March 11 – Anniversary of the Overthrow of the Ryukyus


On 11 March 1879, King Sho Tai was forced by Japan to vacate his throne, leave Shuri Castle, and relocate to Tokyo.

In January 1879, 160 military police and 400 soldiers from Japan seized control of the Ryukyus.  In February 1879, China through formal diplomatic communications urged Japan not to unilaterally annex the Ryukyus.  On 18 March 1879, Nabeshima Naoyoshi was installed as the first governor of Okinawa Prefecture.  This annexation is known as the Ryûkyû shobun (琉球処分).

Matsuda Michiyuki returned to Ryûkyû in January 1879, and again in March, this time bringing with him a considerable entourage including 160 military police, and 400 soldiers from the Kumamoto Garrison. In February, Beijing sent diplomatic communications formally urging Tokyo to not unilaterally annex the Ryukyus. On March 27, Matsuda presented to Prince Nakijin the formal document declaring the abolition of the Ryûkyû Kingdom and the annexation of its lands as Okinawa Prefecture. King Shô Tai was given until March 31 to vacate the castle and leave for Tokyo; there, he would officially submit to the Emperor, be stripped of his title as “King” (or, by this time, han’ô), and be absorbed into the Japanese peerage as a Marquis (kôshaku). The king did so on March 30, and Japanese authorities immediately took over Shuri castle, installing a military garrison there.  Source

US forces from USS Boston in support of the overthrow

The Kingdom of Hawaii would share a similar tragedy in 1893 when Her Majesty Queen Lili`uokalani was forced by Americans to vacate her throne.  The Hawaiian islands were annexed by US Congress in 1898 against the express wishes of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous population and without a referendum of any kind.  Today both islands bear the burdens of military occupation and mainland colonialism.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono – The island’s sovereignty is perpetuated by rightness.


Next Meeting: March 14, 2017

NEW LOCATION!      One Ala Moana Condo

Address     One Ala Moana Condo                     Location    Party and Vino Room

Date           Tuesday  14 March 2017                  Time           6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Parking      Park at Ala Moana Shopping Center 4th floor at the old Nordstrom’s garage. take elevator down to 1st floor, walk over to One Ala Moana, and check in with guard.

Costs           $20 for members and guests, $10 for Akisamiyo! members

Latin America report: John Tasato and Steve Sombrero


With the Governors of Hawaii and Okinawa

Gov. Ige, Steve Sombrero, and Gov. Onaga

Gov. Daivd Ige, Steve Sombrero, and Gov. Takeshi Onaga

At the 2016 Taikai, WUB Network President Steve Sombrero found himself between Hawaii Governor, David Ige, and Okinawa Governor, Takeshi Onaga.  This shows World Uchinanchu Business hard at work building networks around the world.


Next Meeting: 15 February 2017

NEW LOCATION!      One Ala Moana Condo

Address     One Ala Moana Condo                     Location    Theatre Room

Date           Wednesday  15 February 2017         Time           6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Parking       Park at Ala Moana Shopping Center

Costs           $20 for members and guests, $10 for Akisamiyo! members


Ryukyus and International Economy


The recent discovery of ancient coins at Katsuren Castle in Uruma, Okinawa shows that the Ryukyu Kingdom was a vital part of international trade between Asia and the West.

The coins date as early as the third century during the time of Constantine I, the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, to the Ottoman Empire of the seventeenth century.

Katsuren Castle was built by the Aji (Lord) of Katsuren, Amawari (d. 1458).  Through maritime trade Amawari acquired considerable wealth and power.  He married Momotofumi Agari, the daughter of King Sho Taikyu (reigned 1454-1460), further solidifying his power.  In 1458, the King, discovering Amawari’s treachery, led an attack on Katsuren castle and killed him.  Today the ruins of Katsuren Castle is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Katsuren Castle

In the past the Ryukyu Kingdom was an important entrepôt (center of trade) much like present day Singapore.  An awareness of our Uchinanchu history helps us to escape the present day nationalist narrative which depict Okinawa as one of the poorer prefectures lying on the edge of Japan and instead envision an Okinawa thriving under conditions of greater political and economic independence.


Ancient Roman coins unearthed from castle ruins in Okinawa.Japan Times 26 September 2016.

Photos of UTS VI


Group photo - Uchinanchu Talk Story VI at East-West Center, 24 July 2016

Group photo – Uchinanchu Talk Story VI at East-West Center, 24 July 2016

UTS VI “U.S. Bases in Okinawa — Three Years Later” was a great success!  Mahalo to those who came and participated!  And Mahalo to those who helped make this happen!

We now have the photographs of the symposium and uploaded them on this website.

A new page has been added to the navigation bar at the top of the home page.  Look for the tab “UTS VI–Photos” on the bottom row.  Click here to visit the page.


Thank you to all those who have signed up for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI!

As of Friday, 22 July 2016, we have reached the maximum capacity for the East-West Center’s Imin Conference Center.  We will not be accepting any walk-in applications.


Confrontation in Okinawa

Things are heating up as mainland Japan police force arrest local Okinawan protestors.  Below are some pictures of a confrontation that took place on 22 July 2016.  This is happening in Okinawa as we prepare for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI in Hawaii to discuss the current situation in Okinawa, our ancestral homeland.


Translation #3

Translation: People sitting on prefectural road scuffling with JRP near US Military NTA, photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0638am



Translation: Japanese Riot Police (JRP) fortifies prefectural road near US Military Northern Training Area (NTA), photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0602am



Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 9.49.21 AM

Translation: People sitting on prefectural road being carried out by JRP near US Military NTA, photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0551am