A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.

The idols in Zipangu and the adjoining islands are strangely made, some having the head of a bull, others of a hog, or a dog, and in other most monstrous fashions.  Some have heads with four faces, others three heads on one neck, while some have faces on their shoulders.  Some have four arms, others ten, or even an hundred arms; and that idol is reputed the most powerful, and is held in greatest reverence, which has the greatest number.  When asked the reason of making their idols in such distorted and ridiculous forms, they answer that such is the custom which has been handed down from their ancestors.  It is reported of these islanders, that they eat such of their enemies as they take prisoners; esteeming human flesh a peculiar dainty.  The sea in which Zipangu lies is called the sea of Chi or Chin, or the sea over against Mangi, which is called Chan or Chint, in the language of that island.  This sea is so large, that mariners who have frequented it, say it contains seven thousand four hundred and forty islands, most of them inhabited; and that in ail those islands there is no tree which is not odoriferous, or does not bear fruit, or is not useful in some other respects.  In them likewise there are great abundance of spices of various kinds, especially black arid white pepper, and lignum aloes[6].  The ships of Zaitum are a whole year on their voyage to and from Zipangu, going there during the winter, and returning again in summer, as there are two particular winds which regularly prevail in these seasons.  Zipangu is far distant from India.  But I will now leave Zipangu, because I never was there, as it is not subject to the khan, and shall now return to Zaitum and the voyage from thence to India.

[1] In this passage, in the edition of Harris, the sense seems obscurely to
    insinuate that this had been occasioned by the sea having broken down
    or overwhelmed certain lands or islands, producing numbers of smaller
    islands and extensive shoals.—­E.

[2] Zipangu, Zipangri, or Cimpagu, is Japan without any doubt.—­E.

[3] Named Abataa and Yonsaintin by Pinkerton, from the Trevigi edition.  The
    latter Ven-san-sui, or Von-sain-cin, by his name seems to have been a

[4] Called Caicon, or Jaiton in the Trevigi edition.  Caicon is not very far
    removed from the sound of Cangtong or Canton, which has already been
    considered to be the Zaitum of the text.—­E.

[5] A.D. 1269, according to the Trevigi edition.—­E.

[6] Marco obviously extends this sea and these islands to all those of the
    Chinese sea and the Indian ocean, from Sumatra in the SW. to Japan in
    the NE.—­E.


Account of Various Countries, Provinces, Islands, and Cities in the Indies.

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