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Red Seal Ship

Sueyoshi red seal ship in 1633, with foreign pilots and sailors. Kiyomizu-dera Ema (絵馬) painting, Kyoto.

Around 50 Red Seal ships to Luzon in the Philippines are recorded between 1604 and 1624 (and only 4 more recorded by 1635). The Japanese had established quite early an enclave at Dilao, a suburb of Manila, where they numbered between 300 and 400 in 1593. In 1603, during the Sangley rebellion, they numbered 1,500 and 3,000 in 1606. The Franciscan friar Luis Sotelo was involved in the support of the Dilao enclave between 1600 and 1608.

The Japanese led an abortive rebellion in Dilao against the Spanish in 1606–1607. Their numbers rose again with the interdiction of Christianity by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1614, when 300 Japanese Christian refugees under Takayama Ukon settled in the Philippines. In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of Japanese people traders also migrated to the Philippines and assimilated into the local population. They are at the origin of today’s 200,000-strong Japanese population in the Philippines.

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Type: illustration
Date: 1633
Continent: Asia
Keywords: ship, trade, red seal