Nago Ryōhō

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Nago Ueekata Ryōhō (名護 親方 良豊?, 1551–1617), also known by the Chinese-style name Ma Ryōhitsu (馬 良弼?), was a Ryukyuan aristocrat and bureaucrat in the royal government of Ryūkyū Kingdom.

Nago was born to an aristocrat family called Oroku Dunchi(小禄殿内), whose ancestry was Yuwan Ufunushi, a tribal chief from Amami Oshima. Both his father and grandfather had elected a member of Sanshikan, the king's closest advisors. In 1579, he went to Ming China to pay tribute together with Jana Ueekata, whom later became his colleague. In 1592, at the age of 41, his father retired, and he became a member of Sanshikan.

At this time, the Japanese was unified by the famous daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi planned to invade Korea and China, demanded that the Kingdom supply 10 months' rations for 7,000 troops to aid in his invasions through agents of Satsuma. The court was split between pro-Chinese and pro-Japanese factions; Nago was pro-Japanese, suggested that king Shō Nei should obey, but this suggestion was strongly opposed by his colleague Jana. Jana suggested that all the requirements of Japanese should be rejected. However, both their advices were not accepted by king Shō Nei; the king supplied only half supplies in 1593.

Following Hideyoshi's death and after Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power, king Shō Nei was ordered by Satsuma to pay tribute to the Tokugawa Shogunate, the newly established government. Shō Nei ignored the demand, largely upon the advice of Jana Ueekata. Several years later, Ryūkyū was invaded by forces from the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma, in response to this and other refusals of Japanese demands on the part of the Kingdom. The war broke out on March 1, 1609; 25 days later, Satsuma troops landed on the Motobu Peninsula on northern Okinawa Island. On March 27, Japanese set fire to Nakijin Castle. At the same time, Nago Ueekata was sent to Nakijin by the king. The role Nago played in the war is still uncertain. The Kian Nikki (喜安日記, "Kian diary"), a diary written by Kian, a Japanese monk who served in the Ryukyuan court, states that Nago went to Nakijin to surrender, but was captured; but an official diplomatic document included in Rekidai Hōan, said Nago led 1,000 pechin against the Japanese, but was defeated and captured.

Nago Ueekata was brought to Naha harbor by the Japanese. After the surrender of king Shō Nei, Nago was released to control Shuri Castle, the capital of Ryukyu, while the king and a number of other officials were brought to Kagoshima, the capital of Satsuma Domain. Two years after the invasion, the king returned to Ryukyu, and Nago remained in his position.

Nago retired in 1614, and died three years later.

References[edit]

  • Rekidai Hōan. #1-18-03.
  • "Nago Ryōhō." Okinawa rekishi jinmei jiten (沖縄歴史人名事典, "Encyclopedia of People of Okinawan History"). Naha: Okinawa Bunka-sha, 1996
  • (traditional Chinese)馬姓家譜(小綠家)