Release of “Omoro Soshi, Part 1”, First Volume of the Compendium of Ryukyu Literature

Release of “Omoro Soshi, Part 1”, First Volume of the Compendium of Ryukyu Literature

(from left) the Chairman of Editorial and Publishing Committee Eikichi Hateeruma, the President of Meio University, Masanori Sunakawa, and the Honorary Chairman of the Editorial and Publishing Committee Katsumi Yamazato, showing "Omoro Soshi, Part1"-March 31, at Meio University in Nago City.

April 1, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Kotaro Nagamine


Nago – On March 30, “Omoro Soshi, Part 1”, the first volume in the 35-volume Compendium of Ryukyu Literature (Ryukyu Bungaku Taikei), was released by Meio University in Nago. Work to edit and publish the compendium began in 2019. The compendium is intended not only for experts, but also for the general public, and so includes plentiful footnotes and commentary. Volume 1 is expected to be available for purchase in bookstores throughout Okinawa starting in early April.


On March 31, Meio University President Masanori Sunagawa, Editing and Publishing Committee Chair Eikichi Hateruma, and Honorary Chair Katsunori Yamazato held a press conference at Meio University to introduce the work.


The Omoro Soshi is a collection of songs and poems (omoro) that were performed in the Ryukyu Kingdom for religious events or other occasions. The book about to be released includes 651 songs from volumes 1-11 of the Omoro Soshi. “Omoro Soshi, Part 1” includes notes above the original text to explain the language used, a translation below, and a synopsis or commentary next to the text. Hateruma says, “The text is very easy to understand, even for the general public.”


Sunagawa says, “We expect that Uchinanchu around the world who treasure their Okinawan identity will take comfort in the work being done to preserve and research Okinawan history, culture, and language.”


The plan is to complete the Compendium of Ryukyu Literature by 2030. Yumani Shoubo in Tokyo will be in charge of publishing and sales. Volume 14, “Kumi Odori, Part 1” will be released in September 2022, volume 11, “Ryuka, Part 1” will be released in December 2022, and volume 2, “Omoro Soshi, Part 2” will be released in March 2023.


(English translation by T&CT and Ellen Huntley)


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