Junk – it is the history and pride of the Chinese Navy


2018-03-17 22:55:38




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Not everyone heard the word "junk". But those who heard it for the first time, probably wondering what it means. Few people know that junk – this is a traditional Chinese ship with a number of essential differences from the representatives of the European shipbuilding industry. The difference is noticeable and at first glance, and upon further study of this unusual ship.

Typical appearance

The Main difference between the junks from other ships is that the stern of the wreck is quite large and held high. Simultaneously, the nose having a virtually rectangular shape, is quite low. Regardless of the destination, a traditional Chinese vessel had a flat bottom. All this created a very unusual appearance junks, which effectively supplemented the original classes and the traditional drawings on the sides and stern. As a rule, there is depicted the mountains and clouds and dragons and other mythical creatures.

this is junkDue to such a large number of characteristic features of junk – this is probably the most recognizable ship in the world and at the same time unique, because traditional European ships used in most countries, it has very little in common. However, there are many varieties of this ship – according to some reports, more than 300.


This name is reminiscent of traditional American name comes from the Malay word djong, which is a distortion of the word genomescale dialect, meaning “ship”. In other words, junk is like a ship than, in fact, it is.


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An Old legend says that the first ship of this type was Heavenly Chinese Emperor Fu Hsieh. He lived in a distant 29th century BC and was known for that gave the people of the country the secret knowledge that contributed to the development of civilization. Not surprisingly, the Chinese junk is revered by the peoples of the Far East and South-East Asia as some kind of living entity, possessing a disposition, character and charm. However, some historians tend to believe that the first junks appeared approximately 1000 years BC.

what is junkDespite the fact that China is less than in many other countries were interested in the study of remote parts of the ocean, the first ship appeared here. And it was junk. Its stability allowed to maneuver in open waters of any size, but the speed remained quite small.

Unusual sails

For some, the most notable feature of junks is its unusual case, and someone in the first place draws attention to the sails. The masts on this ship, usually from three to five. They are of the horizontal bamboo poles that serve as holders unusual sails. A General view of them seems like a fan-like appearance, and the folding system.

junk photoAt First, the sails were made of reed mats, which made them very heavy, so the junk at that time was not adapted for fast swimming. But the need was not in it. But the strength of the material allowed the sail to withstand even the strongest gusts of wind. Later, the Mat was replaced by fabric, which increased the speed and maneuverability of the vessel.

At the end of the XIII century, China was visited by the Venetian merchant and traveller Marco Polo. He made a detailed description of the original Asian of the ship and was just amazed at what some of the junks in addition to the existing four masts to install spare parts, you can deploy some more sails.

Military junks

What is the junk Chinese? Often it is transport or merchant ship. Much less frequently it was used for military purposes. Historians have noted such interesting fact: in the 16-17th centuries of the Chinese coast showed up Portuguese, Dutch and Japanese pirates. Instead of having to mobilize troops and to get rid of them, the Chinese turned to ancient texts that offer guidance in this case. Not finding the answer to your question, the people of China decided to leave it as is.

However, what is junk, as not a ship, is ideal for military action? The stability of the vessel allowed to install 5 to 7 12-pounder guns and special bulwarks, protected from bullets and arrows. The crew size was 200 persons and displacement-200 tons.

Japanese junks

The Junks, which were created in the Country of the rising sun, was somewhat different from the Chinese, including externally. First and foremost stood the curvature of the sides and raised high above the water feed hanging over the wheel.

the junksUnlike the Chinese, Japanese junk – it's a ship with one Central mast, which is a narrow rectangular sail. Another small mast at the tilting was located on the bow and probably could get out if necessary. Another feature of Japanese junks is that the beams-beams that forms the basis of the deck – were outside the vessel, thereby increasing the usable space under the cargo.


Despite the fact that junk was invented more than 3 thousand years ago, it still remains relevant. The main reason – perfect design for stability, capacity and maneuverability in shallow water. For many years, the historic ship has not changed, even now it's still the same medieval junk. The photo clearly shows how few differences there are between ancient and modern vehicle.

Chinese junkCurrently, the poor population in some areas of China forced to live on the junks, which is much cheaper than buying housing. The ship provides fishermen with food and homes, so it is quite a popular place to stay. Homeowners-junks prefer to settle on rivers near major cities. The population in these floating villages can reach up to 80 thousand people, as, for example, in the city of Canton. In Hong Kong Chinese living on junks, it is also quite a lot – about 12 thousand. In addition, currently, the junks used to attract tourists.


Article in other languages:

AR: https://tostpost.com/ar/education/8931-junk-it-is-the-history-and-pride-of-the-chinese-navy.html

BE: https://tostpost.com/be/adukacyya/16014-dzhonka-geta-g-storyya-gonar-k-tayskaga-flotu.html

DE: https://tostpost.com/de/bildung/16019-jonka-ist-die-geschichte-und-der-stolz-der-chinesischen-flotte.html

ES: https://tostpost.com/es/la-educaci-n/16029-dzhonka-es-la-historia-y-el-orgullo-chino-de-la-flota.html

HI: https://tostpost.com/hi/education/8937-junk-it-is-the-history-and-pride-of-the-chinese-navy.html

JA: https://tostpost.com/ja/education/8936-junk-it-is-the-history-and-pride-of-the-chinese-navy.html

KK: https://tostpost.com/kk/b-l-m/16012-dzhonka-b-l-aza-stan-tarihy-men-ma-tanyshy-ytay-flotyny.html

PL: https://tostpost.com/pl/edukacja/15984-dzhonka-to-historia-i-duma-chi-skiej-floty.html

PT: https://tostpost.com/pt/educa-o/15986-dzhonka-a-hist-ria-e-o-orgulho-da-frota-chinesa.html

TR: https://tostpost.com/tr/e-itim/16016-dzhonka-hikaye-ve-gurur-in-donanmas.html

UK: https://tostpost.com/uk/osv-ta/16001-dzhonka-ce-stor-ya-gord-st-kitays-kogo-flotu.html

ZH: https://tostpost.com/zh/education/9724-junk-it-is-the-history-and-pride-of-the-chinese-navy.html

Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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