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The Macau-Nagasaki Route (1570–1640): Portuguese Ships And Their Cargoes

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Chapter Summary

According to this chapter, once the Portuguese conquered the port city of Malacca, in 1511, they immediately recognized the strategic importance of the maritime provinces of southern China from the point of view of Asian trade. The second period of trade between Macau and Japan opened in 1571 when the port of Nagasaki, which had an excellent natural harbour was offered to the Society of Jesus by Omura Sumitada. In Japan, the Dutch were ready to take the place formerly occupied by Portuguese traders, because besides their lack of missionary zeal they were finally getting their hands on the necessary cargoes of silk. From 1618, a different pattern was visible on the Macau-Nagasaki route, for the Portuguese started using success with lighter sailing craft, in order to escape Dutch opposition. During the sea-crossing to Nagasaki, it was important to make sure that no harm came to natural or man-made products.

Keywords: Cargoes; Dutch; Macau and Japan; Macau-Nagasaki Route; Malacca; Portuguese



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