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The Earlier Wokou (倭寇) in East Asia Sea and the Defense Function of Tributary System

Chen Shangsheng;  
From the middle of 14~(th)to the middle of 16~(th)century,was a period of active Wokou activity,and the Wokou appeared from the middle of 14~(th)to 15~(th)century was call earlier Wokou in academia.This article discusses the diplomatic activity concerning the earlier Wokou between the Ming Dynasty,Korea,and Japanese Northern and Southern dynasties as well as Muromachi bakufu. In the late 14~(th)century, Korea had begun its cooperation with Japanese Northern and Southern dynasties,and with the Ming Dynasty,in sharing the intelligence on Wokou and defense,rescuing the captives,pursuing the criminals fleeing abroad. Following the establishment of titles-conferring and tributary relations between the Ming and Korea,the Ming and Japanese Muromachi bakufu by the 15~(th)century,the cooperation in defensing,controlling and fighting Wokou was furthered. So the tributary system in the 15 thcentury was an important mechanism to maintain the order on east Asia sea.
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