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Edo-period Korean Diplomatic Vessel Revisits Japanese Shores

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A reproduction of a wooden ship that originally carrying a Koreann dynastic diplomatic mission arrives in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Tuesday.

TSUSHIMA, Nagasaki — A reproduction of a traditional wooden ship originally used to transport a diplomatic mission from Korean Peninsula to Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867), set sail from Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday, docking later in the day at Tsushima, an island city in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The ship, which previously hosted the Joseon Dynasty-dispatched Joseon Tongsinsa mission, was built anew in 2018 — its first reincarnation in almost 200 years.

The 34.5-meter-long, 149-ton vessel was built to scale by the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage in South Korea. The organization reportedly aimed to pass on the legacy of friendly neighborly diplomacy, and construction techniques from bygone eras based on historical texts and other references.

As the ship appeared in the port on the northern side of the island, some islanders excitedly exclaimed, “It’s here, it’s here!”