ryukyu kingdom

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The RYUKYU ISLANDS (Chin. "Lu Chu")A long string of closely grouped archipelagos extending from southern Japan to northeastern Taiwan. The largest and best-known of the group is Okinawa. The islands have long hosted a local culture (whose language shows some affinities to Ainu), and several states have existed here. Nevertheless, in that they are very strategically placed, they have more often than not been under the control (directly or indirectly) of empires with interests in the East China Sea or the Philippine Basin. The result has been the creation a persistant and tough-minded population who are not afraid to defend themselves: perhaps the Ryukyus best-known export has been karate ("empty-hand").
  • Uchima Kingdom
  • Nominal Chinese overlordship............7th Century CE-1609
    • Sho Neopashi..................................fl. c. 700's
    • Shunten (in CHUZAN, central Okinawa)
    • Shunten......................................1187-1237
    • Shunba Junki.................................1237-1248
    • Gihon........................................1248-1259
    • Eiso (in CHUZAN, central Okinawa)
    • Eiso.........................................1260-1299
    • Taisei.......................................1300-1308
    • Eiji.........................................1309-1313
    • Tamagusuku...................................1314-1336
    • Sei-i........................................1337-1349
  • Three Kingdoms PeriodOkinawa and its subject islands are divided into three kingdoms, Chuzan (Central), Hokozan (Northern), and Nanzan (south), 1326-1429

The three kingdoms were Hokuzan in the north, Chuzan in the central area, and Nanzan in the south. In 1416 the Hokuzan kingdom was defeated by the Chuzan kingdom

1416 : The Middle Mountain (Chuzan) occupied Nakijin Gusuku (Castle), capital of the Northern Mountain (Hokuzan)

1429 : The Middle Mountain occupied Shimajiri Osato Gusuku, capital of the Southern Mountain (Nanzan), unifying RyuKyu Islands

http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/summit/gusuku/gusuku_2a/index2.htm

    • Satto (in CHUZAN, central Okinawa, Urasoe Gusuku)
    • Satto........................................1350-1395
    • Bunei........................................1395-1405

Sho Hashi defeats Chuzan king Bunei (King Sho Shisho is enthroned as king in the first Sho dynasty) From this time, the Chuzan king's residence was moved to Shuri Gusuku.

1416 Sho Hashi defeats the Hokuzan kingdom Nakijin Gusuku
 
1422 Sho Hashi enthroned as the second king. Sho Chu is appointed supervisor of Hokuzan.
Gosamaru builds Zakimi Gusuku around this time.
Shuri Gusuku
Zakimi Gusuku
1429 Sho Hashi defeats the Nanzan kingdom Shimajiri Ozato Gusuku
 

    • Sho Shisho (in CHUZAN, central Okinawa)
    • Sho Shisho...................................1406-1421
  • Chronic warfare between the three.................1400-1429 leading to...
  • Kingdom of the RyukyusThe Kingdom of the Ryukyus was founded when Sho Hashi, the King of Chuzan, conquered the other two kingdoms and united the Ryukyus under his rule.
  • First (True) SHO
  • Sho Hashi.........................................1421-1439
  • Sho Chu...........................................1440-1444
  • Sho Shitatsu......................................1445-1449
  • Sho Kimpuku.......................................1450-1453
  • Sho Taikyu........................................1454-1460
  • Sho Toku..........................................1460-1469
  • Second (False or Kanamaru) SHO
  • Sho En Kanamaru Uchima of Izena...................1469-1477
  • Sho Sen-i....Golden Age of The Kingdom............1477-1526
  • Sho Sei...........................................1526-1555
  • Sho Gen...........................................1556-1572
  • Sho Ei............................................1572-1588

The Hokuzan Aji chieftain that resided in Nakijin Gusuku, the Chuzan Aji that resided in Urasoe Gusuku and the Nanzan Aji that resided in Shimajiri Ozato Gusuku were prominent in defending their territories, forming the three rival spheres of power called the "Sanzan" kingdoms. Among them, the Chuzan Kingdom was proud of its strength, and with the shift from the reign of King Eiso to the reign of King Satto, the first trade and tribute relations were established with Ming China. Subsequently, history relates that in 1406 someone appeared that toppled the later tyrannical reign of Bunei. This was the emergence of Sho Shisho and son Sho Hashi of Sashiki Gusuku. With this, the first Sho dynasty began with the reign of King Sho Shisho. During this period it is said that the castle of the Chuzan kings was moved from Urasoe Gusuku to Shuri Gusuku. The Chuzan kingdom further increased its strength, with Sho Shisho and his son Sho Hashi aimed at unifying the three Sanzan kingdoms.
 In 1416 they gathered forces and went toward the Hokuzan kingdom ruled by Hananchi and defeated them. In 1422, Sho Hashi succeeded Sho Shisho as king. King Sho Hashi's second son, Sho Chu, was appointed supervisor over the Hokuzan area in place of Gosamaru of Yutanza. Gosamaru returned to Yuntanza and during this period Zakimi Gusuku was constructed.

In 1429 Sho Hashi, without slackening his pace for the unification of the Ryukyus, attacked and defeated southern Nanzan and achieved his ambitions. In other words, looking on the vicissitudes of the Gusuku, the curtain closed on the history of Nakijin Gususku and Shimajiri Gususku.

However, the subsequent first Sho dynasty did not enjoy peace and stability. After the passing of fifth king Sho Kinpuku, the fight for succession erupted in the "Shiro-Furi Disturbance" in 1453 and Shuri Castle was lost to fire. Continuing on, the "Gosamaru- Amawari Disturbance" erupted in 1458. Amawari, powerful lord of Katsuren Gusuku, faced off against Gosamaru, who was relocated from Zakimi Gusuku to Nakagusuku Gusuku. Amawari's machinations bought King Sho Taikyu to destroy his loyal vassal Gosamaru. Amawari was aiming to take the throne, but was himself defeated in the course of events. As a result, both were toppled and Nakagusku Gusuku and Katsuren Gusuku both lost their lords and fate bid their decline to ruins. Subsequently, in 1469 the last king of the first Sho dynasty, tyrant king Sho Toku, met his end at the hands of Uchima Kanamaru. This was the end of the first Sho dynasty. Kanamaru changed his name to Sho En, marking the start of the second Sho dynasty, one that endured the reigns of 19 kings over 410 years.

Through the process of establishment of the first Sho dynasty, the events that have remained in history, the greater number of Gususku were destroyed over time, leaving Shuri Gusuku as the residence of the royal families of the first and second Sho dynasties. 

  • Nominal overlordship by China continues, but islands de facto under control of Japanese Satsuma clan 1609-1879. Kings of the Sho clan continue to be enthroned, but they are vassals to the daimyo of Satsuma.
    • Sho Nei......................................1588-1620
    • Sho Ho....1624.Lord of Satsuma annexed the Amami Islands.1621-1640
    • Sho Jo-Ken Choshu Haneji.....................1641-1647
    • Sho Shitsu...................................1647-1668
    • Sho Tei......................................1669-1709
    • Sho Eki......................................1710-1712
    • Sho Kei......................................1713-1751
    • Sho Boku.....................................1752-1795
    • Sho On.......................................1796-1802
    • Sho Sei......................................1803-1804
    • Sho Ko.......................................1804-1828 d. 1839
    • Sho Iku......................................1828-1847
    • Sho Tai......................................1848-1879 d. 1901
    • 1866 The last official mission from the Qing Empire visited the kingdom.
    • 1872 Japan put the Ryukyu han.
    • 1874 The last tributary envoy to China was dispatched from Port Naha.
    • 1879 Japan replaced the Ryukyu han with Okinawa Prefecture. The last king of Ryukyu was transported to Tokyo .

http://www.hostkingdom.net/japan.html#Ryukyu

From the Gusuku Era to the Ryukyu Dynasty
Until the 9th century, small groups of people established communities in many parts of Okinawa.
Up to the 13th century, local chieftains, "Aji," of these communities built residential castles, "Gusuku", and strugglesd for power and fame.  This period is called the Gusuku Era.  In the 14th century, the island was split into 3 kingdoms; the Northern Kingdom (Hokuzan), the Central Kingdom (Chuzan), and the Southern Kingdom (Nanzan or Sanzan).
In 1429, Sho Hashi, the king of the Chuzan Kingdom united the three kingdoms, gained control and established the Ryukyu Dynasty.  The first Sho family line (Sho Hashi's lineage) ended with the 7th king, Sho Toku.
Then, Kanamaru became KIng Sho En in 1470 and started the second Sho family line.  The third king of the second Sho line, King Sho Shin, established centralism, a social ranking system, and trade with the Chinsese Ming Dynasty.  The era is so called the "Golden Era of the Ryukyu Dynasty" because of the prosperous Ryukyu culture through associations with Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.
 
 
From the Satsuma Invasion to World War II
With an eye towards the Ryukyu Kingdom's lucrative overseas trade, the "Satsuma", a kingdom based on he southern part of Kyushu in Japan, invaded Okinawa and took control in 1609.  During the reign of Sho Shin, which was about 100 years before the invasion.  Okinawa had banned weapons.  Prohibitation of weapons made peace on Okinawa, but left it defenseless against the Satsuma invasion.  So, the king Shimazu of the Satsuma conqured Okinawa easily.  Shimazu allowed the Ryukyu to remain intact, but established severe onctrols over trade.  The Satsuma sustained trade with the Ming Dynasty under the name of the Ryukyu Kingdom, while the rest of Japan closed its country to almost all international access until 1853.  The Ryukyuan (Okinawan) people suffered under the double exploitation of local taxation and Satsuma controls.  After Commodore Perry visited Tokyo (called Edo at that time) in 1853, the change in Japanese government led to the Meiji Restoration in 1868.  In 1879, the Ryukyu province became the Okinawa prefecture, but the strict land taxation system and local administration remained under the control of the Ryukyu government that was manipulated by the Satsuma.  The Okinawan people continued to suffer tyranny for another 30 years.  In 1920, Okinawa finally regained autonomy like every other prefecture in Japan.  Okinawa was peaceful doing well until the Japanese government started military campaigns in the 1930's.  In 1945, Okinawa suffered as the only battlefield in Japan during World War II.  The hills and rivers had completely changed their features, and villages were totally destroyed.  Moreover, one out of every three Okinawans were sacrificed during the war.
 

It is believed Nakijin Castle was constructed in the 13th century and was, until the early part of the 14th century, the headquarters of generations of feudal lords called Aji. With the arrival of the Sanzan Period (Three Kingdoms Period), each of the kingdoms was set up to defend its territory. Hokuzan was in the north, Chuzan was in the middle, and Nanzan was in the south. Nakijin Castle became the center of the northern Hokuzan kingdom when a lord named Haniji gained power; he made the existence of Hokuzan known.

The Chuzan Kingdom established tributary relations with Ming China in 1383, and Haniji of Hokuzan followed suite, receiving investiture envoys called "Sappo" from China in 1385.

Hokuzan, along with Chuzan and Nanzan, was one of the existing powers. After Haniji, his son Min became king of Hokuzan. King Min was followed by the reign of Hananchi.

The Sanzan kingdoms looked as if they competed with each other, but records left by the Ming emissary indicate there were differences in strength. For Hokuzan, Haniji sent trade and tribute ships to China six times, his son Min once, and Hananchi eleven times. However, after Sho Hashi took Chuzan Kingdom, trade and tribute ships were sent as often as six times a year. Compared with that, Hananchi averaged only one every two years. In particular, during the nine-year period after 1405 there were no ships sent. In 1415 ships were sent once; until the kingdom was destroyed by Sho Hashi in 1422 there were no more. In comparison with the Chuzan Kingdom, Hokuzan was numerically inferior in overall strength.

゚@Sho Shisho had ambition to unify the Ryukyu and, with son Sho Hashi, moved his troops to attack Hokuzan. The pretext for the decision by Sho Shisho and his son to raise an army was that all the Hokuzan local Aji lords had given up because Hananchi of Nakijin Castle was a tyrant and that following Chuzan and its unrivaled power was the wisest policy. Surrendering to Chuzan, they joined with them and plotted to bring down Nakijin Castle. Among the powerful military commanders aiming to defeat Hokuzan with the Sho Hashi forces was the lord of Yuntanza, named Gosamaru.

゚@The attacking armies did not find it easy at first to bring down Nakijin Castle, which Hokuzan boasted of as being impregnable. The Chuzan forces devised a plan, a strategy that was to be talked about for a long time thereafter.

゚@There was a confidant of Hananchi named Motobu Tehara. The Chuzan won over this confidant and set a trap for Hananchi. Tehara exited the castle and, pretending to have routed the attacking Chuzan, called out to Hananchi. Hananchi, in a show of bravery, led a charge outside, but as he tenaciously pursued the Chuzan armies flames went up at Nakijin Castle. It was too late by the time he noticed Tehara's treachery because the Chuzan armies had already entered and the castle had fallen.
http://www.wonder-okinawa.jp/002/001/e_naj_n.html

The orgin of the gusuku :

Gusuku are existent over a wide range, extending from the Amami islands to the Okinawa islands and Sakishima islands.

Many existing Gusuku retain vestiges of the ancient Ryukyus in their appearance, symbolized by stonewall enclosures and castle ramparts. When, by whom and for what purposes were they built?

In clearing up the history of the Gusuku, the as yet unclear portion relates to clarifying issues surrounding the dawn of the Ryukyus.

At present, the Chinese character for castle (romanized as Shiro or Jo) is generally used to write the term Gusuku. When used it is expressed as "the such- and-such castle ruins." However, for example, the outward appearance is quite different when compared to what are termed "castles" on the Japanese mainland. This can be comprehended by tracing back through the history of the once independent Ryukyu Islands.

After the passing of the Neolithic Shell Mound Period, the people of the Ryukyus began to create an agrarian society. Ironware tools for agriculture were produced and the cultivation of grain spread. This era is referred to as the "Gusuku Period." During this period it is believed that reserves of provisions became possible, resulting in an increased population and stability of people's lifestyles.
In each region of the Ryukyus, powerful feudal clans called Aji (also known as Mataha or Anji) gained power and competed for hegemony. This kind of rivalry and shifting of alignment resulted in powerful Aji lords concentrated on the main island of Okinawa. The "Sanzan (literally 'three mountains,' also known as the 'three kingdoms') Period" arrived.
The Aji chieftains constructed Gusuku to maintain their own power and prepared for the rivalry. These were said to be the first of the Gusuku castles. The "three mountains" of the Sanzan Period refer to relations between the greatest and most powerful of the Aji chieftains, which divided the main island of Okinawa into three areas. In the north, based at Nakijin Gusuku was Hokuzan (north mountain), in the central area was Chuzan (center mountain) based at Urasoe Gusuku, and in the south Nanzan (south mountain) based at Shimajiri Ozato (during one period Nanzan was based in Shimazoe Ozato Castle). Hokuzan in the north was also referred to as Sanhoku and Nanzan in the south was also called San-nan, reversing the reading of the Chinese characters used to write their names.
From these two stages, the one of agricultural development and the one when the distribution of power was decided amongst powerful feudal clans -- the so-called Gusuku Period -- many were constructed. It is said that the number of Gusuku reached 200 to 300 in the area extending from the Amami islands to the Miyako-Yaeyama islands. There were a variety of Gusuku; well-ordered masonry types suitably termed fortresses as well as small places for prayer and areas used for the ancient tradition of open-air burials. At present the meaning and role of the Gusuku continue to be debated.

In the decades following initial construction, Nakijin's power in the northern region of Okinawa grew quickly. As troubles within the central government greatly weakened the throne of the young and inexperienced King Tamagusuku at the beginning of the 14th century, Nakijin became one of two breakaway provinces. The Lord of Nakijin Castle declared himself King of northern Okinawa, which became known as the Kingdom of Hokuzan. With Okinawa Island divided into three separate kingdoms, Nakijin Castle began its era of greatness as the center of power for the region that presently exists from Onna-son to Hedo Misaki. This vast territory encompassed a land area that was greater in size than both the newly formed kingdom in the south called Nanzan and Tamagusuku's Kingdom of Chuzan put together.

http://www.asiatravelling.net/japan/okinawa/okinawa_history.htm

http://www.sizes.com/time/CHRNRyukyu.htm

http://ilc2.doshisha.ac.jp/users/kkitao/et/okinawa/history.doc

http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/summit/gusuku/gusuku_1a/gusuku_e.htm

Publié dans Introduction

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LEE 25/04/2005 11:51

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Tiger LEE 25/04/2005 11:51

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