Chikama Tokiie

Chikama Tokiie (千竃時家) was a gokenin and simultaneously a retainer of the Hōjō clan of the Kamakura shogunate in Japan.

The Chikama clan originated from Chikama, Owari Province (modern-day Minami-ku, Nagoya) and remained the ruler of Chikama as a gokenin, or vassal of the shogunate. At some time in history, it became a private retainer of the Hōjō Tokusō family, the de facto ruler of the shogunate, and moved to Kawanabe District of Satsuma Province, a property of the Tokusō family, as a deputy jitō and the ruler of the district.

Chikama Tokiie is known for a set of documents he created in 1306. In these documents he listed properties to be inherited by his family members, namely his three sons, two daughters and two wives. These properties were distributed among the following:

Kawanabe District and Wakamori were properties of the Tokusō family, and the Chikama clan served it as a deputy ruler. It is significant that the villages enumerated in the Kawanabe District were located in the Manose River valley because the Mottaimatsu Site, which is considered to have served as a major trading center, was downstream of the Manose River. Apart from the Manose River, he also owned Bōnotsu, a trading port that was connected to Hakata, China and southern islands.[1]

What historians find most fascinating is that these documents include various southern islands, including (some of) the Ōsumi Islands, the Tokara Islands (the Seven), and Kikai Island, Amami Ōshima and Tokunoshima (and probably Okinoerabu) of the Amami Islands.[1] Although the Amami Islands were traditionally not considered to be part of Japan, they were treated as the territories of a Japanese lord. Another source probably making reference to this is a map of Japan stored at the Kanazawa Bunko, a library of the Hōjō clan. It depicts a land mass outside the boundary of Japan where the caption reads "龍及國宇嶋身人頭鳥雨見嶋私領郡" (*U-shima, State/Province of Ryūkyū [where people have] a human body but a bird head; Amami Island(s), a privately owned district). The latter half suggests that (the Hōjō clan considered that) the Amami Islands were not part of Japan but anyway owned by Japanese.[2]


  1. ^ a b Murai Shōsuke 村井章介, Chūsei kokka no kyōkai to Ryūkyū, Emishi 中世国家の境界と琉球・蝦夷, Kyōkai no Nihon-shi 境界の日本史, pp. 106–137, 1997.
  2. ^ Takanashi Osamu 高梨修, Rettō nan'en ni okeru kyōkai ryōiki no yōsō 列島南縁における境界領域の様相, Kodai makki Nihon no kyōkai 古代末期・日本の境界, pp. 85–130, 2010
Ata Tadakage

Ata Tadakage (阿多忠景), also known as Taira no Tadakage (平忠景), was a de facto ruler of Satsuma Province during the late Heian period of Japan.


Kikaijima (喜界島, also Kikai-ga-jima; Kikai: キャー Kyaa, Northern Ryukyuan: ききや Kikiya) is one of the Satsunan Islands, classed with the Amami archipelago between Kyūshū and Okinawa.The island, 56.93 square kilometres (21.98 sq mi) in area, has a population of approximately 7,657 persons. Administratively the island forms the town of Kikai, Kagoshima Prefecture. Much of the island is within the borders of the Amami Guntō Quasi-National Park.

Map of Japan (Kanazawa Bunko)

A map of Japan currently stored at Kanazawa Bunko depicts Japan and surrounding countries, both real and imaginary. The date of creation is unknown but probably during the Kamakura period. It is one of the oldest surviving Gyōki-type maps of Japan. It reveals Japan's self-image and the understanding of neighboring countries after the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281

It is 34.2 cm by 51.8 cm. Only the western half of the map is extant. It is likely that the map was originally in possession of the medieval Kanazawa Bunko, which had been founded by the Hōjō clan, the de facto ruler of the Kamakura shogunate. After the downfall of the Kamakura shogunate, the holdings of Kanazawa Bunko were stored at the neighboring temple of Shōmyōji, which had also been established by the Hōjō clan. After the modern Kanazawa Bunko was re-established by Kanagawa Prefecture in 1930, the map among others were relocated. It was designated as an important cultural property in 1987.

Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島, Ryūkyū-shotō), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島, Nansei-shotō, lit. "Southwest Islands") or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧, Ryūkyū-ko), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) in the north to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) in the south. Precipitation is very high and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait (between the Tokara and Amami Islands) and the Kerama Gap (between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands). The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.

The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the people are ethnically Japanese and speak a variation of the Kagoshima dialect of Japanese. The Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them. The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, and the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken. The outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language.

Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture (specifically the islands administered by Kagoshima District, Kumage Subprefecture/District, and Ōshima Subprefecture/District) in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture. The northern (Kagoshima) islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain (Okinawa Prefecture) are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese.

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