what did japan trade on the silk road

What Did Japan Trade On The Silk Road? Here is a detailed post about japan trade routes. So, if you have been searching for what was traded on the silk road.

China has initiated the revival of land and maritime silk routes. The paths are not much different from the ones which led silk routes through sea and land. However, the sources of communication are different. Old silk road started from China, and the new one follows the same pattern.

However, the awareness of countries about their interests, the intention behind the revival of the silk road, the location of the countries on the road and strategic and economic importance of seas falling on the route may matter in the global affairs. It will undoubtedly influence Japan as well.

japan trade routes

What Did Japan Trade On The Silk Road

Silk Road provided a path for international trading and journey from Asia to Africa and Europe. Humanity, religions, cultures and knowledge travelled from one corner of the world to another. The conquerors used it for the conquest of the distant areas. It was the first source of connection and communication between the East and the West. However, the West reciprocated the efforts and competed the East by taking strides of development. Soon it also attended the zenith. This trade and communication did not restrict to land but maritime silk route as well which multiplied the trade.

The ‘Silk Road’ came into being in the first century BC. It got its name ‘Silk’ from the commodity of silk produced and exported by China. It is the translation of a German word Seidenstraße which was first used by German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in the 19th century. The Silk Road was 10,000 miles; some say 7000 miles, long international highway. It was a series of roads connecting China, Eastern Europe, Crimean Peninsula, Central Asia, North Africa, countries around the Mediterranean Sea and terminated in Japan. The continental Silk Road diverged into North and South routes as it extended from the commercial centres of North China to Eastern Europe and the Crimean Peninsula, and passing through the Marmara Sea, the Black Sea and the Balkans to Venice. The southern route went across Turkestan-Khorasan through Iran into Mesopotamia and Anatolia, and then the Mediterranean Sea or through Egypt into North Africa. Different routes of Silk Road ran about for 3,000 years.

Japan and the Silk Road | KCP International Japanese Language School
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Japan was amongst the beneficiaries of silk routes. The silk road benefitted it economically, religiously and culturally. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, “Japan is one of the major countries in the eastern terminus of the historical Silk Roads that is well-known throughout the ages for its traditions, wealth and stunning art while it was far from the foreign visitors’ access.” Goods from Central Asia made their way to Japan on the Silk Road via China and Korea. By the Nara period (710 to 794 AD), trade links between Japan and Central Asia on the Silk Road were well established. Items from the Middle East and even Europe made their way to Japan.

During the rule of Qin Shi Huang in China, many Chinese fled to Korea. They introduced the technology of silkworms and its breading there. Subsequently, the technology found its way to Japan during the days of Han dynasty. During the suzerainty of Tang dynasty, the silk produced was shipped from Korea directly to Japan.

The Silk Road was the primary source of bringing Buddhism to Japan. It reached there by the end of the sixth century. The Japanese followers of Buddhism travelled to the province of Xianning, China. They also used maritime silk road.

Silk route through sea started in about first century AD. It began from Vietnam and extended to the Red Sea passing through the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The Japanese scholar gave it a name in 1967 to differentiate it from the land Silk Road.

China has initiated One Belt One Road project. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a part of it. It is more or less on the same land and sea routes where old Silk routes thrived and survived. The East China Sea and the South China Sea are on the route of the mega initiative.

There is a territorial dispute between China and Japan on Sensaku islands located in the East China Sea. The sea possesses enormous valuable resources. China, Japan, South Korea and other countries are competitors with one another on these possible natural resources available in the East China Sea. Japan spotted Chinese submarine near the disputed islands in January 2018 in East China. Before this, a Chinese trawler collided petrol boats of Japanese Coast Guards in 2010. Japan arrested an operator of trawler Zhan Qixiong which caused protests of fishers in China.

The new silk routes through land and sea will shape the future relations of Japan and China. Both countries can derive maximum benefit by maintaining cordial bilateral relations

The South China Sea is important for Japan, China and other countries. Japan provides about 10 percent of the global fisheries catch and ships from the South China Sea and imports oil, liquified natural gas and coal through it.

China’s influence in the South China Sea and the East China Sea may endanger the interests of Japan. Moreover, the controversy on the islands may aggravate the bilateral and multilateral relations between the two countries. However, fate will be decided by the role of geoeconomics at regional, continental and international levels.

Japan has strategic and economic interests in the Arabian sea. The Strait of Hormuz is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Malacca is a source of maritime traffic between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It is also essential for China, South Korea and Singapore. According to one report, the strait is one of the busiest channels in the world. Japan imports oil from different countries through this strait also.

Both the countries are making efforts to improve their relations. The summit meetings between the two nations have opened doors of dialogue. However, the new silk routes through land and sea will shape the future relations of Japan and China. It depends upon the policies and strategies of both the countries to take maximum benefit by maintaining cordial bilateral and multilateral relations.

what was traded on the silk road


AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.


It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.


LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.


Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.


Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.


DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.


The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.


Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.


BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.


ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.


Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.


Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon


AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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