• Items in the Collection

Shogunate License to Trade issued by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Tanabeya Matazaemon


Out of the 183 shogunate trading licenses issued by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in the 12 years between January 13, 1604 and January 11, 1616, very few originals are believed to survive to this day. This shogunate trading license (bearing the vermillion seal of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu) to trade with Siam (present-day Thailand) was issued to Tanabeya Matazaemon on July 25, 1608.
(Half-size reproduction from the original of Sueyoshi family’s collection.)
Three photographs under the license are of the opening entries of “Ikoku Goshuin-cho (register of shogunate trading licenses)” by the hand of the monk Honko Kokushi (Ishin Suden), founder of the Konchi-in and Nanzen-ji Temples in Kyoto. August 26, 1604: Luzon (present-day Philippines), Tanabeya Matazaemon September 3, 1605: Luzon, Tanabeya Matazaemon July 25, 1608: Japan to Siam, Tanabeya Matazaemon
This gaku-ema (large wooden wishing plaque) bearing a drawing of a shogunate-licensed trading ship was an offering made in September 1632 by the Sueyoshi family to Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto. ※The relationship between the Tanabe and Sueyoshi families: The families became related by marriage when the daughter of Sueyoshi Magozaemon was wedded to Tanabeya Matazaemon on July 25, 1608. “This shogunate-licensed trading ship traveled to Tonkin (present-day Hanoi, Vietnam). Supervised by Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera Temple”

Shogunate trading license 1608
Gaku-Ema baring a drawing of a shogunate-licensed trading ship 1632

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