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History Without BordersThe Making of an Asian World Region (1000–1800)$
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Geoffrey C. Gunn

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083343

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083343.001.0001

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Nihon-Machi: Japanese Diasporic Communities of Southeast Asia

Nihon-Machi: Japanese Diasporic Communities of Southeast Asia

Chapter:
(p.211) 8 Nihon-Machi: Japanese Diasporic Communities of Southeast Asia
Source:
History Without Borders
Author(s):

Geoffrey C. Gunn

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083343.003.0009

One of the more exotic of the Asian diasporic communities of seventeenth-century Southeast Asia was that of the Japanese who formed Nihon-machi, or Japantowns, in a number of court cities, Asian trading ports, and European fortified cities. In large part, these communities developed as a consequence of Japanese participation in the Shuinsen, or “red seal” trade, under which official passports were issued to select merchant groups. The formation of Nihon-machi in Southeast Asian ports was an episode lasting but one or two generations, but there had been a broader engagement of Japan with East-Southeast Asia over a longer time frame. This chapter seeks to examine the political and commercial impacts that the Japanese traders and adventurers had on local Southeast Asian societies. It also discusses Japan's trading legacy in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the impacts that the overseas connection had on Japan's own internal economy and politics.

Keywords:   Asian diasporic communities, Southeast Asia, Nihon-machi, Shuinsen, Japanese traders

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