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They formerly comprised more than one hundred communities.
During the Han dynasty, [Wa envoys] appeared at the Court; today, thirty of their communities maintain intercourse [with us] through envoys and scribes. Tsunoda 1951:8) A hundred li to the south, one reaches the country of Nu [奴國], the official of which is called shimako, his assistant being termed hinumori.
When these ambassadors arrived in China, they acquired official titles, bronze mirrors, and military banners, which their masters could use to bolster their claims to political supremacy, to build a military system, and to exert influence on southern Korea.
(Wang 201-222) Possibly the earliest record of Wō 倭 "Japan" occurs in the Shan Hai Jing 山海經 "Classic of Mountains and Seas".
Over the next sixty years, ten Wo ambassadors called on the Southern Song court (420-479), and a Wo delegation also visited the Southern Qi court (479-502) in 479.
The sixth century, however, saw only one Wo ambassador pay respect to the Southern Liang court (502-557) in 502.
With the arrival of a Wo ambassador at the Eastern Jin court (317-420) in 413, a new age of frequent diplomatic contacts with China began.
297 CE Wei Zhi 魏志 "Records of Wei", comprising the first of the San Guo Zhi 三國志 "Records of the Three Kingdoms", covers history of the Cao Wei kingdom (220-265 CE).
The 東夷伝 "Encounters with Eastern Barbarians" section describes the Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese" based upon detailed reports from Chinese envoys to Japan.
The Rŭzēng 儒増 "Exaggerations of the Literati" chapter mentions ''Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese people" and Yuèshāng 越裳 "an old name for Champa" presenting tributes during the Zhou Dynasty.
In disputing legends that ancient Zhou bronze ding tripods had magic powers to ward off evil spirits, Wang says. The Yuèshāng offered white pheasants to the court, the Japanese odoriferous plants.