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Michael Yamashita East Meets West, The Epic Journeys of Marco Polo and Zheng He

November 4, 2019 | 6:30pm to 8:30 pm | New York, NY

Join Michael Yamashita as he shares his photography that spans from Europe to China along the same path as some of history's most epic explorers.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided at the event.

When: Monday, Nov 4th, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm

Where: The Canopy Club at 1178 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001

About the Venue: Trove Social (formerly Canopy Club) is a new social membership club focused on empowering mid-life by curating events to spur real connections, inspire personal reflection and growth. Everything we plan and program reflects the spirit, curiosity and passions of our members.  If you’re looking to fuel your passion and find your people, look no further – it all happens here.

FREE for SupChina ACCESS members and Trove Social members (please email to register).

For more info and questions, please email

More on The Event: Having traveled the world for National Geographic for the past 30 years, I have a special affinity for fellow travelers.  Perhaps that is why I have been so drawn to the two legendary travelers, Marco Polo and Zheng He.

Covering Marco Polo, the first of this trailblazing pair, took me back to the late 13th century, as I retraced his ventures from west to east along the Silk Road from Venice, through the Middle East, Central Asia, and the exotic lands of the Far East. I was stunned by the accuracy of his descriptions and how often little had changed over the course of 700 years.

Shooting photographs for my book on Zheng He, I was transported to a 15th century world. His massive, 300 ship fleet made seven voyages on the Sea Silk Road beyond the known world, fully 100 years before the European great age of exploration. He returned to China with a knowledge of the customs and traditions of the South China Sea, South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, obtained through peaceful trade and mutually beneficial cooperation.  

Both men were modern thinkers, far ahead of their times. Marco Polo described the wonders of a spectacularly prosperous and advanced people living on the other side of the world. And Zheng He proved that commerce and international trade could be accomplished without conquest or domination, to the betterment of all.

As China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is launched, it is my good fortune, perhaps my legacy, to be given the opportunity to present a photographic historical narrative of the travels of these two men. How fitting that the many of the same peoples and places encountered by Marco Polo and Zheng He will today form the back bone of OBOR — and in so doing, will celebrate the renewal of the spirit of exploration and discovery of these men, bringing East and West closer together through cultural and commercial exchange. 

Michael Yamashita

Photographer Michael Yamashita has been shooting for the National Geographic magazine for over 30 years, combining his dual passions of photography and travel. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies, he spent seven years in Asia, which became his photographic area of specialty. Upon returning to the US, Yamashita began shooting for the National Geographic as well as other American and international magazines and clients.