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Doan

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Dôan was a Hakata-based merchant and Buddhist monk who acted as a formal representative of the king of the Ryukyu Kingdom in several official missions to Joseon (Korea) in the 1450s.

Dôan first traveled to Korea in 1453, repatriating a pair of Koreans who had been castaway in Ryûkyû. Though traditional histories generally indicate that Dôan was doing so as an intermediary on behalf of the Ryukyuan court, some sources suggest he may have purchased the Koreans from the Ryukyuan court, trading in men for his own personal profit and reputation.

King Shô Taikyû of Ryûkyû then dispatched Dôan to Korea in 1455 to negotiate on his behalf for copies of the Buddhist canon.

Dôan traveled to Korea a third time as a representative of the Ryûkyû Kingdom in 1457.

References

  • Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 72.
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