Chronological Table of Okinawan History.


Old Stone Age, Shell Mound Age

605 – The Chinese Emperor Yo (Sui Dynasty) sends Shu-Kan to the Ryukyus
608 – From about this time, the “Southern Island” people pay tribute to the Japanese Imperial Court.


1187 – Shunten becomes overlord of Central Okinawa
1260 – Eiso becomes new overlord
1296 – A Mongol invasion army attacks Okinawa and is repulsed
1317 – Miyako islanders drift ashore in China while reroute to trade in Southeast Asia
1326 – At about this time, the Three Kingdoms in Okinawa (Hokuzan, Chuzan, and Nanzan) begin their rivalry
1349 – Satto becomes ruler of Chuzan and increases its influence
1350 – Nanzan (the southern kingdom) sends tribute to the Ming
1383 – Hokuzan (the northern kingdom) sends tribute to the Ming
1392 – A group of Chinese, now known as the “Thirty-six Families” are naturalized in Chuzan.
1404 – A Siamese shop comes to Okinawa to trade
1416 – The Chuzan King, Sho Hashi, captures Nakijin Castle and brings about the downfall of Hokuzan.
1425 – Sho Hashi sends trading vessels to Siam
1428 – Sho Hashi sends trading vessels to Palembang (Sumatra)
1429 – Sho Hashi conquers Nanzan and is the first to succeed in uniting all Okinawa. (Beginning of the First Sho Dynasty.)
1430 – Trading ships are sent to Java
1431 – Sho Hashi establishes formal diplomatic relations with Korea and initiates trade
1451 – Sho Kimpuku builds the Chokotei (a road around Naha inlet)
1458 – The Gosamayu Awamari rebellion takes place. A large bell (the Bankoku Shinryo), on which there is an inscription concerning the prosperity of the Ryukyus, is cast.
1459 – Kanemaru Uchima is appointed Foreign Trade Minister.
1463 – Trading ships are sent to Malacca
1466 – After an audience with the Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate (Japan), a Ryukyuan friendship mission sets off gunpowder outside the gates in celebration and astonishes the people of Kyoto.
1470 – Kanemaru Uchima overthrows the First Sho Dynasty, begins a new (the second) Sho Dynasty, and assumes the name of Sho En.
1492 – The Enkakuji Temple is built
1498 – Trade begins with Patani (on east coast of Malaysa)
1500 – Sho Shin conquers Miyako Island, he also puts down the rebellion led by Oyake Akahachi of Yaeyama Island and assumes rule over the castles of Saki Shima (the “Southern Island” as Miyako and Yaeyama were then known.)
1511 – Portugal causes the downfall of Malacca and strengthens it to be used as a base for the invasion of Asia.
1532 – The first volume of the Omoro Soshi (a compendium of ancient songs and rituals) is compiled.
1534 – The Chinese Ming Emperor sends an envoy, Chin Kan, and party to visit the Ryukyus
1553 – Yara Castle is built at Naha Harbor and coastal defenses are prepared
1579 – A tablet inscribed “Country and Propriety” is placed on public display at Shuri Castle. (Translator’s Note: This tablet had been presented to the King at Shuri by the Chinese Emperor in recognition of the Ryukyuans’ strict adherence to the Chinese rules of ritual and etiquette.)
1592 – Hideyoshi Toyotomi (the Japanese Shogun) orders the King of the Ryukyus to assist in the invasion of Korea; the King ignores the order.
1600 – The Eastern army wins the great Battle of Sekigahara (in Japan). Ieyasu Tokugawa establishes his leadership in Japan.
1609 – Ichisa Shimazu of Satsuma sends 3,000 troops and subjugates the Ryukyu Kingdom. (The Shimazu Invasion)
1611 – The Satsuma Clan looks into the productive capacity of the Ryukyus; divides the Amami Oshima area (the islands north of Yoron Island) from the Ryukyus: and hands down the Okite Jugo Jo (fifteen ordinances to be obeyed by all in the Ryukyus).
1614 – The Satsumas order strict surveillance of all shipping into and out of the Ryukyus.


1623 – Compilation of the Omoro Soshi (22 volumes) is completed
1631 – As a means of keeping the Ryukyus under control, the Satsuma send a permanent administrator to Naha.
1634 – The system of sending missions of congratulation and gratitude to Edo (Tokyo) is begun.
1637 – A poll tax is levied on Miyako and Yaeyama Islands
1644 – The Ching Dynasty succeeds the Ming Dynasty in China
1650 – Sho Jo-Ken (Choshu Haneji) prepares the “History of Chuzan.”
1667 – Sho Jo-Ken orders acquisition of an elementary knowledge of the Japanese performing arts.
1711 – A dictionary of the old Ryukyuan language (Konkoken Shu) is compiled
1719 – Chokun Tamagusuku composes the Kumi Udui (odori) and the first performance is presented
1728 – Sai On becomes a member of the Regency Council of Three (Prime Minister).
1734 – The scholar Chobin Hishicha is executed for political offenses
1771 – A tidal wave strikes Miyako and Yaeyama Islands, causing great damage
1798 – A state school is founded at Shuri for the upper class descendants of samurai
1816 – The British warships Alceste and Lyra call on the Ryukyus on their way home from China. Captain Basil Hall of the Lyra later stops briefly at Helena and tells the exiled Napoleon of the Ryukyus.
1844 – The French warship Alemene calls and puts a Christian missionary at Naha.
1846 – An English warship brings the active missionary Bettelheim to Naha.
1851 – Perry, leading an American naval force, comes to Naha and visits Shuri Castle
1854 – Russian warships call on Naha. Perry returns and a compact between the United States and the Kingdom of “Lew Chew” is signed.
1859 – The Makishi-Onga incident occurs.
1866 – Sho Tai receives seals and documents of investiture as King from the Manchus; he is the last to receive these and is also the last King of the Ryukyus.
1868 – The Tokugawa Shogunate is overthrown and a national government under the Emperor Meiji is realized.
1871 – A ship manned by Miyako Islanders is shipwrecked on Formosa, and fifty-four men are murdered by aborigines. (The Formosan Shipwreck incident)
1872 – The Meiji government abolishes the Kingdom of the Ryukyus and establishes the Ryukyu Han (feudal clan).
1879 – In order to make the Ryukyus an integral part of Japan, although opposed by the hereditary lords of the Ryukyus, Meiji abolishes the Ryukyu Han and sets up Okinawa Prefecture.
1880 – The Chinese Manchus strongly protest the Meiji rule over the Ryukyus; the question is resolved through the arbitration of ex-US. President Grant.
1881 – The Meiji government decides to preserve and utilize the old system of rule within Okinawa Prefecture.
1893 – Okinawa’s first newspaper, the “Ryukyu Shimpo,” begins publication.


1894 – Because of China’s loss in the Sino-Japanese War, anti-Japanese factions in Okinawa rapidly lose influence.
1898 – The rivalry between a faction centered around Noboru Jahana, which demands revision of unjust political practices in Okinawa, and the old school deepens. Military conscription laws are put into force.
1903 – Land reform is completed; new land distribution and taxation systems are established.
1909 – The first election of assemblymen and convocation of an Okinawan Prefectural Assembly take place.
1911 – The Okinawan historian, Fuyu Iha, publishes his great work Ko Ryukyu (Ancient Ryukyu).
1914 – World War I breaks out.
1919 – Laws concerning election of representatives to the House of Representatives are applied fully to Okinawa for the first time.
1925 – Due to a severe recession, the three banks on Okinawa suffer management difficulties.
1926 – There is great controversy centered around the novel “A Wandering Ryukyuan.”
1928 – Numerous labor disputes arise in Okinawa.
1934 – A social science research association is formed.
1938 – An Okinawa executive committee to arouse national spirit is established, and militaristic wartime systems are strengthened.
1940 – A dispute about the use of the Okinawan hogen (dialect) takes place.
1941 – World War II breaks out.
1944 – Okinawa undergoes a great raid by American forces and Naha suffers grave damage. (The October tenth air raid.)
1945 – American forces invade Okinawa. Japan surrenders unconditionally.
1946 – General MacArthur declares Japan and the Nansei Shoto (all islands from Amami Oshima south to Yaeyama) to be under separate administrations.
1949 – The Republic of China (Formosa) is established.
1951 – San Francisco Peace Treaty puts Okinawa under American administration.
1960 – The Okinawan Reversion Council is formed.
1969 – Japan and the U.S. issue a joint declaration that, by mutual consent, Okinawa will be reverted to Jan on May 15, 1972.
1972 – Administration of Okinawa reverts from U.S. to Japan on May 15th.
1975 – The first International Ocean Expo opens on Okinawa’s Motobu Peninsula.
1992 – Shurijo Castle Park opened after resoration after distruction duerne WWII
2019 – Shurijo Castle burned down after devisttion fire. October 31st 2019