The Nau do Trato, The Portuguese Black Ships

The Black Ships (in Japanese, kurofune, Edo Period term) was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.

NanbanCarrack (1)


In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts, establishing a trade route linking Goa to Nagasaki. The large carracks engaged in this trade had the hull painted black with pitch, and the term came to represent all western vessels.


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