Li Dan

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  • Died: 1625
  • Chinese/Japanese: 李旦 (Li Dan / Ri Tan)

Li Dan was a prominent early 17th century Chinese merchant. Sometimes known by the Western name Andrea Dittis, he was originally from Quanzhou in Fujian province.

Li operated out of Manila for a time before moving to Hirado, in Japan, and becoming a part of the shuinsen trade, with a formal vermillion seal license from the Tokugawa shogunate. Prior to becoming a more honest trader, he was a wakô leader and prominent smuggler of deerskins and venison,[1] but he eventually put that behind him. He served as the head of the Chinese community in Hirado, and maintained a residence in the English sector of the city. He had particularly close relationships with members of the Matsura clan, as well as with the Nagasaki bugyô and other shogunal officials.

Following his death, Li Dan's business was inherited by Zheng Zhilong, along with his role in the community.


  • Arano Yasunori. "The Formation of a Japanocentric World Order." International Journal of Asian Studies 2:2 (2005). pp185-216.
  1. Matt Matsuda, Pacific Worlds, University of Cambridge Press (2012), 108.