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By B.W. Robinson, Photographs

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Two centuries later the fiction grew that the Ezo islands had been a Japanese possession in past times. That, however, was simply an argument to strengthen the Japanese claim against rivals; the true occupants were the Ainu, rather like the Eskimos of even colder regions, the only permanent inhabitants. The region was only vaguely mapped: Kaempfer, the German doctor at the Dutch factory in Deshima in 1690–1, noted that ‘because Japanese maps differ from each other I cannot establish the shape of this island: in some the island is depicted as round with many bays; in others it is broken up .

Kobata, ‘The production and uses of gold and silver in sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury Japan’, Economic history review, vol. 18, no. 245–66; W. S. Atwell, ‘International bullion flows and the Chinese economy, circa 1530–1650’, Past and present, no. 68–90. Japan and its Chinese and European worlds, 1582–1689 100°E 110°E 120°E Beijing 130°E re R KO G at a of an tun g 30°N JAPAN Yellow Sea na Ch S h i EA pl in 21 Nanjing ze Shanghai ds 30°N an East China East Sea Isl yu China Sea f n i Ry uk c Ya t ng TAIWAN South China Sea 10°N c a G g f ul kon P 20°N e c n of Me Ayutthaya Macao To n ki a i 20°N O G Philippine Islands ul fo 10°N i fS am Songkhia St ra it Malay Peninsula of M a cc U a M BORNEO A T R A E a s t Ja Batavia (Kelapa/Jakarta) 1,000 km 0 100°E i e s I n d as cc Molu al S 0° 0° NEW GUINEA SULAWESI va Sea J AVA 110°E 120°E 130°E 2.

Toby, State and diplomacy in early modern Japan: Asia in the development of the Tokugawa bakufu (Stanford, 1991). Naikaku bunko, Tokyo, Tsuk ¯ o¯ ichiran. It was published in 1913, and reprinted in more recent times. On the origins of Nagasaki, see Diego Pacheco, ‘The founding of the port of Nagasaki and its cession to the Society of Jesus’, Monumenta nipponica, vol. 25, nos. 303–23. Japan and its Chinese and European worlds, 1582–1689 33 the main centre of the silk trade, and the Portuguese usually provided more silk than Chinese traders and red-seal ships combined.

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Arms and Armour of Old Japan by B.W. Robinson, Photographs


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