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History: Southern Thailand courts united Japan’s first Shogun

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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History: Southern Thailand courts united Japan’s first Shogun | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first Shogun of a united Japan. In the year 1600, after the bloody battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu managed to unite the warring clans of Japan under his sovereignty, ushering in a long era of peace under the Tokugawa Shogunate.

A year earlier, in 1599, a visiting envoy from the Kingdom of Pattani presented Ieyasu with a letter from Queen Raja Ijau, who was the ruler of Pattani. Pattani during that time was a thriving independent kingdom, enjoying a period of peace and prosperity known as the golden era of the “Four Queens”.

The letter, however, stated that the ruler of Pattani was King Shitsuridanarigui. The Pattani sultanate had intentionally disguised the gender of their ruler in their dealings with the Japanese.

Tokugawa Ieyasu wrote an official reply to the Pattani “king” with his own court name of Minamoto Ieyasu. When the letter from Pattani arrived at the Japanese court, Ieyasu was acting as the head of a council that ruled after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a leader of one of the warring Japanese clans.

His letter to the Queen of Pattani explained the situation in Japan during that time, stating that the previous ruler of his clan, Hideyoshi had suddenly passed away in August.

He thanked the ruler of Pattani for the lavish gifts she had sent through her envoys, including the “gifts of your country’s birds and products”. Ieyasu also expressed that he wanted to strengthen trade ties with Pattani and that he believed the traffic of merchant vessels between Japan and the sultanate of Pattani will become more frequent.

Ieyasu concluded by wishing that the two countries, although distant, could develop a firm friendship.

In return for the gifts that were generously sent, Ieyasu gave the envoys two suits of Japanese armor that were to be given to the ruler of Pattani.

The second mission from Pattani arrived after Ieyasu has already consolidated his power over all of Japan. On September 15, 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu decisively defeated his last opponent, Ishida Mitsunari, at the Battle of Sekigahara. Two years later, in 1602, a second mission from Pattani arrived. This time, Queen Raja Ijau addressed Ieyasu as King Lin In Lin of Pattani.

Ieyasu’s reply was to assure the ruler of Pattani that the clan wars that had plagued Japan for years were over, and the country was now maintained in a peaceful state. According to Ieyasu, from now on, many merchants would be sailing with precious merchandise to the shores of Japan and they should be able to do so without anxiety or worry, for supervision was strict along both land and sea routes.

On February 12, 1603, the Imperial Court accepted Tokugawa Ieyasu’s de facto rule over Japan. Ieyasu ascended to power as Shogun and established his seat of power at Edo, present day Tokyo.

By 1605, the new Shogun had issued trade licences to various merchants in Japan, allowing them to sail to foreign lands to trade. From July 1604 till January 1605, 11 trade licences were issued for voyages to Siam. Of these 11, four were for Siam, four were for the Sultanate of Pattani, two were for Songkhla and the remaining licences were for trade expeditions to Hoi-an.

In August 1606, another envoy from Pattani arrived at the Japanese court. By this time, Ieyasu had retired from the position as Shogun. The Imperial Court appointed his son, Tokugawa Hidetada as Shogun. Instead, Ieyasu took on the title of Ogosho, literally meaning “influential figure”.

Ieyasu still received the envoys from Pattani but this time, his reply letter to the ruler of Pattani was not as delightful as before. Ieyasu explained that in recent years, the traffic in trade between Pattani and Japan had increased, however, the crimes committed against Japanese merchant ships greatly worried the Ogosho.

Japanese traders had suffered from plunder, pillaging and riot in Pattani, according to Ieyasu.
Apparently Japanese merchants experienced treachery in Pattani, despite purchasing more goods than they were able to load.

Japanese traders were being subjected to acts of murder and arson and the incidents culminated in Japanese retaliations of their own. Angered over such barbaric treatment by the locals of Pattani, Japanese merchants rioted on several occasions. It is said that Japanese merchants twice set the city of Pattani ablaze.

Ieyasu’s letter in the year 1606 was unapologetic about such news. He also vowed to sentence those responsible to the severest possible penalties. After this incident, there was no further diplomatic exchange between Pattani and Japan. Pattani was excluded from all further commercial links with Japan.

Even though Japan fell out with the Sultanate of Pattani, the country continued its close trade ties with the Kingdom of Siam, which the Japanese called Shamuro.

In fact, after the fallout with Pattani, trade between Japan and Siam seemed to gain momentum as more trade licences were issued for Japanese merchants visiting Siam.

— Anand Singh

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Thai Life

Thais go bananas over freak plants in pursuit of lottery numbers

The Thaiger

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Thais go bananas over freak plants in pursuit of lottery numbers | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Daily News

The answers are in the banana leaves.

Thai people LOVE playing the lottery (and gambling generally). In fact they’re BANANAS about the twice-monthly lottery (it was drawn again today). Daily News has reported about two unusual banana trees growing in front of a shop in Klong 4 Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok. The trees did not have blossom and on one plant two bananas were pointing skywards. On another there was a whole bunch pointing up into the sky.

There was a steady stream of the faithful lighting incense, praying and rubbing powder on the trees to get lottery numbers. One group thought ‘542’ was the magic numbers and a path to riches (we’re not sure how they came to this conclusion). 53 year old Surachai says the trees had been growing for a few months and that he’d never seen anything like it before.

An unnamed agricultural expert suggested that there was probably something wrong with the banana plants. Trees and malformed animals are a favourite source of inspiration to select numbers for the lottery, as are numbers of houses and vehicles involved in events where people experience “miracle” escapes from danger, or even bizarre accidents.

SOURCE: Daily News

Thais go bananas over freak plants in pursuit of lottery numbers | News by The Thaiger Thais go bananas over freak plants in pursuit of lottery numbers | News by The Thaiger

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Entertainment

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival

The Thaiger

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The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | The Thaiger

On the streets, in parks and garages, seven Cuban youngsters spent seven months practising K-pop moves to secure a spot on their dream stage: an appearance in South Korea to imitate their idols. 13 final teams from 80 countries are competing in the 2019 event.

At the grandly titled and government-funded Changwon K-pop World Festival contestants from around the globe perform imitation dances or sing cover versions of the genre’s biggest hits, with thousands of fans cheering them on.

In terms of global heft, South Korea is overshadowed by its much larger neighbours China and Japan, but the event is a way for Seoul to derive soft power from one of the country’s biggest cultural exports. In terms of pop-power, South Korea’s K-Pop is now a recognised world-wide music phenomenon with bands like BTS and Blackpink figuring amongst the other big-hitters on the Billboard charts and outselling their western counterparts with millions of albums and downloads.

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

Finalists for this year

Cuba’s Communist government is one of North Korea’s few remaining allies: when President Miguel Diaz-Canel, successor to the Castro brothers Fidel and Raul, visited Pyongyang last November he was only the third foreign head of state to do so since leader Kim Jong Un inherited power in 2011.

But rather than geopolitics, Havana performer Karel Rodriguez Diaz – whose mannerisms and sleek hairstyle could easily be mistaken for those of a K-pop star – is more motivated by high-tempo beats and superslick dance moves.

“We never had a place with a mirror or a choreographer who could teach us the steps” but they kept on practising, he said.

His team-mate Elio Gonzalez added: “We are so excited to represent not just Cuba but also the whole of Latin America.”

Some 6,400 teams from more than 80 countries entered the competition, according to organisers, with 13 groups from places as diverse as Kuwait and Madagascar winning through to the final in Changwon, where they appeared on stage waving their national flags.

“This is like watching the Olympics, a K-pop Olympics,” said the event’s host Lia, a member of K-pop group ITZY.

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

The Korean Wave

K-pop – along with K-drama soap operas – has been one of South Korea’s most successful cultural exports to date. A key part of the “Korean Wave” which has swept Asia and beyond in the last 20 years, the K-pop industry is now estimated to be worth $5 billion, with boyband BTS its latest high-profile exponent, becoming the world’s most successful band in the past 12 months, selling out stadium concerts within minutes, around the world.

The South Korean government has financed a variety of K-pop themed events in what CedarBough Saeji, a visiting professor at Indiana University Bloomington in the US, said was a form of long-term “soft power diplomacy”.

“When you are covering you get to ‘become’ those idols for the three and a half minutes of the song,” she said, adding that performers will go so far as matching their clothing, accessories and hairstyle to their heroes and heroines.

“The cover dancers of today will be diplomats, news reporters, and business leaders in forty years,” she went on.

“And hopefully they’ll still have a soft spot in their heart for Korea. Korea can’t win the world through hard power – armies, economic bullying – but with soft power even a small country like Korea has a chance.”

The music also provides an artistic alternative for overseas fans, especially those in developing countries, Saeji added.

“The West, especially the United States, has been so dominant culturally for so long, and having a different cultural pole to look to provides hope that one’s own country can experience similar success in the future.”

The K-pop Olympics: performers battle in the K-pop festival | News by The Thaiger

Be who you want

Beneath its glitz and glamour, the K-pop industry is also known for its cutthroat competition, a lack of privacy, online bullying and relentless public pressure to maintain a wholesome image at all times and at any cost.

Sulli, a popular K-pop star and former child actress who had long been the target of abusive online comments was found dead on Monday, with her death sending shockwaves through fans around the world.

“I think a day where (people) would be ashamed of the K-show business will surely come,” a South Korean online user wrote in the wake of the star’s death.

“I think an industry that makes money by (making people) sing, dance, undergo plastic surgeries and go on a diet to please the gaze of others since they are teenagers should really go bankcrupt.”

But for Kenny Pham, a finalist from the US at last week’s contest, K-pop’s diversity – with some tunes having dark themes, while others were “cute” or sensual – is what gives him a sense of liberation.

“I like how expressive you could be,” the 19 year old told AFP last week.

“I feel like it’s a place where you could show the passion you have for music, dance or fashion. No one is bashing you for what your likes are.”

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Business

Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain

May Taylor

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Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain | The Thaiger

(…or is that a 90% ‘steak’?)

PHOTOS: Wongnai

DealStreetAsia, an investor news site reporting on Asian business, confirms that Singha Corporation has purchased a majority stake in the Thai restaurant chain, Santa Fe. It’s understood that Singha purchased the shares held by Lakeshore Capital for approximately US$50 million or 1.53 billion baht, giving it a 90% stake in the chain seen in most Thai shopping centres.

The Nation reports that Singha will now oversee over 110 restaurants across Thailand in one of the country’s biggest food industry deals of the year. The company first turned its attention to the food industry two years ago, launching Food Factors Company under the Boon Rawd Brewery group.

WongnaiFood Factors aims to make 5 billion baht over 3 years under the stewardship of Piti Bhirombhakdi. The company has an ambitious long-term target of 10 billion baht a year, along with plans to be listed on the stock exchange.

The Santa Fe chain was established in 2003 by Surachai Charn-Anudet’s KT Restaurant Company, with the aim of becoming a major competitor to Sizzler, the American chain brought to Thailand by Minor Food.

SOURCE: The Nation

Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand's Santa Fe restaurant chain | News by The Thaiger

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