Episode 391 – The Lords of the Sea, Part 2

This week, we’re focusing on the height of piracy during the civil wars in Japan, and in particular the powerful Murakami pirate families. How did these families make their money? What did their raids look like? And what was their relationship to the warlords on land?


Shapinsky, Peter. Lords of the Sea: Pirates, Violence, and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan

Antony, Robert J (Ed). Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers: Violence and Clandestine Trade in the Greater China Seas.

Ma, Guang. “Re-evaluating the Wokou Problem in East Asia in the 1220s and 1390s from the Perspective of Environmental History.” Journal of Asian History 54, No 2 (2020).

Andrande, Tonio, Xing Hang, Jerry Bentley, and Anand Yang. Sea Rovers, Silver, and Samurai: Maritime East Asia in Global History, 1550-1700.


Today on the island of Noshima there’s a museum about the Noshima Murakami. I haven’t been, but I would love to go!
A period illustration of a converted raiding ship.
A Noshima Murakami protection pennant.
An illustration of the design for a Sekibune.
Today on the island of Innoshima there’s an annual festival commemorating the Innoshima Murakami — and as you can see it includes re-enactors!


1 thought on “Episode 391 – The Lords of the Sea, Part 2”

  1. About the re-enactments: does this mean this region sees the pirates in a romantic way similar to the way we see Caribbean piracy?

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