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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