Two letters preserved in Okinawa not original

Two letters preserved in Okinawa not original

An ancient letter sent from Yoshihisa Shimazu, a Satsuma warlord, to Sho Nei, king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, preserved in the Okinawa Prefectural Archives. It is speculated that this is a reprint produced by lithography.


April 17, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 16, Satoru Kuroshima, an associate professor of History from the Historiographical Institute, the University of Tokyo, visited a family in Ehime to examine a preserved letter that was sent from Yoshihisa Shimazu, a Satsuma warlord, to Sho Nei, king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Kuroshima confirmed that the letter was the original.

Kenzen Uehara, an emeritus professor at Okayama University, went along with Kuroshima.

In light of the discovery, Kuroshima speculates that the two letters preserved in the Okinawa Prefectural Archives and the Okinawa Prefectural Museum were copied from a reprint of ancient documents published in 1889.

The original letter was found in Ehime Prefecture.

The original letter was found in Ehime Prefecture.


Kuroshima said, referring to the discovery of the original letter hidden for 130 years, “This is the second original document on foreign policy in the Toyotomi administration. We will be able to carry out a scientific analysis from ink and paper used for the letter.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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