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Kaizoku in the Seto Inland Sea

Time and Location

May 25, 7am EST (8pm JST)


During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, seafarers who are labled pirates in historical sources took control of many of the sea-lanes linking Japan to the rest of the world. Central to these mariners’ success were strategies of commerce, violence, and self-representation. Their histories demonstrate the significance of non-state peoples and Asian participants in making possible the global connectivity we think of as the Age of Exploration. Pirate power exerted control not only on Japan’s peripheries, but also the region known today at the Seto Inland Sea, medieval Japan’s most important trade artery.

The event will be recorded and published in YCAPS’ web archive. Questions are encouraged during the live event.



Dr. Peter Shapinsky is professor of history at the University of Illinois, Springfield. He is the author of the book, Lords of the Sea: Pirates, Violence, and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan 2014) and several articles and chapters, including “Merchants, Monks, and Marauders: Medieval Japan on and over the Seas,” forthcoming in the new Cambridge History of Japan.

Visit Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) website for more information.

This event is supported through the Japan Foundation New York’s Salary Assistance Grant for U.S.-Japan Community Grassroots Exchange Program.

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