Traces of the Ryukyu Kingdom
The author summarizes Ryukyu’s historical position in East Asia, noting how its own changes reflected the broader changes East Asian was going through. He argues that, though part of Japan today, Okinawa is still different, and he calls that difference the “its heritage from the Ryukyu Kingdom and its ‘Asian experience.’” Chinese elements in Okinawan culture, for example, are not just the result of centuries of trade and diplomatic contact, but also come from the Kingdom’s conscious effort to “sinify” in the seventeenth century. As for Okinawan’s status today, the author notes that Okinawa’s sovereignty is still seen as an open question by China.
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