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China's Great Armada
JULY 2005
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Photo captions by Cliff Tarpy
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China's Great Armada Gallery Photo

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Honoring the Admiral
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

Incense perfumes the air at Tay Kak Sie, a Chinese Buddhist temple in Semarang, Indonesia—one of several in Southeast Asia where Zheng He's memory is revered. Its sister temple, Sampokong, was built to honor Zheng's reported appearance in Semarang to visit Wang Jinghong, his vice commander, who was laid up in a cave to recuperate from illness. A Central Asian Muslim by birth who was sympathetic to other religions, Zheng is thought to have been buried at sea after dying on the fleet's seventh and last voyage. A tomb—purportedly empty—stands outside Nanjing, China. It bears an Arabic inscription: "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great").
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Canon EOS IV
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 400
Lens: 16-35 mm, f/2.8 zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @  f/4
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Existing tungsten light, plus fill flash
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