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Ryukyu Trade in the Gusuku and Early Ryukyu Kingdom Periods

Ryukyu Trade in the Gusuku and Early Ryukyu Kingdom Periods

Chapter:
(p.194) Chapter 8 Ryukyu Trade in the Gusuku and Early Ryukyu Kingdom Periods
Source:
Ancient Ryukyu
Author(s):
Richard Pearson
Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824837129.003.0008

This chapter discusses the trade of the Ryukyu maritime entrepō. Two classes of goods were traded: those of local origin and those that were transshipped or relayed. In addition, some trading ships secured fresh water and local provisions from ports. Products from the Ryukyu Islands included sulfur, native horses, mother-of-pearl, textiles, and red dye from the akagi tree (Bischoffia javanica); transshipped goods included Japanese swords, fans, silver, Chinese ceramics of all kinds, food and wine in containers, textiles, coinage, and iron goods. The trade artifacts surviving in archaeological sites usually consist of ceramics and metal objects such as iron tools. The ceramics include various kinds of serving vessels, such as plates, bowls, and cups, as well as vessels for processing food such as ceramic grating bowls (suribachi).

Keywords:   Ryukyu maritime entrepō, Ryukyu Islands, Bischoffia javanica, akagi tree, suribachi, trade artifacts

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