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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

10 - Eastern Neighbors

from Part IV - East Asia


Moving beyond Ming territory and the Chinggisid world, Chapter 10 looks at how the early Ming court invoked the story of the Mongol empire in its relations with the kingdoms of Koryŏ, Japan, and the Great Việt (Đại Việt or most of the northern part of today’s Vietnam), which today are commonly lumped together as East Asia. The chapter reviews these three kingdoms’ markedly different experiences of the Mongol empire. It argues that the early Ming court tried, with uneven success, to exploit divergent memory of the Mongol empire to pursue pressing contemporary issues of diplomatic recognition, border populations, and coastal security. It also considers how the early Ming court gathered information on events in of Koryŏ, Japan, and the Great Việt, and how, on the basis of such intelligence, it tailored its Chinggisid narrative for different audiences.