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Note that the following texts are chronologically ordered by date of compilation, which does not always correspond with the sequence of Dynasties in Chinese history.
Thereafter to the inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago." The ca.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.The Haineibei jing 海內北經 "Classic of Regions within the North Seas" chapter includes Wō 倭 "Japan" among foreign places both real, such as Korea, and legendary (e.g. Kai [cover] Land is south of Chü Yen and north of Wo. [蓋國在鉅燕南倭北倭屬燕 朝鮮在列陽東海北山南列陽屬燕] Ch’ao-hsien [Chosŏn, Korea] is east of Lieh Yang, south of Hai Pei [sea north] Mountain. 1000-222 BCE) kingdom of Yan (state), and that Wo ("Japan was first known by this name.") maintained a "possible tributary relationship" with Yan. 70-80 CE Lunheng 論衡 "Discourses weighed in the balance" is a compendium of essays on subjects including philosophy, religion, and natural sciences.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.
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The earliest textual references to Japan are in Chinese classic texts.