Scroll Paintings of Chinese Junks which Sailed to Nagasaki in the 18th Century and their Equipment

By Osamu Oba, published November 1974


Japan closed to international trade in the 17c, leaving Nagasaki as the sole entrepôt. Two coloured scrolls picture very accurately the dimensions of visiting Chinese ships. The scrolls were probably painted between 1718 and 1725 when the shōgun became curious as to how Chinese junks out-sailed Japanese ships in battle. The junks came from ports on the Chinese mainland, Siam and Batavia to trade for copper to fund military activities. The Nanking ships were probably riverine ships differing in having much lower bows, lee-boards, cotton mainsails and flat bottoms. The ocean-going ships were larger with matting sails and rounded hulls.

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Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Pacific | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Art & Music | Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design

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