Chinese classic documents from the Ryukyu Kingdom era published

Chinese classic documents from the Ryukyu Kingdom era published

Cheng Hong Chen (from left), Yang Zhigang and Atsushi Enokawa, Atsushi Takatsu with 36 books containing valuable documents and books at Uruma City Library.

April 1, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

With the help of Okinawan researchers, Fudan University of China has published 36 books collecting Chinese classic documents and books that were written during the Ryukyu Kingdom era.

Japanese and Chinese researchers worked together to collect over 70 documents owned by 20 institutions in and outside Japan. The researchers plan to publish the sequel to the books.

The curator of the Uruma City Library Atsushi Enokawa, who took part in the project, said, “We took 20 years to research documents lost during the Battle of Okinawa, and we confirmed that various institutions had preserved a total of 600 documents. Many documents flowed out to the main islands of Japan during the pre-war period. It is important for researchers to read these documents at once.”

Professor at Kagoshima University Atsushi Takatsu and Chen Jie of the National Institute of Japanese Literature were the main researchers on the project. They collected the Chinese classics documents from Okinawa Prefectural Library, University of the Ryukyus Library and other institutions such as Keio University, Waseda Universit and Fudan University. These documents were edited during the period from the 18th to 19th century. The collection includes documents not seen in public exhibitions, such as Sho Dynasty documents.

Takatsu, Enokawa and professors of Fudan University Cheng Hong Chen and Yang Zhigang took part in the conference held at Uruma City Library on March 5. They discussed the project results and the sequel to the books.

At the conference, Enokawa reported on Chinese classic documents related to the administration of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which were found in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Takatsu suggested the idea of publishing a sequel focusing on Okinawa. Both the professors of Fudan University urged the researchers to continue publishing these documents to further the study of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

(English translation by T&CT)

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