Item description for Zheng He by Michael Yamashita...
Before the legendary explorations of Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Ferdinand Magellan, Admiral Zheng He sailed from Ming-dynasty China, and in 28 years, made seven voyages visiting 30 countries. With his fleet of hundreds of junks, he traveled from Southeast Asia to Africa, from India to the Middle East, gathering riches, scientific knowledge, fame, and power for his emperor. He came close to conquering the world, until the Ming Dynasty's power shriveled and the explorer's accomplishments were all but forgotten. More than six centuries after his first voyage, acclaimed photographer Michael Yamashita restores the deeds of the "Forgotten Admiral" to their rightful place in history. In this compelling tribute to Zheng He, Yamashita traces each of his journeys and pays homage to the impressive achievements of this explorer whose feats equal or surpass those of other better-known explorers. In a meticulous visual recreation that has become his signature style, Yamashita presents the details of each voyage, chronicling the interactions and commercial exchanges, and documenting, through his exceptional photographs, the diverse locales Zheng He discovered in nearly three decades of intense exploration. Michael Yamashita has combined his two passions—photography and travel—as a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1979. He has received numerous awards, including the National Press Photographers Association Pictures of the Year Competition, and an award from the New York Art Director's Club. He is the author of Marco Polo (White Star, 2005). Gianni Guadalupi has worked for many years compiling anthologies on literature pertaining to travel. He has written numerous books on the culture of travel for White Star.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10" Width: 9.9" Height: 1.5" Weight: 5.1 lbs.
Release Date Oct 17, 2006
Publisher White Star
ISBN 8854401641 ISBN13 9788854401648
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Yamashita
Yamashita has been shooting pictures for National Geographic Society magazines and books since 1979.
I bought the book because I had only recently learned of Zeng He's major voyages. I was expecting not just excellent moden photographs, but also recovered ancient Chinese prints illustrating the expeditions and boat design. No shipwrite pictures of the plans or design of the ships were included. Moreover, the book fails to answer how such huge ships managed to sail without tipping over? How deep was the ship's draft? This is not a trivial issue because the ships as illustrated sailed "high" and some sort of deep hold or large keel had to stablize these ships. The only glimpse of this is a picture of a large rudder. Perhaps all these details were lost due to the demise of the Chinese fleet after the death of Zeng He's patron, the emporor. Nevertheless, that issue should have been addressed and it wasn't.
The narrative is part history, part colloquiual culture, part legend, part 'tall tales' (some stereotyped) about the customs of the lands visited by Zheng He and part personal observations and reminiscences by the author. Very little reference material was provided.
Zeng He clearly was a major explorer and his acocmplishments must have been sizeable given the terrain he visited BEFORE the Spanish, Portugese, Dutch and British arrived in the Indian and western and southestern Pacific oceans. In my view, this book trivilizes his remarkable accomplishments.