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Old November 9th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #1
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China Ryukyu (Okinawa) relations


The Ryukyu Kingdom maintained one of the closest relations with Ming China among all the other tributary states.

http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/docs/wps/wps07_093.pdf

Ryukyu in the Ming Reign Annals 1380s-1580s by Geoff Wade :: SSRN

Early History of The Ryukyu Kingdom and its Relationship with China and Japan

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Early History of The Ryukyu Kingdom and its Relationship with China and Japan

In many ways, the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom previous to the Meiji Restoration provides a depiction of an island kingdom that maintained a high degree of national sovereignty that was eventually shattered by colonial domination by the Satsuma-han in the 17th century. From the earliest times, the Ryukyu Kingdom occupied a privileged position to the south of Japan due largely to its trade and cultural links with China. Despite the fact that Japan had exercised brief contacts with the kingdom from the 7th to the 9th century, it's attempts to interfere with Ryukyuan domestic affairs virtually disappeared from Ryukyuan history until the 17th century. Until that time, the Ryukyu Kingdom maintained it's strongest economic and cultural ties with China, and remained in somewhat constant contact with the Asian continent, through China. From the 14th century on, the Ryukyu Kingdom developed a tributary relationship with China, which while symbolically signifying the Ryukyu Kingdom's status under China (as demonstrated in a pledge of loyalty made by the Ryukyuan King to the Chinese Emperor) basically maintained the Ryukyu Kingdom's independent status as a nation. In no way did China seek to interfere in Ryukyuan domestic affairs, but merely sought to maintain cordial relations with the kingdom (which by the 16th century had consolidated all of the islands in the archipelago under centralized monarchical rule, with it's capitol at Shuri castle on the island of Okinawa). China's preeminent status had several key implications for the Ryukyuan people. It provided legitimacy to the Ryukyuan Monarchy, and also established the manner in which Chinese ethics and cultural customs were able to enter into the Ryukyus. Most importantly, however, it's status as a tributary allowed the Ryukyu Kingdom access to trade with China, which would serve to boost the Ryukyus status in terms of mercantile affairs.

The most significant change in status for this time period came in 1609 with the invasion of the Ryukyus by the Satsuma-han of Japan. In this time period, Satsuma took control of the Ryukyus from the Ryukyuan monarchy, and placed the northern islands of Amami under direct Satsuma rule, while allowing the rest of the kingdom to remain under a sort of semi-colonial jurisdiction. In many ways, the experiences of the Amami islands differed vastly from the rest of the kingdom. The Amami islands (part of present-day Kagoshima Prefecture) quickly became integral to the growth of Satsuma's economy and consequently to it's growth in military strength. With the rapid introduction of the sugar cane industry into the islands and the increasing harshness of Satsuma domain's leadership in extracting labor from the residents there, islanders underwent a period that they refer to as "Sato jigoku," or "Sugar Hell." Through this period of time, they were quickly integrated into Satsuma-han, as a part of Japan.

This relationship, however, changed with the arrival of the western colonial powers, as personified in the arrival of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's "Black Fleet" in 1854. Stopping first in Okinawa before heading to Tokyo Bay, the Americans that Perry represented became the first colonial threat that Japan was forced to deal with after hundreds of years of isolationism. Faced with this threat, Japan felt the need to take several steps in order to protect itself from colonial encroachments, as had been seen in places like China, "Indochina," and any of the other colonized Asian nations. Japan quickly embarked on an ambitious program to develop internally on the model of the modern western nation-state. Towards those ends, Japan began a rapid process of industrialization, heightened its sense of national unity, and solidified its borders. In order to learn how to engage in this process of modernization, Japan sent a number of delegations to various western nations to learn from their models, but sadly enough, they learned these lessons at the tail end of the main period of outright western imperialism, and quickly latched onto the model of colonialist expansion and empire building.

Ironically enough, Perry's initial contact with Okinawa was not only the first moment of contact between the United States and Okinawa, but also the first time that U.S. military forces committed crimes against the Okinawan people. Shortly after docking, an American sailor broke into the house of an Okinawan woman and raped her. Upon hearing the woman's screams, several villagers gave pursuit, and Board either fell into the port or was drowned. Following this incident the villagers involved in this incident were punished for their role in the sailor's death, and Perry presented the woman who was raped with a few yards of cloth as compensation for the assault. This incident of violence against Okinawan women represented a theme that would return again later when Okinawa was placed under United States occupation.

After Perry's visit, and after being introduced to western models of colonialist expansion, Japanese leaders felt the need to legitimize Japan's nation-state status, and this provided the rationale for the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which signaled the end of Ryukyuan sovereignty, with the push for the full integration of the Ryukyu Kingdom into Japan as Okinawa Prefecture. There were several reasons for this at that time. First of all, the Satsuma domain and the Choshu domain (called the Sat-Cho clique) played a very central role in creating the circumstances for the Restoration, since they were battling the Tokugawa bakufu for control of Japan. The full integration of the Ryukyu Kingdom into the Satsuma domain represented a move to legitimize the Satsuma domain since the increased land and resources of the Ryukyus would give more power to the Satsuma domain in national affairs. More importantly, however, in looking at the Meiji Restoration as the means in which Japan sought to protect itself from western imperialism, Japan found it increasingly important to develop a strong sense of itself as a nation with clearly delineated borders. The Ryukyu islands presented an intolerable gray area in Japan's national boundaries due to it's place of "dual subordination" to Japan as well as China, and Japanese leaders felt it necessary to legitimize it's borders in the light of western international law. Even further than this, Japan felt the intense need to develop some form of geo-political buffer zone to protect itself from possible military encroachments by western powers. The Ryukyu Islands presented the perfect candidate for such protection, by providing some form of security on Japan's southern front, and this need for military security took precedence over the need to maintain trade relations with China. In order to fully protect it's interests in the region, Japan forced the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879, thus establishing full control of the Ryukyus in Japan's hands and ending the ruse of Ryukyuan sovereignty. In all of these manners, the newly formed Okinawa prefecture would prove invaluable for Japan's military security.
Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: October 1, 1878-sepember 20, 1880 - Ulysses Simpson Grant (Politiker), Cheryl R. Ragar - Google Books

The Return of the Amami Islands: The Reversion Movement and U.S.-Japan Relations - Robert D. Eldridge - Google Books

Last edited by unity; November 9th, 2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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Ryukyu maintained close cultural connections with China and viewed China favorably. The Ming Emperor Hongwu sent 36 Chinese families from Fujian to Ryukyu in 1392 who were skilled at various trades. They exerted influence of Ryukyu's culture and political life and introduced Confucianism as a dominating ideology. This community of Chinese descent came to be known as the Kumemura. They were a source of anti-Japanese sentiment when the Satsuma Domain attacked and force Ryukyu into vassalage. They have mostly mixed and melted into the Okinawan population after Japan's annexation.

Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle - Shih-shan Henry Tsai - Google Books

The East Asian Maritime World 1400-1800: Its Fabrics of Power and Dynamics ... - Google Books

Maritime Sector, Institutions, and Sea Power of Premodern China - Gang Deng - Google Books

The Origins of Banana-Fibre Cloth in the Ryukyus, Japan - Katrien Hendrickx - Google Books

Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: October 1, 1878-sepember 20, 1880 - Ulysses Simpson Grant (Politiker), Cheryl R. Ragar - Google Books

The Premodern Chinese Economy: Structural Equilibrium and Capitalist Sterility - Gang Deng - Google Books

Flowers, Dragons and Pine Trees: Asian Textiles in the Collection of the ... - Mary M. Dusenberry - Google Books

East Asian lacquer: the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection ; [this book ... - Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Barbara Brennan Ford - Google Books

The East Asian Mediterranean: Maritime Crossroads of Culture, Commerce and ... - Google Books

Trading Networks in Early Modern East Asia - Google Books

The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty - Shih-Shan Henry Tsai - Google Books

久米村

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumemura]Kumemura - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Okinawa: The History of an Island People - George Kerr - Google Books

Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics - Gregory Smits - Google Books

The Origins of Banana-Fibre Cloth in the Ryukyus, Japan - Katrien Hendrickx - Google Books

Race, Ethnicity and Migration in Modern Japan: Imagined and imaginary minorities - Google Books

The Asian Mediterranean: Port Cities and Trading Networks in China, Japan ... - Google Books

Japanese Sports: A History - Allen Guttmann, Lee (Lee Austin) Thompson - Google Books

Becoming Okinawan: Japanese Capitalism and Changing Representations of Okinawa - Wendy Matsumura - Google Books

History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800 - Geoffrey C. Gunn - Google Books

Many of the Kumemura continued to send their sons back to China for education in Confucianism, and they would come back and serve the court as officials.

Last edited by unity; November 9th, 2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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Okinawa's historical relationship with China has also translated into more positive views of China than that of mainland Japan.

Cable Viewer

Viewing cable 06NAHA103, OKINAWAN EXCEPTIONALISM: THE CHINA THREAT OR LACK THEREOF

WikiLeaks: Okinawa’s Pro-China, Anti-U.S. Bent - Japan Real Time - WSJ

WikiLeaks: Okinawa’s Pro-China, Anti-U.S. Bent - China Real Time Report - WSJ

Some mainland Japanese have tried to smear the Okinawa independence movement as agents of China and played on fears of China in order to maintain the American military base on Okinawa, but there is no connection between Okinawan independence movement and China. The issue is separate, some Okinawans fear their culture will be lost and totally assimilated into Japan and the movement is not pro or anti any country. The Okinawans are also angry about having to host the American military base and its assoicated problems for the civilian population, while mainland Japan doesn't have to, and its politicians on mainland Japan who forced the base on Okinawa.

In Okinawa, Talk of Break From Japan Turns Serious | The New York Times

Okinawans explore secession option | The Japan Times

These independence activists make up only a small part of the Okinawan population but the general sentiment among the majority of Okinawans is that they don't want to be played as part of any game by Japan and America against China since it doesn't benefit them.

Last edited by unity; November 9th, 2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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what about Battle of Okinawa...
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa]Battle of Okinawa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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Old November 9th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #5

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I sense an agenda.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 05:44 PM   #6

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I sense an agenda.
As do I.

@The Op

Is the intent of this thread meant to suggest that Okinawa should be part of China? Is that where this is going?
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Old November 9th, 2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
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As do I.

@The Op

Is the intent of this thread meant to suggest that Okinawa should be part of China? Is that where this is going?
Where hell are you getting that from? I even said most Okinawans don't support independence. I said they have an issue with being used in a geopolitical game.

Ryukyu has never been a part of China. I made several threads on other nations like the Moros of the Sulu Sultanate which had close relations with China. Both cultural and ethnic ties don't mean people should be part of the same country. And in the case of Ryukyu, it has had cultural ties with China, not ethnic.

Last edited by unity; November 9th, 2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Ryukyu is no doubt part of Japan.
but after a bloody oppressing, and absorbed as a pre-foreign-individual country
there is no different with Indian lands to US, Islam lands under Britain control to pre-Israel.

if this thread is about India-Tibet relationship or Turkic-Xinjiang relationship, it will soon become a place full of criticism to China/PRC. but when it is about a developed country and a ally of the only superpower in this world, things are then considered to be agenda.

I'm not going to pretend to be ALREADY a member of 'warm forum family', because indeed every forum is still on their pursuing path for that target, but NOT yet. trust is earned by honorable standards. here, I see too many double standarded posts, instead of a family
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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #9

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Where hell are you getting that from? I even said most Okinawans don't support independence. I said they have an issue with being used in a geopolitical game.

Ryukyu has never been a part of China. I made several threads on other nations like the Moros of the Sulu Sultanate which had close relations with China. Both cultural and ethnic ties don't mean people should be part of the same country. And in the case of Ryukyu, it has had cultural ties with China, not ethnic.
Apologies in that case.

Its just that usually when I've run across similar posts on the net, its being posted by Chinese nationalists that for whatever reason, think Okinawa should be part of China. It just always struck me as odd considering Okinawa was never actually part of China, and the Okinawans themselves are much more closely related to the Japanese ethnically, culturally, and linguistically.

Also a lot of the time you'll find Chinese nationalists posting articles about Okinawan independence, as an offshoot to territorial disputes over the Senkakus.

My own opinion is that the Okinawans should determine their own fate. Right now, most would be overwhelmingly in support of remaining part of Japan. With the exception of a few pockets of the elderly, most Okinawans consider themselves Japanese.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heylouis View Post
Ryukyu is no doubt part of Japan.
but after a bloody oppressing, and absorbed as a pre-foreign-individual country
there is no different with Indian lands to US, Islam lands under Britain control to pre-Israel.

if this thread is about India-Tibet relationship or Turkic-Xinjiang relationship, it will soon become a place full of criticism to China/PRC. but when it is about a developed country and a ally of the only superpower in this world, things are then considered to be agenda.

I'm not going to pretend to be ALREADY a member of 'warm forum family', because indeed every forum is still on their pursuing path for that target, but NOT yet. trust is earned by honorable standards. here, I see too many double standarded posts, instead of a family
That's because CCP is indeed evil. I'm a member of an ethnic minority from southern China, and I really hate those CCP dictators. CCP has made China's image look bad around the world.

I really hope that CCP's horrible regime will collapse as soon as possible.

Last edited by purakjelia; November 10th, 2013 at 04:51 PM.
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