8. Generation Gima Pēchin Shinji 儀間親雲上眞時

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Shinshi眞市
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Sagen 麻作愿
  • Born: as the firstborn son, 1612 (?) -01-05

Family

  • Father: Shinshi 眞之
  • Mother: Magami 眞龜 of the Kin-clan 金氏
  • Wife: Mamichi 眞滿, daughter of Kuniyoshi Pēchin Shinshun 國吉親雲上眞春 of the Sa-clan 査氏 (Died 1652-02-27. Posthumous name: Kogatsu 湖月)
  • Oldest daughter: Umigami 思龜 (born 1626-12-21, married Yonaha Pēchin Sōshin 我那覇親雲上宗信 of the Go-clan 呉氏, date of death unknown)
  • Oldest son: Shindai 眞代 (different genealogy)
  • Second son: Shinshū 眞周
  • Third son: Shinsei 眞成
  • Fourth son: 眞辰 (different genealogy)
  • Second daughter: Manabi 眞鍋 (born 1638-05-15, married Maezato Pēchin Chochoku 前里親雲上朝直 of the Princely Shō-clan 向氏. Died 1702-08-16. Posthumous name: Gesshin 月心)
  • Fifth son: Shinshū 眞秋
  • Second wife: Umitu 思戸, daughter of Gushikawa Chikudun Pēchin 具志川筑登之親雲上 from Kanera village, Tomigusuku district 豊見城間切金良村
  • Third daughter: Umitu 思戸 (born 1644-11-08, married Sakihama Pēchin Seiwa 崎濱親雲上盛和 of the Mō-clan 毛氏. Died 1695-10-25. Posthumous name: Baigan 梅巖)
  • Fourth daughter: Maguji 眞呉勢 (born 1650-01-23, married Uchima Pēchin Bushi 内間親雲上武之 of the Chi-clan智氏. Died 1723-08-17. Posthumous name: Bairin 梅林)
  • Sixth son: Shin’ō 眞往 (different genealogy)
  • Seventh son: Shinbun 眞文 (different genealogy)
  • Fifth daughter: Majiru 眞鶴 (born 1667-11-05, married Shigema Chikudun Pēchin Genmei 志慶間筑登之親雲上元命 of the Yō-clan 姚氏. Died 1690-08-04. Posthumous name: Jikaku 自覺)

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō Hō 尚豊王

  • 1622-0918: Serves as an apprentice (Ko-akukabe 小赤頭)
  • 1626-09: He tied up his topknot (coming of age)
  • 1627-02-22: Serves as a squire (Hana-atari 花當)
  • 1634-08-08: Serves as an adjudant (Chikudun) of the Seiyaritomi 勢遣冨筑登之.
  • 1637–38: Sailed on a tribute ship to Fujian, and afterwards to Satsuma. 1637-09-29 they set sails in Naha, went to Fujian, and in the following year 1638-01-08 they arrived in Kagoshima and completed business. On 1638-02-05 they returned home to Okinawa. On 02-07 Gima Shinji was conferred to the court rank of Yellow Hachimaki (黄冠), i.e. the Pēchin rank.
  • 1639-08-06: Assuming head of family, he is appointed eatste steward (Jitō) of Gima in Mawashi district 眞和地間切儀間地頭

During the Era of King Shō Shitsu 尚質王

  • 1654-02-02: Appointed Magistrate of Sugar Production (Satō Bugyō 砂糖奉行)
  • 1659-12-27: Conferred to the court rank of Zashiki (rank 4 minor) 座敷
  • 1660: Toured the island for inspections as an inspector (代廻檢者), together with the Assistant Superintendent (Ginmiyaku 吟味役) of the Omono Bugyō 御物奉行, Miyagi Pēchin Kensen 宮城親雲上賢宣 of the Ka-clan 夏氏, and the Liaison Police Inspector (Yamato Yokome 大和横目) Kobashigawa Pēchin Yūsei 小橋川親雲上由政 of the Sai-clan 蔡氏. They procceeded to the islands of Ie, Iheya, Kume, Kerama, Aguni, and Tonaki. After completion of official business, they returned to the capital [Shuri].
  • 1671-01-05: Died at the age of 63. Posthumous name: Jōseki 常寂

Additional Info

In the entry for 1634-08-08 we can see one very important thing: He served as an adjudant (Chikudun) of the Seiyaritomi 勢遣冨筑登之. In other words: The HIKI organization of old Ryukyu — which included the military — has not been abolished after the Satsuma invasion of 1609. How the whole organization was transformed to fit the new circumstances is described in detail in my Karate 1.0.


 

Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
  • Others
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7. Generation Gima Satonushi Pēchin Shinshi 儀間里之子親雲上眞之

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Masanrā 眞三良
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Kyōyo 麻擧要
  • Born: as the firstborn son, 1585

Family

  • Father: Shinjō 眞常
  • Mother: Manabi 眞鍋 of the Mō-clan 毛氏
  • Wife: Magami 眞龜, daughter of Tomoyose Pēchin (Kin Shireki) 友寄親雲上 (金仕歴)(she died 1662-02-18. Posthumous name: Kyūsan 久山)
  • Oldest daughter: Manabi 眞鍋 (born 1604. Married Nagamine Chikudun Kōkō 長峯筑登之孝效 of the Ki-clan 冀氏. Died 1677-08-18. Posthumous name: Tessen 哲仙)
  • Second daughter: Makatu 眞加戸 (born 1607. Married Tōmei Chikudun Pēchin Sō’en 當銘筑登之親雲上宗演 of the Sō-clan 莊氏. Died 1669-12-29. Posthumous name: Bairin 梅林)
  • Oldest son: Shinji 眞時
  • Second son: Shinshō 眞韶 (different genealogy) [here the Ishimine House branches off 麻姓 (石嶺家)]
  • Third daughter: Umitu 思戸 (born 1615-12-25. Married Nakijin Satonushi Pēchin Seiko 今歸仁里之子親雲上盛古 of the Mō-clan 毛氏. Died 1667-08-20. Posthumous name: Haku’an 栢庵)
  • Third son: Shinsei 眞清 (different genealogy) [here the Tawada House branches off 麻姓 (多和田)]

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō Nei 尚寧王

  • 1598-03-15: Serves as an apprentice (Ko-akukabe 小赤頭)
  • 1600-02: He tied up his topknot (coming of age)
  • 1600-05-09: Serves as a squire (Hana-atari 花當)
  • 1605-02-09: Conferred to the court rank of Waka-satonushi (若里之子)
  • 1612-06-05: Conferred to the court rank of Yellow Hachimaki (黄冠), i.e. the rank of Satonushi Pēchin

During the Era of King Shō Hō 尚豊王

  • 1628-04-28: Appointed “Magistrate for Managing the Annual Tribute to Satsuma”  (Shinobose Bugyō 仕上世奉行).
  • 1631-12-25: Inherits the fief of his father, worth 30 Koku
  • 1633-06-09: Died at the age of 50 and before his own father. Posthumous name: Kaioku 槐屋

Additional Info

His 2nd and 3rd sons established the first branch houses (支流) of the Ma-clan: The 2nd son established the Ishimine House, the 3rd son established the Tawada House.

These lineages are interesting because both Ishimine and Tawada are names connected to old-style Karate and Kobudō of the latter half of the 19th century.


Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
  • Others
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6. Generation Gima Uēkata Shinjō 儀間親方眞常

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Shinshi 眞市
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Heikō 麻平衡
  • Born: as the thirdborn son, 1557.

Family

  • Father: Shinmei 眞命
  • Mother: Manabi 眞鍋 of the Sō-clan 莊氏
  • Wife: Manabi 眞鍋, daughter of Ahagon Shī Sei’i 阿波根子盛懿 of the Mō-clan 毛氏 (she died 1633-06-09. Posthumous name: Rinshun 林春)
  • Oldest son: Shinshi 眞之
  • Oldest daughter: Maushi 眞牛 (date of birth and death unknown, married Goeku Niya 越來爾也)

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō Gen 尚元王

  • During the Longqing years (1567–1572): Served as Ko-akukabe 小赤頭

During the Era of King Shō Ei 尚永王

  • During the reign of the Wanli emperor (1572–1620): served as squire (Hana-atari 花當), conferred to the court rank of Waka-satonushi (若里之子), conferred to a Yellow Hachimaki (黄冠), i.e. he was promoted to Pēchin status.

During the Era of King Shō Nei 尚寧王

  • 1593-05-06: Assuming the family headship from his father, he is appointed Estate steward (Jitō 地頭) of Gima in Mawashi district 眞和志儀間地頭
  • 1596-06-05: Served as commander (Seitō) of the Oshiaketomi 押明富勢頭
  • 1605, Noguni Sōkan 野國總管 brought sweet potatoes plants from Fujian, China. When Shinjō 眞常 heard about his, he asked to study potato cultivation. Noguni explained to him: “To cultivate [the potato], fold it into a strip of hemp cloth of about 30cm length and place it in the field. When the time has come, pull up the cloth strip and so pull out the potato from the hole.” By planting potatoes in the whole country, supplementing the five crops, Gima Shinjō 眞常 planned to counteract food shortages and huge famines, which happened frequently. For 15 years Gima Shinjō instructed the cultivation of potatoes in Ryūkyū. Additionally, he was also active in the cultivation of various other crops and grains.
  • 1606-08-11: Appointed Seitō of the Jakunitomi (castle guard commander) 謝國富勢頭
  • 1609-04: When King Sho Nei 尚寧王 was taken to Satsuma (Sasshū 薩州), Gima Shinjō accompanied him in the role of a guard (Seitō) (勢頭役). The ship set sails in Naha on 1609-05-17. He returned to Ryūkyū on 1611-09-13. On 1611-12-01 he was conferred to the court rank of Zashiki (rank 4 minor) 座敷. From Satsuma, Gima Shinjō had brought back cotton seeds for weaving cotton cloths. Gima Shinjō told two Japanese women (named Umechiyo 梅千代 and Michiyo 實千代) who lived in Izumisaki village to begin to manufacture cloth by weaving, and this was the beginning of cotton cloth weaving in Ryūkyū.
  • Although in olden times this country had its own sugar cane, it was unknown how to manufacture brown sugar. Consequently, in 1623, at the time when the tribute ship sailed to Fujian, Gima Shinjō ordered some villagers of Gima to accompany the tribute ship and to study the method of sugar refinement. First this method of sugar refinement was done at Gima Shinjō’s house, and later spread in the whole country.
  • Gima Shinjō was also appointed Magistrate of Farmland (Tenchi Bugyō 田地奉行 )

During the Era of King Shō Hō 尚豊王

  • 1624-01-15: Conferred to the court rank of purple Hachimaki 紫冠, i.e. the rank of Uēkata
  • 1624-05-04: In this country [of Ryūkyū], since ancient times until now dragon boat races have been performed as magnificent spectacles. So, Gima Shinjō 眞常 was requested to make preparations in connection with dragon boat races. In this connection, his Majesty the King Shō Hō 尚豊 honored Gima Shinjō with his presence at the latter’s residence.
  • 1627-06-22: Receives a fief income of 30 Koku
  • 1644-10-14: Died after a long life of 88 years. Posthumous name: Juryō 授了

Additional Info

Although Gima Shinjō was only the thirdborn son, he succeeded the head of household.

He passed through a typical career within the government organization of old Ryūkyū. This included positions in the HIKI (see here for a short overview).

Starting as an apprentice (Ko-akukabe 小赤頭),  at around 40 he became commander (Seitō) of the Oshiaketomi regiment. Around 50 years of age, he was appointed commander of the castle guards (Seitō of the Jakunitomi).

Not surprisingly, when a few years later – in 1609 – the Shimazu Clan conquered the Ryūkyū Kingdom and took King Sho Nei to Satsuma, Gima Shinjō accompanied him in the role of a guard (Seitō).

Actually, there is the tradition of the Bo of Gima Shinjo.


Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
  • others
Placque at Gima Shinjo' tomb, located at the Hijigaabira-maai.

Placque at Gima Shinjo’ tomb, located at the Hijigaabira-maai.

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5. Generation Gima Pēchin Shinmei 儀間親雲上眞命

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Masanrā 眞三郎
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Jishō 麻時嘗
  • Born: as the firstborn son, 1513

Family

  • Father: Shinmō 眞孟
  • Mother: A person from Izumisaki village
  • Wife: Manabi 眞鍋, daughter of Oroku Pēchin Sōshin 小禄親雲上宗親 of the Sō-clan 莊氏 (she died 1613-08-14. Posthumous name: Getsuho 月蒲)
  • Oldest son: Ōmine Pēchin 大嶺親雲上
  • Second son: Gima Niya 儀間爾也
  • Oldest daughter: Umitama 思玉 (date of birth and death unknown, married Heianzan Pēchin Yūmei 平安山親雲上重明 of the Tsu-clan 兪氏)
  • Third son Shinjō 眞常

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō Sei 尚清王

  • 1546-08-10: Served as adjudant (Chikudun) of the Sejiaratomi 勢治荒富筑登之, sailing towards the countries of South-East-Asia (nanban 南蠻)

Note:  Nanban 南蠻 or “Southern Barbarians” usually refers to the Europeans – Spaniards and Portuguese – who came to Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries via Southeast Asia. However, from the Muromachi‑ (1336–) to the early Edo-era (1603–) it referred to the countries of South-East-Asia.

  • 1550-10-08: At the time when tribute chief-envoy Mai Shishi 邁志刺 sailed to Fujian 閩, he served as a warehouse manager (Kansha 官舎). After his return to Ryūkyū he was appointed Estate steward (Jitō 地頭) of Sesoko in Nakijin district 今歸仁間切瀬底, and appointed commander (Seitō) of the Sejiaratomi 勢治荒富勢頭
  • 1555-01-10: He accompanied the envoys Ryō Ken 梁顯 and Ba Chushō 馬忠章 to Fujian to present tribute to the Chinese Emperor

During the Era of King Shō Gen 尚元王

  • 1560-08-08: Transferred to the office of Estate steward (Jitō 地頭) of Ōmine in Tomigusuku district 豊見城間切大嶺
  • 1562-02-25: Together with the “To-tsūji” Ryō San梁燦, he sailed to Fujian to inquire about the return of the “ship of the heavenly envoys” (=Sappōshi) to China

Note: To-tsūji 都通事: mainly, but not limited to, senior interpreter-clerks who handled tributary and other public affairs

  • 1562-12-05: Appointed commander (Seitō) of the Fusaitomi 相應富勢頭
  • 1563-11-05: Again appointed commander (Seitō) of the Sejiaratomi 勢治荒富勢頭. Afterwards, as a reward for his loyalty during various trips, he was conferred to the court rank of Zashiki (rank 4 minor) 座敷. Finally he succeeded his father as the head of household and assumed office as Estate steward (Jitō 地頭) of Gima in Mawashi district 眞和志儀間
  • 1595-10-09: Died after a long life of 83 years. Posthumous name: Shō’ō 松翁

Additional Info

The Nature of the Hiki

Each Hiki was referred to by a unique name, for instance Fusaitomi, Sejiaratomi, Seiyaritomi etc. As we can see from the genealogy above, Gima Pēchin Shinmei was first appointed Chikudun (adjudant), and later promoted to Seitō (commander) of a Hiki.

The original nature of the Hiki is connected to the eulogistic suffix ~tomi. This suffix is a shortened form of its original meaning, that is: to become famous or renowned, to achieve fame. In old Ryūkyū it was used as a eulogistic suffix for large seagoing vessels: All the Hiki names bear such ship names and the eulogistic suffix, too. That is why it is said in the above genealogy that Gima Pēchin Shinmei “served as Chikudun of the Sejiaratomi, sailing towards the countries of South-East-Asia.” This can also be seen in the oldest known written appointment of royal office (jireisho 辞令書) in existence, dated 1523-08-28:

“The statement below is an order of the king. Shiotarumoi, who belongs to the Seiyaritomi Hiki, is appointed to the post of warehouse manager aboard the Takara-maru, which will soon set sail for China. This writ of appointment is given from the king to the above-mentioned Shiotarumoi.”

The suffix ~tomi designating a ship-name also often appears in the collection of ancient prose called Omoro-sōshi, for example in the Kakuratoyotega-bushi from Omoro-sōshi Vol. 3. In this Omoro appear the terms Yohikitomi, Sejiaratomi, Yotsugitomi, Kumokotomi, Amaetomi, and Oshiaketomi, which were all names of Ryūkyūan seagoing vessels.

Maritime-based and Land-based Hiki

The Hiki as an organic combination of various government functions. By Andreas Quast.

The Hiki as an organic combination of various government functions. By Andreas Quast.

Iha Fuyū stated, “Because foreign trade voyages were at the center of the activities of the people of Old Ryūkyū, we realize that the Sentō (captains) steering these vessels were diverted from their original intended use.” Indeed, the designations of seagoing vessels and their associated official posts coincide with that of the land-based Hiki. Consequently, the land-based Hiki had the same standardized office organization as the organization of the sea-going vessels. From that, Takara formulated the question that, perhaps, the Hiki were “land-based maritime vessels” (Chijō no kaisen 地上の海船),  and the vessels were “Hiki floating on the sea” (Umi ni ukanda Hiki  海に浮んだヒキ). Just as sea-going vessels would sail in a fleet comprising of several ships, the Hiki were also organized in groups consisting of a number of Hiki. And just as the ship with the chief tribute envoy as its commander was the flagship of a fleet, the Hiki with its Hikigashira as commander was the “flagship” in each of the Three Guards.

The Hiki as a maritime and land-based organization. By Andreas Quast.

The Hiki as a maritime and land-based organization. By Andreas Quast.

At the time this system emerged, the king was on top of the country’s official overseas trade, which was solely managed by the royal government, and therefore, the envoys’ ships were government-owned ships. All posts in this official overseas traffic were also issued in the name of the king, as is clearly shown in the kingdom’s written appointments (jireisho), and thus all crew members were employees of the royal government. In this way, all activities in the country of destination were government businesses, too. And so, regardless of being sailing voyages or land-based duties, any of the activities the Hiki were involved in were government businesses. This was the state of affairs, and it was this framework that the system of the Hiki originated in.

Yarazamori-gusuku. Photo by Andreas Quast. Excerpt from a picture painted by Tomoyose Chikudun Pechin Kikō 友寄筑登之親雲喜恒, 116.5 x 56.5 cm. From the possession of the Okinawa-kenritsu Zushokan Higaonna Bunko 東恩納文庫.

Yarazamori-gusuku. Photo by Andreas Quast. Excerpt from a picture painted by Tomoyose Chikudun Pechin Kikō 友寄筑登之親雲喜恒, 116.5 x 56.5 cm. From the possession of the Okinawa-kenritsu Zushokan Higaonna Bunko 東恩納文庫.


Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
  • Takara Kurayoshi, 1993
  • Ryūkyū-kuni Yuraiki, 1713
  • Iha Fuyū, 1975
  • Okamoto, in: Acta Asiatica 2008
  • Quast, Andreas: Karate 1.0 (2013)
  • Others
Posted in The Genealogies of the Various Houses of the Ma-clan | Comments Off on 5. Generation Gima Pēchin Shinmei 儀間親雲上眞命

Yarazamori

Yarazamori-gusuku was built in 1554 at the far end of Madama-michi, a military access road originating at Shuri Castle. Together with Miegusuku, the fortress was crucial in guarding Naha harbor against foreign invasion.

Yarazamori-gusuku. Photo by Andreas Quast. Excerpt from a picture painted by Tomoyose Chikudun Pechin Kikō 友寄筑登之親雲喜恒, 116.5 x 56.5 cm. From the possession of the Okinawa-kenritsu Zushokan Higaonna Bunko 東恩納文庫.

Yarazamori-gusuku. Photo by Andreas Quast. Excerpt from a picture painted by Tomoyose Chikudun Pechin Kikō 友寄筑登之親雲喜恒, 116.5 x 56.5 cm. From the possession of the Okinawa-kenritsu Zushokan Higaonna Bunko 東恩納文庫.

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4. Generation Gima Pēchin Shinmō 儀間親雲上眞孟

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Shutarūgani 小樽兼
  • Chinese-style name: Ju Tatsuro 壽達魯
  • Born: as the firstborn son, 1494

Family

  • Father: Shinpuku 眞福
  • Mother: Taira Ōamushirare 平良大阿母志良禮
  • Wife: a person from Izumisaki village 泉崎村 (died 1578-09-10. Posthumous name: Shūkei 秋桂)
  • Oldest son: Shinmei 眞命
  • Second son: Gima Chikudun Pēchin 儀間筑登之親雲上
  • Oldest daughter: Manabi 眞鍋 (date of birth unknown. Married Sanabe Uēkata Kōjō 佐邊親方厚上 of the Fu-clan 傅氏. Died 1603-12-07. Posthumous name: Dōsen 道泉)
  • Second daughter: Umitu 思戸 (date of birth and death unknown, married Oroku Pēchin Seiyō 小祿親雲上清乘 of the Hyō-clan 馮氏)

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō Shin 尚眞王

  • 1523-08-26: At the time when chief-envoy Tei Jō 鄭縄 and vice-envoy Kin Ryō 金良 proceeded to China to bring tribute, he served as a of the royal treasure ship (takara-maru 寳丸) and reached Fujian

During the Era of King Shō Sei 尚清王

  • 1536-05-13: Appointed Jitō (estate steward) of Ameku in Nishihara district 西原間切天久地頭
  • 1537-08-09: Conferred to the court rank of Zashiki (rank 4 minor) 座敷
  • 1537-08-20: At the time when chief-envoy Chin Fu 陳賦 and vice-envoy Sai Teibi 蔡廷美proceeded to China to bring tribute, he served as an emissary (shisha 使者) of the royal ship Yotsuzutomi世續富 and reached Fujian
  • 1541-09-07: Served as emissary (shisha 使者) for bringing tribute to China, together with vice-envoy Sai Teibi 蔡廷美 they reached Fujian
  • 1545-11-06: transferred and appointed Jitō (estate steward) of Kanagusuku in Gima, Mawashi district 眞和志儀間金城地頭
  • 1551-04-13: Transferred and appointed Jitō (estate steward) of Gima in Mawashi district 眞和志儀間地頭
  • 1552-06: When the construction of the dike fort Yarazamori 牙浪沙森 (=屋良座森城) in Naha harbor was completed, a monument was erected with an inscription describing the ancient military organization of Ryūkyū and mentioning Gima Pēchin Shinmō as a military commander (Seitō). Two years later in 1554, the Ryūkyūan troops received marching orders, with three regiments gathered at their designated places, and repelled attacking pirates. While there is no document to proof so, it may be assumed that Gima Pēchin Shinmō took part in this mission as a military commander, too.
  • 1577-04-16: He died after a long life of 84 years. Posthumous name: Gekka 月花

Additional Info

The Hiki of old Ryukyu were an organic combination of various government functions: military , overseas trade, ceremony, politics, and religion.

The Hiki of old Ryukyu were an organic combination of various government functions: military , overseas trade, ceremony, politics, and religion.

I have described the formation and organization of the ancient military organization of Ryūkyū in detail in my book Karate 1.0, including important parts of the text of the Yarazamori monument. This description is valuable and indispensable to understand the circumstances in which ancient martial arts of Ryūkyū were implemented.

As Takara Kurayoshi put it, “the Hiki were networks into which the Ryūkyūan upper classes were incorporated for the purposes of military, police, and guard service and other duties.”

Here follows one part of the Yarazamori inscription, first translated in a Western language in my book Karate 1.0 (2013), and here for the first time online:

“On occasion of Chinese envoys delivering the imperial decree of investiture for King Shō Sei in 1534, the armored Seitō and Chikudun regiments (hiki) arrived with their military equipment, and the soldiers (Kerai akukabe) all gathered at Miegusuku fortress. Serving the Council of State, the Chikusaji regiment commanders with their commoners from Tomigusuku and Oroku districts all gathered at Yarazamori fortress. Serving the Council of State, the Jitō (Estate Steward) of Gima set out controlling the watercourse to the left and right of the harbor with two small boats, and welcomed the Chinese envoys. And at the time of the Imperial investiture, Gima wore imperial clothes and imperial cap and attendants covered him with a long-handled parasol, to welcome the Chinese Imperial ships outside the harbor.”

SeitōChikudun, Kerai akukabe, and Chikusaji are some of the important designations of warriors of old Ryūkyū.

Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
  • Takara Kurayoshi: King and Priestess. Spiritual and Political Power in Ancient Ryukyu. In: The Ryukyuanist. The International Society for Ryukyuan Studies. Newsletter No. 27. Winter 1994-95: 3.
  • Quast, Andreas: Karate 1.0. Düsseldorf, 2013.
  • Others.
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3. Generation Gima Taira Pēchin Shinpuku 儀間平良親雲上眞福

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Uminta 思武太
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Futo 麻普都
  • Born: as the firstborn son, 1451
  • Posthumous name: Shinsō 眞宗

Family

  • Father: Shinsō 眞宗
  • Mother: a Person from Gima village in Mawashi district 眞和志儀間
  • Wife: Taira Ōamushirare 平良大阿母志良禮  (Her parents are unknown. She died 1564-09-15. Posthumous name: Ka’an 花庵)
  • Oldest son: Shinmō 眞孟
  • Oldest daughter: Umitu 思戸 (date of birth and death unknown, married Yonaha Uēkata Jogen 我那覇親方助元 of the Fū-clan 封氏)

Chronology

During the Era of King Shō En 尚圓王

  • During the Chenghua years (1465–1487): Served as village supervisor (Uchiti 掟) of Kanegusuku 兼城

During the Era of King Shō Shin 尚眞王

  • 1505-08-10: When royal father-in-law Akanishi 亜嘉尼施 (i.e. Hanagusuku Uēkata Sōgi 花城親方宗義) together with chief-envoy Tei Kyū 鄭玖 and vice-envoy Sai Hin 蔡濱 went to China to bring tribute, Shinpuku served as a Kansha 官舎 (warehouse manager) and reached Fujian.
  • 1507-08-13: When chief-envoy Ryō Nō 梁能 and vice-envoy Sai Senfu 蔡遷 procceeded to China to bring tribute, Shinpuku served as a Kansha 官舎 (warehouse manager) and reached Fujian. After offical proceedings were finished he returned home and was appointed Jitō of Kanegusuku 兼城地頭.
  • 1517-06-09: Transferred and appointed as Jitō 地頭 of Taira in Gima village, Mawashi district 眞和志儀間平良. Afterwards conferred to the court rank of Zashiki (rank 4 minor) 座敷.
  • 1535-06-05: Died after a long life of 85 years. Posthumous name: Shingetsu 心月.

During the Era of King Shō Sei 尚清王

  • 1535: Because Shinpuku 眞福 became sick and died, his wife assumed the post of Jitō of Taira in Gima village, Mawashi district

Additional Info

After Shinpuku 眞福 had died in 1535, his wife assumed his post as a Jitō of Taira in Gima village, Mawashi district. His wife’s name is given as Taira Ōamushirare 平良大阿母志良禮. Ōamushirare is the title of a high ranked priestess of old Ryūkyū. In the hierarchy of Ryūkyūan priestesses, the Ōamushirare were directly below the supreme Kikoe Ōgimi, who was usually a relative of the ruling king.


Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
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2. Generation Ōshiro Shī Shinsō 大城子眞宗

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Shutarūgani 小樽兼
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Seikō 麻省功
  • Born: as firstborn son in 1411. Death date unknown.
  • Posthumous name: Isshin 一心

Family

  • Father: Shinbu 眞武
  • Mother: a person from Kakinohana village in Tamagusuku district
  • Wife: a Person from Gima village in Mawashi district (life and death dates are unknown. Posthumous name: Shunkei 春桂)
  • Oldest son: Shinpuku 眞福
  • Oldest daughter: Umitu 思戸 (date of birth and death unknown; posthumous name: Tentoku 天徳. Married Hanagusuku Uēkata Sōgi 花城親方宗義 of the Go-clan 呉氏, whose daughter Umutugani 思乙金 married Urasoe Ōji Chōman 浦添王子朝朝滿 (1494–1540), son of King Shō Shin 尚真王 and 1st generation originator of the Oroku Udun)

Chronology

At the time when Ōshiro Aji 大城按司 committed suicide, Shinsō 眞宗 was still very young and could not yet differentiate between East and West. His mother carried him along and they fled to her native place of Kakinohana village in Tamagusuku district. Afraid that the Yo-no-nushi (世之主, i.e. Shimasoe Ōsato Aji) would hear about this, she further fled to the distant Shimotabaru located in Gima village, Mawashi district 眞和志儀間村之下田原. There they lived in seclusion. Soon other people from Gima village began to migrate there and turned the place into a village which came to be called Kakinohana. This is the legend of this House, but there are no documents to prove this.

Additional Info

Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。
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1. Generation of the Ma-clan: Ōshiro Aji Shinbu 大城按司眞武

Names and DOB

  • Childhood name: Umindagani 思武太金
  • Chinese-style name: Ma Fui 麻普蔚
  • Born: His life and death dates are unknown.
  • Posthumous name: Kijitsu 貴實

Family

  • His parents are unknown.
  • Wife: a person from Kakinohana village in Tamagusuku district. Her life and death dates are unknown. Her posthumous name was Meikaku 明覺.
  • Oldest son: Shinsō 眞宗

Chronology

In ancient times, Shimasoe Ōsato Aji 島添大里按司 was the lord of Ōsato castle. Once he attacked the small castle of Ōshiro Aji Shinbu. Loosing the battle, Ōshiro Aji set fire to Ōshiro castle and he, his retainers, and his wife committed suicide.


Additional Info

Ōshiro Aji’s castle (大城城) was taken by storm by the neighboring Shimasoe Ōsato Aji, the lord of Ōsato castle. Ōshiro committed suicide with his own sword. His wife together with the infant Shutarūgani 小樽兼 fled to her parent’s house in Kakinohana village, Tamagusuku district. Afterwards they lived in hiding in Shimotabaru in Gima village, Mawashi district. Soon other people moved there and formed a village which came to be called Kakinohana.

There are some contradicting accounts and dates:

  • Since the infant Shutarūgani 小樽兼 is mentioned, the above is estimated to have taken place shortly after 1411 – i.e. the year Shutarūgani was born according to the official genealogies of the royal government in Shuri.
  • According to another story, a daughter of Ōshiro Aji is said to have been the mother of Nāshiro Ufuya 苗代大親, which was the real name of the later King Shō Shishō 尚思紹王. His oldest son Sashiki Aji, i.e. the later King Shō Hashi 尚巴志王, destroyed Shimasoe Ōsato Aji. However, this is said to have taken place in 1402.

The reasons for this might be found in the historiography, which most of the time serves an agenda. One reason could have been to retrospectively justify Shō Hashi’s conquering of the island – in the story Shō Hashi is a descendant of Ōshiro Aji. Destroying Shimasoe Ōsato Aji would therefore be an act of justice. Another reason might be the establishment of official genealogies in the late 17h century: as many people as possible tried to create the most advantegeous genealogies and get them approved by the royal government. In order to do so, it was best to date it as far back as possible, and to a famous person of high rank. Therefore, it was just the same as it is today in modern Karate 😀

The tomb of Ōshiro Aji Shinbu is located in Ōsato Ōshiro in Nanjō City. It is also known as Bōntō Ufaka ボウントゥ御墓 — Bōntō refers to the dome shaped upper part of the tomb. The grave is designated a Tangible Cultural Property of Okinawa Prefecture under the name of “Ōshiro Aji no Haka” 大城按司の墓.

Ōshiro 大城 is pronounced Ufugusuku in the Okinawan dialect.

Coat-of-Arms of the Ma-clan, House Dana

Coat-of-Arms of the Ma-clan, House Dana


Sources

  • 沖縄の歴史情報 第5巻。画像と全文テキストデータベース (Ⅰ)。 (6)「琉球家譜」の情報化。①首里系家譜。麻姓家譜 (田名家).
  • Naha-shi Shi. Shiryō-hen, Dai Ni Maki, Chū no 7. Naha no Minzoku. 那覇市史。資料篇 第2巻,中の7。那覇の民俗。1979.
  • Others.

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Ānankū and Chintō

Previously I wrote a short article about Shimabukuro Zenryō. There I described the so-to-say official version of his bio. This official version states, that he learned the seven main karate kata of Kyan Chōtoku: Sēsan, Anankū, Wanshū, Passai, Ūsēshī, Chintō, and Kūsankū, as well as Tokumine-no-Kon.

I also variously mentioned Tamotsu Isamu and his huge-yet-often-overlooked influence on post-war Okinawa Karate.

Now I stumbled across a Japanese book with a precious eyewitness account, if you will. It is about the Kata that Shimabukuro Zenryō actually knew.

First, as regards Tamotsu Isamu (1919-2000), I think he is well-known. Hailed from Amami Ōshima in Kagoshima prefecture, he graduated from the“ Prison Police Officer Training School of Taiwan”.

In the postwar era, it was Tamotsu Isamu who influenced Nakamura Shigeru, Nakazato Jōen and Shimabukuro Zenryō to participate in Japanese Karate, specifically, kumite matches with full-contact gear. And, no doubt, it was from Tamotsu the Okinawans got their full-contact gear from.

In 1955 Tamotsu established the Shōrinji-ryū Renshinkan. Apparently he was the first person who used the name Shōrinji-ryū. It seems that both Nakazato Jōen and Shimabukuro Zenryō followed  suit (it seems Zenryō later changed it to Shōrin-ryū for some reason).

Tamotsu also brought Shimabukuro Zenryō into the original JKF (usually referred to as FAJKO). And this was the reason that formed the Okinawa branch of the original JKF under the name of “JKF– Okinawa District Special Headquarters”, of which he assumed presidency. Nakamura Shigeru (Okinawa Kenpō) was among the board members.

And Tamotsu studied both with Nakazato Jōen and Shimabukuro Zenryō.

The above was just a reminder about the person we are talking here.

Well, I am getting to the point now.

The contemporary witness I mentioned earlier is none less than Tamotsu Sachie (1923 – 2016), the wife of above describe Tamotsu Isamu.

In 2002 she published a book about her late husband. Therein she also covered her late husband’s years with the Okinawans.

There she reported the following about the kata that Zenryō knew:

“In response to Isamu asking for instruction, Shimabukuro [Zenryō] said,

‘Teaching you is not a problem. But I myself only know two Kata: Ānankū and Chintō.’

After that, [Tamotsu] Isamu went to the dojo every other day and thoroughly mastered these two kata of karate (BTW, in the proper method of Shōrinji lineage there are seven Kata of Karate).”

Since Karate people can be quite finical, a question arose: When exactly was that?

Well, during this visit, Tamotsu Isamu stayed on Okinawa from February 1954 until spring 1955, when he returned to Kagoshima. This is described in the book, too (page 149).

In between the training classes, he  [Tamotsu Isamu] also practiced jūdō for American soldiers.

During his stay in Okinawa, [Tamotsu] Isamu devoted himself to cultivating the study and physical strength of Karate.

Soon, students of the Futenma dōjō and also even senior students of Shimabukuro [Zenryō’s] dōjō heard the rumor that [Tamotsu] Isamu created his own techniques based on basic movements, and began to visit [Tamotsu] Isamu to learn Karate.

‘It may be time to return to Japan, create my own Karate and popularize it.’

This was what [Tamotsu] Isamu thought. And so he decided to leave Okinawa. […]

Spring of 1955. Isamu, who had returned to Kagoshima, decided to take the first step for a full-fledged spread of Karate.”

Well, I leave it up to you what you make of this.

Good luck!

01

Bibliography:

Tamotsu Sachie: Toshu Kūken: Ningen Tamotsu Isamu (Unarmed – The Man Tamotsu Isamu). Bungeisha, 2002. pp. 147–148.

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