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Old December 30th, 2017, 05:50 AM   #1

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Why didn't the Tokugawa submit Ryukyu directly to themselves?


Well, the question is pretty clear. In 1609, the Ryukyu Kingdom was invaded by the Satsuma army and afterwards they became the vassals of the Shimazu. We also know that the Shimazu were given permission from Tokugawa Ieyasu to go ahead with the invasion. The reason for this invasion was, AFAIK, the reestablishment of trade with China, since China had forbidden all trade with Japan at that time, so they had to use Ryukyu as a cover. I also know that Satsuma claimed Ryukyu for quite some time, dating back to the time of Tadahisa. But: why didn't the shoguns just take Ryukyu and make the island kingdom their own vassal? Why give them to the clan that fought against Ieyasu at Sekigahara? There were Ryukyu embassies sent to Edo, but Ryukyu affairs were administered by Kagoshima, not by Edo. Why wouldn't the shoguns directly control this link with China?
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Old December 31st, 2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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Regards to initial invasion: AFAIK, Shimazu didn't like Toyotomi and Tokugawa during late Sengoku, but supported Toyotomi in Korean and Sekigahara. In 1609 Toyotomi Clan still exist. Would Tokugawa have had military power to launch a campaign in Ryukyu? I've read many claiming that start of end of Toyotomi Clan was Korea campaign and weakening its forces. Maybe Tokugawa fear repeat with Ryukyu campaign?

Tokugawa giving Shimazu right to invade and initial control in Ryukyu gives me see of bargaining chip or appeasement to seesawing Shimazu clan.

Did Shimazu maintain Ryukru rule through entire Tokugawa bakufu?
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Old December 31st, 2017, 09:14 AM   #3

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Yes, they did. I mean, they did control Ryukyu during the whole of the Edo period.
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Old December 31st, 2017, 10:11 AM   #4
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Through the bakufu's history, did the central government have a history of taking responsibilities from Tozamas? The answer might be in the relationship/respect between Shogunate and Tozama?
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Old December 31st, 2017, 10:30 AM   #5

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They didn't really give the tozama that much responsibility in the central government. They used the fudai for that. Although, it is certainly possible that the Tokugawa government simply thought that it was easier to simply let Satsuma govern Ryukyu.
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Old December 31st, 2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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Do you think the Tokugawa had the means to take Ryukyu (either directly OR after Shimazu invasion) in 1609, and maintain stability?

Through Sakoku was Nagasaki the only other site for Chinese trade? How did it fair in terms of size (how much money it brought in) compared to Ryukyu?

Tokugawa must to profit some how from Ryukyu-Shimazu-Chinese trade. Else they would gotten more invovled.

What did central government get out of Rykyu trade relationship? More taxes?
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Old December 31st, 2017, 11:13 AM   #7
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I play with the Sakoku angle and came up with this article. May have what you need.

The Satsuma-Ryukyu Trade and the Tokugawa Seclusion Policy
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 23, No. 3 (May, 1964), pp. 391-403

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2050758

I regret that resources of my Universitys library only conveniently has physical copy in archive. I'm not going to bother on my school's digital services or jstor so I cannot say this article worth time. Intro looks promising
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