Philippine wartime views on the future of Indonesia, China and Japan

"Published in Philadelphia in early 1942, this ‘Outline of (the) Post-War New World Map’, created by Maurice Gomberg, shows a proposal to re-arrange the world after an Allied victory against the Axis forces. Its title refers to a ‘New World Order’, a vague concept, its many definitions often contradicting each other."

 

This 1942 New World Order map attributed to Maurice Gomberg is interesting in that it gives a snapshot of emerging thought about the United States and its sphere of influence after World War II.

The map above also seems to include an expansion of the Philippines. See this detail:

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Which may have had some basis in a proposal made around this time in Allied circles in Washington, DC. As Ricardo Trota Jose summarized it (see Governments in exile),

One other aim of the Commonwealth government-in-exile – one which had been a dream of Quezon – was the establishment of a Malay confederation and the eventual decolonization of Southeast Asia. Quezon even felt that the Atlantic Charter – which guaranteed the basic rights of man – could be applied to Southeast Asia. The Philippine example – independence in 1946 – could serve as an example for the world, he believed. However, as time wore on, Quezon realized that while Roosevelt may personally have favored decolonization, Winston Churchill, the prime minister of Great Britain, and the other imperial powers, did not favor the idea of giving up their colonies…

This is borne out by entries in wartime portion of the Diary of Francis Burton Harrison, who was an adviser in the Commonwealth government-in-exile. His wartime diary commences in May, 1942 all the way to August, 1944.

June 7, 1942 the idea is first broached by the President of the Philippines to Harrison:

I asked him whether, in the peace settlement, the Dutch East Indies would be given back to the Netherlands? He replied: “That would be an outrage. The Malays should be allowed to unite. For years the Javanese have been looking to the Filipinos to lead them to freedom. The movement started when General Wood was Governor General; we smuggled their leaders into the Philippines with the connivance of the Collector of Customs (Aldanese); Ramon Fernandez helped them and gave them money. I must soon begin to work on this with the English, the Australians and the New Zealanders. At the Peace Conference, I intend to make a loud noise. If we were to be united politically, I would be willing to have the capital in Java. It is not mere numbers that count, but intelligence.”

November 29, 1942 a detail on the proceedings of the Pacific War Council:

I asked Quezon how he got on with his Dutch colleague on the Pacific War Council. He said he had nothing much to do with him. Asked whether he thought the Dutch would have their empire restored after the war, he said he didn’t know–but it it were, it would only be a matter of thirty years at most.

December 1, 1942 on putting forward the idea:

I was invited to attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday to hear Bernstein explain his plan and program for the new office of “Special Service” (propaganda) which he is organizing for Quezon. It was a one man show. Quezon made a long and rather astute statement to let Bernstein understand that he had changed his mind as to the scope of the undertaking. Bernstein was told to read his plan of organization and was stopped after the opening paragraphs. It was a scheme for a Malay Federation to include the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Siam and French Indo-China. Quezon explained that if such a scheme were ever proposed, it would have to come from the Javanese, or others of the countries concerned –otherwise it would look as if the Filipinos were reaching out after an empire. Quezon said he would not mind if Java were the seat of government, of such a federated state –but that it was no time to mix in such questions now! Such a move would only provoke ill feelings among allies. Elizalde says that Quezon watches the faces and studies the expressions of everybody in a group which he is addressing and added that Quezon must have noted the strained and worried countenances around him during this very interesting and, perhaps, momentous conversation.

December 3, 1942:

On my return to Washington, I made an especial (verbal) report to President Quezon on this situation. It is a subject in which he is most particularly interested. For some years, underground conferences between him and “leaders” of the Javanese (who are erroneously supposed to be completely docile–like the two hand-picked specimens the Dutch brought with them to Mont Tremblant). They seem to have some sort of a vague ambition to recreate the old Malay Empire of long ago–to include the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines and parts of British North Borneo.

Quezon did not seem much impressed by the determination of the Dutch to hold on to their rich empire. His comment was that the last time he talked to the Javanese leaders a few years ago, they were all pro-Japanese. He told them this was a very great mistake; for while they could get rid of the Dutch any time they tried, they would never of their own efforts, get rid of the Japanese, once the latter were established in the East Indies.

December 15, 1942:

On my own return from the two weeks session of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, I reported to Quezon at the Shoreham. He was deeply interested. Said the terms of the proposed settlement by Holland of the Indonesian question didn’t really matter–the Indonesians could get rid of the Dutch any time they wanted.

January 7-8, 1943:

Quezon had seen Panikkar, the Indian, whom I met at Mont Tremblant. Had been very deeply interested. Panikkar told him the Indians want independence–not Dominion Status; that the Moslems also want it, though they demand safeguards as a minority. Quezon suggested to him the federal system like the United States, with a lower house representation based on population, and the upper house giving equality to states. Panikkar replied that is what they propose to do. That they must retain all of Occidental influence they now have and not just lapse into their former Oriental luxury and magnificence. England is afraid to let go just now–the Indian army is chiefly one of professional soldiers, and could easily turn against England if things went badly.

But Quezon told me he had abandoned all idea of taking any hand in the freeing of India and of Indonesia and in the forming of an Indonesian Empire, made up of a union of the Philippines and the Netherlands Indies. He had decided to concentrate entirely on the problems of his own people, though he would be “the happiest man in the world” if the other projects became a reality. Said it would take fifty years for an Indonesian Empire to become strong enough to withstand China or Japan. He had told President Roosevelt of his decision to concentrate on the problems of his own country and not take part in the other schemes, and that this statement “made Roosevelt jump.” He added that the good will or support of Great Britain as well as of the United States would be needed in either eventuality. Thought Hong Kong should not be given back to China, but that the English should pay China the value of the barren island as it was when ceded to them, because of the disgraceful circumstances in which they got it.

Panikkar told Quezon that the Burmese were going to fight on the side of Japan!

Quezon is now going to try to get through Congress a joint resolution that the Philippines are and of right should be independent, etc.

January 9-10, 1943:

The next day I was with him to receive David Bernstein, his new “Special Services” (i.e., advertising) man. Bernstein is full of clever schemes for publicity over the radio and movies. Quezon conveyed to him his decision to drop the “free India” and “free Indonesia” issues for the present. Said he had been with Harry Hopkins this morning communicating to him the same decision. (Harry Hopkins probably let Lord Halifax know this at once–thus removing a cause of irritation if not worse!) Told Hopkins he must concentrate on the affairs of his own people, and was beginning to prepare his plans for the Joint Resolution for Independence. Bernstein commented that this would be a very powerful weapon of psychological warfare; also conveyed a request of Time for a reply to an article from Buenos Aires–German sponsored propaganda purporting to come via Japan from the Philippines, in which eulogistic descriptions were given of the present peace and contentment in the Philippines. Quezon dictated a brief response quoting General Tanaka’s recent report on his tour of the Philippines, in which the situation of public order was described as “not very satisfactory.” Quezon added that naturally it was not satisfactory to the Japanese since the Filipinos were still fighting vigorously. They had tasted freedom such as the Japanese themselves had never known at home and did not mean to give it up.

The idea of a Pan-Malayan Union predated World War II; it would resurface in the postwar era (in particular there is a book by the controversial Eduardo Martelino, see the opening chapter, Vision in Malaysia from 1959, which seems to be more familiar to Malaysian than Filipino commentators) whether as Maphilindo or, eventually, as an antecedent for ASEAN. For additional background, see Indonesian and Dutch Reactions to the Philippine Struggle for Independence by Adrian P. Lapian and Visions of Empire: Changing American Perspectives on Dutch Colonial Rule in Indonesia between 1920 and 1942 by Frances Gouda.

The reader will also notice mention of Indochina –today’s Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia– which brings up an interesting point of contending points of view between the Americans and the British and the French. At the time the map above was made, the American position seemed to be to deny France a return to Indochina. For a survey of the official view see Vietnam Footnote: The Pentagon Papers and Roosevelt’s Anti-Colonialism—by Mark Arnold. However, FDR seems to have reversed his trusteeship plan for Vietnam: see Roosevelt, Churchill, and Indochina: 1942-45 by Walter La Feber. See also Franklin Roosevelt and Indochina by Gary R. Hess.

There are also interesting views on China put forward by Filipino leaders –as well as by others, in a conference attended by representatives of the Allied nations–  as recounted by Harrison in his diary.

June 7, 1942:

Quezon thinks this is a business war, caused by slavish imitation by Japanese of the Western powers’ methods of monopoly. If the Japanese had not closed the open door in China, there would have been no war. It was totally needless, in any case, for the Japanese could have undersold all commercial rivals with all of her own products in China and she had already regained for China control over her own customs administration. If the “open door” had been maintained, the United States could then have held their Chinese market only on petroleum and tobacco.

In Japan in 1937, Quezon met members of the House of Peers and of the Diet who were opposed to the militarists —not so now. One of the Peers who was speaking of the recent Coronation said it was the last, as a religious ceremony with all the “Son of Heaven” cult. Quezon says he is never entirely at his ease in conversations with Japs —they have been until recently, for too many centuries isolated from the rest of the world.

Thinks it is a mistake to assume the Japanese are naturally an Empire and the Chinese not; on the contrary, the Chinese have always been imperialists when they were strong enough, and the Japanese only recently so. China in the past tried to conquer Japan. If the Chinese now argue that the aid promised by the United States to China has not been satisfactorily supplied, he would reply, if he was an American, that the Chinese got us into this war anyway.

Quezon is absolutely opposed to the plan to let the Chinese remain armed after this war, and the Japanese entirely disarmed. “The Japanese could teach us civic virtues, but the Chinese only ‘trickery and corruption.’” Would prefer to have the Indians armed.

June 12, 1942

It later appeared that one of Luce’s publications–Fortune in its August number was to publish an excellent analysis of Far Eastern affairs by Buell. They sent Quezon a preview copy of this article which however carried an absurd suggestion that independence be postponed in the Philippines until 1960, the islands to be garrisoned meanwhile by the United Nations. “What” cried Quezon, “they propose to garrison us with Chinese and Russian soldiers? The moment that article comes out, the Japanese radio will use it. The people of my country will turn at once to the Japanese side, and I shall be completely discredited. You propose to return Formosa to China? How foolish. Better garrisonFormosa by the United Nations armies, and thereby protect the Philippines and insure peace in the Far East.”

Quezon says he finally converted Luce and Howard to this view, and Luce is going to advocate Philippine independence immediately after the war. Quezon is quite worn out by the strain of these arguments, conducted until 1:30 last night and for an hour this morning. He remains still greatly depressed by the views of Howard and Luce on the Philippines’ status after this war is over. He now sees that the final success of his life’s work really depends upon Roosevelt’s party remaining in power in Washington.

July 14, 1942

Spoke of his troubles caused by the corruption by the Chinese in the Philippines. When a delegation from Chiang Kai-shek visited him he told them he sympathized with their desire of independence and hoped they would throw the Japanese out, but he did wish they would help him to curb Chinese corruption in the Philippines. The last Consul General they had in Manila was one of the “new young men” and he helped Quezon to clean up the immigration mess; and to put in jail the violators of that act. Quezon reorganized the Bureau of Immigration. He added that if he lives to attend the Peace Conference, he will work to see that China and Russia do not remain armed while Japan is disarmed. Hopes to line up Canada, Australia and the Latin American countries to that end.

December 3, 1942

He was followed by Dr. Sao-ke Alfred , former Chinese Ambassador in Washington and London. He too, read from a prepared address. He is an amiable and popular man, and the method by which he has gained his popularity was apparent in his speech. He talked for some time and said nothing. He has some nervous disorder which caused his hands to shake so he could hardly follow the paper. The other fourteen Chinese present were gloomy and recalcitrant. They felt they were being neglected–they had moreover positive complaints, to wit: four lend-lease shipments of armaments which had been ear-marked for China had been diverted en route to others of their “allies.” (India?) They wanted all of their territory back–especially the three eastern provinces which make up Manchuria, and Formosa which they had ceded to Japan in 1895. They did not ask for Korea–they wanted to stick the United States with a mandate for that! Especially on the subject of emigration of Chinese they were insistent. This is a really live issue in all near-by parts of the eastern world, and causes the utmost and genuine concern to their neighbours. The spectre of Chinese penetration and economic imperialism haunted us all throughout the conference. Their ardent nationalism of the present day alarms all of their neighbours. They demanded the return of Formosa without any concession as to an international police post–said that could be discussed later. Their delegation showed little teamwork; they seemed to me to be afraid of the two or three delegates who had come by bomber plane from Chungking, and were alarmed at what they might report on their return there. One of them, at a plenary session made a fiery speech, demanding: “Is America fighting for China?”

The most attractive, refined-looking woman present was the lady pilot, Mrs. Hilda Yen, who had flown her plane from Chungking via India and Africa. She had been as a child to school in the United States and could speak English perfectly, free from those humming, explosive noises indulged in by most Chinese when they are said to be talking in English.

Taking it all in all, throughout the conference, the English got the roughest ride, but the Chinese caused the greatest uneasiness to others…

…The most serious issue of immediate post-war concern was, of course, Hong Kong. Did the Chinese insist upon its return after a century as a British colony? Was not the matter also of great importance to the trade of all the nations in the Western Pacific? Could we afford to lose this great free trade post? One of the English delegates put the matter very objectively and with much restraint. There was no answer from the Chinese. They sat silent, with poker faces. The foreign concessions at Shanghai present an almost equally thorny problem. A great imperial city has grown up on the mud flats so contemptuously given the European merchants long ago. In recent years, the Chinese have shown a decided intention to get them back, with all the fabulous riches which have been built up there.

Two of the fears in the back of the minds of many Asiatic delegates were Chinese imperialism and American imperialism! One delegate let slip the statement that the people of the United States were imperialists and didn’t know it themselves. Perhaps he referred to our “Good Neighbour” policy towards South America which is compounded of an equal mixture of self-defense and exploitation. However, there is no need at present to worry about that since everyone knows that people seldom stay bought. There were no delegates present from any of the South American States which front on the Pacific!

January 7-8, 1943

He added that the good will or support of Great Britain as well as of the United States would be needed in either eventuality. Thought Hong Kong should not be given back to China, but that the English should pay China the value of the barren island as it was when ceded to them, because of the disgraceful circumstances in which they got it.

January 18, 1943

Quezon began by looking very tired, speaking slowly and reaching for his words in English. As he warmed up, he showed at his very best. Described the lunch of the day before at which he had entertained Mr. and Mrs. Henry Luce. Mrs. Luce is not enjoying her first days in Congress–the new member is usually treated with little consideration by the House. She could not get on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, etc. Quezon was much relieved to find that Mrs. Luce, who had been so very active in the propaganda for China, was now not in favour of entirely overthrowing the balance of power in Asia and of leaving Japan (as well as the rest of her neighbours) at the mercy of China….

…In the Philippine Government circles I find general anxiety over probably future aggressions by Russia and China. Many stories of Russian plundering of the elite in the part of Poland which they annexed.

January 26-27, 1943

Quezon expressed himself as in favour of a balance of power in the Far East–that Japan should not be so crushed that China may arise in her place as the would-be dictator of the Orient.

These entries are an interesting insight into past views on what were, back then, emerging questions: the post-colonial world that would emerge after World War II; attitudes towards an ally, China, and a foe, Japan. It is equally interesting to consider how some concerns have gone away, and how many remain.

 


25th of January, 1522

Saturday the 25th of January, (1522), at 22 o’clock,[261] we left the island of Mallua; and the following day, having run five leagues to the south-south-east, we arrived at a large island called Timor. I went ashore alone to speak to the head man of a village named Amaban, about his providing us with victuals. He offered me buffaloes, pigs, and goats, but when it was a question of the goods which he wanted in exchange, we could not come to an agreement, because he asked a great deal, and we had got very little to give. Then as we were constrained by hunger, we took the measure of detaining on board the ship the chief of another village named Balibo, who had come there in good faith with a son of his; and we imposed upon him as a ransom for recovering his liberty, to give six buffaloes, ten pigs, and ten goats. He, being much afraid that we should kill him, quickly gave orders to have all this brought to us; and as there were only five goats and two pigs they gave us instead an additional buffalo. We then sent him ashore with his son, and he was well pleased when we not only left him free, but also gave him some linen, some Indian cloths of silk and cotton, some hatchets, some Indian knives, scissors, looking-glasses, and some of our knives.

The chief man, whom I went to speak to first, has only women in his service; all were naked like those of the neighbouring islands, and wear in their ears small gold rings with tufts of silk hanging from them; on their arms they wear many rings of gold and copper, which often cover them up to the elbow. The men are naked like the women, and wear attached to their necks round plates of gold, and on their heads reed combs ornamented with gold rings. Some of them, instead of gold rings, wore in their ears dried necks of gourds.

In this island there are buffaloes, pigs, and goats, as has been said; there are also fowls and parrots of various colours. There is also rice, bananas, ginger, sugar canes, oranges, lemons, beans and almonds.

We had approached that part of the island where there were some villages with their chiefs or head men. On the other side of the island are the dwellings of four kings, and their districts are named Oibich, Lichsana, Suai, and Cabanaza. Oibich is the largest place. We were told that in a mountain near Cabanaza, very much gold is found, and its inhabitants buy whatever they want with small pieces of gold. All the trade in sandal wood and wax, carried on by the people of Malacca and Java, is done here; and indeed, we found here a junk which had come from Lozon[262] to trade in sandal wood; for white sandal wood only grows in this country.

These people are Gentiles; we were told that when they go to cut sandal wood, the devil appears to them in various forms, and tells them that if they want anything they should ask him for it; but this apparition frightens them so much, that they are ill of it for some days.[263] The sandal wood is cut at a certain phase of the moon, and it is asserted that if cut at another time it would not be good. The merchandise most fitting for bartering here for sandal wood is red cloth, linen, hatchets, iron, and nails.

This island is entirely inhabited. It extends a long way from east to west, and little from north to south. Its south latitude is in 10 deg., and the longitude 174 deg. 30 min. from the line of demarcation.

In all these islands that we visited in this archipelago, the evil of Saint Job prevailed, and more here than in any other place, where they call it “for franki”, that is to say, Portuguese illness.[264]

We were told that at a day’s voyage, west-north-west from Timor, there was an island in which much cinnamon grows, called Ende;[265] its inhabitants are Gentiles, and have no king. Near this are many others forming a series of islands as far as Java Major, and the Cape of Malacca. The names of these islands are Ende, Tanabuton, Crenochile, Bimacore, Azanaran, Main, Zubava, Lombok, Chorum, and Java Major, which by the inhabitants is not called Java but Jaoa.

In this island of Java are the largest towns; the principal of them is Magepaher [266] the king of which, when he lived, was the greatest of all the kings of the neighbouring islands, and he was named Raja Patiunus Sunda. Much pepper grows there. The other towns are—Dahadama, Gagiamada, Minutarangam, Ciparafidain, Tuban, Cressi,[267] and Cirubaya.[268] At half a league from Java Major are the islands of Bali, called Java Minor, and Madura, these are of equal size.

They told us that in Java Major, it was the custom when one of the chief men died, to burn his body; and then his principal wife, adorned with garlands of flowers, has herself carried in a chair by four men throughout the town, with a tranquil and smiling countenance, whilst comforting her relations, who are afflicted because she is going to burn herself with the corpse of her husband, and encouraging them not to lament, saying to them, “I am going this evening to sup with my dear husband, and to sleep with him this night.” Afterwards, when close to the place of the pyre, she again turns towards the relations, and after again consoling them, casts herself into the fire and is burned. If she did not do this she would not be looked upon as an honourable woman, nor as a faithful wife.

Our old pilot related to us other extravagant things. He told us that the young men of Java …. and that in an island called Ocoloro, below Java Major, there are only women who become pregnant with the wind, and when they bring it forth, if the child is a male, they kill it, and if a female, they bring it up; and if any man visits their island, whenever they are able to kill him, they do so.

They also related to us that beyond Java Major, towards the north in the Gulf of China, which the ancients named Sinus Magnus, there is an enormous tree named Campanganghi,[269] in which dwell certain birds named Garuda,[270] so large that they take with their claws, and carry away flying, a buffalo, and even an elephant, to the place of the tree, which place is named Puzathaer. The fruit of this tree is called Buapanganghi, and is larger than a water melon. The Moors of Burné, whom we had with us in the ships, told as they had seen two of these birds, which had been sent to their king from the kingdom of Siam. No junk, or other vessel, can approach this tree within three or four leagues, on account of the great whirlpools which the water makes there. They related to us, moreover, how in a wonderful manner what is related of this tree became known, for a junk, having been carried there by the whirlpools, was broken up, and all the seamen perished, except a child who attached himself to a plank and was miraculously borne near the tree, upon which he mounted. There he placed himself under the wing of one of these birds, which was asleep, without its perceiving him, and next day the bird having taken flight carried him with it, and having seen a buffalo on the land, descended to take it; the child took advantage of the opportunity to come out from under its wing, and remained on the ground. In this manner the story of these birds and of the tree became known, and it was understood that those fruits which are frequently found in the sea came from that place.

We were told that there were in that kingdom, on the banks of the rivers, certain birds which feed on carrion, but which will not touch it unless another bird has first eaten its heart.

The Cape of Malacca is in 1 deg. 30 min. of S. latitude. To the east of that Cape are many cities and towns, of a few of which I will note the names—Singapola, which is at the Cape, Pahan, Kalantan, Patani, Bradlini, Benan, Lagon, Cheregigharan, Trombon, Joran, Ciu, Brabri, Banga, Iudia, Jandibum, Laun, Langonpifa. All these cities are constructed like ours, and are subject to the King of Siam who is named Siri Zacabedera, and who inhabits Iudia.

Beyond Siam is situated Camogia; its king is named Saret Zacabedera; next Chiempa, the king of which is named Raja Brahami Martu. There grows the rhubarb, and it is found in this manner: men go together in companies of twenty or twenty-five, to the woods, and at night ascend the trees, both to get out of the way of the lions, the elephants, and other wild beasts, and also to be able better to smell the odour of the rhubarb borne to them by the wind. In the morning they go to that quarter whence they have perceived that the odour comes, and seek for the rhubarb till they find it. This is the rotten wood of a large tree, which acquires its odour by putrefaction.[271] The best part of the tree is the root, but the trunk is also good, which is called Calama.

The kingdom of Cocchi[272] lies next, its sovereign is named Raja Seri Bummipala. After that follows Great China, the king of which is the greatest sovereign of the world, and is called Santoa raja. He has seventy crowned kings under his dependence; and some of these kings have ten or fifteen lesser kings dependent on them. The port of this kingdom is named Guantan,[273] and among the many cities of this empire, two are the most important, namely Nankin and Comlaha, where the king usually resides.

He has four of his principal ministers close to his palace, at the four sides looking to the four cardinal winds, that is, one to the west, one to the east, to the south, and to the north. Each of these gives audience to those that come from his quarter. All the kings and lords of India major and superior obey this king, and in token of their vassalage, each is obliged to have in the middle of the principal place of his city the marble figure of a certain animal named Chinga, an animal more valiant than the lion; the figure of this animal is also engraved on the king’s seal, and all who wish to enter his port must carry the same emblem in wax or ivory.

If any lord is disobedient to him, he is flayed, and his skin, dried in the sun, salted, and stuffed, is placed in an eminent part of the public place, with the head inclined and the hands on the head in the attitude of doing zongu, that is obeisance to the king.

He is never visible to anybody; and if he wishes to see his people, he is carried about the palace on a peacock most skilfully manufactured, and very richly adorned, with six ladies dressed exactly like himself, so that he cannot be distinguished from them. He afterwards passes into a richly-adorned figure of a serpent called Naga, which has a large glass in the breast, through which he and the ladies are seen, but it is not possible to distinguish which is the king. He marries his sisters in order that his blood should not mix with that of others.

His palace has seven walls round it, and in each circle there are daily ten thousand men on guard, who are changed every twelve hours at the sound of a bell. Each wall has its gate, with a guard at each gate. At the first stands a man with a great scourge in his hand, named Satuhoran[274] with Satubagan; at the second a dog called Satuhain;[275] at the third, a man with an iron mace, called Satuhoran with pocumbecin;[276] at the fourth, a man with a bow in his hand, called Satuhoran with anatpanan;[277] at the fifth, a man with a lance, called Satuhoran, with tumach;[278] at the sixth, a lion called Satuhorimau;[279] at the seventh, two white elephants called Gagiapute.

The palace contains seventy-nine halls, in which dwell only the ladies destined to serve the king; there are always torches burning there. It is not possible to go round the palace in less than a day. In the upper part of it are four halls where the ministers go to speak to the king: one is ornamented with metal, both the pavement and the walls; another is all of silver, another all of gold, and the other is set with pearls and precious stones. The gold and other valuable things which are brought as tribute to the king are placed in these rooms; and when they are there deposited, they say, Let this be for the honour and glory of our Santoa Raja. All these things and many others relating to this king, were narrated to us by a Moor, who said that he had seen them.

The Chinese are white, and are clothed; they eat on tables like us. They have crosses, but it is not known why they have them.

It is from China that musk comes; the animal which produces it is a kind of cat, like the civet cat; it eats nothing but a certain soft wood, slender as a finger, named chamaru. To extract the musk from this animal they attach a leech to it, and leave it till it is full of blood, and when they see that it is well filled, they crush it, and collect the blood in a plate, and put it in the sun for four or five days, moistening it every day with urine. In this way it becomes perfect musk. Whoever keeps one of these cats pays a tribute to the king. The grains of musk which come to Europe as musk, are only small pieces of kid’s flesh soaked in real musk, and not the blood, since though it can be made into grains, it easily evaporates. The cat which produces musk is called castor, and the leech is called Linta.

Continuing along the coast of China, many nations are met with, and they are these: the Chienchi, who inhabit the islands in which they fish for pearls, and where the cinnamon grows. The Lecchii inhabit the mainland: the entrance to their port is traversed by a large rock, for which reason all the junks and vessels which wish to enter must take down their masts. The king of this country is called Moni. He has on the mainland twenty kings under him, and he is subject to the King of China: his capital is Baranaci, and here is situated Oriental Cathay. Han is a high and cold island, where there is copper, silver, pearls, and silk; its king is named Raja Zotra. There is also Miliaula, the king of which is named Raja Quetischeniga, and Guio, the king of which is Raja Sudacali. These places are cold and on the mainland. Friagonba and Trianga are two islands which also produce copper, silver, pearls, and silk; their king is Raja Ruzon. Bassi is a low land on the continent. There come afterwards Sumbdit and Pradit, two islands very rich in gold, where the men wear a large ring of gold round the ancle. In the neighbouring mountains dwell people who kill their parents when they are old, so that they may cease from travail. All the people of these countries are Gentiles.


7th of April, 1521

Sunday, the 7th of April, about midday, we entered the port of Zzubu, having passed by many villages. There[171] we saw many houses which were built on trees. On approaching the principal town the captain-general commanded all his ships to hang out their flags. Then we lowered the sails in the fashion in which they are struck when going to fight, and he had all the artillery fired, at which the people of this place were greatly frightened. The captain sent a young man whom he had brought up,[172] with the interpreter to the king of this island Zzubu. These having come to the town, found a great number of people and their king with them, all alarmed by the artillery which had been fired. But the interpreter reassured them, saying that it was the fashion and custom to fire artillery when they arrived at ports, to show signs of peace and friendship; and also, to do more honour to the king of the country, they had fired all the artillery. The king and all his people were reassured. He then bade one of his principal men ask what we were seeking. The interpreter answered him that his master was captain of the greatest king in the world, and that he was going by the command of the said sovereign to discover the Molucca islands. However, on account of what he had heard where he had passed, and especially from the King of Mazzava, of his courtesy and good fame, he had wished to pass by his country to visit him, and also to obtain some refreshment of victuals for his merchandise. The king answered him that he was welcome, but that the custom was that all ships which arrived at his country or port paid tribute, and it was only four days since that a ship called the Junk of Ciama,[173] laden with gold and slaves, had paid him his tribute, and, to verify what he said, he showed them a merchant of the said Ciama, who had remained there to trade with the gold and slaves. The interpreter said to him that this captain, on account of being captain of so great a king as his was, would not pay tribute to any sovereign in the world; and that if he wished for peace he would have peace, and if he wished for war he would have war. Then the merchant above-mentioned replied to the king in his own language, “Look well, oh king,[174] what you will do, for these people are of those who have conquered Calicut, Malacca, and all greater India; if you entertain them well and treat them well you will find yourself the better for it, and if ill, it will be so much the worse for you, as they have done at Calicut and Malacca.” The interpreter, who understood all this discourse, said to them that the king, his master, was a good deal more powerful in ships and by land than the King of Portugal, and declared to him that he was the King of Spain and Emperor of all Christendom, wherefore, if he would not be his friend and treat his subjects well, he would another time send against him so many men as to destroy him. Then the king answered that he would speak to his council, and give an answer the next day. Afterwards the king ordered a collation to be brought of several viands, all of meat, in porcelain dishes, with a great many vessels of wine. When the repast was over, our people returned, and related all to the captain; and the King of Mazzabua, who was on board the captain’s ship, and who was the first king after him of Zzubu, and the lord of several isles, wished to go on shore to relate to the king the politeness and courtesy of our captain.