Guojia hanghai 国家航海 / National Maritime Research
Introduction to the periodical of the Shanghai Maritime Museum

National Maritime Research (ISBN: 978-7-5325-6167-4) is a scholarly journal on maritime history and research. It was established in 2011 and is published quarterly by the China Maritime Museum in Shanghai. Our editorial committee consists of 27 prominent Chinese and international scholars. The objective of this journal is to disseminate the latest findings and trends in both domestic and foreign scholarship on maritime history. We are particularly interested in exploring the relationship between human beings and the sea. Topics that we consider include maritime trade, coastal societies, shipbuilding, navigation technology, cultural exchange, and undersea archaeology. The journal has established a reputation as a leading resource for maritime studies within China. At the same time, we aim to create a platform to facilitate global academic exchange. We welcome submissions of articles, research reports, and book reviews in both Chinese and English.

Contents of Volume 6 (February 2014)

Chen Xiao 陈潇、Xie Bizhen 谢必震


Navigation between China and Ryūkyū and the Dispute over the Diaoyu Islands

Abstract: The term “Diaoyu Islands” first appeared in records of navigation routes between Fujian and Ryukyu. This article examines the formation of this route and the relationship between such navigation and the Diaoyu Islands. The article argues that the Chinese discovered and named the Diaoyu Islands, and sovereignty therefore belongs to China.

Keywords: China, Ryūkyū, Navigation, Diaoyu Islands

Li Jinming 李金明


The Opening of Zhangzhou's Moon Harbor in the Late Ming and the Nan’ao No. 1 Shipwreck

Abstract: After the partial opening of Zhangzhou's Moon Harbor in the late Ming Dynasty, many private merchant ships carried massive quantities of Chinese porcelain for exportation. Most of the porcelain went to satisfy the demand on the European market through the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Ming-era Nan’ao No. 1 Shipwreck, discovered in Shantou, Guangdong in December 2007, contained onboard a large quantity of porcelain produced in the kilns of Zhangzhou. It is possible that this shipwreck was closely related with the opening of Moon Harbor and the export of Zhangzhou porcelain.

Keywords: The Partial Opening Up of the Moon Harbour, Nan’ao No. 1 Shipwreck, Porcelain Produced in the Kilns in Zhangzhou, Porcelain for Export

Li Qingxin 李庆新


The Discovery of a Sunken Ship from Qing-era Guangzhou in Vietnamese Waters: Initial Research on the Ca Mau Shipwreck

Abstract: Vietnam has conducted a number of excavations for shipwrecks in the central and southern coastal areas since the 1990s. So far, it has discovered five shipwrecks dating from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries that have aroused attention in academic circles around the world. Among them was a sunken merchant ship discovered at Ca Mau in 1998 that had originally set sail from Guangzhou during the Yongzheng era of the Qing Dynasty (1723–1735). The relics found onboard include Chinese porcelain, zinc bars, Kangxi coins, textiles, keel, metal products, and stone seals.

Keywords: The discovery of the Ca Mau Shipwreck provides valuable resource for understanding the Qing Empire, the Mac Regime in Ha Tien, and maritime exchange in the South China Sea.

Liao Dake 廖大珂


Nan’ao in Western Historical Documents from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century

Abstract: Nan’ao became a bastion of illicit smuggling between Chinese and foreign merchants during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As a result, numerous references to Nan’ao appear in Western accounts. Initially, the term “Nan’ao” referred to both Nan’ao Island itself and the surrounding littoral and seas. However, as the Portuguese shifted their maritime activities from Fujian and Zhejiang to Guangdong, the term “Nan’ao” came to describe only the island. As foreign trade in the area declined during the eighteenth century, Nan’ao was rarely mentioned in Western accounts except in maps created from missionary records. In the early nineteenth century, the West regained its interest in Nan’ao as part of its growing imperialist penetration into China. Nan’ao's appearance in Western accounts not only reflects their changing perceptions of the island, but also demonstrates the shift in overseas trading structure.

Keywords: Nan’ao, sixteenth to early nineteenth Century, Western Literature

Liu Dake 刘大可


The Opening up of the Sea Routes and Foreign Communications in Ancient Shandong

Abstract: In ancient times, residents of the Shandong coast traveled north and south along maritime routes to trade for necessities. As a result, many sea routes emerged. Navigation northward to Liaodong probably started as early as the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period (eighth to third centuries BC), although its first documented instance occurred in the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). Since the Western Jin Dynasty (AD 265–316), large numbers of Shandong mariners sailed south to Jiangsu and Zhejiang. By the Northern Song (960–1127), ships could sail directly from Dengzhou Harbour to as far south as Chaozhou, in Guangdong. The Shandong Peninsula also has a long history of maritime exchange with Korea and Japan. Records of ships sailing from the Shandong Peninsula to Korea date back to the Han, while those to Japan can be traced back to Song times. Because of the ban on maritime trade during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, from the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries, most of the sea routes from Shandong fell into disuse.

Keywords:Shandong, Sea Routes, Foreign Exchange

Liu Fengming 刘凤鸣


Han Wudi's Tour of the Coast and the Formation of the Circum-Yellow Sea Zone

Abstract: After the successful conclusion of his wars of unification over China, Emperor Wu of Han visited the eastern coastal areas on ten occasions. These visits contained an important religious element, including paying homage to the gods and searching for elixirs of immortality. More importantly, religious authority was utilized to consolidate imperial power along the eastern coast. Emperor Wu's tours also paved the way for campaigns to expand his territory into present-day Korea. His expeditions led to the development of a vibrant, integrated economic zone surrounding the Yellow Sea.

Keywords:Han Wudi, Circum-Yellow Sea Littoral

Ma Guang 马光


The Importation and Taxation of Foreign Opium in Guangdong during the late Qing and Early Republican Period

Abstract: This article utilizes data collected by the foreign maritime customs in Guangdong to analyze the shifts in the quantity of opium imported into the area over time during Late Qing and Early Republic periods. This article demonstrates that opium was one of the most important sources of revenue for the foreign maritime customs in Guangdong.

Keywords: Guangdong, Foreign Opium, Maritime Customs, Revenue, Late Qing China

Qu Jinliang 曲金良


Chinese Shipbuilding and Navigation Technology prior to Zheng He's Voyages to the Western Sea

Abstract: The Zheng He's voyages to the Western Sea in the early fifteenth century were a massive state-sponsored navigation and shipbuilding project. Although numerous records of these voyages have survived, questions remain among both Chinese and foreign scholars regarding the shipbuilding and navigation technology of the time, the size of the treasure ships – the largest ships in Zheng He's fleet – and the farthest extent of his voyages. To answer these questions, we want to look back at the history of Chinese shipbuilding and navigation prior to the Ming Dynasty. Records of Chinese ships sailing in the Indian Ocean appeared as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). By the Song Dynasty (960–1279), the size of Chinese vessels and distance traveled were already close to what the Zheng He voyages had accomplished. Therefore, the achievements of Zheng He's voyages must be viewed in the context of the long 8,000-year old history of Chinese shipbuilding and navigation.

Keywords: Zheng He, National Voyage, Shipbuilding Technology, Voyages Level

Shi Yuntao 石云涛


The Maritime Silk Road during the Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties Period

Abstract: The Three Kingdoms, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties period (AD 220–587) saw a boom in maritime activities, especially during the Wu, Liu Song, and Liang regimes. The intermittent exchange of envoys took place by sea. More frequently and with greater stability, the maritime routes became conduits for trade and the transmission of Buddhism. During this period, China came into contact with a greater number of foreign countries, especially in Southeast Asia, compared to the preceding Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). However, the distance and scope of interactions narrowed considerably. Although Romans came to Luoyang during the Eastern Han, no mention was made of communication between China and Rome or the Byzantine Empire after the Jin Dynasties. By the time of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the farthest countries that were in contact with China were India and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, along the eastern coast, interaction with the regimes on the Korean Peninsula strengthened, while those with Japan weakened.

Keywords: Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, The Maritime Silk Road, Cultural Exchange

Xie Chen 谢忱


The Historical Value of the Jiaqing-period Files on Navigational Matters along the Fujian Coast

Abstract: The Files on Navigational Matters along the Fujian Coast is a collection of official documents produced during the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty that had disappeared into private collections. They provide valuable insight into regulations on shipbuilding and navigation in Fujian during the Qing, maritime activities between China and Ryūkyū, migration and trade between Fujian and Taiwan, and shipwrecks and castaways.

Keywords: Qing Dynasty, Fujian, Navigation, Ship-making, Files and Documents

Wang Yiping 王怡苹


Research on the Dating of Jingdezhen Export Porcelain Found Onboard the Nan’ao No. 1 Shipwreck

Abstract: The discovery of the “Nan'ao No. 1” shipwreck, which measures 27 meters in length and 7.8 meters in width, raises several significant questions. Where did it set sail and what was the destination? What was the structure of this ship? Whom did it belong to? Where were the commercial goods onboard the ship produced? How did it sink 27 meters into the sea? Solving the mysteries of the “Nan'ao No. 1” shipwreck can shed greater light on commercial activities of the South China Sea, as well as the evolving history and geography of ports along the maritime Silk Road. This article attempts to provide a chronological timeframe for the ship through an analysis of the Jingdezhen porcelain found onboard the ship. It examines the varieties and quantities of porcelain produced in the kilns of Jingdezhen, the estimated time of production, share of total Chinese porcelain exported, and their consumption.

Keywords: “Nan'ao No. 1” Shipwreck, Export Porcelain, Jingdezhen Kiln

Wu Weiwei 吴巍巍


The Maritime Silk Road and the Cultural Activities of the Westerners in the Fujian-Taiwan Area during the Ming-Qing Period

Abstract: The maritime Silk Road not only provided a platform for trade, but also allowed for cultural exchange between China and the West. During the Ming and Qing periods, Westerners were active along the southeastern coast, particularly in Fujian and Taiwan. Their presence reflected the eagerness of the Westerners for colonial expansion and their desire to learn more about Chinese culture.

Keywords: Maritime Silk Road, Ming-Qing Dynasty, Occidental, Fujian and Taiwan Area, Cultural Activities

Zhou Yunzhong 周运中


New Findings on Navigation between Mainland China and Taiwan before the Qin Dynasty

Abstract: The earliest documentation of the treacherous black trench between mainland China and Taiwan can be found in the classical literature of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period (seventh to third centuries BC). The first people in present-day China to travel beyond its shores to record such observations were necromancers from the northern states of Yan and Qi. In fact, the Chinese character yang 洋, comes from the character ying 瀛, originally from the Shandong dialect. In addition, some aborigines from Taiwan also frequented the southeastern mainland coast, forming part of the Dan boat-people. The big “yuhuang” boats belonging to the king of the state of Wu were related to the “avang” in Taiwan.

Keywords: Da-He, Kuroshio, Bai-Shui-Lang, Dan-Min, Taiwan

Contents of Volume 7 (April 2014)

Chen Jiarong 陈佳荣


New Evidence on the Year of Completion of the Zhinan zhengfa

Abstract: This article determines that the book, Zhinan zhengfa, was completed in 1685 based upon its use of the term “Tianhou (Queen of Heaven).”

Keywords: Zhinan zhengfa, Tianhou (Queen of Heaven), 1685

Guo Panxi 郭泮溪


A Preliminary Study on Early Navigation Activities along the Jiaodong Peninsula

Abstract: The residents of the Jiaodong Peninsula had mastered the technology for sea navigation as early as 5,000 years ago. As a result, overseas trade flourished in the area in ancient times. During the reign of Duke Huan of Qi in the early Spring and Autumn period, maritime trade between the State of Qi and the Korean Peninsula was mainly conducted through the State of Lai. By the later part of this period, Qi had acquired ports for direct overseas trade, including Langye, Chishan, and Zhuan­fu.

Keywords: Jiaodong Peninsula, Early Navigational Activity, Sanlihe site, Ancient Port of Langye

He Guowei 何国卫


Examination of the Prehistoric Boat Cultures of Lingnan from Relics of the Zhuhai Baojing Bay Excavation

Abstract: Findings from the Zhuhai Baojing Bay Excavation include stone weights for fishing nets, stone anchors, and pottery and cliff carvings with wave patterns and images of boats. They reveal the boat culture of early Lingnan residents. This article suggests that the Pearl River contributed to the formation of maritime Chinese culture as much as the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers.

Keywords: Baojing Bay Excavation, Cliff Carvings, Lingnan Boat Culture

Lin Han 林瀚


Research on Riverine Transport on the Hanjiang River and Wooden River Vessels

Abstract: The Hanjiang River rose to prominence during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), when tide salt began to be shipped northward along the river. It later grew into a major thoroughfare connecting southwestern Fujian, southern Jiangxi, and eastern Guangdong. The river facilitated trade and cultural exchange across the coastal region. This article reconstructs the history of the Hanjiang River network through an examination of local records, gazetteers, inscriptions, survey data from the Republican period (1911–1949), and the types of wooden vessels that sailed the rivers of Tingzhou, Meizhou, and Chaozhou.

Keywords: Hanjiang River, Waterway Transport, Wooden River Vessels

Liu Yonglian 刘永连


The Role of Regional Governments in International Diplomacy: An examination of the Guangdong Government in Diplomatic Negotiations over the Sovereignty of the Dongsha Islands

Abstract: Studies of territorial disputes often overlook the role played by regional governments. This article examines negotiations between the Guangdong authorities and Japan over the Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands) in the late Qing and Republican periods. It suggests that the successful outcome of talks over the islands' status provides a valuable precedent for resolving the disputes that China has with neighboring countries over the islands in the South China Sea, such as Xisha (Paracels) and Nansha (Spratlys).

Keywords: Local Government, Problem of Dongsha Island (Pratas Islands), Late Qing Dynasty

Peng Bangben 彭邦本


Mazu Worship in Sichuan and Fujian Immigrants during the Qing Dynasty

Abstract: Mazu, goddess of the sea, was originally worshiped by people along the southeastern Chinese coast since Song times (960–1279).   Fujianese immigrants brought the Mazu belief with them into Sichuan during the Qing Dynasty. Since then, many shrines to the Goddess of Heaven and Fujian guilds were built in cities and villages across the province. This article focuses on the impact of Fujian migration and the Mazu shrines on Sichuan culture during the Qing period.

Keywords:Mazu, Shrine to the Goddess of Heaven, Fujianese immigrants, Bashu culture

Cen Ling 岑玲


Communication with Shipwrecked Ryūkyū Sailors during the Qing Dynasty

Abstract: Contacts between China and the Rūukyū Islands began in the fifteenth century, during the early Ming Dynasty. Ties continued unabated until the nineteenth century, when the Meiji Japanese government incorporated the islands as Okinawa Prefecture. During the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, many Ryūkyū ships drifted to the Chinese coast. This article focuses on the communications that took place between the Qing government and the crews onboard the shipwrecked Ryūkyū vessels.

Keywords: Qing Dynasty, Ryūkū’s Drifting Ship-crew, Language contact

Matsuura Akira 松浦章

Nisshin Kisen Company and China

Abstract: The Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed in 1895 in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War, granted Japan the privilege of operating steamboat routes in Chinese rivers. With subsidies from the Meiji government, Nisshin Kisen Company was established in 1907 through a combination of four separate Japanese companies. The new, amalgamated corporation managed the domestic and coastal routes for 30 years until it was annexed by the Toa Kaiun (East Asia Shipping) Company in 1939. This article discusses how Nisshin Kisen Company operated these routes in China with the assistance of the Japanese government.

Keywords: Nisshin Kisen Company, China, Shanghai, Yangtze River Route

Xie Yanan 谢雅楠

A Further Study of Sino-Japanese Trade in Wuzhou, Guangxi during the late Qing Dynasty

Abstract: The West River (Xijiang), the major branch of the Pearl River (Zhujiang), has played an important role in overseas trade since the late Qing Dynasty. As the major gateway to the West River, Wuzhou, in Guangxi Province, soon caught the attention of Japan. In the negotiations following the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Japan requested to open up Wuzhou as a trading port along the West River. By the turn of the twentieth century, most of the foreign commodities in Guangxi were being imported through Wuzhou, with Japanese products constituting the biggest share. The Guangxi area also possessed a rich supply of camphor trees, which can be used to produce celluloid and smokeless powder that was in high demand on the world market. Since Japan monopolized the worldwide supply of camphor at that time, it watched with great wariness that the Chinese started to develop their own camphor industry. This article explores this history of trade and competition in Wuzhou by examining Japanese sources, such as consular reports and diplomatic records of the Foreign Ministry.

Keywords: Late Qing, Wuzhou (Wuchow), Japanese products, camphor, Japanese consular reports

Wan Ming 万明

Five Major Topics in the Study of Maritime History

[No abstract available]

Wang Zhumin 王竹敏

Advertisements of Chinese Products in Early Twentieth-Century Chinese-Language Periodicals in Thailand

Abstract: The seventeenth to twentieth centuries saw a massive wave of immigration to Thailand, leading to the growth of a vibrant Chinese community focussing primarily on commercial activities. This article uses advertisements of local periodicals to examine the character of Chinese business activities and the spending habits of Chinese residents in Thailand between 1925 and 1935.

Keywords: Twentieth century, Chinese periodicals, Thailand, advertisements, overseas Chinese

Zhou Zhongjian 周中坚

Malacca: A Glorious Conclusion to the Ancient History of Maritime Transportation in the South China Sea

Abstract: Different ports along the Strait of Malacca and Sunda Strait have served as transportation hubs in different periods of the historical evolution of the ancient South China Sea trading network. Malacca emerged during the final stage of this process, inheriting the mantle from Funan, Srivijaya, and Majapahit. Although the Kingdom of Malacca existed for slightly more than a century (1400–1511), it became a prosperous entrepôt for trade with China, India, the Middle East. Malacca's fall to the Portuguese in 1511 brought an end to the ancient history of Southeast Asia.

Keywords: Malacca, Melaka, Ancient South China Sea, Southeast Asia