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Kyūshū Islands: a Hub of Global Encounters (11th-19th centuries)

25 mars 2022 - 01 avril 2022 - Séminaire

Online workshop via Zoom

If you want to attend the conference, please contact Annick Horiuchi or Pierre-Emmanuel Roux

Friday, March 25, 2022

(Central European Time)

8:45 :  Introduction

Session 1: Encounters between Kyūshū and (South) East Asia 

Chair: Matthias HAYEK (EPHE)


9:00-9:40 / 17:00-17:40 (Japan)

Keiko CRYNS クレインス桂子 (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Sōkendai)

平戸オランダ商館と木屋弥三右衛門 ―長崎・シャム・平戸・堺での交差―

The Dutch Factory at Hirado and Kiya Yasaemon: Intersections in Nagasaki, Siam, Hirado and Sakai



Kiya Yasaemon was a Sakai merchant known as a red seal trader. Between 1606 and 1622, he received seven red seals to Siam, and one each to Cambodia and Luzon. In 1613, Ieyasu consulted Yasaemon on the situation in Siam because of his extensive experience in the trade with that country. He was also present at the audience of the Siamese envoys with Hidetada in 1621 and 1623.

In this presentation, we will explore new information on Yasaemon’s relations with the Dutch from Dutch and Japanese sources, linking Nagasaki, Hirado, Sakai and Siam.


9:40-10:20 / 17:40-18:20 (Japan)

Pierre-Emmanuel BACHELET (Aix-Marseille Université)

Kyushu as a Place of Involuntary Transits: The Castaways in Nagasaki in the 17th Century

During the Edo period, many Japanese were shipwrecked on the shores of the China Seas and the Pacific Ocean, perhaps the most famous of which was Daikokuya Kōdayū, who reached St. Petersburg in 1791. However, Japan was also a land of transit for shipwrecked sailors from the China Seas, whether from China, Korea or Southeast Asia. It was to Kyūshū, and more precisely to Nagasaki, that these castaways were redirected and welcomed. Although they were considered with suspicion, they do not seem to have been subjected to violence or to have been bluntly expelled.

Through the example of castaways from Đại Việt (present-day Vietnam), this presentation aims to illustrate how they were viewed and treated once they arrived in Nagasaki. It shows that the tight control exercised by the bakufu over relations with the outside world nevertheless left room for the local authorities to welcome foreigners who had arrived involuntarily in Japan. Finally, it shows how the wanderings of the castaways provided Southeast Asian authorities with a pretext to try, apparently in vain, to revive their diplomatic relations with Japan.


10:20-11:00  / 18:20-19:00 (Japan)

WANG Ziqin 王紫沁 (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Sōkendai)


The Chinese Community in Nagasaki and the Japanese Painting Manuals in the 18th Century




Raihaku-shinjin refer to the Chinese who sailed to Nagasaki by trade ship during the Qing Dynasty (1644 ~ 1912). A number of them were proficient in painting and calligraphy. During the Edo period, Chinese painting was widely accepted in Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo via Nagasaki, due to the imported artworks and publications, as well as the activities of raihaku -shinjin. However, there were different evaluations towards the paintings of raihaku-shinjin. Some positively accepting them as new style and others criticized them as amateur paintings according to Chinese painting theory.

In the 18th century, under the background of vigorous development of publishing culture, painting manuals compiled and published by Japanese has become a new media for the popularizing of Chinese paintings. In terms of its content and composition, the latest imported Chinese painting manuals such as Jieziyuan Huazhuan (Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden) was followed. In addition, we can also get a glimpse of novelty. Among them, the Japanese painting manuals from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century show a tendency to emphasize the importance of raihaku-shinjin. The compilation and publication manualize the paintings of raihaku-shinjin as the patterns, and the circulation of books also made the names of raihaku-shinjin spread outside Nagasaki.

This presentation will introduce the Japanese painting manuals which adopting the painting techniques of raihaku-shinjin, by focusing on the publishing business of painting manuals by Takeberi Ryotai (1719 ~ 1774), especially his Kanga Shinan (1762). Taking the Japanese painting manuals and the publishing culture in the second half of the 18th century as the breakthrough point, this presentation investigates the acceptance side of raihaku-shinjin’s paintings.


11:00-11:15: Break


Session 2: Networks and Migrations in the Bakumatsu and Meiji Periods

Chair: Éric SEIZELET (Université de Paris)


11:15-11:55  / 19:15-19:55 (Japan)

Noriko BERLINGUEZ-KONO (Université de Lille)

Networking against all Odds: the Saga Paradox and the Members of Gisai dōmei

Near Nagasaki, Saga benefits from an ideal geographical situation for the dynamics of the circulation of knowledge. The lord of Saga possessed, through alliances, several enclaves in the north of Kyushu, including one in Fukahori, attached today to the city of Nagasaki. Furthermore, along with the daimyō of Fukuoka, the lord of Saga was “honored” to assume the heavy duty of guarding Nagasaki Bay, entrusted by bakufu as a crucial part of national defense. If this duty weighed considerably on the budget of the domain, in return, this proximity facilitated the access to information and techniques coming from abroad, in particular from the Western countries. Moreover, the daimyō of Saga, especially Nabeshima Kansō (1815-1871) gave priority to the education of the bushi’s children, which made them familiar with Western books.

Having said that, paradoxically enough, Saga was one of the domains that fiercely opposed all types of exchanges with the other fiefs, as the information from abroad was subject to professional secrecy. Also, the guard task of Nagasaki Bay ultimately made this former tozama daimyō an important ally for the Tokugawa. In this context, a group of young well-informed bushi, fully convinced of the necessity of political radical changes, felt utterly frustrated by the situation of total isolation from the other parts of Japan to such an extent that some risked even their lives to leave the fief. The act of leaving the Domain even temporarily, considered as heavily repressible in Saga, had officially been a synonym of death sentence once they were back to the fief. This was the case with some members of Gisai dōmei who left Saga but finally, their sentence was reduced.

Founded in 1850 in Saga by Edayoshi Shinyō (1822-1862), professor of Kōdōkan of Saga, keen to promote the idea of loyalty to the emperor of Japan through the cult of the Kusunoki, the Gisai dōmei was a group of 30-40 members who sought to diffuse, inside Saga Domain, the importance of political change so that the lord and the high-ranking officials give up the privileged relationship with the shogunate and support the restoration of the power of the emperor. Among the members, we can find Ōkuma Shigenobu (1838-1922), Etō Shinpei (1834-1874), Soejima Taneomi (1828-1905), Ōki Takatō (1832-1899), Kume Kunitake (1839-1931). Because of this severity of the penal system in Saga, unlike the bushi of Chōshū and Satsuma, the patriots of Saga acted rather on an individual basis outside the fief.

The present study aims to explain how the circulation of knowledge on the ongoing international situation accelerated the circulation of the actors in favor of the overthrow of the Tokugawa. By illustrating an example of Etō who was the first to leave Saga among the members of Gisai dōmei, the paper will focus on the analysis of the networking across the different fiefs which led some patriots of Saga to be the key actors of overthrowing the Tokugawa shogunate and thus to later make the contribution to the newly established Meiji government according to their field of expertise.


11:55-12:35 / 19:55-20:35 (Japan)

Frédéric ROUSTAN (Université Lyon 2)

Liens migratoires entre le Kyūshū et l’Indochine française à l’ère Meiji

Entre les années 1880 et la Première Guerre mondiale, l’Indochine française connait une première vague migratoire moderne en provenance du Japon. Les Japonais qui viennent dans la colonie française sont alors quasi exclusivement constitués d’individus en provenance du Kyûshû et ce pendant toute la durée de l’Ere Meiji. S’inscrivant dans la continuité d’un phénomène débuté à la fin du Bakumatsu, ces migrants sont essentiellement des femmes qui exercent le métier de prostituées. La mise à disposition du corps des femmes japonaises dans les bordels d’Asie et notamment d’Indochine est le fruit de vastes réseaux structurés et organisés, avec comme cheville ouvrière ceux que l’historiographie japonaise nomme zegen, intermédiaires à cette migration. En croisant des sources japonaises et indochinoises, cette présentation sera centrée sur cette catégorie de zegen que nous ne saurions limiter à la fonction de trafiquant d’êtres humains. Ce faisant nous aborderons aussi de manière plus large les réseaux migratoires liant le Kyûshû à l’Indochine coloniale dans cette seconde moitié du XIXéme siècle et au début du XXème que ce soit en considérant les routes des circulations comme les liens intra-personnels (villages, familles, etc) que les sources nous permettent de rendre visible.


12:35-12:50: Concluding Remarks


Friday, April 1, 2022

(Central European Time)

13:45: Introduction


Session 1: Human Networks between Kyūshū and Korea

Chair: Rebekah CLEMENTS (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)


14:00-14:40  /  21:00-21:40 (Japan) / 6:00-6:40 (Arizona) / 7:00-7:40 (Illinois)

Damien PELADAN (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)

1396 AD: A Turning Point in the History of Kyūshū-Chosŏn Relations

In the second half of the fourteenth century, Kyūshū became the cradle of large-scale pirate fleets which year after year organized raiding parties on the continent. In 1396, after four decades of intense pirate activity, an astonishing event occurred in Korea : a large Japanese fleet, some three thousand men strong, landed on the small island of Ch’uksan 丑山島, near the southeastern shore of the peninsula, and their leaders offered their surrender to the new Chosŏn court in exchange for supplies and a plot of farmland on Korean soil. This spontaneous proposal had most likely been motivated by the rapidly shifting political situation in Kyūshū after the sudden departure of Imagawa Ryōshun 今川了俊 (1326-1420 ?) and the ensuing power struggle among local feudal lords. Seizing this opportunity, king T’aejo 太祖 (r. 1392-1398) put their unique skills to use in order to protect his kingdom’s maritime borders. Thence began a new chapter of Korean-Japanese relations : the Chosŏn court inaugurated a new policy of appeasement, offering pirates a way for reconversion either as court officials, merchants or diplomats, thus durably curbing pirate activity in Korea.

Making use of both well-known and under-exploited sources from both sides of the Korea strait, this presentation aims at retracing the events of 1396 as well as the trajectories of key actors of the disarmament of this fleet, such as the well-known pirate leader Sōda Saemontarō早田左衛門太郎 (?-1429 ?) and his acolytes, or the no less famous Korean diplomat Yi Ye李藝 (1373-1445), who made his first voyage to Japan as one of Saemontarō’s captives in 1396.

The series of events which was set off in 1396 paved the way for the weaving of human networks straddling the Korea strait and left a long-lasting imprint in the history of relations between Kyūshū and the continent. Reconstituting these events will thus allow us to trace back the origin of the trading and diplomatic exchanges which flourished between Chosŏn and Kyūshū in the fifteenth century.


14:40-15:20  / 21:40-22:20 (Japan) / 6:40-7:20 (Arizona) / 7:40-8:20 (IIlinois)

Peter SHAPINSKY (University of Illinois)

Human Trafficking in the Tsushima Maritime Borderlands in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Seafarers labeled Japanese pirates captured and transported many of the unfree persons inhabiting late medieval Japan (c. 1300-1600).  This piratical facet coupled with legal and literary representations of traffickers has given an impression that slaving was a low-status, opportunistic occupation. However, a focus on the maritime borderlands that surrounded one center of Japanese piracy, the island of Tsushima, suggests that pirates collaborated with authorities in both Muromachi Japan and Joseon Korea to institutionalize human trafficking as a prestige-bearing enterprise. Hereditary rulers of Tsushima, the Sō family enacted forms of sea tenure that included regulating and taxing human trafficking. As rewards for services for the Sō, seafaring families on Tsushima won tax-farming privileges and tax exemptions for trafficking and then preserved those records as evidence of their house’s prestigious merit. Slaving ventures exploited Tsushima mariners’ networks of connections extending from the coast of China to trading ports in Korea to the entrepôt of Hakata in Kyushu, medieval Japan’s primary global gateway and focus of military conflicts, another source of captives. Tsushima seafarers dealt captives to local and regional warrior and religious elites, the Muromachi shogunate, and the Joseon court in Korea. Joseon reception policies provided for the repatriation and return of captives to both Joseon Korea and Ming China, while the presence of Tsushima diasporas in Korea also offered escape routes for enslaved peoples. Codes of status and ethnicity further legitimized these enterprises: processes of enslavement included transforming captives into “low people” (genin) and “foreigners” (Tōjin).


15:20-15:30: Break


Session 2: Cultural Encounters between Kyūshū and China

Chair: Wim BOOT (Leiden University)


15:30-16:10 / 22:30-23:10 (Japan) / 7:30-8:10 (Arizona) / 8:30-9:10 (IIlinois)

ENOMOTO Wataru 榎本渉 (International Research Center for Japanese Studies)


Hakata as a Base for the Introduction of Chinese Culture in the Song Period

古代日本の律令国家(7-9世紀)は、国家事業として外交使節や僧侶を唐に派遣し、中国の文化を積極的に取り入れた。その渡唐は航路の都合から、すべて九州の博多(Hakata)・大宰府(Dazaifu)を経由したが、彼らがもたらした中国文化は、第一義的には奈良・京都の朝廷が受け入れるべきものであり、博多・大宰府には独自の文化受容の拠点としての性格は希薄だった。しかし9世紀から日中交流の主役として海商(Maritime Merchants)が現われ、10世紀に日本と外国の間で定期的な外交使節の往来がなくなると、中国文化受容における国家の求心性が低下し、海商の来航地である博多が文化受容の重要な拠点として現れる。従来の平安時代(794-1185)の日本の文化史は、史料の大部分が集中する畿内近国を中心に叙述される傾向が強いが、中国文化受容の拠点としての博多の存在を主張することは、こうした傾向を相対化する意義を持つだろう。本報告はこうした点も意識しつつ、博多が宋代(10-13世紀)中国文化の受容において果たした役割を、具体的な事例に即して確認するものである。

The ancient Japanese State under the ritsuryo legal system (7th-9th century) actively introduced Chinese culture by sending diplomatic envoys and monks to Tang China as a national endeavor. All of these travels to China departed from Hakata and Dazaifu in the Kyushu because of the shipping routes. But Hakata and Dazaifu played a secondary role in the process of cultural transmission, as the Chinese culture they introduced to Japan was intended to be presented to the Imperial Court in Nara or Kyoto in the first place. However, from the 9th century onwards, sea merchants emerged as the main actors in the exchange between Japan and China, and in the 10th century, when official missions between Japan and other countries ceased, the attraction of the state to absorb Chinese culture declined, and Hakata where maritime merchants arrived emerged as an important base for cultural introduction. Conventional cultural histories of Japan in the Heian period (794-1185) have tended to focus on the area near Kyoto, where most of the historical materials are concentrated. To argue for the existence of Hakata as a base of Chinese cultural acceptance may have a significance to reconsider this tendency. With this in mind, this paper aims to confirm the role Hakata played in the introduction of Chinese culture during the Song era (10th-13th centuries) by referring to some specific cases.


16:10-16:50 / 23:10-23:50 (Japan) / 8:10-8:50 (Arizona) / 9:10-9:50 (IIlinois)

WU Jiang (University of Arizona)

The Nagasaki Trade of Buddhist Books in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries as Seen from Hakusai shomoku: With Special Attention to the Purchase of the Jiaxing Canon and the Role of Ōbaku Monks

The Sino-Japanese trade through Nagasaki in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has drawn considerable scholarly attention because such kind of exchange of goods has great impact on both sides. Among all the cargos loaded from the Chinese coast and then unloaded in Japan was a special kind of commodity, which was only marginal in volume and value in the entire trade but had even more long-lasting cultural effects on both sides. This kind of commodity was books. One area of the Nagasaki book trade, however, was neglected in Ōba Osamu’s study: there was constantly the presence of Buddhist titles and particularly the Buddhist canon in the various catalogues of the book trade. This area of the book trade is important because we know that in addition to merchants and sailors who called at Nagasaki, Chinese Buddhist monks, mostly the Ōbaku monks belonging to Yinyuan Longqi’s lineage, were frequently summoned to serve at local temples in Nagasaki. As the émigré Chinese monks during this period were renowned for their literary talent, books were indispensable for them to establish their literary reputation. Thus, it is reasonable to hypothesize that Chinese monks, in addition to Chinese and Japanese merchants, had played certain roles in the Nagasaki book trade. In this paper, I attempt to establish such a connection through examining some book-related activities of the Ōbaku monks. In the first place, I introduce various primary sources reprinted by Ōba Osamu, which I based my study on. Then I shall focus on one of the most comprehensive catalogues Hakusai shomoku and single out all Buddhist titles for study. In particularly, I will explain the purchase of the Buddhist canon and the link to the three Chinese monasteries in Nagasaki and the Ōbaku monks.

16:50-17:00: Concluding Remarks


More information on Kyushu project can be found here