Mysterious Questions In The World

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Mysterious question on the Silkroad: Silk

Mysterious question on the Silkroad
                         July, 2013 Mystery Hunter
I attended to a pack-tour arranged by a Japanese Travel Company to Uyghur in deep China this June.

It was really wonderful traveling in the region and visiting Urumqi, Turfan, Dunhuang and Xi'an. The members who visited with were 18 Japanese including a young female companion from the travel company. We traveled together on a plane, on a train and usually on a bus through the Uyghur Autonomous District. It was very impressive driving through the Gobi desert on bus for me and maybe for every other member.

In the members was an unique and interesting man, Mr. K who attended the tour with his wife. He is in 70s, 7 or 8 years older than me. On the other hand, I was single there as my wife did not come with me. She hates foreign countries especially China because the food there is very dangerous according to her opinion. I agree with her about food in China but it is also true that the food in Japan is not always safe!

It was very astonishing to know that Mr. K was a descendant of XuFu who lived in approx. 200 BC in Qin Dynasty reigned by First Emperor: Qin Shi Huang!
According to Wikipedia, Xu Fu (Hsu Fu; pinyin: Xú Fú) was born in 255 BC in Qi, and served as a court sorcerer in Qin Dynasty China. He was sent by Qin Shi Huang to the eastern seas twice to look for the elixir of life. His two journeys occurred between 219 BC and 210 BC. It was believed that the fleet included 60 barques and around 5,000 crew members, 3,000 boys and girls, and craftsmen of different fields. After he embarked on a second mission in 210 BC, he never returned. Various records suggest that he may have arrived and died in Japan.

So, what did Mr. K say on the plane? He is a descendant of XuFu?!
According to him, there are several groups all over Japan that consist of the descendants of XuFu!!
Believe or not, he Is a descendant of XuFu and he attends annual meetings held in China by many Chinese descendants of XuFu in China! He says every time he visits China for the meeting, he gets books if they are concerned with ‘Three Countries’ that is famous and popular in Chinese history. He added that it is not easy to get books about 'Three Countries' written in Chinese in Japan. According to him, even if he could find out the books in Japan, they are always very expensive comparing to the price in China. In addition, there are not so many kinds of books about 'Three Countries' in Chinese in Japan.

We were on the bus in the Gobi desert when Mr. K came to my seat on the rear of the bus. He and I were a sort of 'good friends' as both of us love the Chinese history and the Silkroad.

We talked about our favorites concerning our tour especially about the Silkroad.
As everybody knows, the Silkroad is famous about silk trade. The road is very popular to Japanese by one reason that the road goes through vast desert such as Gobi and Taklamakan that are too vast for Japanese to imagine the size. The other is that Japanese culture has its origin in Xi’an that was one of the terminals of the road. Another terminal was Rome.
Moreover, the word ‘silk’ sounds romantic and also exotic for many Japanese.

While talking on the rear seat in the bus, Mr. K suddenly asked me his mysterious question:
By the way, the silk traveled from China to Rome, right? Then what traveled from Rome to Xi’an for the silk?

It sounded like a very easy question to answer at first hearing. It must be gold or silver.
But wait! It is a too easy idea to spesify gold or silver as the answer. They may not be answers. Maybe a glass statue was used to buy silk in Rome and carried all the way back to Xi’an. The glass sounds more romantic than gold or silver.

No! Maybe not. There must be other thing that was used in Rome for silk and carried back to Xi’an. But what is it?
I asked Mr. Wang, a Chinese guide of our tour. He said “Maybe gold or silver.” as I have estimated. I said “How about glass?.” He said “Maybe so. Oh, maybe an elephant, or an entertainers’ team.!”

Every answer looked not correct! They have no evidence that they were once used in Rome for the silk and carried back to Xi’an.
What was it that was used in Rome for silk and carried back to Xi’an???
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