Zhu Wan

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  • Born: 1492
  • Died: 1549/3
  • Chinese/Japanese: (Zhū Wán / Shu Gan)

Zhu Wan was a Ming Dynasty official, known for his activities in combatting the wakô (coastal raiders / pirates), and his indirect role in causing the lifting of hai jin bans on maritime trade.

Originally from Suzhou in Jiangsu province, he earned the jinshi degree in 1521. He then passed through several official positions before being appointed xunfu (inspector-general) in Zhejiang province in 1547, where he worked to suppress wakô activity. His strong suppression of coastal trade (which was denounced as smuggling) was opposed, however, by local elites, who were severely harmed financially by the policies; they worked together to petition for Zhu's dismissal, and in anger or panic over the circumstance, Zhu drank poison and killed himself. This incident is said to have contributed, in the end, to the Ming Court's decision in 1567 to lift the maritime bans on all trade except with Japan.


  • "Shu Gan," Britannica kokusai dai hyakka jiten, Britannica Japan, 2014.
  • "Shu Gan," Sekai dai hyakka jiten, Hitachi Solutions, 2013.
  • Chan Yingkit. “A Bridge between Myriad Lands: The Ryukyu Kingdom and Ming China (1372-1526),” MA Thesis, National University of Singapore, 2010, 76.