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Historical Archaeology of Early Modern Colonialism in Asia-PacificThe Asia-Pacific Region$
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Maria Cruz Berrocal and Cheng-hwa Tsang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054766

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054766.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

A Geographic Analysis of Traders and Trade Goods in Japan’s Late Medieval Seto Inland Sea

A Geographic Analysis of Traders and Trade Goods in Japan’s Late Medieval Seto Inland Sea

Chapter:
(p.162) 7 A Geographic Analysis of Traders and Trade Goods in Japan’s Late Medieval Seto Inland Sea
Source:
Historical Archaeology of Early Modern Colonialism in Asia-Pacific
Author(s):

Michelle M. Damian

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813054766.003.0008

Japan has traditionally been seen as an “isolated” country, often excluded from analyses of Asian trade and even ignored in its maritime influence on domestic trade. Examining both documentary and archaeological evidence in the late medieval periods (fourteenth to sixteenth centuries) reveals a thriving trade network of both domestic goods and items from the mainland. Analyzing this data through a Geographic Information System (GIS) provides important information about the transshipment hubs, the multidirectional flow of trade items between communities in the Inland Sea, and even the labor patterns of the captains that plied those waters. Those trade patterns were also influenced and used by domestic “pirates,” sometimes referred to as “sea lords,” who controlled certain areas in the Inland Sea. They were able to procure items for their own use, possibly outside of legitimate trade channels. The thriving domestic maritime trade revealed through this analysis paints a fuller picture of the networks within the Inland Sea before Japan’s contact with the West.

Keywords:   Japan, Late Medieval period, Maritime trade, Geographic Information System, GIS, Inland Sea

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