 Early Modern Japan, ed. J. W. Hall et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 253-254. 45 Kenneth Robinson, “The Tsushima Governor and Regulations of Japanese Access to Chosŏn in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century” Korean Studies, 20 (1996): 25-50. 46 So Kwan-wai,  Japanese Piracy in Ming China during the Sixteenth Century (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1975), 15-16. 47 Adam Clulow, “From Global Entrepôt to Early Modern Domain: Hirado, 1609-1641,” Monumenta Nipponica, 6, no. 1 (2010): 1-35. 48 Yamauchi Yuzuru, Kaizoku to umijiro (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1997), 12-13. 17  southern Honshu (Mōri domains) and pirates’ independent economic enterprises there located.49 Like Amino and later Yamauchi, he designated those pirates’ clans with maritime protection enforcing strength as “Umi no ryoshū” and “Umi no daimyō” to indicate that their economic efforts had won them legitimacy as “Lords of the Sea,” in opposition and by equal status to landed lords, an epitaph adopted by Peter Shapinsky in his excellent work, the first published in English, on the Murakami clans of the Seto Inland Sea.50 Shapinsky relates that the pirates of the Seto Inland Sea had created for themselves an economic environment that fostered the littoral commercial economy of which they were an integral part. As the Murakami clan ascended to power, they came to assume most of the rights proper of daimyō and were able to negotiate their role by selling their services, often to multiple patrons. In writing the histories of the Murakami pirates, Shapinsky has reconstructed their economic connections, patronage, and history of violence and commerce by envisioning the Murakami within their environment in the Seto Inland Sea. However, he takes the main location of the three Murakami clans (Noshima, Kurushima, and Innoshima) in their few islands stretching from Imabari, the small Noshima Island, to Yugejima, Innoshima, and the bigger Oshima Island, as representative of pirates in Japan. This dissertation, however, attempts to demonstrate that pirates’ formation and conditions differed in the various parts of Japan and particularly in Kyushu and its nearby archipelagos. Moreover, Shapinsky, in analyzing the Murakami clans in such a location as the Seto Inland Sea, a sea as closed as the Mediterranean, has not attempted to compare them to the Mediterranean corsairs, an exercise worthy of consideration given their similarities in both pirates’ and corsairs’ formation, military strength                                                  49 Kishida Hiroshi, Daimyō ryōgoku no seiji to igi (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2011), 332. 50 Shapinsky, Lords of the Sea, 13. 18  and shipping techniques, historical events, and geographical conditions from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. 1.2.1 Why Use the Term Corsairs for Japanese Pirates? The term corsair to indicate Japanese pirates may at first appear improper because of legal and geographic implications, as it was originally used in Europe to describe the naval forces engaged in the corsa (chase) that looted mercantile ships crossing the Mediterranean Sea from the early thirteenth until the seventeenth century. In Europe, the corsairs’ and pirates’ naval attacks fell within the realm of pre-modern states’ and potentates’ methods of promoting violence as well as their own jurisdictions over the seas. Janice Thomson has argued in this regard that states’ authorization of non-state maritime violence was a way to economize on resources or promote an authority that they would have been unable to enforce on the seas if not through the use of corsairs. She also mentions that in reality, the defining line between corsairs and pirates was rather blurred even if the former had the support of early modern states and state-like regencies. When faced with political obstacles, these states or regencies could play with the concept of “plausible deniability”, or the claim that if corsairs’ enterprises met their demise, they were indeed private and not state-sponsored operations, thus freeing the latter from any liability.51 In addition, Thomson asserts that the use of non-state violence shifted from the non-state, economic and international to state, political and domestic domains from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century in Europe.52 Such a shift did occur as well in Japan, as it was engulfed in a unification process that ended only in the early seventeenth century.                                                   51 Janice E. Thomson, Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns: State-building and Extra Territorial Violence in Early Modern Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 11-21. 52 Ibid., 11. 19  In the late sixteenth century, the naval forces I term corsairs were authorized to commit violence on the sea by daimyō which benefited from their trading activities, particularly in Kyushu, but as Japan unified into a state, corsairs were deemed to be an expendable resource. Lauren Benton has written recently about the jurisdiction that naval forces had over the sea, claiming that there was a fine line between privateers (corsairs) and pirates. Pirates received commissions only in time of war, but when decommissioned in time of peace, they did continue to attack and seize ships, and for this reason, it was necessary to preserve a pretense of legality.53 Hence, the emergence of writers like Alberico Gentili and Hugo Grotius, who, basing their claims on Roman law, formed their own interpretation of the protection of oceanic spaces, arguing respectively in defense of the Spanish and Dutch fleets regarding control of sea lanes and their right to plunder enemy ships.54 With the consideration of piratical endeavours as an extension of state power on the seas, corsairs and pirates were redefined as important actors of state-building, as they could offer effective protection whereas regencies, potentates and the state at an early stage in its formation had none. In this regard, Jan Glete justly suggests that states such as Spain, Portugal, France, England and the Netherlands were in effect licensing private persons for public pursuits by issuing permits such as cartazes and lettres de course, which in effect guaranteed protection against maritime violence done mostly by the protectors themselves.55 Frederick Lane argues that this arrangement of hiring maritime forces was beneficial in terms of cost to both the states and the corsairs, who profited from the power of                                                  53 Lauren Benton, A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 113. 54 Ibid., 130-131. 55 Jan Glete, Warfare at Sea, 1500-1650: Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe (London: Routledge, 2000), 72. 20  such sponsors.56 Such licensing gave corsairs the opportunity to acquire military reputation and legitimacy. This is exactly what occurred in Japan for the Murakami clans and the corsairs of Kyushu, as will be demonstrated in the following chapters.  In reality the differences between pirates and corsairs came down to paper permits to raid the sea, Wolfgang Kaiser and Guillaume Calafat have argued that the Mediterranean was crowded with a sea of such papers, as corsairing was a well-regulated institution. Powerful states never once considered getting rid of it, as its disappearance could indeed have compromised their alliances with other states, and it was a “trading platform that crossed religious, legal and normative boundaries.”57 In fact, as demonstrated by the recent scholarship of Noel Malcolm in his study of the Bruni and Bruti families, these corsairs acted beyond commonplace trading norms, since they benefited from their Venetian heritage as Albanian residents by crossing various identity lines as merchants, spies, and Jesuit (hence, Christian) corsairs, and ultimately performing their role as “Agents of Empires.”58  The participants in the corsa were often captives who had risen from being ship slaves to prominent naval positions, having demonstrated skills in naval attacks and in leading people; these individuals were often sponsored by states and principalities. Famous sixteenth century Mediterranean corsairs include Ucciali, a renegade Calabrese turned Muslim, Arju and Khair-ed-Din, better known as the Barbarossa brothers, born to a Muslim pottery maker and a Greek woman, whose enterprises in disrupting European                                                  56 F.C. Lane, “Economic Consequences of Organized Violence,” Journal of Economic History, 18 (1958): 401-417. 57 Wolfgang Kaiser and Guillaume Calafat, “Violence, Protection and Commerce: corsairing and ars piratica in the Early Modern Mediterranean” Persistent Piracy, eds. Stefan Amirell and Leos Müller (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave McMillan, 2014), 77. 58 Noel Malcolm, Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth Century Mediterranean World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 37. 21  nations’ trade on their routes has been well documented, and the Uskok gang of corsairs near Venice. Some scholars also define the Malta Knights of the Hospitaliers Order as corsairs.59 Another interesting case of divided loyalties is offered by Emrah Safa Gürkan in his study of the Ottoman Grand Admiral Uluc Hasan Pasha (born Andrea Celeste as a Venetian citizen) and his diplomatic and family ties to the Serenissima while also a Muslim loyal to the Ottoman Empire. Gürkan amply illustrates from a series of documents the fractured loyalties of Hasan Veneziano, demonstrating that his was not a rare case as corsair and agent for the Ottoman Empire.60 Such examples reveal the dichotomies that existed in the amphibious world of Mediterranean corsairs, who, sponsored by powerful entities, carried out maritime violence to their ultimate benefit.  This world, however, was not unique to Europe or specifically to the Mediterranean. In Asia, from India to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Malacca, and along coastal China, pirates as well as corsairs thrived. There were similarities as well as differences, but overall it is undeniable that pirates were not independent entities riding the seas and looting ships for their own sake. Instead, they had bases, markets for the sale of their booty, and patrons, in the form of either local or state ruling elites. But even when pirates were not politically entangled with local rulers, they had a certain degree of reliance on the local markets. Sebastian Prange writes about the Comorin Coast of India, where pirates were not politically involved with landed lords but were well-known as merchants who traded elsewhere and contributed to local communities through their trading activities. In addition, piracy seems to have been an inherited                                                  59 Alberto Tenenti, Piracy and the decline of Venice, 1580-1615 (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967). See also Salvatore Bono, Corsari nel Mediterraneo (Torino: A. Mondadori, 1993), as well as more recent scholars such as Phillip Williams, Empires and Holy Wars in the Mediterranean (London: IB Tauris, 2014), and Molly Greene, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2010) who described the Mediterranean corsairs. 60 Emrah Safa Gürkan, “His Bailo’s kapudan: Conversion, Tangled Loyalties and Hasan Veneziano between Istanbul and Venice, 1588-1591” Journal of Ottoman Studies, 48 (2016), 278-319. 22  occupation in some families, and as Prange states, it was a “trade of no dishonour.”61Sanjay Subrahmanyam writes instead of the Portuguese mercenaries from India to Malacca dealing in the trade in firearms.62 This particular trade had allowed pirates in China and Japan to find their niches in the production and export of muskets and requisite accessories.  Piracy and the status of corsairs in Ming China were different, as reported by Robert Antony. Here, political affiliations between pirates and local elites were not unknown and became intertwined with certain existing market economies such as well-organized prostitution and gamblers’ racketeering circles.63 James K. Chin portrays a sixteenth-century cosmopolitan South China Coast (Zhejiang and Fujian) where Portuguese and Chinese merchants (deemed pirates by local authorities) entered into partnerships. Influential merchants-turned-smugglers and pirates like the Xu brothers formed international networks in Southeast Asia and Japan. One of the Xu brothers in particular, Xu Hai, a former Buddhist monk in Hangzhou’s Lingyin Temple had become a pirate in order to pay off a relative’s debt to Kyushu partners in Osumi, a territory ruled by the Shimazu daimyō.64 Chinese merchant-pirates’ networks like Xu Hai’s in Osumi, Wang Zhi’s in Hirado and those of others in Kyushu colluded with local pirates, merchants and corsairs. It was in this context that Japanese corsairs (here intended as local pirates who had the backing of local warlords) were connected to the maritime environment and markets of East and Southeast Asian countries.  Japanese pirates, as demonstrated in this dissertation, carved out their niche in becoming agents and mediators between Chinese merchant-pirate networks and other countries,                                                  61 Sebastian Prange, “A Trade of No Dishonour,” American Historical Review, 116 (5) (2011): 1281. 62 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese Empire in Asia 1500-1700 (London: Longman Group, 1993), 258. 63 Robert J. Antony, Like Froth Floating on the Sea (Berkeley: Berkeley University Press, 2003), 7. 64 James K. Chin, “Merchants, Smugglers and Pirates: Multinational Clandestine Trade on the South China Coast, 1520-1550” Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers: Violence and Clandestine Trade in the Greater China Seas, ed. Robert J. Antony (Hong Kong: Honk Kong University Press, 2010), 51. 23  economically tying Japan to the Asian maritime world. As initially stated by Janice Thomson, theirs was an economic rather than a political function. The evolution of Japanese piratical gangs into corsairs of local lords was deeply rooted in the changes that occurred both internationally on the maritime routes and transhipment harbours of Asia as well as domestically with the impending unification of the Japanese territory. Those pirates whom I call corsairs differed conceptually, as the authority to use violence on the seas had been conferred upon them by their sponsors. It was between 1542 and 1592, given an economic expansion heightened by the export of silver and coupled with territorial unification conflicts, that Japanese pirates were transformed from economically independent to politically dependent entities. Only after Japan had been unified did the existence of pirates and corsairs enter the political sphere within state-formation parameters.  I adopt the term corsairs to describe pirates in Japan in order to highlight the transformation that the pirates and their enterprises underwent between 1542 and 1592, in light of economic expansion heightened by the export of silver and coupled with territorial unification conflicts. Such events transformed Japanese pirates from economically independent to politically dependent entities, as will be shown in the following chapters. The comparison with the Mediterranean corsairs is relevant to show how the commercial agency of Japanese pirates expanded with the competition for maritime routes, and was augmented by the silver and weapons trade. But once they turned corsairs and became, as such, closer to the power holders, their agency collapsed due to the anti-piracy edicts issued by the Toyotomi regime and later the Tokugawa regime, policies that resulted in both their and their lords’ demise.  As contemporary Jesuits encountered the Murakami leaders of the Seto Inland Sea in their maritime travels from Kyushu, they chose to use the term “corsair” to describe the pirate 24  clans controlling the Japanese waterways from Kyushu to central Japan. One of the first Jesuits to use the term “corsair” to describe the Murakami was the historian Luis Frois.65 Besides that usage, Rodriguez the interpreter in his Vocabolario da Lengua do Japam, translated the term caizoku (kaizoku) as umi no nusubito (海の盗人), which literally means “thieves of the sea,” ou “corsario,” otherwise a corsair.66 As Portuguese and Jesuits, given their European perspective, knew the difference between a pirate and corsair, they called the Murakami clans “corsairs,” and not pirates, which in Portuguese are translated as piratas. The European perception that they were corsairs rather than pirates is reflected in the comment of the early Jesuit travellers to Japan. Luiz de Guzman, a Jesuit biographer, in relating the travels of the Vice Provincial Father Coelho from the city of Sakai in central Japan to the domain ruled by the Ōtomo rulers in Bungo, Kyushu, wrote: As Father Gaspar Coelho left Sakai to go to Bungo, he went to an island that belonged to a Corsair famous all over Japan who was called Xiximadono . . . the corsair received the Father with lots of honour. . . .67  Xiximadono was in reality the Noshima pirate (turned corsair), Murakami Takeyoshi, who controlled the maritime access to central Japan in the Seto Inland Sea from his fortress on the Island of Kurushima. Ships’ crews and passengers bound to and from the Seto Inland Sea had to purchase safe conducts issued by his corsairs. The Murakami clans of the Seto Inland Sea are considered “pirates” (kaizoku) by Japanese and western scholars, due to their violent methods to                                                  65 Yuzuru Yamauchi, Chūsei Setonaikai no Tabihitotachi (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2004), 68. 66 João Rodriguez Tçuzzu, Vocabulario da Lingoa do Japam, ed. and trans. Leon Pages (Paris: Benj. Duprat, 1862). Accessed in Sept. 2016 at  The Japanese-Portuguese vocabulary or Nippo Jisho written by Rodriguez in 1603 was translated in French by Leon Pages.   67 Luis de Guzman, Historia del las missiones que han hecho los religionsos de la Compañia de Iesus, para predicar el Sancto evengelio ne la India Oriental, y en los reynos del la China y Japon, chapter 22 (Alcala: Gracian, 1602), 343.  25  exact toll fees and to loot ships which did not possess their issued safe-conducts.68 However, the Jesuits, who observed and reported to their superiors the layers of power holders where they passed or resided, clearly termed them corsairs. Another example, written in the 1580s by Luis Frois about the arrival of Alessandro Valignano, the Jesuit Vice-Provincial in Japan and of his passage through the Seto Inland Sea, states: “Another danger in our path was that word spread that the highest ranking Father from India was coming here and carried with him many treasures. As this news spread to various parts some robbers, which are just like the corsairs of these seas, became determined to profit by looting us.”69 In this passage, Frois wrote of corsairs and not pirates, knowing that the corsairs of the Seto Inland Sea, such as the Murakami clans, had well-known patrons in the Mōri house and others. As a matter of fact, the differentiation between pirate and corsair is not only a matter of terminology, it has to do with sponsorship and legitimization as well as commercial enterprises. Most of the corsair clans discussed in this dissertation were economically productive in their own controlled locations in addition to having the navigational skills required to survive the ebbing waters of the Inland Sea and its various channels, gulfs, islands, and choke points. These economic enterprises became rooted in violence, as these pirates looted whoever did not pay them a passage fee, allowing them to establish their sea lordship. Sea lords were indeed corsairs. The term “sea lord,” first coined by Amino Yoshihiko, meant that those maritime forces became lords of the sea. Shapinsky defined their sea lordship by analyzing their acquisition of economic power, coupled with recognition by local and central                                                  68 Among western scholars, Peter Shapinsky believes that the terms used by the Jesuits as “corsairs,” “pirates,” and “robbers” were used interchangeably to describe Japanese pirates. That was not the case. Frois himself describes Noximadono “o mayor corsario de todo Japaõ” (the major corsair of all Japan) See Luis Frois, Historia de Japam, vol.4, ed. José Vicki (Lisbon: Biblioteca National de Lisboa, 1976), 249. 69 Luis Frois, Historia de Japam, ed. José Wicki, vol. 3 (Lisbon: Biblioteca National de Lisboa, 1976), 246.  26  authorities who exploited their relation between commerce and violence.70 In Shapinsky’s view, pirates of the Murakami clans became sea lords by offering their services to local authorities, who became Sengoku daimyō; in this manner, they became legitimized in controlling their maritime localities, transforming these locations into regional centres of maritime production and commercial shipping. In addition, as no central authority was capable of enforcing its power in these clan-controlled maritime routes and hamlets, they received their legitimacy by acting as mercenaries for landed authorities as well as for central power holders.71 Eventually their power functioned as an equalizer to render the corsairs as the equivalent on the sea of landed daimyō. The above interpretation is problematic for two reasons. First, sea lordship refers to the ability to control the open sea, sea routes, and knowledge of ebbing waters, coastlines, and winds. Europeans were not unfamiliar with the concept, called in Spanish El señorío del mar, a term used by the Italian commander Andrea Doria and other captains (as well as by Francis Bacon, who thought of it as historically meaningful), already by the early sixteenth century.72 Sea lordship referred mainly to the ability of corsairs to cross the sea and to know of its currents and winds while chasing other ships, or to obtain supplies from various territories for which the sea was their connecting route. In summary, being a sea lord involved everything having to do with the sea, including managing ships and shipbuilding, bringing provisions by sea from various territories, but had little to do with land deeds (called shiki in Japan) or controlling the economies of certain territories as in the Japanese case. But most problematic of all is the attempt to establish a certain degree of equality between Japanese corsairs, named sea lords, and landed daimyō. In fact, as Shapinsky demonstrated, the Murakami sea lords in the sixteenth century                                                  70 Shapinsky, Lords of the Sea, 69. 71 Ibid., 71 72 Phillip Williams, Empires and Holy Wars in the Mediterranean (London: IB Tauris, 2014), 205-206. 27  came to obtain licenses from provincial governors, or shugo daimyō, to control islands as tax collectors and administrators and, as such, they performed the work on behalf of the provincial governors as their subordinates. By the mid-sixteenth century, the Murakami performed maritime services initially for the Kōno, then for the Hosokawa family, close allies of the Ashikaga shoguns, and for the Ōuchi and Mōri families, respectively daimyō of northern Kyushu and southern Honshu.73 But if the Murakami clans were interpreted as “minor lords” before and after Hideyoshi’s territorial unification, because they had acquired legitimacy via their sponsorships similar in power to landed daimyō, they could have had a certain degree of decisional power in maintaining their independence, as they had to choose with whom to side in the unification process. My research in this dissertation indicates instead that corsairs such as the Murakami, as well as the maritime forces in Kyushu, by having to choose sides were already at a disadvantage because they still had to rely on powerful landed daimyō for their survival. Because their level of political independence did not match their level of economic entrepreneurship, they were dependent on the politically powerful landed daimyō and, thus, corsairs. Lastly is the examination of similarities and differences between the Mediterranean and Japanese corsair. The main prerequisite for the war of corsa was therefore the support of the state or state-like authorities. State support is what characterized corsairs from pirates, even if in reality the category was rather fictive in terms of the European legal definition.  In Europe, no matter what state or location, the main difference between pirates and corsairs was constituted by the state or regencies’ support of the latter. Both pirates and corsairs needed to sell their booties; therefore, they needed markets and people who worked for them on the coast or in island countries. Corsairs were given harbours to control, such as Djerba, an                                                  73 Shapinsky, Lords of the Sea, 95-115. 28  island close to Tunis, or the Island of Malta, in addition to coastal locations; their ships were provided by their patrons. Their patrons also provided political authority in exchange for economic and military gains, as corsairs were used by small islands and coastal states to protect their shores and sea routes and, at times, those states could see their international diplomacy threatened by the corsairs. Such was the case of relations between Tripoli and Algiers and the French state in the early seventeenth century; Tripoli’s corsairs had agreed to a peace treaty and hostage exchanges with France, but Algiers compromised all that by attacking French ships.74 Similarly, in Japan, corsairs controlled the geographical radius surrounding their outlets and villages or islands, particularly controlling the access to maritime routes and harbours situated in their proximity. These corsairs at first offered their services to local rulers. Examples include the pirates between the Amami-Ōshima and Tōkara archipelagos (between Ryukyu and southern Japan). Others, like the pirates of Hizen, only traded overseas. The pirates of the Gotō Islands and Tsushima offered their services as smugglers and intelligence providers alike, as well as being recognized by higher local authorities to work as protective naval forces in their locations, as in northern Kyushu. In all the above-mentioned examples and according to their geographical locations, pirates negotiated their role as mercenaries and skilled seafarers until they were able to acquire power and status by participating on behalf of their patrons in the wars of territorial conquest. Once they acquired stable sponsors in Sengoku daimyō who aggrandized their territories by conquest, these pirates became corsairs who had the support of rulers in domains that were the equivalent of regencies in northern Africa and in Islands like Malta and Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea.                                                  74 C. R. Pennell, Piracy and Diplomacy in Seventeenth Century Africa (London: Associated Universities Presses, 1898), 50-51. 29  A second feature legitimizing corsairs’ activities in the Mediterranean Sea was a document called “letters of marque” (lettres de course) that in England were replaced by “letters of reprisal,” by which the corsairs in question were permitted to loot enemy ships and keep part of their cargo as revenue.75 Originally the “letter of marque” was issued based on an international law of the marches, or border lands, by the sovereign of a traveller, in most cases a shipmaster of a vessel, who had been robbed in foreign territory and sought redress.76 The document could be issued only in peacetime and to a private person, but in the Mediterranean it became customary also in war time between states, and by state and principalities’ representatives. With time it became the legal basis on which corsairs could take their economic revenge on vessels belonging to sworn enemies. Of note is that the letters of marque were the legal documents by which corsairs were authorized to predate other vessels on the sea and adjacent areas (maritime routes, or islands and territories of their targeted enemies). Therefore, such documents gave corsairs the entitlement, a right to commit certain acts on the sea or to raid the coasts. In Japan such entitlement or right was often bestowed in relation not to predatory acts on the sea, but to an entitlement to land revenues given to those corsairs as an incentive, beforehand, for coastal territories that they had an interest to protect, tying them to certain locations. Those who were issued this land confirmation document (chigyū) or reconfirmation for successions and inheritances (andō) on the strength of their maritime and military skills have often been treated in the same guise as retainers (kashin) because they had to adopt the legal language of landed daimyō. In this regard, Shapinsky relates that “sea lords” made conscious choices to use land-based forms of documents to be recognized and accepted and as such by being able to take                                                  75 N. A. M. Rodgers, “The Law and Language of Private Naval Warfare,” The Mirror’s Mariner 100 no.1 (2014): 5-16. 76 Ibid., 6-7. 30  advantage of social, political, and cultural hierarchical statuses, giving them the sought level of authority.77 A third feature that distinguished the Mediterranean corsairs was the religious tone assumed by the corsa, as if the Crusades were continuing on the sea, while in reality, what was at stake were the vested economic interests of states and principalities that hired mercenaries to bring economic damages to enemy states or commercial rivals. In this sense, the war of corsa was another type of naval warfare and, in all effects, a private one, sponsored by public authorities such as states and principalities. The famous Knights of Malta, belonging to the religious order of the Hospitaliers, fought the Ottoman Empire and the Berber corsairs in the name of Christianity. Ironically, most of those corsairs were people who had converted to Islam, as it promised them a better way of life and a much more rewarding paradise after death. Michel Fontaney asserts that the Maltese Knights were the counterparts of the north African corsairs, who in the name of Christianity attacked ships for personal profits and also to obtain captives, and were often used by European states.78 Corsairs fought an economic war, but as Alberto Tenenti claims, corsairs were also political agents on the seas.79 Mediterranean corsairs commercially benefited from the sale of captives as one of their main sources of income. In addition to the support and rent given by landed authorities, their main form of revenue was the trade in captives. Even as late as 1625, the Venetian Gio-Battista Salvago, a Relation to the Doge of Venice, stated: “The real source of revenue for the corsa is the                                                  77 Shapinsky, Lords of the Sea, 14. 78 Michel Fontaney, “The Metamorphosis of the Maltese Corso in the Seventeenth Century,” in Guerra di Corsa e Pirateria nel Mediterraneo, ed. Antonello Savaglio (Crotone: Orizzonti Meridionali, 1995), 80. 79 Alberto Tenenti, Piracy and the decline of Venice, 1580-1615, 16-17. 31  ransom of the captives.”80 Some of the features that characterized Mediterranean corsairs also appeared in the formation of Japanese corsairs due to their occupation, geographical location, and political organization. In contrast to their Mediterranean counterparts, they did not kidnap people for ransom; however, they did take captives during conflict to work on their ships. In 1562, the Jesuit Father Baltasar Gago and the Japanese lay brother Silvestro were held aboard a large ship bound for the harbour of Hakata (Kyushu), from where they had to depart. According to Gago’s account, they were robbed of all their possessions, including their clothes and all the Church paraphernalia. Gago reported: “we were given one ounce of food and treated as in the galleys of the Turks.”81 To conclude, the legitimization of Japanese corsairs usually occurred after they had proven their worth in actual conflicts, by killing enemies and by defending their assigned territory. Those corsairs, by receiving part of the territorial revenue for the part of the coast they controlled, served both their own and their lord’s interests. Among their duties were the control of the littoral assigned to them, harbour control and strategic toll barrier control, as well as shipment of military provisions and goods. Toll barrier control was a function that pirates had claimed for themselves in the Seto Inland Sea at strategic checkpoints from northern Kyushu to the city of Sakai, in the case of the three Murakami houses, and as also described in following chapters in Hizen with the Kozasa and the Fukahori’s clans. Once these pirates became legitimized and were given titles and rights to such controlled locations, they also came to serve powerful daimyō, and as such it is more useful to call them corsairs, rather than pirates.                                                  80 Alain Blondy, “La course en mediterranee: les discours sur la captivite et la servitude,” in Les tyrants de la mer; pirates, corsairs & flibustiers, eds. Sylvie Requemora et Sophie Linon-Chipon (Paris: Sorbonne, 2002), 47. 81 Gago Baltasar, Nuovi Avvisi dalle Indie di Portogallo (1562), 32  1.3 Dissertation Methodology, Structure, and Sources The methodology used to construct this dissertation was a comparison of the effect of the silver trade on the pirates and corsairs of Kyushu and the nearby archipelagos. I chose Kyushu, as that was the location of the main transshipment harbours from which silver left for the Chinese and East Asian markets. These harbours were the places where pirates, using the language of daimyō, prospered in their economic activities both legal and illegal. In order to compare the effect of silver in the localities where it was shipped and traded, I examined three diverse locations, where maritime forces existed in differing environments. The aim was to understand whether pirates located on far-away islands or archipelagoes were engaging in more independent enterprises than those restricted by geographical and political settings, which were often unfavourable to them. For this reason, I chose to study the pirates of Japan who were situated on the smaller islands of southern Kyushu to establish their degree of independence, as compared with the ones in northern Kyushu, more territorially constrained and limited in their freedom of choice, and with those in more cosmopolitan areas such as Hirado and Nagasaki.  My approach was to investigate whether these corsairs’ rise to prominence was due to the silver trade or to other geo-political factors. In practical terms, I looked at several piratical families in the chosen location, and at their extant documents clan by clan, in order to retrace their history and, where possible, even the unique history of particular individuals within these clans. Due to the fact that not all clans possess similar documents, it was not possible to start by looking at documents related to the silver handled by each clan and make a comparison. In fact, this would not have been feasible even if they were to have similar documentation, given the diverse societies they lived in and the dissimilar social status each held. Every domain was ruled by daimyō, who by the sixteenth century had acquired their own economic and political 33  independence from the central government represented by the shogun and by the decayed Imperial court. The strength of these daimyō was their capability to administer their own resources and to trade. Their maritime forces, either hired or as their retainers, were principal actors in the piratical and trading world of Kyushu. In practical terms, my study attempts to evaluate the effect of the silver trade on the environment of those maritime forces I define as corsairs and on their development as maritime clans. For this reason, I chose to deal with families whose documents had been already collected and studied, but also tried to gather as many unpublished documents as possible. I sought particularly documents that had to do with their economic situations, although at a domain level, the cadastral survey would have helped only to a certain extent. I also scrutinized information in relation to their extended networks, and endeavoured to evaluate in economic terms such clans and, where possible, individuals within those clans. The main difficulty lay in correlating the documentation about silver with data about each corsair clan. Therefore, my approach has been to look at their resources in economic terms and at their economic enterprises, hierarchical chains of command and social status in order to postulate the possible effect a silver economy would have induced in the maritime world of sixteenth-century Kyushu. The dissertation is structured in a chronological order that spans from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century. Geographically the dissertation pertains to the pirate clans located on the coasts of southern Kyushu in Shimazu’s controlled domains; the coast of Hizen between Nagasaki and Hirado, a long stretch of territory controlled by the Matsura clans, the Ōmura, and Arima families; and northern Kyushu controlled by the Ōtomo family. Choice of locations in Kyushu depended on the availability of sources as well as on the geopolitical and historical events that made those clans unique in their own ways as they 34  responded to particular historical events. Each geographical location offered these clans different opportunities in terms of organization, piratical and commercial enterprises, and political connections related to their social status and legitimization. Chapter 2 examines changes in Japanese trade to Ryukyu from the early to the mid-sixteenth century, taking into consideration especially the role played by pirate gangs in relations to Chinese and Portuguese traders involved in the trade through the Ryukyu Kingdom. From the international trade standpoint, as the pirate clans located in islands on the archipelago of the Amami-Ōshima and Tōkara islands (stretching from Ryukyu to southern Japan) arose in importance with the tribute trade and in competition for maritime routes and harbours, and later augmented by the silver trade that occurred among Ryukyu, Japan, and Korea, as well as Ming China, redirected trade toward the organization and the ability of Japanese pirates to collude internationally and at the local level with a variety of political and economic entities. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the effects that the Ryukyu trade had in southern Kyushu and among the local Japanese pirates there located. As I have anchored the dissertation on the importance of Ryukyu in the Japanese piratical, later turned proxy trade, I have used known primary sources as the Rekidai hōan (Precious Records of Successive Generations 歴代宝案), a collection of diplomatic documents of the kingdom of Ryukyu from 1424 to 1867. These documents were first analyzed by Kobata Atsushi and Matsuda Mitsugu and briefly annotated in their 1945 book, the first to present in English documentation related to the trade going on between Ryukyu and several Southeast and East Asian countries. The voluminous collection is stored in Tokyo University; I have used volumes relative to the time period analyzed in my chapters. Another important primary source is the collection of documents in regard to the inhabitants of Naha city, collected in the Naha shi shi (Historical Records of Naha City), first 35  published in five volumes in 1967 by the City of Naha. An additional source is the Kagoshima Prefectural Records which contain the history of Kagoshima and documents concerning the Shimazu family and their rule as the Sappan kyūki zatsuroku. Kagoshima is where all the documents pertinent to the Satsuma domain from circa 1041 to 1865 were collected between 1850 and 1897 by Ijichi Sueyasu, the magistrate of Satsuma, and by his son Ijichi Suemichi for Shimazu Nariakira, their lord. It is one of the most complete collections of domain documents in existence in Japan. It also includes the documents that have been published in the volumes of the Shimazu kemonjo (Records of the Shimazu House) in the greater compilation of Dai nihon komonjo iewake (The Historical Houses of Great Japan) published by Tokyo University in 1904. Another similar, relevant primary source used in the second chapter is the Ehime Kenshi (Prefectural History of Ehime), compiled between 1970 and 1986 and dealing with the local history of Ehime Province. Its volume on ancient and medieval history deals in particular with the Murakami and other pirates’ families connected to the Kōno house. I have also used the Innoshima shi shi (History of Innoshima City), published in 1968 and authored by members of the local historical society, to complement the account of the Murakami and related houses with regard to their competition for maritime routes to Ryukyu. In addition, to explain the international competition for maritime routes, I have also used Japanese, Korean, and Chinese records describing maritime routes to Kyushu, such as the Sakugen nyūminki, Chouhai tubian, Nihon ikkan, Haedong chegukki and Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk. Although these are relatively well known, the Nyūminki (Record of Entering Ming China), written in 1547 by the monk Sakugen and published by Makita Tairyō in 1965 as an edited work in two volumes, describes not only the maritime routes but the participants, offerings, and problematic for the Japanese government, 36  daimyō, and temples of putting together such tribute missions to China.82 The Chouhai tubian, written by Zheng Ruozeng in 1562, provides the navigable routes to Kyushu and a detailed account of its geographic locations and rulers. It is similar to the Nihon ikkan, which I explored more for its detailed maps than for its content. Two Korean compilations provide a contrary view. The first is the Haedong chegukki, analyzed and published in Japan first by Takeo Tanaka and later by Shosuke Murai, the second is the Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk compiled by Korean nobles over the centuries. The Haedong chegukki was written by the Korean official Sin Suk-chu (1417–75) in 1471, and describes official relations between Japan and Ryukyu and both countries’ cultural, historical, and linguistic assets.83 It is valuable for understanding the diplomatic, mercantile, and piratical efforts that Japan exerted in acting as agent for Ryukyu versus Korea. From an official perspective, the Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk compilation offers an ample view of the activities of Kyushu daimyō intervention in East Asia. Furthermore, in Chapter 2, I have also used several primary sources related to particular families or temples to show the competition for the southern Kyushu harbours by the Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese pirates. One such document collection is the Nejime monjo, pertinent to the records of the Nejime house. Collected by Kyushu historian Takeuchi Rizō and by Kawagoe Shoji as a handwritten book in 1958, the Nejime monjo is so far the only available collection on the Nejime family, and contains documents that span from the early fifteenth century to the early seventeenth century. As for collections of documents from temples, I used the Seisuiji documents stored in Iwami Public Library and the Amacōji monjo, housed in the                                                  82 Sakugen, Nyūminki, see Makita Tairyō ed., Sakugen nyūminki no kenkyū, 2 vols. (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1965). 83 Kang Etsuko Hae-jin, Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese Korean Relations: from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997), 74. 37  same library but pertinent to the trade of weapons from Macau to Japan. These temple documents, which are almost unknown, have been published in the Kokutō chihōshi shiryō, but have not been studied in depth even by Japanese scholars. Their relevance lies in the trade between Japan and Macau prior to the establishment of the Portuguese proxy trade including China, which began between 1560 and 1570. In Chapter 3, I analyze the organizational level of the Ōtomo corsairs in their formative stage until their ruler’s demise in the early 1590s. On the basis of several case studies, I seek to reposition the figure of corsairs in terms of their military and economic engagement in their hamlets, as well as their political involvement with higher-level leaders who incorporated them in a loose military structure. Their resilience nonetheless depended on horizontal organizations and associative networks through which they could make use of their particular skills. The main primary sources used to formulate this chapter, beside single family documents collected in volumes and other manuscript documents located in Kyushu University and the Ōita Sentetsu Shiryōkan (Ancient sage archives and manuscript library), were prefectural collected documents as the Ōita ken shiryō (Documents of Ōita Prefecture), first collected by Ōita historian Watanabe Sumio and published in 26 volumes between 1952 and 1974 by the Oita Prefecture Historical Committee. The Ōita ken shiryō, however, does not contain all the documents related to the Ōtomo house from the Kamakura period to the end of the Sengoku period, previously collected by historians Takita Manabu (1891–1966) and Takeuchi Rizō (1907–97) in the Ōtomo hennen shiryō narabi Ōita ken komonjo zenshū, compiled (by the date of their issuance) between 1962 and 1979. Although the latter also contains various temple and shrine documentation such as the Usa jingu documents, it is pertinent mostly to the Ōtomo house and its related documents. A similar collection, devoted only to the documents of the Usa jingu (the main shrines under the 38  Ōuchi and Ōtomo houses in northern Kyushu), appear in the collection Usa jingu shi, also compiled by Takeuchi Rizō. Other collections used in relation to the pirates’ families of northern Kyushu are represented by the series Saigoku bushidan kankei shiryōshū (Documents related to the warrior groups of the western provinces), edited by Akutagawa Tatsuo and Fukugawa Tatsunori between the 1970s and 1980s, a set of more than thirty volumes, each dedicated to one or more warrior families residing in northern Kyushu from the Kamakura period to the end of the Sengoku period. Although this collection is important, it does not provide an analysis of the documents, nor does it contain most of the available documents that are located in other manuscript libraries; at times it overlaps with the documents already included in the Ōita ken shiryō. For example, it was useful to my research for the Kibe and Watanabe families, but did not contain anything related to the Wakabayashi family. I have further looked into city histories like the Hiji chōshi (History of Hiji City), which contains only partial documents of the Watanabe, Kibe, and Wakabayashi in relation to the history of the city; these histories were of limited usefulness but were proposed with a certain chronology and historical content as well. Other compilations used for this chapter were the Yamaguchi Prefectural History, or Yamaguchi kenshi, published from 2000 to 2014 by the Historical Research Society of Yamaguchi Prefecture, which contained all the documents regarding the Mōri domains and their retainers; amongst these are the Murakami clans of the Seto Inland Sea. Although the Yamaguchi kenshi complements the vast domainal collection, the Hagi-han batsuetsuroku, initially compiled in 1720 under the order of Mōri Yoshimoto and first published in 1967, it contains all the documents pertinent to Mōri retainers and family clans, including documents of related families and provinces. During my research I have found that these collections present challenges due to the vast amount of documentation besides these two collections of documents. The prefecture 39  also has what are called “shadow” documents; although part of the same domain or retainer, families were not included in such compilations, but historians used these to find supporting documents for their claims. These shadow documents are often collected as photocopies of handwritten or transcribed documentation and are rather difficult to read. The Yamaguchi Manuscript Library holds a vast collection of books and documents that are not included in either compilation. After having shown the transformation of pirates into northern Kyushu corsairs from a political and economic standpoint, chapter 3 closes with the rivalry between the Ōtomo, Shimazu and Mōri houses to retain major harbours in Kyushu for trade with Ryukyu, Ming China, and Southeast Asia, previous to the conquest of Kyushu by the Toyotomi. Chapter 4 turns to the failure of the Matsura of Hirado to make their domain one of the “doors” to the external world once the Tokugawa adopted trade restrictions as one element in their program for unification, despite the relationships that the Matsura had formed with the domestic and foreign pirates residing in their domain. The pirates of the early seventeenth century were in fact mostly foreigners, not because Japanese pirates were absent, but because they had been politically curtailed. This curtailment precluded the possibility of using domestic piracy in the struggle to abide by the new trade policies formulated by the central government. This chapter examines the specific cases of such pirate clans as the Kozasa and Fukahori, which rose to power by the mid-sixteenth century due to foreign and domestic interventions. The Kozasa clan was doomed because it embraced Christianity, and the Fukahori was doomed because it was without a master who could offer protection before the conquest of Kyushu. Illegal trade continued along the coasts of Hirado during the Tokugawa period, yet the Matsura failed to successfully control their domainal finances because, without the pirates, they could not secure as much revenue after 1610 despite the fact that the Dutch and Chinese had settled there. 40  I have consulted the Kaseiden, a collection of transcribed records from the late sixteenth to the early seventeenth century, compiled by Matsura Seizan or Kiyoshi (1760–1821), lord of Hirado by 1775; the Matsura family records, or Matsura monjo, and the Gonhanmotsu onkaku hairyō no mono kakidashi. The latter provides a record of products imported and exported from Hirado harbour in the seventeenth century; it is also held in the Matsura Museum and Manuscript Library. In regard to piracy, I have used family histories such as the Fukahori monjo and the Ōmura gōzonki (Records of the Ōmura Villages), and the “Memoirs of Andō Ichiemon,” a merchant whose family had traded in Hirado since the Korean wars. In addition to Japanese sources, I have also explored Jesuit letters, the Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk (the Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty from the Fifteenth to the Sixteenth Century), the Liang Zhe haifan leikao xubian (Further Compilation of Categorized Sources on Maritime Defense for Zhejiang), written by Fan Lai (1575–1602), the Vice Surveillance Commissioner of Zhejiang Province, as well as the Riben kao (Japanese Matters) the record of Ming General Li Yan-gong, who was a contemporary of Andō Ichiemon and recorded Japanese trade in Korea during the Korean invasions, and finally, the always useful Diary of Richard Cocks, the English factor at Hirado. Each one of these records provides a subjective, tiny spectrum of what piracy meant for Hirado from a variety of political and economic perspectives. In dealing with the silver traded at Hirado besides having used the records of various Jesuits, I have once again used as a Japanese source the diary of the medium ranking samurai, the Komai nikki, written by Komai Shigekatsu, a retainer of Date Masamune in 1593-95 and edited by Fujita Tsuneharu as a book, published in 1992. In addition, to illustrate the trade in silver I have also used the Diary of the Visit of Mōri Terumoto to Kyoto, Terumoto kō gōjoraku 41  nikki, which describes the silver offered while he was in Kyoto; the Mōri Family Records or Mōri kemonjo; the Iwami Silver Mines Collected Documents or Iwami Ginzan shiryō shū; the documents of the Tada Family or Tada kemonjo, who dealt with silver exports to Hakata, as well as the Diary of Richard Cocks to determine the amount of silver offered within Japan or/and traded abroad. Their usefulness was rather circumscribed to the issues of silver circulating in and out of Japan. In Chapter 5 is examined the annexation of  Ryukyu as the focus of all the policies that the new Tokugawa government had begun by 1603, such as the implementation of the new Shuin system of trade, the elimination of piracy and Christianity, and the silver currency standardization. By 1609 those policies were fully operational, and culminated in the annexation of Ryukyu. Annexation was facilitated by the fact that the Shimazu daimyō, who had hired pirates to compete for maritime routes and harbours in and around Ryukyu as early as 1527, found themselves in a strong position to negotiate their supervision of the trade with the Ming through Ryukyu with the new government. The Hirado domain, although in a similar position, was unable to perform as well. For this chapter, in addition to secondary sources, I have used as the main Japanese documentary source the previously mentioned Kagoshima kenshi kyuki sappan zatsuroku and the Matsura domain documents, Matsura monjo, collected in the Historical Matsura Museum and Manuscript Library in Hirado. In addition, I have also used diaries of the diplomatic type, with regard to foreign trade such as the Ikoku nikki and Tamon’in nikki. The former was written by the monk Konchiin Sūden (1569–1633), diplomatic counselor of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ietada, and the latter written by the monk Tamon’in and other monks of the Kofukuji temple in Yamato province between 1478 and 1618. The Ikoku nikki provided information on the merchants who 42  received licenses to trade and in which countries. This diplomatic diary, although relevant, does not contain all the licenses issued for that period taken into consideration in my research and provides no information on the goods traded. On the other hand, the Tamon’in diary provides only generic information on travels and economic conditions, and is limited by the fact that its written details are according to the opinion of its authors, and is therefore less objective. Other sources of information in regard to the interpretation of Tokugawa’s early diplomatic approaches and international trade include letters written by Jesuits of the caliber of Francesco Pasio, Alessandro Valignano, Rodriguez Girano, and Organtino Gnecchi Soldo. Although partisan in their accounts, their opinions are carefully interpreted with the help of other contemporary authors such as Luis de Cerqueira and the Governor of Manila, Pedro Gonzales de Carvajal, or merchants like Francesco Carletti. I have also sparingly used excerpts from the Ming shih lu (Ming Dynasty Veritable Records) to relate the Ming interpretation of the annexation of Ryukyu. Chapter 5 deals mainly with an international situation and how the Shimazu were able to overcome their difficult situation in light of the elimination of what was considered piratical trade and by obeying Tokugawa rules which disempowered all those families who previously had been their corsairs in the maritime expansion toward the Ryukyu archipelago. Chapter 6 examines the political events at the beginning of Tokugawa rule (1603) that led to the expulsion of the Portuguese from Japan in 1639, analyzing how each corsair group met its demise. Some managed to survive by politically supporting Hideyori as the legitimate ruler of Japan until 1615, but were annihilated in the battle of Shimabara. This battle is interpreted by most scholars as a Christian riot, but in actuality had its roots in the mercantile environment of the economy of southern Japan. Thus it was that the Japanese pirates who had seen their apogee during the latter part of the sixteenth century by taking advantage of the silver trade met their 43  demise at the onset of the Tokugawa regime because trade regulations had changed to their disadvantage. The Tokugawa’s silver policies, coupled with the expulsion of Christianity from Japan, caused the corsairs to be replaced by Chinese and Dutch merchants even on the Ryukyu silver-exporting routes. However, the Dutch and Chinese attacked each other and hindered the Ryukyu trade in such a way that the Tokugawa had to send warnings to both, while the Japanese corsairs engaged in smuggling activities with or without daimyō authorization in the wake of the rise of the Qing and the demise of the Ming dynasty, which continued to exist only and ironically with the support of Chinese pirates. In chapter 6 I have used some of the primary sources mentioned previously, such as the Sappan kyuki zatsuroku for the relations between Satsuma and Ryukyu, and the Nejime monjo to determine the whereabouts of the Nejime corsairs in the Tokugawa period, and on the Saigoku bushidan shiryōshū series and on the Hiji chōshi to elaborate on the Watanabe corsairs, together with the Kokura han jinshiku aratame chō, collected in the Dai nihon kinsei shiryō, published in 1953 as a multivolume collection containing documents from the year 1603 to 1867 in various forms, such as diaries, memoirs, or ordinances. One such example is the case of the Kokura aratame chō, used to individuate the various families who moved from northern Kyushu to Kokura. This chapter in particular discusses the silver offering between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa families and retainers, as described in diaries like the Mitsutoyo kōki, written by a court-bakufu liaison or buke tenso, Kanshuji Mitsutoyo, and in the Tōdaiki written by the Tokugawa retainer, Matsudaira Tadaakira. These two sources give an insight into the gesture of offering silver as a replacement for other precious goods or even the much-sought silk clothing, by the time of the Tokugawa era. The down side of using diaries is that the perspectives are always partisan and not objective, but they can still be considered as good historical sources. 44  Similarly, I have used the Tanimura Yūsan oboegaki  (the Memoir of Tanimura Yūsan), a merchant of Nagasaki, written in 1719, in which he recalled events of his youth in Nagasaki to report Dutch endeavours as perceived by contemporary merchants. I have also dealt with family documentation such as the Bōsho Nabeshima kemonjo for documents pertinent to the Fukahori family in the early seventeenth century in the Saga City Prefectural Library, as well as the Ōiwa kemonjo, a manuscript stored now in the Nagano Castle Museum. At times it was difficult to find documentation, or even more than one document, related to the same event of a family; in such cases I have supported the document in question with secondary sources or with primary sources of Jesuit origin, such as Frois’ Historia or letters from the collection held at the Royal Academy of History in Madrid, such as the document of Mattheus de Couros that dealt with the reported events. In other cases, I have consulted primary sources online. Although several libraries in Japan are now opting for online documents, only well-endowed libraries such as the National Diet Library and others of the same caliber are able to digitize and offer parts of their collections online. While all the above-mentioned primary sources are essential to the history of piracy and maritime trade in Japan, in the case of primary sources regarding the Kingdom of Ryukyu very few can be found outside Okinawa. It is difficult to get primary sources from Okinawa without being physically there.  Chapter 7 concludes this dissertation by restating the initial goals and how these goals were dealt with chapter by chapter. In addition, it shows the manner in which this dissertation has contributed to the field of Japanese maritime history by bringing to the fore a novel concept in interpreting the transformation of Japanese pirates into corsairs as an effect of the silver used as currency in a monetized economy. It also presents the economic policies that impeded the 45  existence of corsairs and of their economic endeavours. Furthermore, it assesses the strength and limitation of this dissertation by looking at its methodological structure and targeted areas of investigation. It also suggests future research direction.    46  Table 1-1. Table of Weights, Measures, and Currency Unit Conversion Currency  1 kan (貫) = 1 kanme= 1 kanmon = 1,000 mon (文) 1,000 mon was equivalent to 1 caxa (copper coins cash string) = 3.75 kilograms 1 mon (文) = 1 sen (銭) = 3.75 grams 1 mon (匁) in silver 1 hiki (疋) = 10 mon Area 1 chō (町) = 10 tan = 9,917 square metres 1 tan (反) = 360 bu = 991.7 square metres 1 bu (歩) = 2.75 square metres 1 gō (合) = 0.275 square metres Volume  1 koku (石) = 180 litres 1 tō (斗) = 18 litres 1 shō (升) = 1.8 litres 1 gō (合) 0. 18 litres 1 shaku (勺) = 0.018 litres  1 hyō (表) = 72 litres  47   Map 1-1. Map of Japan   48  Chapter 2: The Development of Japanese Pirates as Corsairs  on the Maritime Routes from Japan to Ryukyu, 1520s–1570s 2.1 Introduction Kyushu in the sixteenth century had several transshipment harbours that were used to import goods from East Asia and export Japanese manufactured products. As official trade was a prerogative of kings and the state as a diplomatic tool, it was insufficient to meet the demands for foreign goods made by the nobility, local warriors, and religious institutions.84 Private trade, often interpreted as illegal and therefore piratical, supplied these demands of the elite. Arano Yasunori created the concept of wakoteki jyōkyō (piratical condition) to indicate the illegal exchange of goods that existed in East Asia as an alternative to the diplomatic tribute trade formulated by Ming China to which most countries, except Japan, adhered. Arano asserts that individual endeavours of piratical trade existed and thrived only when the Ming government promulgated the maritime prohibitions (1547–1568) that prohibited diplomatic trade.85 Due to the prohibitions illegal trade carried out by pirates and merchant-pirates flourished. Murai Shosuke defined Japanese pirates—particularly the pirates of Kyushu—who engaged in such trade using Amino Yoshihiko’s theory of “sea people,” as peripheral people whose identities were blurred. Their lives were at the mercy of local elites in the best of cases, or at the mercy of poor economic conditions in the worst of cases, and they took advantage of the opportunities presented to them by resorting to piracy.86 Specifically regarding Kyushu piracy, scholars such                                                  84 Hamashita Takeshi, China, East Asia and the Global Economy, eds. Mark Selden and Linda Grove, (NY: Routlegde, 2008), 18. 85 Arano Yasunori, “The Formation of a Japanocentric World Order,” International Journal of Asian Studies, 2, 2(2005): 186-187. 86 Murai Shosuke, “Chusei no wajintachi” in Kyushu shigaku, 107 (1993): 3-4.   49  as Niina Kazuhito, who deals with the Shimazu’s competition and piracy in the early sixteenth century, and Kuroshima Satoru, who has instead interpreted the role of Japanese pirates and of the Japanese government as becoming more entrenched in Ryukyu affairs, interpreted pirates respectively as Kyushu daimyō’s forces, and as government tools, but have not considered pirates as fundamental players.87 In this chapter, I challenge the research of previous scholars. I analyze the competition for maritime routes and the Ashikaga shoguns’ tributary trade policies towards Ming China and Ryukyu from the maritime perspective of Kyushu pirates. I argue that Arano’s view implies a Sino-centric view of both diplomatic trade and piracy, in which pirates existed in relation to illegal trade. However, Japanese pirates existed not only in relation to Ming maritime policies, but also in relation to internal conflicts. In the first place, the competition for maritime routes between Japan, Ryukyu, and East Asia increased as a result of the silver trade, which gave Japanese pirates the opportunity to profit, not only in terms of wealth, but to carve a niche as agents of local Kyushu daimyō. Their commercial agency allowed them to take advantage of the competition for maritime routes to Ryukyu. This enabled them to gain status as mediators between the centre and the peripheries and to shift the commercial focus from Ryukyu to Tsushima once Japan became the locus for the exchange of weaponry for silver and silver currency. This monetization of the local economy enabled the transformative process that turned pirates into corsairs. Far from being peripheral, they were key actors in beginning a process of Japanese economic integration much earlier than the historical events that produced Japan’s political and territorial unification.                                                  87 Niina Kazuhiko, Satsuma Shimazu shi (Tokyo: Ebisu-kosho, 214), 6. See also Kuroshima Satoru, Umi no bushidan (Tokyo: Kuroshima Satoru, 2013), 39. 50   Map 2-1. Maritime routes from Satsuma to Ryukyu. 51  2.1.1 The Competition for Maritime Routes in the Yamato–Ryukyu Trade: Piracy as a Gateway to Foreign Markets, 1490–1590 Japan in the early sixteenth century was divided into sixty-six provinces ruled by warlords (daimyō) who financed territorial conflicts by having their merchants and retainers engage in trade. Two of the most influencial daimyō families who sponsored courtiers and shoguns were the Hosokawa and Ōuchi families, in central Japan. They had risen in prominence at court and within the military government (bakufu) of the Ashikaga shoguns, whom they sponsored. By shogunal orders, both families carried on diplomatic trade with Ming China, competing with each other. In the 1530s, the discovery of silver in Japan and its export, whether for legal (official) or illegal (hence piratical) trade, heightened their conflict. The stage for such conflict became the maritime routes from Kyoto to southern Japan. Pirates became the agents of this competition. In 1516, a nefarious murder occurred in the harbour of Bōnotsu, which was controlled by one branch of the Shimazu family of Satsuma. The victim, Miyake Kunihide, was described as a pirate leader of twelve vessels that had approached the harbour and been given permission to dock en route to the Ryukyu Islands. Miyake Kunihide was attacked and killed after a brief armed conflict with another warrior gang, and his ships were burned. This particular incident affected shogunal policies related to trade via the Ryukyu archipelago until Ryukyu’s annexation and even afterward, as Tokugawa Ieyasu tried to reopen trade and diplomatic negotiations with Ming China. Although the killing of Miyake Kunihide in itself was a grave matter, as we shall see later, it did not resonate in the shogunal court, nor amongst the warrior families who sponsored the Ashikaga shoguns. At least, it did not affect them right away. However, without doubt the killing of Miyake Kunihide was related in the first 52  place to the tribute trade performed between Japan and Ming China, and in the second place to the competition for maritime routes used by pirates. In the third place, it was related to both diplomatic and commercial relations that existed between Japan and Ryukyu. The tribute trade from Japan was carried out via the tally system (kangō bōeki). As originally implemented, this consisted of trade regulated by tallies cut in two parts, one to be left with the issuant (the Korean, Ming or Ryukyu court) and the other owned by the Ashikaga shogun, as “king” of Japan. Hashimoto Yu claims that problems with the tally system arose by the mid-fifteenth century, when Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436–1490) owned the tallies but was granted trading rights only close to the year of his death. In 1490, when he died, Ashikaga Yoshitane rose to power, only to be ousted in 1493, when Shogun Ashikaga Yoshizumi, sponsored by Hosokawa Masamoto, came to power.  Yoshitane regained his power in 1508 and held it until 1521, backed by both Hosokawa Tadakuni and Ōuchi Yoshioki.88 Both the Hosokawa and the Ōuchi houses sponsored the shogun who best favoured their commercial interests. The Hosokawa established and modified the tally trade. In fact, as they managed the trade with Ryukyu, the tallies came to be exchanged as commercial rights for trading in certain commodities.89 The consequence of considering the tallies to be a commodity was that they could be sold or given to supportive warlords who engaged in trade on behalf of the shogun, and this occurred every time there was a change of shogun supported by a courtier’s or daimyō’s house. In this manner, the Hosokawa and the Ōuchi houses rose in prominence and carried out international trade by supporting the shogun of                                                  88 Araki Kazunori, “Jūgo, jūroku seiki no Shimazu shi Ryukyu kankei” Kyushu shigaku, 144 (2006): 179. 89 Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon no kokusai kankei (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2005), 179–180. 53  the day, although both houses competed fiercely to obtain the tallies, which were issued only by the shoguns.  Further complicating the trading tally issue, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshizumi released a second set of tallies in 1504, invalidating the ones previously issued and thus causing problems in the receiving countries, which now possessed the matching tallies for the invalidated ones only. Due to this double issuance of tallies, a severe diplomatic incident arose, involving both Hosokawa and Ōuchi houses. In 1523, two missions led respectively by the Ōuchi and the Hosokawa houses arrived at Ningpo, both claiming to be rightful shogunal missions. The Ming accepted the Ōuchi mission carrying the newest set of tallies, while the Hosokawa faction carried the older tallies.90 In the ensuing fight, several Japanese and Chinese were killed, and the Ming prohibited the Japanese from trading on their shores. Both Ōuchi and Hosokawa houses competed for direct maritime routes to the only available Chinese harbour open to them, Ningpo. However, according to Kuroshima Satoru, the Hosokawa had, in fact, set up their own trading seal (inhan 印判). This seal, nominally on behalf of the bakufu and the whole of Japan, was, however, practically exclusive to them, enabling them to control foreign trade to their benefit.91 In 1508, the year in which Shogun Ashikaga Yoshitane regained power; the Shimazu in southern Japan obtained the use of the trading seal on behalf of the bakufu Hosokawa faction, creating a Hosokawa–Shimazu trading route to the Kingdom of Ryukyu. The route was interrupted after the 1523 Ningpo incident, but reestablished via Ryukyu in 1530 to trade with Ming China.                                                  90 Araki Kazunori, “Jūgo, jūroku seiki no Shimazu shi Ryukyu kankei,” 180. 91 Kuroshima Satoru, “Ryukyu Ōkoku to chūsei Nihon,” Shigaku zasshi 109 (2000): 42. 54  In 1527, four years after the Hosokawa clan’s disastrous attack on the Ōuchi tribute ships at Ningpo, the Ming court restored proper diplomatic and trade relations with Japan, using the Ryukyu Kingdom as a mediator in sending an official letter to the “king of Japan,” Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiharu, backed by the Hosokawa, to reestablish diplomatic and trade relations via Ryukyu. The Hosokawa explained that in 1523, the Ōuchi carried the “right” tallies only because they had stolen them. Hence, the Hosokawa had resorted to sending a trading mission with the “wrong” tallies. There is documentary evidence that the Ōuchi tried in vain to curtail the Hosokawa–Ryukyu–Ming route by sending an envoy from the Tenkaji temple to discuss the matter in Ryukyu.92 The Hosokawa began using Ryukyu to trade with China in 1530, while the Ōuchi would trade directly with the Ming.93 In this way, a two-pronged channel of trade was created, using different routes with the support of the Ryukyu monarchy. This precedent enabled the stabilization of diplomatic relations with Ming China after the annexation of Ryukyu. The Ryukyu monarchy had high standing in Ming’s diplomatic traditions and was becoming relevant to Japanese diplomatic culture as well, mainly because of the breakup of and loopholes within the tribute system of trade, to which Askikaga Yoshimitsu had adhered in 1408. However, by 1530, when the Ashikaga bakufu-sponsored Hosokawa-Ming relations were reestablished via the Ryukyu Kingdom, disputed maritime trading routes became the stage for piratical competition, backed by the Ashikaga bakufu via its sponsor daimyō clans, against the emerging powers of the Kyushu daimyō. Japanese pirates hired as mercenaries fought hard to control trading routes on behalf of their respective employers.                                                  92 Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon no kokusai kankei, 226–227. 93 Ibid., 223–224. 55  This was the framework within which the incident of Miyake Kunihide was mentioned again in the 1530s. After the reestablishment of Hosokawa trading rights via Ryukyu, Imaoka Ninbu Daishu Michiaki wrote to Tokunaga Hayatosa in 1533 to report that Miyake Izumi no kami Kunihide, a pirate of Tsurashima (in Bicchū, now Okayama, Japan) had died in the harbour of Bōnotsu while at the command of a coastal patrol ship en route to the Ryukyu Kingdom. He claimed that Miyake Kunihide had been traveling to Ryukyu to “use military strategy toward the Ryukyu Kingdom.”94 This particular sentence has been interpreted by postwar scholars to mean that the Ashikaga shogunate had already envisioned the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom by the early sixteenth century. In the same document, it is also written that Imaoka Michiaki, the sender, was actually requesting permission from Tokunaga Hayatosa, the recipient, to use several harbours along the route to Ryukyu. Hence, the document was not relaying news on a possible piratical invasion of the kingdom of Ryukyu but requesting the use of harbours and maritime routes controlled by Shimazu clan retainers. The key to understanding the document is the motive behind why it was written in 1533 about a murder that had occurred in 1516, and the identities of the parties involved: the victim, Miyake Kunihide; the writer, Imaoka Michiaki; and the recipient, Tokunaga Hayatosa. Miyake Kunihide had been hired in 1516 as a trading envoy to lead twelve ships belonging to the bakufu on behalf of the Hosokawa clan. According to Niina Kazuhiko, the murder occurred over trading rights and the control of harbours in southern Japan.95 Miyake Kunihide was killed by Shimazu                                                  94 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 2, doc. 2227 (Tokyo: Shūendo Shuppan, 1985). See also Kuroshima Satoru, Chūsei no kenryoku to rettō (Tokyo: Kōshi shoin, 2012), 137. The mentioned documents are also in the original source, namely, the Shimazu kemonjo mokuroku as doc. 4607 (written in 1533) and doc. 4603 (written in 1535). 95 Niina Kazuhiko, “Miyake Kunihide Imaoka Michiaki no Ryukyu tōsen keika wo meguru shō mondai,” Kyushu shigaku 144 (2006): 55. 56  Tadakata (1497–1519), of the Shimazu Oushu clan, to punish another branch of the Shimazu clan ruling Bōnotsu for allowing the Hosokawa to use the harbour. However, Miyake Kunihide was also the administrator of Sakai city—the Venice of Japan, according to the Jesuit Vilela, who visited there in 1562.96 Sakai was the wealthiest harbour in all of Japan because of its closeness to the capital, Kyoto, and to the mercantile city of Ōsaka. The goods passing through Sakai fetched the highest prices, as those goods were to be used by the elite residing in the capital city. Hence, the murder of Miyake Kunihide was politically and economically motivated for both the Shimazu- and the bakufu-sponsored pirates. It is possible that the Shimazu Oushu clan, as peripheral daimyō, were fighting the central government for control of maritime trading routes to the centres of commerce and trade in East Asia and Ryukyu. Kuroshima Satoru states that the Shimazu of Oushu may have had fewer trading rights than previously thought.97 If that was the case, it is rather obvious that they would not have wanted the interference of bakufu-sponsored pirates on their maritime trading routes. To understand why this incident was mentioned fifteen years later within the historical context of the competition to obtain dockage in southern harbours, and thereby control maritime routes, we must also unlock the identities of the sender and the recipient of the letter, namely Imaoka Michiaki and Tokunaga Hayatosa. Imaoka Michiaki was a pirate of Oshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. He was an ally of the Noshima Murakami pirates, who controlled the toll barriers from Hiroshima to Sakai.98                                                  96 Gaspar Vilela, Cartas que los padres y hermanos de la Compañía de Jesúus, que andan en los reynos de Japón escrivieron a los de la misma Compañía, desde el año de mil y quinientos y quarenta y nueve, hasta el de mil y quinientos y setenta y uno. En las quales se da noticia de las varias costumbres y idolatrias de aquella gentilidad: y se cuenta el principio y successo y bondad de los christianos de aquellas partes. (Alcala: Casas de Jua Iniguez de Leguerica, 1575), ff.164-166. 97 Kuroshima Satoru, “Ryukyu ōkuni to chūsei nihon,” Shigaku zasshi 109 (2000): 41–42. 98 Ibid., 42. 57  In 1551, Sue Harukata, a retainer of the Ōuchi family, wrote to both Murakami Tarō and Imaoka Hōki no kami, reporting that Murakami Takanori, another member of the Murakami clans, had to levy taxes—or protection money, to be exact—on goods imported by Sakai and Kyoto merchants trading in southern Kyushu, namely in the Shimazu domain of Satsuma, rather than exacting the toll fees, or in addition to the toll fees merchants had to pay for passage at certain checkpoints controlled by the Murakami pirates.99 Previously, Noshima Murakami Takashige had won the right to operate a protection business from the island of Itsukushima (Hiroshima Bay) and could assess his protection fees from the international ships’ lading of goods (sponsored by Ōuchi Yoshitaka), intending to economically hurt the merchants of Sakai (protected by the Hosokawa). Yoshitaka allowed the Noshima to charge protection money from international ships except for the ones coming from Hyuga and Satsuma, ruled by the Shimazu houses.100 By 1551, Sue Harukata, was interfering in Shimazu-ruled territory, requesting that the Noshima Murakami clan exact protection money there. Murakami Tarō, one of the recipients of the document, was the young leader of the Noshima clan, Murakami Takeyoshi.101 The Imaoka family were members of the Kōno pirates, with their base at Amazaki Fortress in Shikoku which, as allies of the Noshima Murakami clan, collected protection money on their behalf.102                                                  99 Ehime Kenshi Hensan Iinkai, Ehime kenshi kodai chūsei, doc. 1770,(Matsuyama: Ehime Ken, 1983), 954. 100 Peter Shapinsky, Lords of the Sea, 112-113. 101 Ōta Gyūichi, The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga, eds.George Elisonas and Jerome Lamers (Leiden: Brill, 2011), XV. Rogriguez, the interpreter, related that the Japanese had different names at different stages of their lives. Tarō was the jitsumyō, or personal proper name, of Murakami Takeyoshi when he was young and had not assumed a title. 102 Yamauchi Shinji, Kōno Jōzoin monjo ni tsuite (ge) shiryō shokai, (Matsushima: Ehime ken Rekishi Bunka Hakubutsukan Kenkyū Kiyo, 2006), 109. Imaoka Minbu appears in the Ishoki as harbour deputy (hikan) of Amazaki Fortress in Shikoku, with a hatamoto status, and having under him a total of five ships. In addition, the Imaoka family is listed as part of the eighteen great generals of Kōno Michinao. Furthermore, in the Jōzōin monjo, there is a reference to an Imaoka Minbudaibu as being part of one of the pirate groups under Kōno Michinao. That is not all: there is an interesting link to the Miyake family as part of the Kōno clan. Hence, the document may not only reveal the motivation for gaining more harbors but also a link between the genealogy of the Kōno clan and the Miyake. However, scholar Miyake Kazuhiro doubts that Imaoka Michiaki was part of the Kōno clan because the “Michi” part of his name was written in some documents with the character for “way,” while the Kōno clan used the 58  The 1533 document written by Imaoka Michiaki can be interpreted as a request for reparations for the damage caused by the killing of a shogunate mercenary by someone of the same status. Imaoka may have been seeking redress through the use of southern Kyushu harbours to exact protection money. The document is addressed to Tokunaga Hayatosa, who Niina Kazuhito identified as belonging to a family of record keepers for the Tanegashima clan, which ruled over the harbours of the Tōkara archipelago stretching between southern Japan and Ryukyu.103 But the associations of the Tokunaga family were not limited to the Tanegashima clan; they also had connections with the Itō clan of Hyuga (later to become Ōtomo retainers and famous Christians) and with the Shimazu, as the Tanegashima had established marriage relations with retainers of the Shimazu Oushu clan. In 1533, southern Kyushu was not unified under the Oushu Shimazu clan; this would take place in 1547. Therefore, shipping to Ryukyu and China from southern harbours had to be diverted between the 1530s and 1540s because of internal conflicts. Hence it is possible that the Ōuchi, via their sponsored pirates, the Noshima Murakami and their retainers, the Imaoka house, were seeking alternate maritime routes and harbours, and to hinder the Hosokawa-Shimazu trade with Ryukyu. In 1542, in an attempt to exclude the Tanegashima from dealing with the Ryukyu trade, Ōuchi Yoshitaka, through his magistrate Sagara Taketou, sent a letter to the Ryukyu magistrate of Naha Harbour to request that ships coming from Tanegashima be detained in Satsuma.104 The letter could be interpreted as an attempt to stop the Hosokawa-sponsored trade, since the Ōuchi                                                                                                                                                              character for “expert, connoisseur.” In my view, since the documents were written by different people in different regions, it is possible that those who wrote the documents were simply using the characters phonetically. 103 Niina Kazuhiko, “Miyake Kunihide-Imaoka Michiaki no Ryūkyū tōsen keika wo meguru shō mondai,” 61. In the Kamakura period, the Tanegashima family was a cadet branch of the Ashikaga shoguns. Later, this chapter explores the function of the Tōkara Islands in this type of negotiation. 104 Ibid., 202. 59  clan anticipated that the Satsuma–Ryukyu route would soon fall under their control. (This attempt was previously mentioned in the case of Imaoka Michiaki, who had requested and most likely obtained permission to trade via Tanegashima with Ryukyu.) Sue Harukata’s 1551 letter shows a changed political setting: in that year, he staged a coup that led to the suicide of Ōuchi Yoshitaka, his lord, who had tried to obtain control of the Ryukyu maritime route.105 By writing directly to a henchman of the Murakami pirates and to a retainer of the Tanegashima, Sue was most likely trying to obtain what his lord, Ōuchi Yoshitaka, had not been able to establish in the 1540s—namely, the rights to use a trading route to Ryukyu via the corsairs of the Seto Inland Sea in connection with the Shimazu corsairs, the Tanegashima. However, we should first consider the role played by the Tanegashima in the maritime environment of southern Kyushu. This clan came into contact with the Shimazu during the latter wars of conquest to unify southern Kyushu, which they had been fighting since the mid-fifteenth century. The Tanegashima had revenue of one thousand koku and in 1511, Shimazu Tadaji gave them one hundred households. They practised marriage alliances, much sought after in the period of civil wars to secure economic and geopolitical relationships. The Tanegashima allied themselves through marriages with all three main Shimazu clans ruling southern Kyushu as they expanded their territories and were even able to gain rule over two other main islands, part of the Tōkara archipelago, in return for their alliances.106 The relationship between the Tanegashima and the Shimazu clans was not one of dependency, as the Tanegashima were not yet Shimazu retainers but were more or less hired                                                  105 Itoh Kōji, “Ōuchi shi no Ryukyu tsūkō,” Nenpyō chūsei shi kenkyū 38 (2003): 202–203. 106 Yara Ken’ichirō, “Chūsei goki no Tanegashima shi to minami Kyushu to chiiki,” Shigaku zasshi, 121 (2012): 11. 60  forces. For example, in 1521, Hosokawa Tadakuni hired Tanegashima Musashi no kami as a maritime patrol guard (keigōshū) to defend a ship bringing tribute to the Ming.107 This fact reveals that the Tanegashima as skilled seafarers, also engaging in piracy, sold their services to daimyō who could afford them.  Similarly, the Innoshima Murakami clan of the Seto Inland Sea were hired in 1443 to escort tributary ships of the Ōuchi to Ming China.108 That tradition had not died by 1547, when Sakugen revealed in his Nyūminki (Record of Entering Ming China), that the tributary ships, a total of nine vessels sponsored by various southern Japanese daimyō, were escorted en route to the Ming by “all the pirates of Japan,” hired on that occasion as maritime patrols.109 The piratical endeavours of the Tanegashima did not stop at sea. In fact, their genealogy (Tanegashima Kafu) indicates that on at least one recorded occasion (but most likely on several others as well), they confiscated goods from Chinese who were shipwrecked on their islands. In an attempt to situate the Tanegashima historically as fief holders in the Japanese hierarchy, Yara Keichirō has described them as wanting to seize land and expand their authority to other islands in the Tōkara archipelago, namely Kajiajima, Iōjima (Sulphur Island), and Takeshima.110 Previously, it has been shown that the Tanegashima, via their Tokunaga retainer, had been contacted in 1533 by the Murakami pirates of the Seto Inland Sea to gain access to the southern harbours and routes under Tanegashima control. Hence, by that time, they had already established their control over the maritime routes between the Tōkara archipelago and Ryukyu, preventing other daimyō from interfering in their territories. Because of this, they likely                                                  107 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 4. Tanegashima Kafu, (Tokyo: Shūendo Shuppan, 1985), 4, 25. 108 Morimoto Takeshi, Innoshima no rekishi (Innoshima: Innoshima Bunkazai Kyokai, 1994), 17. 109 Sakugen, Nyūminki, see Makita Tairyō ed., Sakugen nyūminki no kenkyū, vol. 1, 353. 110 Yara Ken’ichirō, “Chūsei goki no Tanegashima shi to minami Kyushu to chiiki,” 5–6. 61  provoked the ire of several daimyō who traded in sulphur, such as the Ōuchi, who tried to implement an embargo on the Tanegashima in 1542, as they relied on Iōjima for tribute offerings. On the other hand, the still politically unstable Shimazu chose to obtain their collaboration, particularly after the arrival of the Portuguese at Tanegashima in 1543. After the arrival of the Portuguese and the introduction of musket technology in 1543, the Tanegashima became central to the Nanban trade. However, before that, as rulers of Tanegashima and through their retainers in the Tōkara Islands, they played an essential role in the commercial activities that took place between the Shimazu, the lords of Satsuma, and the kingdom of Ryukyu. Ryukyu and Japan maintained tribute relations; however, Japan was also a mediator between Ryukyu and Chosŏn Korea. Therefore, private trade relations and piracy occurred throughout the islands between those countries because of the high level of trade taking place in Naha. The competition for Ryukyu maritime routes, sponsored by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshiharu, was in reality fulfilled by pirates hired by the Hosokawa. The demise of the relevance of Ryukyu maritime routes resulted from several factors, among them the discovery and trade of Japanese silver. This took place in the span of less than a century. 2.2 The Rise and Fall of the Ryukyu Kingdom as a Transshipment Centre, 1450–1530 In this section, I explain that the trade with Ryukyu through the harbours of Hakata and Tsushima lost its importance because of the silver trade, which was first handled by pirates. Several factors caused it to lose predominance, among these Ming maritime bans, fake missions, and a lack of shipping resources. The demise of Ryukyu trade meant an increase in the importance of maritime locations in Ryukyu, Japan, and Korea, given that silver was traded through the Japanese archipelagos and Chinese networks. 62  It is relevant here at first to introduce the role of Ryukyu in East Asia as a transshipment harbour. The Ryukyu archipelago originally comprised three kingdoms, which had been unified by the middle kingdom (the late fourteenth century). According to the Rekidai hōan, the kingdom of Ryukyu had already established connections with Yuan and Ming China as a tributary kingdom, as well as with several other countries, such as Japan, Chosŏn Korea, Siam, Malacca, Indonesia, and Sumatra.  Takara Kurayoshi has proposed several reasons for the commercial relevance of the Ryukyu kingdom between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. First, the maritime bans imposed in the early Ming period, with their trade restrictions on Southeast Asia, forced merchants to find new markets for their goods. This fact allowed the Ryukyu people to ship goods originating in Southeast Asia elsewhere, making great profits. Second, the small and timber-poor kingdom of Ryukyu received an offer to have its trading ships built in China. For those reasons, Kobata relates that there was only one tribute mission with a ship built in Naha, as, in the mid-fifteenth century, Japanese merchant vessels were used for that purpose.111 Third, the Chinese community in Ryukyu established the town of Kumemura on an island adjacent to the harbour of Naha, mainly inhabited by expatriate Chinese from Fujian and nearby regions engaging in trading missions.112 Those advantages were not given freely, as the Ming, anxious to eliminate piracy along their coastal areas, incentivized other countries to deal with piracy by providing them with resources.                                                  111 Kobata Atsushi, Matsuda Mitsugu, Ryukyuan Relations and South Sea Countries (Tokyo: Kawakita Printing, 1969), 58. 112 Takara Kurayoshi, The History of Overseas Expansion (Tokyo: Sanseido, 1942), cited in Hiromichi Okamoto, “Foreign Policy and Maritime Trade in the Early Ming Period: Focussing on the Ryukyu Kingdom,” Articles of the Tōhō Gakkai (2007): 36. 63  A form of “country trade” (as it would be called by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century) was what maintained Ryukyu as a trade centre for more than a century. For example, Siamese trade was conducted primarily with Ming China, under the tribute system. Siamese goods were handled by Ryukyuan traders, as middlemen, before they reached Japan. Ryukyu exploited that to its own advantage, engaging in exchanges of Siamese goods in other countries and reselling other countries’ goods in Siam or in Naha itself, which acted as a transshipment harbour for goods manufactured elsewhere. However, the Ming’s maritime ban and trade restrictions could not have had long-lasting effects, chiefly because the Siamese did not travel to Ryukyu.113   In addition to these restrictions on Siamese and Japanese trade, in 1440 the Ming only allowed one mission a year from Siam and Champa, and in 1453 they restricted the missions from Japan by two-thirds.114 Ryukyu could maintain its centrality only as middleman in the Asian trade. Once new players began trading directly with Siam and on the Chinese coast, Ryukyu’s trading supremacy declined. Among those new players were the Sino-Japanese pirates. The second factor in Ryukyu’s relevance was the construction of ships in China for Ryukyu missions. Although interpreted as a benefit, it could also have acted as a hindrance. In fact, Ming China allowed the construction of large-tonnage ships for tribute purposes; we can imagine that these were not easy to manoeuvre when dodging pirate attacks. Okamoto Hiromichi reports that from 1446 until about 1510, Ryukyu seafarers used ships built in Fujian province that had a tonnage of 1,260 Japanese koku and carried crews of three hundred. This changed                                                  113 Kobata Atsushi, Matsuda Mitsugu, Ryukyuan Relations and South Sea Countries, 53–54. 114 Okamoto Hiromichi, “Foreign Policy and Maritime Trade in the Early Ming Period: Focussing on the Ryukyu Kingdom,” Articles of the Tōhō Gakkai (2007): 47. 64  drastically in 1510, when they shifted to much lighter, four-hundred koku cargo ships crewed by one hundred men.115  Because of their smaller size and greater speed, these Fujian-built vessels could avoid pirate attacks in dangerous waters, although bigger vessels could withstand pirate attacks. However, the main reason for the change in ships’ size was probably due to the changed trading routes and the arrival of newcomers.  By 1510, the Portuguese had entered the Strait of Malacca and taken over the Gujarati merchants’ routes. Their arrival in waters navigated by Ryukyu traders may well have driven the latter to change their trading routes for safer coast-to-coast trade rather than long-haul voyages at sea. Perhaps this is the reason why, from 1510, Ryukyu shifted to the lighter vessels. As proposed by Takara Kurayoshi, the third factor favouring the commercial relevance of Ryukyu was the Chinese settlement of Kumemura on the island of Ukijima, which comprised several families who originated from China and retained their Chinese language and customs. These families formed a link between the kingdom of Ryukyu and Ming China by participating in the tributary missions, assuming several important functions. The Naha shi shi (History of Naha City) emphasizes Chinese families such as the Mo, Ma, Cheng, Sai, Shi, Wang, Lin, and others.116 From 1506 on, we find that several of these families participated in tributary missions to China and elsewhere, mainly carrying sulphur, silver, decorated golden swords, and often barrels of gold and copper, as well. The Chen and Cheng families from Kumemura participated in almost all the tributary missions as envoys, captains, and in other functions; their names appear in several documents                                                  115 Okamoto Hiromichi, “Ko Ryukyu kino Ryukyu okoku ni okeru ‘kaisen’ wo meguru shosō,” Higashi Ajia bunka kōshōgaku kenkyū 1 (2008): 221–248. 116 Naha Shiryōhen Iinkai, Naha shi shi, shiryōhen dai 1, maki 6 jō, (Naha: Naha Shishi, 1980), 433. 65  spanning almost two centuries. For example, Chen Zoku (陳賊) and his father, Tsunanari (陳継成),117 whose names appear in the Naha shi shi, seemed to have participated in several tributary missions from 1530 on, together with other envoys.118 Chen Zoku appeared in a diplomatic mission in 1552, and his father was recorded on a previous mission. They also travelled together later.119 It is possible that those positions were inherited, as in a family business, due to their years of experience on the sea and as envoys. According to Maehira Fusaaki, the use of such settlers by the Ryukyu kings was not only a method to expand the kingdom’s centrality in East Asian commerce but also an attempt to limit the influx of Chinese merchants from the mainland, regulating official trade by having it handled by expatriate Chinese.120 Although it is doubtful that such a policy could have limited the arrival of Chinese into the harbour of Naha, it may indeed have increased the connection between mercantile families in Ryukyu and their contacts in China and elsewhere. Using these families as envoys was a practical trading necessity, as it was advantageous to have people and intelligence in foreign territories. They constituted a link between Ming China and the Ryukyu Kingdom. Although it is certain that not all of these people worked as merchants or envoys, the Chinese occupied all sorts of social layers, and due to their services, they were also given fiefs when working for the Ryukyu government.121 Even if, with time, they intermarried with people of the Ryukyu Islands, new immigrants to Kumemura are documented to have arrived after the                                                  117 I use the Japanese reading of Chinese names, but it is very possible that their names were pronounced also in Japanese, as we know that Ryukyu language of the sixteenth century could be understood by Japanese. 118 Naha Shiryōhen Iinkai, Naha shi shi, 488. 119 Okinawa Kenritsu Toshokan, Rekidai hōan, (Okinawa: Okinata Kenritsu Toshokan Hen, 1992), 249–250. 120 Maehira Fusaaki, “Minchō no kaikin seisaku to Ryukyu kaikin: wakōron wo chūshini,” Historical Review of Transport and Communication (2008): 64. 121 Fukuzawa Akito, “Kinsei Ryukyu ni okeru wata shi no seisan,” in Rettō shi no minami to kita, eds. Maehira Fusaaki (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2006), 58–59. 66  establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate and the annexation of Ryukyu by the Satsuma domain. This appears to strengthen the argument that those families were vital to Ryukyu’s trade.122 Kumemura was but one of four foreign settlements on the island of Ukijima that hosted not only a Chinese community but also Japanese, Koreans, and people of mixed origins (the wajin, not necessarily recognized as Japanese but as seafaring people living in nearby islands and engaging in trade and piracy).123 In records such as the Wanbao quanshu (万宝全書 Compilations of Ten Thousand Precious Things), written in 1628, it is clear that the wajin were not distinguished by deportment, physical attributes such as hairstyles, or a spoken language that could be recognized by countries that dealt with them, and therefore they were deemed “pirates” or “seafarers” in the best of cases.124 The wajin appear to have been Japanese who were residing on islands at a distance from Japan and not in Japan proper. There were also cases where even the identities of Ryukyu people came to be misinterpreted. Hence, wajin status was easily manipulated in case of conflicts or shipwrecks. The wajin also took refuge in Kumemura (as did those who had been shipwrecked) for protection against pirate attacks. The island itself seems to have been surrounded by a protective wall.125 Teisai wrote in the Tenna era (1681–84) about events that occurred between 1573 and 1592. With regard to the Japanese living in Ukijima, older records like his Teisai hōshi den (the memoirs of Teisai) show that there were Japanese merchants who arrived from Kagoshima, Bōnotsu, Yamakawa, and the Tōkara archipelago to trade, and that some resided there in a town                                                  122 Fukuzawa Akito, “Kinsei Ryukyu ni okeru wata shi no seisan,” 228. 123Murai Shosuke, Chūsei no wajinden  (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1993), 23. Murai Shosuke has defined “wajin” as “marginal men,” often used to refer to the pirates traveling the Korean shores since the fourteenth century. In the sixteenth century, “wajin” referred to migrant people living off the sea, on ships, who might occasionally act as pirates. 124 Watanabe Miki, “Jūroku seiki sue kara jūnana seiski hajime no chugoku tōnan engai ni okeru ryukyujin zō,” Shigaku zasshi 10 (2007): 3–4. 125 Uezato Takashi, “Ko Ryukyu-Naha no wajin kyoryuchi to shinakai seikai,” Shigaku zasshi vol. 114 (2005): 4–5. 67  of two to three hundred households.126 Uezato Takashi confirms that the Japanese community was not tightly knit; however, aside from having their own quarters in the north of Ukijima in a place called Wakasamachi, the Japanese also lived in Izumizaki and Tomari, the latter off the island but connected to it by a long bridge. They engaged in diplomatic, cultural, and commercial activities with southern Japan (both legal and illegal).127 The Japanese community of Kumemura was active in trading between Ryukyu and southern Japan, often utilizing Buddhist temple communities that had been established in certain locations to foster cultural and religious ties. From the middle of the fifteenth century, monks from several powerful religious sects built new temples in Ryukyu. At least two main branches of the powerful temples of Kyoto, the Sanrin and Tetto sects, found permanent bases for their trading and religious activities in Kumemura, as did the Kyoto Rinzai sect, famous for its trading and travelling monks, and the Satsuma branch of Tofukuji. Also, Sakai merchants exported a branch of the Daitokuji Buddhist sect to Ryukyu.128 Exporting religious ideas and building temples for residents meant that there was a Japanese community or at least a cosmopolitan community of worshipers affiliated with various temples. Temples promoting commercial enterprises had subtemples in several locations, stretching from Kyoto to southern Japan and along the maritime routes connecting Ryukyu to the harbours of southern Japan. The Shimazu of Satsuma tried to capitalize on the community of Kumemura by establishing close cultural and trading connections along with tribute relations. In the late fifteenth century, the monk Ichijōin (一乗院) settled in Bōnotsu and traded from there with                                                  126 Teisai, “Teisai Hōshi Den” (1681), Dai nihon kaishi henshū shiryō, 4-5-27, accessed on March 15th, 2015 at 127 Uezato Takashi, “The Formation of the Port City of Naha in Ryukyu and the World of Maritime Asia: From the Perspective of a Japanese Network,” The Articles of Tōhō Gakkai (2008): 62–66. 128Itoh  Kōji, “Jūgo jūroku seiki no Nihon to Ryukyu,” 9. 68  Ryukyu on behalf of the Shimazu clan. His records note that that timber was traded to build temples, and a commercial ship brought gold and silver objects from Ryukyu.129 Ichijōin participated in the tributary missions to China from Japan in 1453 and 1469 as vice envoy under the name Tōrin (東林). He was originally from Ōmi province in central Japan and was part of the Sasaki Genji family clan. By 1493, he had made a connection with the Ankokuji temple in Miyazaki city in Kyushu province of Hyuga, because his family had sided with the Rokkaku clan against shogun Ashikaga Yoshitane during his coup. Ichijōin later moved to Satsuma, where he came to control the activities on the coast with regard to the ships going to and from China, first on behalf of the daimyō Shimazu Tadamasa, and later on behalf of Tadakane.130 Ichijōin, as a retainer of the Shimazu, served as a political and cultural channel between Satsuma and Ryukyu. Monks, as learned people sharing cultural commonalities and as skilled envoys with personal connections, were instrumental in establishing diplomatic and commercial ties. However, monks also projected the economic will of the powerful clans with whom they were affiliated, being the leaders of religious institutions and therefore closely connected with land-based lords. Hence, religious institutions colluded with local Kyushu daimyō to trade abroad and                                                  129 Fujita A., “Chusei goki no Bōnotsu to higashi Ajia kaiichi koryu,” in Sakai kara mita uchi to soto, (Kyushu: Iwata shoten, 2008), 373. 130 Ibid. 383–385. 69  were therefore favoured in their enterprises.  Map 2-2. The Harbour of Naha and the Island of Kumejima, Ryukyu Koku Zu dated 1696. With permission of Okinawa Prefectural Library.   Such was also the case with Dōan, a merchant of Hakata. In 1453, he led a Ryukyu mission to Korea and brought with him a trading route map as an offer to the Korean king. His map would later become the basis for the Haedong chegukki (海道緒国記). Dōan and several other merchants residing in Kyushu were trusted and legitimate representatives, useful in several trading missions. In 1455, the Korean court gave Dōan the copper seal that entitled him to trade 70  according to the tributary system using corresponding tallies. On that occasion, he went as a representative of the Ryukyu King, Shō Taikyū.131 However, despite the fact that trade between Ryukyu, Japan, and Korea occurred at an official level, Japanese merchants who did not possess such seals also went to Korea on several occasions, claiming to be envoys of Ryukyuan kings. In 1493, a delegation led by two Japanese men, Bongyō and Yajirō, requested as offerings for the king of Ryukyu several precious Buddhist sutras and also, in addition to the licence to trade in precious minerals and spices, money to rebuild Buddhist temples in Ryukyu. The Korean court found their letter suspicious, as the seal was not the proper one and they lacked the tally with a corresponding number for the mission.132 The Korean government therefore decided not to send the requested material and to reduce the status of the king of Ryukyu in their list of tributary states as an incentive to stop fake embassies at their places of origin. This was just one of a string of impostor tribute missions that began as early as the mid-thirteenth century.133 It is significant that the fake Ryukyu tributary missions to Korea ended between 1509 and 1527,134 the period in which official trade relations between the Ming and the Hosokawa clan, on behalf of the bakufu, reopened via the Ryukyu Kingdom. In this regard, Kenneth Robinson specifies that one or more fake missions sponsored by bakufu factions were sent in 1471 and 1480, revealing that the competition for foreign markets was led not only by pirates and merchant clans, but by politically-minded individuals in the top echelons of their societies.  Fake missions were not the sole method to trade outside of the boundaries of officialdom; the return of shipwrecks was often used as an informal method to open trade. International                                                  131 Kobata Atsushi, Matsuda Mitsugu, Ryukyuan Relations with Korea and South Sea Countries, 13. 132 Ibid., 22. 133 Kenneth Robinson, “Centering the King of Chosŏn: Aspect of Korean Maritime Diplomacy, 1392–1592”Journal of Asian Studies (Ann Harbor: Association for Asian Studies, 2000), 109–125. 134 Ibid., 121. 71  relations in the region reached their apex with the practice of returning shipwrecked sailors to their own countries. The cost of returning these persons was borne by the government of the country in which they were found. This became a customary practice that was further institutionalized when Tokugawa Japan designated only four major harbours to deal with foreign countries: Nagasaki, Tsushima, Ryukyu, and Matsumae.135 Returning shipwrecked people was vital, because the sailors could easily have been sold into slavery. The show of goodwill upon their return helped countries forge connections at diplomatic and commercial levels. However, when maritime prohibitions were enforced, this custom became a way to trade semilegally. Tanaka states that the repatriation of shipwrecked people entered a new phase between 1470 and 1500. Originally, shipwreck survivors were taken in by pirates and either sold or returned for ransom, but the pirates were gradually replaced by imposters setting up fake missions, and they in turn were replaced by the merchants of Hakata and Tsushima.136 This took place until 1500, when the king of Ryukyu, Shō Shin (1476-1526), interrupted tribute relations after four fake missions occurred between 1460 and 1500, thereby putting a stop to fake missions altogether.137 In the mid-fifteenth century in Southern Japan, several shipwrecked people were returned to Tsushima, Imazu, Hidagun (Bungo), and Akagamaseki (Nagato).138 In 1483, the Hakata merchant Shinjirō returned Ryukyu sailors who had been shipwrecked near the coast of Japan. After he was received by the king of Ryukyu, he also obtained permission to trade in Ryukyu,                                                  135 Tashiro Kazui, Kobata Atsushi, Tanaka Takeo, Murai Shosuke, Uezato Takashi, and other scholars have dealt with this customary practice, in particular Tashiro Kazui, who has focused on the returnees via Tsushima in the early seventeenth century. 136 Tanaka Takeo, Chūsei taigai kankei shi (Tokyo: Tohyo Daigaku Shuppan, 1975), 307–309. 137 Murai Shōsuke, “Chūsei no wajintachi,” Kyushu shigaku 107 (1993): 2-3. 138 Haedong Chegukki, ed. Tanaka Takeo (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1991), 152–153, 171, 202, 217. 72  according to one Korean among the shipwrecked present at the event.139 By returning these people, Shinjirō was able to trade his cargo of camphor, sulphur, white cloth, pepper, timber, and gold dust, as he was a purveyor for the house of the Ōuchi daimyō ruling Hakata.140 He expanded his trading network as he travelled between Korea, Tsushima, Hakata, and Ryukyu, positioning himself as a diplomatic and commercial link between the two countries—in direct competition with pirates who frequented the maritime routes of southern Kyushu. Recently, scholars such as Saeki Kōji and Hashimoto Yu have asserted that a shift away from Ryukyu to Tsushima as a commercial transshipment node, thus replacing Ryukyu in importance and trade volume, occurred due to the aggressive mercantile behavior of Hakata merchants in cooperation with Kyushu and Tsushima rulers.141 Although their claim is not contested here, other factors precipitated this shift, causing the temporary demise of Ryukyu trade between 1530 and 1590; namely, the increased role of the Tōkara and Amami Ōshima Islands as a maritime area economically connecting Ryukyu and Japan. This was a maritime border of great importance for reinventing pirates as coastal patrols and mercenaries for either Ryukyu or Satsuma, playing both roles according to the occasion, and where Chinese merchant pirates increased their presence in response to the discovery and trade of silver from Japan. 2.3 The Role of the Tōkara and Amami Ōshima Islands: From Seven Islands to Treasure Islands This section shows the role played by the pirates inhabiting the archipelagos between Ryukyu and southern Japan, during the trade shift from Ryukyu to Tsushima. Along the maritime routes                                                  139 Tanaka Takeo, Chūsei taigai kankei shi, 305. This event is also reported in Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon no kokusai kankei, 304. 140 Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon no kokusai kankei,  83–87, 104–107. 141 Saeki Kōji, “Haedong Chegukki no Nihon – Ryukyu zu to Ryukyu kuni ezu,” Kyushu shigaku (2006): 80-90. See also Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon no kokusai kankei, 304. 73  connecting Korea, Kyushu, and Ryukyu, there are several small archipelagos, including the Amami Ōshima and Tōkara Islands, also known as Seven Islands (Kuchinojima, Nakanojima, Kajajima, Tairanojima, Suwanosejima, Takarajima, and Kikaijima). Ships were frequently wrecked there, due to the northern and southern winds and strong currents. Between the mid-fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, those islands had the rather ambiguous status of serving as the border between Ryukyu and southern Japan. In 1450, the Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk shows that four Korean people were shipwrecked in Kajajima, one of the islands north of the Amami Ōshima archipelago, also known as Iōjima or Sulphur Island. In the fourteenth century, the northern part of the islands belonged to the Shimazu and the southern part to Ryukyu, since they lay between those two countries. Two Korean sailors fell ill and died, while the other two were aided by the islanders, who lived in a village of thirty households. Later on, they were taken to a place called Kasari, where they were sold to people from Ryukyu.142 The population of these islands was, in effect, polarized between southern Kyushu and Ryukyu, and they manipulated the situation to their benefit when they could, to obtain wealth and status. Landowners of Kajajima went as far as Ryukyu to request titles in exchange for obeisance and annual tax shipments.143 The island of Kajajima, one of seven in the Tōkara archipelago, was reclaimed by the Shimazu at the end of the fifteenth century. However, evidence shows that Shimazu control was somewhat lax because of their wars of territorial unification in southern Kyushu. The Tōkara Islands’ inhabitants, aside from being pirates, became well connected to their mainlands of choice, namely southern Kyushu, the Shimazu domains, and the Ryukyu Kingdom,                                                  142Ishigami Eiichi, “Ryukyu no Amami shōtō tōji no shudankai,” Shigaku zasshi, 110 (2001): 2–15. 143 Ibid., 8. 74  by playing the role of carriers and middlemen. Since the 1550s, pirates from the coast of Hyuga in southern Kyushu had found refuge at Nakanojima, and as those islands had no women, they kidnapped women to take there. Nakanojima was also the place Sino and Japanese pirates took Chinese abductees from the coast of Fujian en route to Bungo, where they were sold.144 In 1578, a document reported that a regular service ship connected those islands with Satsuma and Ryukyu to the north and to Kumemura in the south en route to Fujian as well. In this document, the Shimazu permitted the Tōkara ship to service the route between Hyuga and Ryukyu, bringing envoys and greetings to the king of Ryukyu.145 Even before that, the islanders had paid tribute to the Ryukyu Kingdom; a certain Hirata Muneyoshi’s grandfather had transported three hundred buckets of sugar to offer to the Ryukyu king.146 All of this demonstrates that the islanders were conscious of their location and could turn it to their advantage, playing on their obeisance to both Ryukyu and Satsuma to retain their independence. The Hirata family is an example of how the Tōkara inhabitants exploited their potential to their benefit. During the Kōji and Tensho periods (1555–92), the clan pledged loyalty to the Shimazu and worked as corsairs under the command of the Isshūin house, direct retainers of the Shimazu in Kagoshima (Bōnotsu Harbour). Hirata Shinsaburō Mitsumune fought in the conflicts for the territorial unification of Satsuma and Ōsumi, and then rose in his military career in 1572 when he fought against the Itō clan of Hyuga, assuming the title of Umanosuke. By 1576, he had risen in status and prominence again, as Mino no kami.147 He fought together with his clansmen                                                  144 Maehira Fusaaki, “Tōkara kaiichi shi no shiten,” in Gakuhō, 5 ( 2001): 177. 145 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 1, doc. 968 (Tokyo: Shūendo Shuppan, 1985), 540. 146 Maehira Fusaaki, “Tōkara kaiichi shi no shiten,” 179. 147 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 1, doc. 960, 530. 75  Hirata Tōkurō Katsumitsu and Hirata Shinnirō.148 It is known that Hirata Mitsumune had under his command three ships and engaged in naval battles as a corsair for Isshūin Kichizaemon, then military magistrate of Kagoshima.149 Once again, we find a Hirata man, Hirata Tarōsaemon, of the Tōkara group spearheading the troops sent by Ryukyu in the Korean wars in 1592.150 Through commerce and military skills, the Tōkara islanders gained a mediating position between the Satsuma domain and the Ryukyu Kingdom, notably with regard to financial matters. In 1579, the Tōkara group requested financial help from the Shimazu on behalf of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Ryukyu government borrowed 250 kanme in silver currency to supply its deficit, to be returned with five percent interest on its capital. The mediators for this financial transaction were the Tōkara group.151 As the diplomatic and commercial conduit between those countries, they also provided a secure, trusted network for Japan against an increased Chinese presence in those maritime areas. Since the discovery of silver, Japanese merchants, pirates, corsairs, shipwreck rescuers, and Chinese merchant-pirates had frequented the area to conduct commercial transactions. The presence of merchants increased in Kagoshima, Yamaga, and the Tōkara Islands from the mid-fifteenth century. Thus, these islands were not commercially and politically isolated but constituted the core of a maritime area economically integrated by legal and illegal transactions, where pirates-turned-corsairs engaged both militarily and commercially and often negotiated their roles for one or the other domain or country.                                                  148 Beginning in 1573, other two clans of Shimazu corsairs cooperated with the Ito family to defeat the Shimazu of Bōshū in their fight against the Shimazu of the Satsuma Oushū clan. These were the Ijichi and Nejime clans of Miyazaki (Southeastern Kyushu). They also worked in close maritime combat with the Hirata men. 149 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku gohen, vol. 2, 105. 150 Matsushita Shiro, Toshimi Shimono, Kagoshima no minato to sannan shōtō (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2002), 96–97. 151 Harada Nobuo, Shi Ryukyu roku (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2001), 402. 76  Even after the establishment of the Tokugawa regime and the annexation of Ryukyu by Satsuma, the role of the Tōkara Islands remained unchanged. In 1632, a document written by Kawakami Mataemon, the first Satsuma domain magistrate residing in Ryukyu, to Kawakami Sakon Shōgen and Kiire Settsu no kami, Satsuma domain retainers, showed that if the Tōkara group provided a loan to the domain, the domain of Satsuma would recognize Ryukyu trading rights for their merchants en route to China. The document itself is in the form of a memorandum (oboegaki) containing nine clauses: clauses one and two refer to a ban on Chinese trading ships carrying silver currency overabundantly; clauses three, four, and six made clear that the domain of Satsuma could stop trade by not allowing ships to enter Ryukyu if the Tōkara group refused to loan silver currency to the domain.152 These documents attest to the financial relevance of the Tōkara and Amami Ōshima archipelago from the mid-fifteenth century, not only economically as financial markets and commercially viable places, but also in terms of what occupations the islanders were involved in and how they tried to benefit from the opportunities presented them, both by their proximity to the domain of Satsuma and as a conduit for the Ryukyu and Fujianese trade networks. The discovery of silver in Japan in 1526 encouraged Chinese merchant-pirates to expand their networks in those islands and from there to southern Kyushu. The functions of those islanders as human capital—either wajin or other military and seafaring people such as pirates—underwent a drastic transformation: to ensure their survival, they had to choose which network they would belong to. In this way, pirates dwelling in Kyushu’s coasts were coopted into the military groups of southern daimyō retainers. Until the mid-seventeenth century, those pirate-                                                 152 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen vol. 5. (Tokyo: Shūendo Shuppan, 1985), doc. 521.  77  descendant retainers located in the chain of islands north of Ryukyu and south of Satsuma found their niche as mediators and manipulated to their own advantage their available resources in order to trade. However, in the 1530s, with the discovery of silver, an economic shift toward Tsushima and southern Japanese harbours caused the decline of the Ryukyu-Satsuma maritime route. 2.4 The Economic Shift from Ryukyu to Tsushima Caused by the Discovery of Silver, 1540–60 The resource-poor island of Tsushima, close to southern Kyushu and to the Iwami silver mines, had been ruled from the mid-thirteenth century by the Sō family. Their environment was such that, during the fourteenth century, islanders resorted to piracy and pillaging of the Korean and Chinese coasts. The Sō, by cooperating with Korea and the Japanese shogunate, reduced the problem of piracy by the mid-fourteenth century, when, amid fake embassies and Hakata merchants working as mediators between the Korean court and the Ryukyu Kingdom, the pirates of Tsushima colluded with several landowning families ruling the island. Saeki Kōji and Murai Shosuke have demonstrated that the identities of pirates in Tsushima were somewhat blurred, as they had multifaceted roles. The Sōda family, whose main exponent, Sōda Rokurōjirō, acted as an envoy in Tsushima–Korea diplomatic relations between 1428 and 1460, held the reins of several pirate groups in the islands of Iki and Tsushima. He was involved in several missions to Ryukyu to rescue shipwrecked sailors, and epitomized the envoy-merchant-pirate of his time. The Sōda comprised Rokurōjirō, Tarō, and Tōkuro, whose father, Toshichi, was identified as a wajin and hired by the Korean court as a minor official (uketoshonin). He was supplied with a copper seal to trade on behalf of the Korean court as a 78  Japanese in Iki, taking care of the Korean castaways’ records.153 Tōkuro worked as an official trader from 1428 to 1442, when records show him being accused of colluding with the pirate Mando Rokurōjirō and his associates in Iki. In 1442, Tōkuro was officially designated a pirate in Korean records; however, while in office for the Koreans, he engaged in piracy on the coast of Ming China. By 1445, he is alleged to have captured slaves on Korean shores and made connections to the harbour of Hakata in Kyushu, where he resold his stolen and pillaged goods and captives.154 The Sō daimyo of Tsushima capitalized on people such as Tōkuro and pirates in general by doing nothing to eradicate them but instead allowing his retainers—the Shisa, Sashi, Yobuko, Kamochi, and Shiotsuru living on Iki Island—to use them to forge economic alliances to increase trade. Due to resource scarcity, Tsushima and Iki had to import agricultural products and salt. Therefore, they took turns engaging in trading missions to Korea on behalf of, and with the permission of, the Sō daimyō. By coordinating piracy and official trade between Japan and Korea, the Sō of Tsushima further strengthened their position. They put Tsushima at the centre of commerce and trading routes to Korea and positioned themselves as sole agents for the Korean trade. In order to gain this position, the Sō implemented three main policies. First, Sō Sadamori received trading rights from the Korean court that made the Sō sole agents for trade from Japan; they could now issue licenses to daimyō wanting to trade with Korea. Second, they used minor officials                                                  153Saeki Kōji, “Tsushima no bōeki ni okeru Sōda ichizoku tokujitsu,” Tsushima to kaikyō no chūsei rettō (2008): 239–244. Saeki Kōji claims that the function of an uketoshonin can be compared to that of a purveyor in charge not only of trade but of assuring the utmost legality of supervised transactions. He was an emissary of the Korean court and had been admitted into the tributary framework, but at the same time he was less dependent on his Japanese daimyō and more reliant on the Korean court. 154 Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk , (Kyongii-do: Kuksa Pyonchan wiwon hoe, 1993), cited in M. Matsu, “Muromachi ki ni okeru Iki Tōkuro no Chosen tsuko,” Kyushu shigaku, 124 ( 1999): 24-39. 79  knowledgeable about both environments to gather intelligence. Third, they issued promissory notes to Tsushima merchants to trade with Korea.155 All these activities, in reality, centralized trading power in the hands of the Sō, who exploited these policies to their advantage with the advent of the silver trade. Silver was discovered by 1526 in Iwami, a region close to the islands of Oki and Tsushima, both midway between Japan and Korea. The discovery was attributed to the merchant Kamiya Jūtei, who, as the story goes, had been surveying the mountains of Iwami for copper.156 According to the Iwami ginzan kyuki (Iwami mines’ previous records), Jūtei and two other partners, Mishima Seiemon and Yoshida Yasaemon, extracted silver and earned the right to sell it from the Ōuchi clan, who ruled the territory of Iwami.157 Kamiya travelled to China to learn the cupellation technique to separate silver from its ore and, in 1534, invited Koreans skilled in the ash-blowing (haifuki) technique, which permitted a higher ratio of silver extraction from the ore. Kamiya Jūtei became one of the wealthiest merchants in Hakata. His brother, Kamiya Kazue, and his son travelled in their ship to Macau and Southeast Asia to sell commodities produced in Japan, such as swords and fans, and to trade pepper and silver.158 Between 1530 and 1540, Japan began to trade silver. The export of silver from Japan coincided with what Dennis O. Flynn has termed the globalized Potosí-Japan cycle of silver (1540-1640), in which 50 tons of silver left American shores annually to reach Manila Harbour,                                                  155 Hashimoto Yu, Chūsei Nihon kokusai kankei, 165. 156  Saeki Kōji, in his “Hakata shōnin Kamiya Jūtei no jissō” a biography of Kamiya Jūtei, relates the possibility that it was not really he who discovered the mines, as the extant documentation shows several gaps and most of that documentation was produced during the Edo period. 157Shimane Ken Kyoiku Iinkai Hen, “Seisuiji monjo,” Iwami ginzan kyūki: Iwami ginzan shiryō kaidai (17th century), photo, manuscript document, Matsue Public Library, Matsue.  158 Sakugen, Nyūminki, see Makita Tairyō ed., Sakugen nyūminki no kenkyū, vol. 1 (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1965), 22–24. 80  in the Philippines, and from there was traded to China.159 In China from 1409 to 1487, silver production was unable to supply the demand for silver to be used in tax payments, and by 1588, all silver mines in China were shut down, as there was a sustained supply from the Korean peninsula as well as, since the 1530s, from Japan.160 Arthur Attman has estimated that at its peak, Japan was exporting 200 square metres of silver annually, while the mines of Potosí produced 300 square metres per year.161 In the sixteenth century in Europe, the ratio of silver to gold was 1:12, while in China, it was only 1:6. Consequently, while China became a global importer of silver, it also began exporting gold, which was traded in East Asia by the Chinese and later by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century.  Although Europeans did not import gold from China, the arbitrage created by the price difference in China compared to other East Asian countries was sufficient to permit extraordinary profits.  As early as the 1530s, the Portuguese were permitted to trade on the coasts of Zhenjiang and Fujian by Ming China in exchange for getting rid of pirates who were defying maritime prohibitions and pillaging the Chinese coasts. The maritime prohibitions lasted from 1547 to 1568 for every nationality, but even after 1568 were still applicable to the Japanese, who, as Frois stated in a letter of 1555, were attacking the Chinese coast from Kagoshima Kyushu.  In 1557, in order to fight against the pirates, the Portuguese had negotiated with Ming China to establish a settlement in Macau.162 Thus the Portuguese began trading Japanese silver even before Potosí silver could reach China from Manila, as that city was officially created only in                                                  159 Dennis O. Flynn and Marie A. Lee, “East Asian Trade Before/After 1590’s Occupation of Korea: Modelling Imports and Exports in Global Context,” Asian Review of World Histories 1:1 (January 2013), 113.  160 Richard von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 114. 161 Arthur Attman, “American Bullion in the European World Trade, 1600-1800,” Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum et Litterarum Gothoburgensis: Humaniora. (Gotheborg: Kungl. Vetenskaps- och Vitterhets Samhället, 1986), 76. 162 Richard Von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 118. 81  1571 to trade silver from New Spain via expatriate Chinese merchants dealing in silver from Chinese harbours like Haicheng.163 The English merchant Ralph Fitch, who was active between 1583 and 1591 in East Asia, reported that every year, the Portuguese exported to China 600,000 cruzados of silver (1 cruzado was the equivalent of 37.5 grams of silver) from Japan in addition to 200,000 from India.164 It was in this East Asian trading context that Japanese silver began to be exported between 1530 and 1540.  By the 1530s, silver was being traded from the harbour of Hakata by the Kamiya and by merchants from Iwami, such as the Tada (also known as the Yūya). In 1528, two kan and two bu (almost seven kilograms of silver) could be extracted from a silver ore of six shō (one shō being 1.8039 litres), although it is possible that the location in Iwami from which the Tada exported silver had not yet been fully exploited.165 Already, in 1539, the Ōuchi daimyō, who controlled the mines, were able to obtain five hundred barre of silver (equivalent to 82.5 kilograms).166 By 1533, the production of silver had increased. The significant amount of silver traded from Japan attracted merchants from all over Asia. The Ōuchi Yoshitaka ki (Record of Ōuchi Yoshitaka 大内義隆記), written by Yoshitaka, a daimyō who controlled the Iwami silver mines, provides the following passage: “In Iwami, district of Oda there are silver mines, these mountains became like treasures, the courts of China, India and Korea to hear of it have sent several ships [to trade] . ”167 Traders in silver using the maritime routes to Iwami had to pass close to Tsushima and Hakata, areas controlled by the Sō daimyō. The Sō by colluding with local pirates, and                                                  163 Richard von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 119. 164 Ibid., 129. 165 Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk, (Kyongii-do: Kuksa Pyonchan wiwon hoe, 1993), Chūsō Jitsuroku 23nen 20 nichi, maki 64. 166 Shimane Ken Kyoiku Iinkai Hen, Iwami ginzan kyūki: Iwami ginzan shiryō kaidai. (Matsue: Shimane Ken Kyoiku Iinkai, year of publication unknown), manuscript document. 167 Ōuchi Yoshitaka, Ōuchi Yoshitaka ki, (16th century) Yamaguchi Kenritsu Monjokan, photos, manuscript document. Yamaguchi.  82  particularly with wajin traders on Korean shores, had contributed to the export of silver to such a degree that by 1538–1539 the overflow of silver into Korea provoked inflationary prices, with a consequent prohibition on silver imports.168 However, as further documents in 1541–1542 indicate, people wanted silver to hoard and to trade, so they did risk incurring heavy penalties.169 Wajin and Hakata merchants traded silver on the coast and nearby islands en route to Japan where they met people from China and Southeast Asia. The Chinese merchant-pirates who scouted southern Japan followed the maritime routes from the coasts of Jiangsu, as well as Fujian and Zhejiang, to the islands of the Tōkara archipelago and Amami Ōshima. In those islands, there may have been some degree of governmental control, but it occurred sporadically, only with the sending of the annual tax ship, as previously mentioned, making those islands illegal trading havens. Hence, Chinese merchant-pirate networks had already started to frequent those places. The fortuitous arrival of the Portuguese in Tanegashima in 1542 on a vessel of the well-known pirate Wang Zhi has been extensively documented. Relevant to this chapter is the relationship Wang Zhi and his network began with the people ruling the island, the previously mentioned Tanegashima clan, and the effect this connection had on those islanders in relation to the powerful daimyō ruling Kyushu. The export of silver by Hakata merchants to Korea and China had awoken the interests of the Chinese merchant-pirate networks traveling to the offshore islands en route to Japan in the 1540s, namely the Tōkara and Amami Ōshima archipelagos. In 1543, Wang Zhi transported in his vessel the Portuguese who introduced musket technology to the Japanese of Tanegashima.                                                  168 Kobata  Atsushi, Kingin bōeki no kenkyū, (Tokyo: Hosei Daigaku Shuppan Kyoku, 1976), 110–113. 169 Chosŏn wanjŏ sillŏk, Chūsō jitsuroku, (Kyongii-do: Kuksa Pyonchan wiwon hoe, 1993), maki 95. 83  His extensive merchant network was well known on the coasts of Fujian and Zhenjiang, as he came from a merchant family trading in salt that defied the Chinese maritime prohibitions (promulgated from 1547 to 1568) by trading items such as saltpetre, sulphur, silk, and cotton in Siam, Cambodia, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries.170 In particular, Chinese records, such as the Chouhai tubian, compiled in 1562 by Zheng Ruozeng, reveal the character of Wang Zhi as a person who cared for people and was highly respected, as he provided livelihoods for entire villages that worked to build weapons and armour for him on the Chinese coastal areas.171 Wang Zhi’s association with the Japanese did not stop with the Tanegashima rulers, as he was able to settle in the domain of Matsura Takanobu, daimyō of Hirado, and interact with other Japanese daimyō. The Tanegashima were quick to realize the importance of musket technology, and, by capitalizing on it, they also became interlocutors for Wang Zhi with other Kyushu daimyō through their retainers, particularly through the Nishimura clan, as I will mention later in the chapter, while fighting with other Japanese pirates to maintain the control of maritime routes and harbours. One of such pirate clans were the Nejime. In the mid-fifteenth century, Tanegashima Tokiuji married into the Nejime pirate clan, as did Tanegashima Tokitoki in the mid-sixteenth century, although his main wife was a woman of the Shimazu clan.172 The Tanegashima included pirates like the Nejime clan among their retainers. However, the Nejime had been offering their mercenary services as pirates between the southern coast of Miyazaki and Kagoshima since the late fifteenth century to the early sixteenth                                                  170 Kobata Atsushi, Kingin bōeki no kenkyū, 110–113.The information on these maritime routes are also available in primary sources as the Riben yi jien (Nihon Ikkan) as well. 171 Zheng Ruozeng, Chouhai tubian, (Loudong: Zheng family edition, 1693), maki 24. See also Ningpo Fushi, maki 15 and 21. 172 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 4, Tanegashima kafu. 84  century under the patronage of Shimazu Tadaharu, shūgo of the provinces of Osumi, Hyuga, and Satsuma between 1508 and 1515.173 It was under Tadaharu, who died the next year in 1516 at only twenty-seven years of age that the Nejime fought for their patrons the Shimazu of Oushu, at Kagoshima in the conflict that resulted in the murder of Miyake Kunihide, for competition on the Ryukyu maritime routes. The patronage of the Shimazu toward the Nejime clan, however, was not always a convenient one. In fact, between 1534 and 1536, when Nejime Shigenaga was born, his father, Kiyotoshi, was dispossessed of his fief given by Shimazu Tadanaga. As it was his only means of survival, he offered his services to the Kimotsuki clan, another local pirate family.174 In 1543, the Nejime clan was located on the island of Yakushima (close to Tanegashima), and supported the rebellion of Tanegashima Tokinori and his ally Kawachi Tokiyuki against the Shimazu with more than two hundred men. Their ships were defeated and sank, and those Tanegashima still loyal to the Shimazu took possession of the Nejime-controlled island.175 These events took place between the third and fifth month of 1543. By the eight month, the Portuguese were shipwrecked on Tanegashima Island, bringing with them musket technology. This fact altered the rivalry between the Nejime and Tanegashima houses. Although historian Olof Lidin has mentioned these episodes, as related in the Teppōki, with the aim of glorifying the Shimazu, according to a document in the Nejime monjo, it was a Nejime pirate, Yajirō (renamed by the Portuguese and by Francisco Xavier as Anjirō), who brought Xavier to Japan and precisely to Nejime Harbour, close to Kagoshima. The document records that: “Ikehata Motokiyo son of Uemon Kiyoshu, who is the son of Yajirō Shigetoki, was killed by a                                                  173 Takeuchi Rizō, Nejime monjo, doc. 963, (Kyushu: Kyushu Shiryō Gyōsho, 1965). 174 Nejime Kenichi, The Encounter Between Japanese and European Renaissances (Tokyo: Toshindo, 1998), 61–62. 175 Olof Lidin, Tanegashima: the arrival of Europe in Japan (Copenhagen: Nias Press, 2002), 44–51. 85  musket at Takadate at the time when Chinese and Namban people fought at the harbour of Ko Nejime . . . ”176 Besides revealing the identity of Yajirō as a member of the Nejime house, the document also reveals the conflict between the Chinese and Portuguese, who fought to gain access to the harbours of southern Japan. Apparently, those conflicts had not been resolved even by 1560, when another accident involving the death of the Portuguese captain Alfonzo Vaz caused a ruckus for which the Tanegashima called for Shimazu intervention in taking away the harbour from the Nejime house.177 However, the conflict between the Shimazu and Nejime houses did not end there. In 1564, the Nejime house was led by Shigenaga, who had succeeded his father under the Kimotsuki family. The contentious relations between the Nejime and Tanegashima houses can only be deduced through the remaining documentation, which shows a conflict based on the control of trade routes. However, that may have been only the tip of the iceberg, as, in reality, those pirate clans aimed at maintaining their own independence by engaging in trade between their controlled territories, such as islands and harbours, and main commercial nodes, such as Naha in Ryukyu, the main harbours of Kyushu, such as Bōnotsu in Kagoshima, and Hakata in Chikuzen. In addition, they fought to be able to provide novelty items that brought higher profits, such as weaponry, spices, and silk, in exchange for silver, which was used as a commodity, while importing Hongwu and Yongle Chinese copper coins. Proof of such trade was a discovery that occurred in 1969 in the ruins of Shigenaga’s tea house, where two vases of copper coins                                                  176 Nejime monjo, Kawagoe Shoji ed., vol. 22, docs. 711-712, (Fukuoka: Kyushu daigaku bungakubu and Kyushu shiryō kankōkai, 1955), 149.  177 Kishino Hisashi, Zabieru to Nihon (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1988), 285. 86  were discovered.178 Among these were coins from Fujian and Ryukyu. It was this profitable trade that prolonged the conflict between the Nejime and Tanegashima clans. A document written by Tanegashima Tokitoki and addressed to Mashida Koreyuki records all the events prior to 1568. One entry related to the year 1567 reports that Nejime Shigenaga crossed the island of Takeshima with his troops, as his base at Yakushima had been attacked by the Nishimura and Kamitsuma clans, retainers of the Tanegashima, and set on fire. Several people had been taken captive by the enemy, and Shigemasa was able to return to the island only several years later.179 The perennial conflict between Nejime and Tanegashima, regardless of all the marriage alliances and family relations, subsided only in the 1570s as a result of Shigenaga’s negotiations. Shigenaga’s mother was a sister of Shimazu Iehisa, according to the sixteenth-century practice of political alliances by matrimony, which often led to family tragedies. Shigenaga continued that tradition as well. In 1571, Nejime Shōnirō, together with the Ichiwa and Itō houses, attacked the Shimazu at Kagoshima with more than two hundreds ships and caused great damage to the Shimazu forces. Shimazu Yoshihisa sent envoys to Shigenaga to negotiate a truce, which he welcomed by stating his own conditions, amongst them marriage with a Shimazu woman and the position of retainer.180 By 1581, he had received from the Shimazu the license to trade with Ryukyu, the license having been issued for the Nejime Harbour to a certain merchant purveyor called Ōgawa.181 In 1582, another license was issued to the merchant Isonaga Tsushima                                                  178 Nejime Gyōdoshi Hensaniinkai, Minami Ōsumichō, vol. 2 (Ōsumi: Gyōdoshi Hensan, 1974), 256. 179 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku maehen, vol. 4, doc. 34 and 38, Tanegashima kafu. 180 Ibid. 181 Nejime Kenichi, The Encounter Between Japanese and European Renaissances, 65. 87  Nori to depart from Nejime Harbour, on the official trading ship of the Shimazu called Kotakamaru. The license document reports: Ōsumi Nejime Harbour    Kotakamaru Ship Captain Isonaga Tsushima Nori  Ryukyu Seal  Yoshihisa monogram,    Tenshō 10, 9th month, 15th day.182 The following year, a letter from the Ryukyu court addressed to Nejime Shichirō dono allowed ships from Nejime Harbour to trade to Ryukyu until 1613.183 The Nejime family not only gained a certain degree of stability within the Shimazu military hierarchy but retained its mercantile characteristics as corsairs for the Shimazu. It was in this function, as retainers in charge of maritime trade with Ryukyu, that the Nejime mediated their position in the Shimazu military hierarchy by ending the strife that had characterized their relationship with the Tanegashima house. Both Tanegashima and Nejime were competing for the same southern maritime routes and harbours that brought Chinese and Portuguese trade to Japan. However, the Tanegashima ended up having the upper hand due to the transmission of musket technology provided by their retainers, the Nishimura family. The Tanegashima seized the opportunity to produce muskets in their territories, which gave them leverage over other pirate clans. Although the way the musket spread has been contested in recent years by Japanese scholars, the Tanegashima retained the monopoly on musket technology for a rather long time.184 In the first place, the spread of musket technology,                                                  182 Nejime Gyōdoshi Hensaniinkai, Minami Ōsumichō vol. 2 (Ōsumi: Gyōdoshi Hensan, 1974), 257. 183 Ibid., 257. 184 Kirino Sakujin, “Tanegashima no ryutsu” in Satsumajin kokushi (2016): 1. Accessed in June 2016 at, has stated that musket technology spread from the south of Japan but not only from Tanegashima, as the Chinese pirates were already in possession of such technology.  See Nakajima Yoshiaki, “1540 nendai no higashi Ajia kaiichi to sei kushikihiki,” in Nanban komori tōjin. Nakajima Yoshiaki ed., (Tokyo: Shibunkaku Shuppan, 2013), 99-176. According to recent studies by 88  as presented by scholars such as Murai Shosuke, Utagawa Takehisa, and Hora Tomio, followed a linear pattern from the transmission of Portuguese technology to the Tanegashima. It was then acquired according to the Teppōki by a merchant of Sakai who provided his expertise to the monasteries. Under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, muskets were then created in the Kunitomo musket factory. However, there are documents showing that the spread of muskets occurred not in a linear fashion but simultaneously by the Nishimura, who contacted several Kyushu daimyō, such as the Ōtomo, interested in acquiring the new technology. In 1571, Nishimura Jigen, following alliance protocol, married into a cadet branch of the Ōtomo family, the Kuroki.185 Not only the Nishimura contributed to the spread of the musket, new documents related to the Kamitsuma family, who were Kyoto courtiers and later scribes for Ōda Nobunaga, tell a different story.186 Ōda Nobunaga, in fact, seemed to have purchased his muskets via the Kamitsuma family, who had contact with a temple in Shimane, the Mangyōji temple, where monk Shōrin, together with his abbot, Shōkichi, purchased muskets directly from Macau in exchange for silver. The purchases are dated Tembun 8 and Tenshō 8, respectively, in 1539 (three years before the arrival of the Portuguese at Tanegashima, which renders the document suspicious but not impossible) and 1580–1581. The person in charge of selling muskets to the Mangyōji monks from Macau was a certain Simon (whose name characters are written in Japanese as 新門). Regarding the payment for such weapons, it was reported, “For this person                                                                                                                                                              Nakajima Yoshiaki, Japan imported several muskets that were instead produced in Southeast Asia by Portuguese and Siamese and possibly by Indonesians, via an investigation of the various matchlock manufacturers. 185 Kagoshima Kyoiku Iinkai, Kagoshima ken shiryo sappan kyuki zatsuroku vol. 4, 34. 186 It is most likely that a branch of the Kamitsuma family also fought with the Nishimura against Nejime Shigenaga not only for maritime routes but for the possession of Nejime Harbour, in which weapons were traded. As new routes were developed after 1575 for silver from Shimane, muskets could be purchased elsewhere as well. 89  within the year hurry to settle the matters related to silver,” and again in the same document, “Please do not be careless in regard to the date to bring the payment in silver.”187 Hence, the relationship between musket technology and the silver trade was strong, particularly as the Portuguese in Macau traded exclusively in that precious metal for their survival on the island. Since it is well known that the Portuguese reached Ryukyu before they arrived at Tanegashima, all the southern harbours that hosted them became places of contention, not only between Portuguese and Chinese but amongst Japanese pirate gangs, who sought to control such harbours. The Tanegashima, being geographically independent, could more easily manage to control who arrived on their shores and traded in their territory. They began to export their locally-produced weapons as well, and in 1579, Tanegashima Danjōtada sent a small cannon of “namban” (Portuguese) production to Ōtomo Yoshishige.188 Hence, the Tanegashima held their production monopoly for a rather long time. Due to their weapon monopoly, they were able to establish connections with noblemen and elite families close to the shogun. Furthermore, by the 1580s, silver had already entered the Japanese economy and was used not only as offerings but was hoarded to finance military expeditions by daimyō caught in the power struggle of territorial unification. Temples also used it to finance their wars; hence, the Tanegashima link to Japanese centers of power, if understood in this light, was extremely important. In 1583, offerings of Ryukyu textiles were made to the Honnōji in Kyoto (via a person called Honganji-dono and the brother-in-law of the shogun, Konoe Taniie, who personally knew Tanegashima Hisatoku) from one of his retainers, Nishimura Jigen. Nishimura offered three                                                  187 Kokutō Chihōshi Shiryō, Amacōji mangyōji monjo, docs. 7-8-9, (1549-1557), photocopies, Shimane Public Library, Matsue.  188 Ibid., doc. 41. 90  hundred mon of silver and two thousand hiki, and one hundred tan of red-flowered damask, plus another one hundred mon in silver for temple construction on behalf of Hisatoku. Nishimura Jigen added also his own offerings, consisting of 320 mon of silver, one tan of textile from Ryukyu, and one tan189 of damask produced in the Tōkara archipelago, for which he received a letter of receipt.190 The Nishimura, as Tanegashima retainers, were transporting Chinese and Ryukyu goods to Kyoto. This is significant as the Nishimura hold the key to the Tanegashima’s economic successes. The Nishimura had been retainers of the Tanegashima since the mid-fifteenth century. In 1543, when the ship of Wang Zhi landed in Tanegashima, it landed close to Nishimura village, in Nishimura clan-controlled territories. The Nishimura became elite forces capable of using muskets in various conflicts, as at least three members of the Nishimura clan, namely Nishimura Echizen no kami, Sukesaemon, and Kenemon, were awarded muskets,