The relations between the Zheng and the Tokugawa Japan are intrinsic part of the long history of the Zheng power itself, and regard all the possible aspects: economic, political, military -as far as the structure of the Zheng organisation is concerned-, and of personal nature, familiar, cultural - if we consider the lives of Zheng Zhilong and Zheng Chenggong-. Therefore, the deep ties with Japan are certainly fundamental in order to investigate the extraordinary historical events related to the Zheng, and interpret them in the light of the multifarious and volatile international panorama of 17th Century East Asia. The commercial relations were indeed essential, because, through his Kokusen’yasen, Zheng Chenggong could exert direct influence on Nagasaki flux of import-export, and therefore on Japanese inner market too, that is to say, to a certain extent, on the Japanese economy as well. The violent competition between the Zheng and the VOC, which involved the entire context of maritime East Asia, was a true ‘duel’ in Nagasaki, with serious consequences on the Japanese market as well. Yet, the commercial influence exerted by the Zheng maritime organisation on Japan, was also used as a political instrument to attempt to involve the bakufu in the Ming-Qing transition, and gain military support on the loyalist side. This political intercourse, in fact, revealed to be a very significant aspect of the long and complex relations between the Zheng regime and the Tokugawa leadership. The numerous efforts made by the Zheng, and by the Ming loyalists, to obtain Tokugawa military involvement on their side, or at least the Japanese financial support for organising the counterattack against the Manchu, represented a key-element of the international contest of mid 17th Century East Asia. Those years, as we know, were crucial for the final outcome of the Ming-Qing conflict. In response to the numerous appeals received from the Zheng, and more in general from the Ming resistance groups, the political stances taken by the Edo bakufu toward the Ming-Qing conflict were ambiguous and contradictory: although the Japanese authorities never sent soldiers to support the Ming loyalists, in more than one occasion, they unofficially provided the Zheng with medicines, money, metals and armaments. Nagasaki, with its international role and its significant Chinese presence, was the natural bridge between the Zheng Regime and the Tokugawa bakufu: the requests arrived in Japan on board of the tōsen, the ‘Chinese ships’ -mainly the Kokusen’yasen-, and the bearers were often Chinese merchants tied to the Zheng organisation. At the arrival of the Chinese ship, the missives had to be transmitted to the local authorities: that means that they were checked by the tōtsūji in charge of controlling the cargo, and by the Japanese officials, the machidoshiyori, who supervised the entire operation of disembarking. Then, the Japanese officials brought the letters to the Nagasaki bugyō, who, after analysing them, sent them to Edo as soon as possible. The other Nagasaki bugyō settled in Edo was the natural interlocutor, as well as the rōju; after the translation -Hayashi Razan attended often to this task-, the letters finally reached the shōgun. The related answers were again re-sent to the bugyō of Nagasaki, in order to be handed over to the Chinese bearer. From many points of view, Nagasaki attended an essential role in the intercourse between the Zheng Regime and the Tokugawa bakufu, and in the Japanese foreign policy as well.
|Titolo:||The Zheng Regime and Tokugawa Japan: Asking for the Japanese Intervention|
|Autori interni:||CARIOTI, Patrizia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|
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