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Rob Oechsle wrote the following introduction October 28, 2020:

Mick McClary has a ton of books in his " digital Library". The following tract -- JAPAN IS NOT OUR FATHERLAND, by Eikichi Yamazato --- doesn't seem to be there, but is referenced by David John Obermiller in the following book :

Yamazato-san lamented the brainwashing of pre-reversion Okinawan's at the hand of Japans education system, and the peoples inability to see themselves as Okinawans, with their own proud heritage and identity.

However, he and other like-minded Okinawans who held great pride in their heritage were in the minority, and whose views were swept under the rug during the days of the approaching Reversion.

Of Yamazato-san, David Obermiller says the following...

"....Yamazato was John Hanna’s right-hand man in the first year of the occupation. With Hanna, Yamazato worked diligently to restore Ryukyuan treasures and became the long-term director of the Shuri Museum that the two individuals had constructed together. Both Ota and Yamazato became historians and focused much of their scholarship on Japanese discrimination against Okinawa..."

Here is Yamazato's complete and original tract he had translated into English back in 1969, perhaps hoping against hope that a copy would fall into the hands of the "Ruling Americans", who might be persuaded to stop Okinawa from once again falling back under the rule of Japan and the Japanese.

As for where this beat up, original old copy of a cry for Okinawan independence comes from, I found it at the bottom of a pile of stuff in a used book store, and paid the heft sum of ¥300 for it.

For those who don't have the time to read Yamazato's historical overview of Japan's greed and subterfuge in taking over Okinawa, you can skip to Yamazato's closing words, in the last paragraph on page 14.

I hereby donate these scans to Stephen Mick McClary's illustrious library, so that others may read and learn.

PS. An original copy of this tract was also among the papers of the Freimuth Collection, donated to Okinawa Prefectural Archives by Anne Freimuth Statland.

Discussion by Mick McClary:

To expand a bit on the issue of non-ratification by China of the proposal that China and Japan divvey up Okinawa - and, by the way, not a single Ryukyuan was consulted nor included in ANY of this political maneuvering - late in 1878 the Meiji government learned that the Chinese intended to enlist support of the former United States president and world-renowned General Ulysses S. Grant to arbitrate the Ryūkyū Problem between China and Japan. The Japanese were concerned that world opinion would turn against them so proceeded to devise its own solution and conclusion. Admiral Enomoto Takeaki had recently negotiated the Treaty of St. Petersburg settling the northern boundary dispute with Russia whereby Russia got Sakhalin Island and Japan got the northern Kurils. He then recommended that, lest there be any doubt about who owns the Ryūkyū Islands, Japan must formally abolish Ryūkyū han and create in its place Okinawa ken (prefecture). In so doing it would be a much more difficult and likely insurmountable task for China and Grant to get Japan to surrender “an integral part of the home territory.” The admiral’s suggestion was adopted and Ryūkyū’s fate was sealed.

On December 28th of that year, acting upon Admiral Enomoto’s recommendation, Matsuda Michiyuki, Chief Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, abruptly issued the following brief order to the Ryūkyū han officers stationed in Tokyo: Your office is “hereby notified that the notification as to the residence in Tokyo of the representative officers of your han having been countermanded, you are ordered to return to your han at once.” With that the Meiji government closed the Ryūkyūan Resident office in Tokyo and expelled all but one of the Ryūkyūan official representatives from the city.

On page 8 the author brings up Okubo Toshimichi. THAT guy was clearly no friend of the Ryukyuans. After Taiwanese (Formosan) pirates attacked and killed Okinawan sailors in 1872 some shipwrecked sailors from the province of Bitchū, Japan experienced the same fate. Soyeshma Taneomi was sent by the government as plenipotentiary to Peking to complain of these outrages against Japanese subjects, but the Chinese government made no satisfactory reply and declined to acknowledge its responsibility for the acts of the natives of Formosa. The Japanese government was therefore compelled to take into its own hands the task of exacting reparation. In April 1874, Lieutenant General Saigō Tsugumichi (younger brother of Takamori) was appointed to command a punitory expedition to Formosa. No serious opposition was encountered except at the hands of one tribe which was overcome after some fighting. On the eve of sending this expedition, Yanagiwara Sakimitsu was dispatched by the Japanese government as ambassador to China, but as he found the Chinese much incensed about Japan's action and very anxious that her troops should at once leave Formosa, Okubo Toshimichi, a leading member of the cabinet, was dispatched as plenipotentiary to Peking. Meeting only with procrastination and inconsistency on the part of the Chinese, he broke off the negotiations and announced his intention to return to Japan. At that stage the British minister in Peking mediated between the two empires, and the Chinese finally agreed to pay 100,000 tael (1 tael = 37.5 grams of gold) to the families of the murdered Japanese subjects and 400,000 tael indemnity to Japan for the cost of the expedition, undertaking at the same time to prevent the recurrence of similar outrages in Formosa.

In my opinion, those two events support Japan’s claim to the Ryūkyū Islands in that China (which has from time to time claimed that present day Okinawa Prefecture belongs to them) refused to involve itself in punishing the pirates for their acts against Japanese sailors, and simply told Japan to take care of their own problems.

In September, 1874, Home Minister Okubo Toshimichi, went to China’s capital to try to work out some kind of an agreement to end the hostility between the two nations regarding the Formosa incidents. He was surprised when he got to Peking and found that a Ryūkyūan mission was also at the capital conducting their customary tribute rituals including the formal acts of submission – to China – despite their imposed new relationship with the central government of Japan. He and the Chinese had just inked an agreement in which China had relinquished any formal relationship with Ryūkyū, yet here they were, Ryūkyūans vowing allegiance to China! He was mightily disturbed and demanded that the Ryūkyūans be brought before him. China demurred. Japan lost face.

On March 31, 1875, Okubo presented Ryūkyū envoys who had days prior been summoned to Tokyo, five requirements that were to be carried out by the Shuri Court. (The translation of the requirements utilizes the word “should” when it seems more appropriate that “shall” should be employed.)

1. The King of Ryūkyū should visit Tokyo to give thanks to the emperor for Japan’s effort to protect the interests of Ryūkyūans cast away on Formosa.

2. Shuri should abandon the use of Chinese reign-names and should substitute the Meiji era-name throughout the islands. Furthermore, Ryūkyū should adopt all Japanese national official festivals according to notification from Tokyo. This would mean island-wide celebration of the emperor’s birthday, observance of the traditionally accepted Accession Day of the first emperor (Jimmu), and adoption of the new year celebration in conformity with Western practices. [Ryūkyū had also been previously instructed to do away with the use of the Chinese calendar.]

3. Shuri should adopt the criminal law codes of Japan developed in the Justice Ministry at Tokyo and should send three officials to Tokyo for instruction.

4. The administrative organization at Shuri must be revised, and to this end the Home Ministry would send down experts to develop a liaison with Tokyo.

5. Ten youths should be selected by Shuri for education at Tokyo in order that they might come to understand the trend of the times in new Japan [and upon completion of such “education” would be expected to return to Ryūkyū and proselytize the masses to become Japanized.](The term “Japanized” was coined by Asato Susumu to describe efforts to bring about transformation of the Okinawans from their hereditary culture to that of Japan)

The Ryūkyūan envoys, led by Yonabaru Oyakata (oyakata was the highest rank in the aristocracy of the former Ryūkyū Kingdom, below the aji / anji nobility) conferred for about ten days before being recalled to a meeting with Okubo. At that time, they advised Okubo, in contradiction of the requirements, that Ryūkyū has never had any need for a military force because they got along just fine with every nation with whom they had had dealings. They told him that having a military force in the Ryūkyūs might provoke and “attract the hostile attention and action of foreign power” from nations with whom they had no quarrel. I guess that they forgot about the ample use of military force in conquering adjoining islands around the main island over the centuries as Ryūkyū built its empire.

Regarding a gift of a steamship, so benevolently given by the emperor, the Okinawan officials said that because of diminished revenues Ryūkyū had no means to maintain it and they didn’t want it. That was an irony not lost on Okubo - that Japan itself was responsible for Ryūkyū’s loss of healthy trade, and income; that the tiny island nation was now destitute.

In consideration of the requirement to go to thank the emperor, Okubo was reminded that the pact between Japan and China included reparations to the Ryūkyūans’ families only because Japan was eager to find a resolution to the conflict so why then, when it was in Japan’s best interest, should the Ryūkyūan king present himself, hat in hand, to thank the emperor? Besides, the families had already been taken care of by their own people.

Okubo found himself in the presence of more confrontation than he had expected of the Ryūkyū han delegates and said that to refuse the generous “gifts” being offered by the emperor would be a grave affront. The conversations were bandied back and forth for quite a while and by May 8th Okubo was tired of it all and proclaimed to the envoys that a military force will be deployed, the steamship will be delivered*, and 1,740 koku of rice will be distributed to the affected families.

The Ryūkyū delegation responded stating that they could not accept those conditions without first being reviewed and approved by the Shuri government. That presented Okubo with yet another problem. Recognizing that the envoys were indeed not high enough in rank to speak for the king (and as such could not independently seal the deal) he reckoned that if he met with higher Ryūkyū authorities than these men before him, he would be then acknowledging dealings with an independent and autonomous state – something which in his mind Ryūkyū was not. Hence, the Matsuda Mission.

*The “gift” of the steamship didn’t last long – and the Ryūkyūans didn’t mind. Soon after 1879 when Okinawa was firmly in the hands of Japan, the steamship (Taiyu-maru) was given by Tokyo to a powerful shipping monopoly, the Mitsubishi Company. Soon thereafter Tokyo once again ordered a change of hands, next going to a new shipping outfit founded by an “enterprising resident” of Kagoshima.
(from my book, Timeline: OKINAWA, McClary)

The Matsuda Mission:

1875, June 12
Japan Home Minister Okubo Toshimichi was not in favor of a long and drawn out affair, waiting for word from Shuri pertaining to the Five Requirements. On June 12th Matsuda Michiyuki, Chief Secretary of the Japan Home Ministry, headed out of Tokyo Bay bound for Naha aboard the Taiyu-maru, the old obsolete ship that was being gifted (i.e. discarded) to Ryūkyū. They put in at Naha on July 10th. There must have been other business to conduct along the way. Otherwise we are left to believe that it took 2 days short of one month to get from Edo to Naha.

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S. A. Mick McClary - Great Falls, MT USA