” Asian Bricks “, also known as “The Narrative of the World”, is Marco Polo’s travel notes on his travels around Asian countries. It was widely circulated for introducing Japan to Europe as the “Golden Country of Ji Pang” in the book. It is said that “Jipang” comes from the pronunciation of “Japan” in the text. But in fact, Marco Polo seems to have never been to Japan, he just included the rumours he heard in China.
As it is written in ” Asian Bricks “
“Jipang is an island nation floating about 1,500 miles on the Eastern Sea of Khitan (ancient Chinese name). The output of gold is huge. Palaces and houses are made of gold and overflowing with treasures. In addition, the people of Ji Pang worship idols, He has clean eyes and a refined manner, but he has the habit of cannibalism.”
Among the article, “the production of gold is quite large” refers to the rumoured gold mines in Oshu, and “palaces and private houses are made of gold” is derived from the legend of “Chong son Temple Golden Hall”. The palace roof of the Golden Hall is made of gold, and the passages, floors, and even windows in the palace are covered with gold making the content very fascinating.
Regarding the horrible rumours of the “habit of eating human flesh,” the article in ” Asian Bricks ” wrote: “When the islanders of Ji Pang catch foreigners, they will exchange money for release. If they cannot get the amount they want, they will be slaughtered and eaten, and will be enjoyed with their relatives and friends. They think that human flesh tastes great and is better than any other meats.” Of course, this is just a rumour at the time.
Marco Polo ‘s “Asian Bricks” has brought great repercussions as soon as it was released. With Columbus as the leader, many navigators have set Japan as their target.
Columbus believed that the earth is a sphere, if it goes straight to the west, it will reach the east, and he formulated a plan to sail west to Asia. But because Columbus imagined the size of the earth is much smaller than it is. Although he was sure that if he sailed towards the west, he would reach the east, but he ended the journey without reaching the destination.
In fact, in addition to the “Asian Bricks”, ancient Greece and Roman times also circulated the legend that there was a country of gold in the East. But the only one who wrote the golden legend was “Asian Bricks”.