Richard A. Pegg. Early Edo Maritime Trade: Red-seal System Maps and Ships
Between the 16th and 18th century, numerous networks of maritime trade, comprising several smaller, overlapping systems, operated in today's East, South and West China Seas. One of these, the red-seal system (shuinjo), set up by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-98) in the 1590s, authorized official Japanese maritime trade in East and Southeast Asia. The author examines historical visual materials to reveal how the dynamics of maritime trade within the red-seal system allowed for the sharing of movement of cash crops, raw materials, finished household and luxury goods, as well as people of all professions.