From Sea Bandits to Sea Lords:<sup>1</sup>

Robert J. Antony

in Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028115
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206915 | DOI:
From Sea Bandits to Sea Lords:1

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This chapter examines the meanings of piracy in the context of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Japan. It describes pirates as entrepreneurs of violence, as free agents who sold their services in the emerging monetized economy and as the embodiment of mercenarism rather than vassalage. It explores the potential application of the concept of nonstate violence as a way to understand the challenges that seafarers labelled pirates posed for land-based polities in contemporary and historical contexts and considers the transborder cultures of seafaring in the region now known as the Seto Inland Sea.

Keywords: piracy; Japan; pirates; violence; mercenarism; nonstate violence; seafaring; Seto Inland Sea

Chapter.  6165 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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