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The textual dating of this collection of geographic and mythological legends is uncertain, but estimates range from 300 BCE to 250 CE. Nakagawa 20) Nakagawa notes that Zhuyan 鉅燕 refers to the (ca.
51-7 BCE) was presented tributes of Vietnamese pheasants and Japanese herbs. 82 CE Han Shu 漢書 "Book of Han"' covers the Former Han Dynasty (206 BCE-24 CE) period.
Near the conclusion of the Yan entry in the Dilizhi 地理志 "Treatise on geography" section, it records that Wo encompassed over 100 guó 國 "communities, nations, countries".
Beyond Lo-lang in the sea, there are the people of Wo. [樂浪海中有倭人分爲百餘國] It is reported that they have maintained intercourse with China through tributaries and envoys. Otake Takeo 小竹武夫, cited by Nakagawa 20) Emperor Wu of Han established this Korean Lelang Commandery in 108 BCE.
The earliest textual references to Japan are in Chinese classic texts.
Within the official Chinese dynastic Twenty-Four Histories, Japan is mentioned among the so-called Dongyi 東夷 "Eastern Barbarians".
They formerly comprised more than one hundred communities.
During the Han dynasty, [Wa envoys] appeared at the Court; today, thirty of their communities maintain intercourse [with us] through envoys and scribes. Tsunoda 1951:8) A hundred li to the south, one reaches the country of Nu [奴國], the official of which is called shimako, his assistant being termed hinumori.
The Rŭzēng 儒増 "Exaggerations of the Literati" chapter mentions ''Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese people" and Yuèshāng 越裳 "an old name for Champa" presenting tributes during the Zhou Dynasty.
In disputing legends that ancient Zhou bronze ding tripods had magic powers to ward off evil spirits, Wang says. The Yuèshāng offered white pheasants to the court, the Japanese odoriferous plants.
Ryūsaku Tsunoda (1951:4) cautions that great distances in thousands of lǐ "are, of course, not to be taken literally." The historian Wang Zhenping summarizes Wo contacts with the Han State. 57, the first Wo ambassador arrived at the capital of the Eastern Han court (25-220); the second came in 107.
When chieftains of various Wo tribes contacted authorities at Lelang, a Chinese commandery established in northern Korea in 108 B. by the Western Han court, they sought to benefit themselves by initiating contact. Wo diplomats, however, never called on China on a regular basis.
297 CE Wei Zhi 魏志 "Records of Wei", comprising the first of the San Guo Zhi 三國志 "Records of the Three Kingdoms", covers history of the Cao Wei kingdom (220-265 CE).