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The Ryukyu KingdomCornerstone of East Asia$
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Mamoru Akamine and Robert Huey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855178

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855178.001.0001

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The End of the Kingdom

The End of the Kingdom

(p.142) Chapter Eight The End of the Kingdom
The Ryukyu Kingdom

Mamoru Akamine

, Lina Terrell, Robert Huey
University of Hawai'i Press

In what became controversially known as the “Ryukyu Shobun,” the new Meiji government gradually took over Ryukyu, starting by using a massacre of Ryukyuan sailors in Taiwan as a pretext to claim Ryukyuans as “people who belong to the nation of Japan,” who needed Tokyo’s protection. In 1874, the Meiji government compelled Ryukyu to cut its ties to China. In 1879, Tokyo annexed Ryukyu and designated it Okinawa Prefecture. That same year, the Ryukyu King was forced to move to Tokyo, and died there in 1901. China did not have sufficient military power to resist the move, but the chapter also describes activities between China and restorationists in Ryukyu, some of whom went to China, rather than remain as Japanese subjects. However, the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), in which China was defeated, effectively brought the restoration movement to an end.

Keywords:   modernization, Meiji Restoration, Miyako Shipwreck Massacre, Ryukyu Shobun (“disposition of Ryukyu”), Matsuda Michiyuki, annexation, King Shō Tai, restoration movement, “dasshinjin,”, Qing exiles, Sino-Japanese War, Okinawa Prefecture

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