1850 embassy to Edo

The photo taken recently (2019) by my friend Akuseru Hainrihi shows the “Ryū-jin Gyōretsu no Zu” 琉人行列之図, or “Illustration of the Procession of Ryūkyūans (to Edo).” These processions were called EDO-NOBORI.

Ryū-jin Gyōretsu no Zu 琉人行列之図, or “Illustration of the Procession of Ryūkyūans (to Edo)”, 1850. Note: I optimized Akuseru’s pic a bit.

This EDO-NOBORI took place in 1850. In that year, prince Tamagawa Chōtatsu (1) and Nomura Uēkata Chōgi were dispatched to the shogunate in Edo by King Shō Tai as gratitude envoys for his enthronement. The procession comprised of ninety-nine participants. They carried the usual red Muchi-bō, spears and dragon halberds, which were mostly ceremonial. Also as usual, a large number of Satsuma forces accompanied them. I placed yellowe circles in the pic where you can see both Ryukyuan as well as Satsuman weaponry.

The red circle in the top says “Itosu Pechin,” and there is also one “Asato Satunushi.” Because these are names of famous person in karate history, this spurred some interest.

I first published about the 1850 embassy first in the 2006 IRKRS Journal and later described the procession in my “Karate 1.0” (2013). Here’s an excerpt:

“Following the Shimazu invasion of 1609, Ryūkyū was placed under suzerainty of the Satsuma fief and the shogunate government in Edo. On one hand, Ryūkyū was now obligated to send congratulatory envoys (keigashi) for the appointment or succession of a new Shōgun in Edo. On the other hand. in case a new king of Ryūkyū inherited the throne, a gratitude envoy (shaonshi) for the recognition of the new king was sent to Edo. These trips were called Edo-nobori, or “going up to Edo”. They generated a possibility of cultural exchange between Ryūkyū and Japan. The orders for dispatching both these types of envoys were issued by Satsuma, which also controlled and managed every little detail of the entire journeys. Between 1634 and 1850, there were eighteen such Edo-nobori.”

About weaponry during processions to Edo, also check this: 

© 2020, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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