University of the Ryukyus

The University of the Ryukyus (琉球大学 Ryūkyū Daigaku), abbreviated to Ryūdai (琉大), is a national university of Japan in Okinawa Prefecture. It is located in the Senbaru neighborhood of the town of Nishihara, with its campus bordering both the village of Nakagusuku and the city of Ginowan. It is the westernmost national university of Japan and the largest public university in Okinawa Prefecture.

University of the Ryukyus
TypePublic (national)
EstablishedMay 22, 1950
PresidentMutsumi Nishida
Administrative staff
Other students
Location, ,


Under the auspices of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, the University of the Ryukyus was founded, as a territorial university, on the site of the historic Shuri Castle in Naha on May 22, 1950. It was established under the guidance of Michigan State University. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands in 1966.

Ryūdai became a Japanese national university on May 15, 1972, upon Okinawa's return to Japan. The university moved to its current campus during 1975 and 1984. The relocation allowed for the restoration of the castle. The university was a state-run university from 1972 until 2004, when it was reclassified as a 'national university corporation' after the Japanese government made changes to the national university system.


Ryūdai has developed its own traditions of contributing to and advancing the position of the local community, of conducting international exchange, and of broadening the knowledge base of the people of Okinawa through academic and educational activities. Since 1988, Ryūdai and the University of Hawaii have had a "sister university" relationship, and have opened up centers for Okinawan studies at both universities.[1] In January 2013, the University of the Ryukyus began a research exchange program with South Korea's Mokpo National University. The University of the Philippines Diliman had noted interest on Ryūdai since 2007 due to its research on underwater cultural landscapes.[2]

Faculties and graduate schools


  • Law and Letters
  • Education
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Agriculture

Graduate schools

  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Health Sciences
  • Engineering and Science
  • Agriculture
  • Law school

Inter-department institutes

  • Center of Molecular Biosciences
  • Center for Cooperative Research
  • Instrumental Research Center
  • Education and Research Center for Lifelong Learning
  • Computing and Networking Center

Facilities for education and research

  • Center for Educational Research and Development
  • The Institute for Animal Experiments
  • Manufacturing Laboratory
  • Subtropical Field Science Center
  • Educational and Clinical Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Research Laboratory Center
  • Joint-Use Inter-Department Institutes
  • Low Temperature Center
  • University Evaluation Center
  • Radioisotope Laboratory
  • University Education Center
  • Center for Asia-Pacific Island Studies
  • Language Center
  • Environmental Science Center

The Museum

The Fujukan (風樹館) is the university's main museum. Its collection includes biological specimens from around the Ryukyus, artifacts from Shuri Castle, traditional farming tools, local crafts, folk toys, and geological samples.[3] Some of the objects are catalogued digitally in an online database.[4] It does not charge admission fees.[5]

The University Museum is a successor of the Museum of Agriculture – likewise called Fujukan – founded in 1967 on the former (Shuri) campus. The current museum was built in 1985 and was known as the "Academic Museum" ((琉球大学)資料館, lit. ‘repository for [academic] resources/documents’) until 2015, when it was renamed the "University Museum" ((琉球大学)博物館).[6]


American Football

Ryukyus has an American football team that competes in the Kyūshū Collegiate American Football Association.


  1. ^ "System: University of Hawaii and Okinawa's University of the Ryukyus celebrate 20th anniversary of their sister-university relationship | University of Hawaii News". 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
  2. ^ "Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa, Japanese newspaper, local news » University of the Ryukyus signs exchange agreement with Korean university". Retrieved 2013-07-05.
  3. ^ (in Japanese) Official Youtube channel: 2 videos only.
  4. ^ Collection Database Search
  5. ^ Official site of the Fujukan, the Ryukyu University Museum: English version available.
  6. ^ "博物館のあゆみ (History of the museum)" (in Japanese). 昭和42年3月 – 旧首里キャンパスにおいて, 金城キク商会(金城報恩会)から農業博物館 (風樹館・952.8m²)が寄贈される。
    昭和60年3月 – 琉球大学資料館竣工。
    平成27年4月 – 資料館から博物館へ昇格する

External links

Coordinates: 26°14′51.32″N 127°45′55.04″E / 26.2475889°N 127.7652889°E

Eric Paul Shaffer

Eric Paul Shaffer is an American novelist and poet, who lives and works in Hawai'i. Currently an assistant professor of English at Honolulu Community College, he formerly taught at Maui Community College and the University of the Ryukyus on Okinawa. His work has appeared in more than 400 national and international reviews, journals, and magazines, including Bamboo Ridge, the Chaminade Literary Review, the Chicago Review, the Chiron Review, Slate, The Sun Magazine, and the North American Review, as well as in the anthologies 100 Poets Against the War, The EcoPoetry Anthology, Jack London Is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry of Hawai‘i (And Some Stories), Crossing Lines, In the Trenches, Weatherings, and The Soul Unearthed. He is the author of five collections of poetry and one novel.

Shaffer is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he received a Ph.D. in American Literature in 1991. He received the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, Hawaii's highest literary honor, in 2002, and the James Vaughan Award for Poetry in 2010. He was a visiting poetry faculty member at the 23rd annual Jackson Hole Writers Conference. His poetry collection Lahaina Noon received an Award for Excellence in the 2006 Ka Palapala Po'okela Book Awards.

Gary Okihiro

Gary Y. Okihiro is an Asian American author and scholar. Currently at Yale, he was a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University in New York City and the founding director of Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Okihiro received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1976.

He is the author of twelve books, six of which have won national awards, and dozens of articles on historical methodology and theories of social and historical formations, and the history of racism and racial formation in the U.S., African pre-colonial economic history, and race and world history. Among his books are:

Cane Fires: The Anti-Japanese Movement in Hawaii, 1865-1945 (ISBN 0877229457);

Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture (ISBN 0295973390);

(with Joan Myers) Whispered Silences: Japanese Americans and World War II (ISBN 0295974982);

(with Linda Gordon) Impounded: Dorothea Lange And the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment (ISBN 039306073X);

Common Ground: Reimagining American History (ISBN 0691070075);

The Columbia Guide to Asian American History (ISBN 0231115113);

Island World: A History of Hawai`i and the United States (ISBN 9780520252998);

Pineapple Culture: A History of the Tropical and Temperate Zones (ISBN 9780520255135).

"American History Unbound: Asians and Pacific Islanders" (ISBN 9780520274358).

"Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation" (ISBN 9780822362098).He has also written on African history, including A Social History of the Bakwena and Peoples of the Kalahari of Southern Africa, 19th Century (ISBN 0773478396).

Okihiro is the originator of "social formation theory," which he defines as the forms and processes of power in society to oppress and exploit. By forms, he means the discourses and practices of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation, and by processes, he refers to the articulations and intersections of those social categories. Power is agency, while oppression is the restriction of agency, and exploitation, the expropriation of land and labor. Okihiro has also proposed a field of study that he calls "Third World studies" from the "Third World curriculum" demanded by students of the Third World Liberation Front in 1968. Third World studies, he contends, is the correct name for the field now known as "ethnic studies." He explains that name switch and some of its consequences in his book, "Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation" (2016).

Prior to Yale and Columbia, Okihiro was the director of Asian American Studies at Cornell University. He was recruited to Columbia partially as a result of a 1996 undergraduate student protest calling for an ethnic studies department to provide counterbalance to what was perceived to be a biased pro-Western core curriculum. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies and the American Studies Association, and is a past president of the Association for Asian American Studies. In 2010, Okihiro received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Ryukyus.


Higa or Fija (written: 比嘉) is an Okinawan (Ryukyuan) surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Daigo Higa (born 1995), Japanese boxer

Kohei Higa (比嘉 厚平, born 1990), Japanese footballer

Kumiko Higa, Japanese voice actress

Maurren Higa Maggi, Brazilian athlete and Olympic gold medalist

Minoru Higa, grandmaster of Shōrin-ryū Kyudōkan

Pēchin Higa, Ryukyuan martial artist

Ricardo Higa, former Brazilian-Japanese footballer

Ryan Higa, a Japanese-American internet personality

Sekō Higa, Gojū Ryū karate teacher

Thomas Taro Higa, Japanese-Hawaiian inventor and World War II veteran

Teruo Higa, horticulturist and professor at the University of the Ryukyus

Yuchoku Higa, karate practitioner

Yukari Higa, Japanese manga artist

Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Island (石垣島, Ishigaki-jima, Yaeyama: Ishanagï, Okinawan: Ishigachi), also known as Ishigakijima, is a Japanese island west of Okinawa Hontō and the second-largest island of the Yaeyama Island group. It is within the City of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture. The city functions as the business and transport center of the archipelago. The island is served by New Ishigaki Airport, the largest airport in the Yaeyamas.

Much of the island and surrounding waters including Mount Omoto and Kabira Bay are protected as part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.Ishigaki Island, like the rest of Okinawa, is culturally influenced by both Japan and Taiwan due to its location, about 300 km off the north eastern coast of Taiwan.

Kanzen Teruya

Kanzen Teruya (1920–2004) was a physician who contributed much to the Okinawan medical world in postwar days. He reported a mass Cycas revoluta poisoning in people living in Miyakojima Island in 1956. He later became professor at the University of the Ryukyus (1978–1985).

Kyūshū Collegiate American Football Association

The Kyūshū Collegiate American Football Association (九州学生アメリカンフットボール連盟) is an American college football league made up of colleges and universities primarily on the island of Kyushu, Japan; one school is located on Okinawa Island.

Kōichi Taira

Kōichi Taira (翁長 雄志, Taira Kōichi) was a Japanese politician. He was Governor of Okinawa Prefecture from 1976 until 1978.


Kōrēgusu (Japanese: コーレーグス from Okinawan: 高麗胡椒 こーれーぐす kooreegusu, a type of hot chili pepper) also called kōrēgūsu (コーレーグース) and kōrēgusū (コーレーグスー) is a type of Okinawan chili sauce made of chilis infused in awamori rice spirit and is a popular condiment to Okinawan dishes such as Okinawa soba.

List of national universities in Japan

As of 2010, there were 86 national universities (国立大学, kokuritsu daigaku), 95 public universities and 597 private universities in Japan. National universities tend to be held in higher regard in higher education in Japan than private or public universities.

In 2004, the national university system underwent partial privatization. Since 2004, every national university has been incorporated as a "national university corporation" (国立大学法人, kokuritsu daigaku hōjin) and given considerable autonomy in its operations. Faculty and staff are no longer government employees (国家公務員, kokka kōmuin) working for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. University names which shifted are "graduate university" (大学院大学, daigakuin daigaku).

The following is a complete list of Japanese national universities:

Aichi University of Education

Akita University

Asahikawa Medical University

Chiba University

Ehime University

Fukuoka University of Education

Fukushima University

Gifu University

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies

Gunma University

Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

Hirosaki University

Hiroshima University

Hitotsubashi University (former Tokyo College of Commerce)

Hokkaido University (former Hokkaido Imperial University)

Hokkaido University of Education

Hyogo University of Teacher Education

Ibaraki University

Iwate University

Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)

Joetsu University of Education

Kagawa University

Kagoshima University

Kanazawa University

Kitami Institute of Technology

Kobe University

Kochi University

Kumamoto University

Kyoto Institute of Technology

Kyoto University (former Kyoto Imperial University)

Kyoto University of Education

Kyushu Institute of Technology

Kyushu University (former Kyushu Imperial University)

Mie University

Miyagi University of Education

Muroran Institute of Technology

Nagaoka University of Technology

Nagasaki University

Nagoya Institute of Technology

Nagoya University (former Nagoya Imperial University)

Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Nara University of Education

Nara Women's University

Naruto University of Education

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya

Niigata University

Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

Ochanomizu University

Oita University

Okayama University

Osaka Kyoiku University

Osaka University (former Osaka Imperial University)

Otaru University of Commerce

Saga University

Saitama University

Shiga University

Shiga University of Medical Science

Shimane University

Shinshu University

Shizuoka University

Tohoku University (former Tohoku Imperial University)

Tokyo Gakugei University

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Tokyo University of the Arts

Tottori University

Toyohashi University of Technology

Tsukuba University of Technology

University of Electro-Communications

University of Fukui

University of Miyazaki

University of the Ryukyus

The University of Tokushima

The University of Tokyo (former Tokyo Imperial University)

University of Toyama

University of Tsukuba

University of Yamanashi

Utsunomiya University

Wakayama University

Yamagata University

Yamaguchi University

Yokohama National UniversityAlthough The Open University of Japan and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology are founded by the national government's initiatives and heavily subsidised by the government, they are classified as private.

Masaaki Kimura

Masaaki Kimura (木村 政昭, Kimura Masaaki, born 6 November 1940) is a Professor Emeritus from the Faculty of Science of the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.

Masahide Ōta

Masahide Ōta (大田 昌秀, Ōta Masahide, 12 June 1925 – 12 June 2017) was a Japanese academic and politician who served as the governor of Okinawa Prefecture from 1990 until 1998. After starting his career as a professor at the University of the Ryūkyūs, he wrote books in English and Japanese, mostly about the Battle of Okinawa and Japan–United States bilateral relations following World War II. After his retirement as professor he was elected as governor and was best known for his strong stand against occupation of prefectural lands by military bases of United States, going against the Japanese central government at the time.

Naoki Mori

Naoki Mori (森 直樹, Mori Naoki) is a Japanese virologist who worked at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. He received numerous awards for his research on human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a retrovirus which causes adult T-cell leukemia.

Nishihara, Okinawa

Nishihara (西原町, Nishihara-chō, Okinawan: ニシバル, romanized: Nishibaru) is a town located in Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. In the Okinawan language, nishi means "north" (in standard Japanese, however, it means "west"), as Nishihara was north of the historical Ryukyuan capital of Shuri.

As of October 2016, the town had an estimated population of 34,463 and a density of 2,200 persons per km². The total area is 15.84 square kilometres (6.12 sq mi).Situated 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northeast of the city hall of Naha, Nishihara is surrounded by the cities, towns, and villages of Naha, Urasoe, Ginowan, Haebaru, Yonabaru, and Nakagusuku.Because both the University of the Ryukyus and the Okinawa Christian Junior College are located in Nishihara, and the Okinawa International University is located nearby, Nishihara's municipal slogan is "Education Town".

Okinawan scripts

This article describes the modern Okinawan writing system. See the Okinawan language article for an overview of the language. For the writing systems in Ryukyuan languages in general, see the Ryukyuan languages article.

Okinawan language, spoken in Okinawa Island, was once the official language of the Ryukyu Kingdom. At the time, documents were written in kanji and hiragana, derived from Japan.

Nowadays, most Japanese, as well as most Okinawans, tend to think of Okinawan as merely a dialect of Standard Japanese, even though the language is not mutually intelligible to Japanese speakers. As a "dialect", modern Okinawan language is not written frequently. When it is, the Japanese writing system is generally used with an ad hoc manner. There is no standard orthography for the modern language. Nonetheless, there are a few systems announced by scholars and laypeople alike. None of them are widespread among the native speakers, but those systems can write the language with less ambiguity than the ad hoc conventions. The Roman alphabet in some form or another is used in some publications, especially those of an academic nature.


A pejorative (also called a derogatory term, a slur, a term of disparagement) is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative connotation or a low opinion of someone or something, showing a lack of respect for someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a term is regarded as pejorative in some social or ethnic groups but not in others, or may be originally pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense (or vice versa) in some or all contexts.

Name slurs can also involve an insulting or disparaging innuendo, rather than being a direct pejorative. In some cases, a person's name can be redefined with an unpleasant or insulting meaning, or be applied to a group of people considered by anyone to be inferior or lower in social class, as a group label with a disparaging meaning.

Robert Huey

Robert Huey (born 1952) is Professor of Japanese Literature at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He specializes in classical and medieval waka (poetry) and his most recent work examines how traditional Japanese literature and culture was practiced and deployed in the Ryukyu Kingdom both as pastime and diplomatic tool. He has served as a member of the University of the Ryukyus' Management Council since 2009 and is currently a Board Member for the Urasenke Hawaiʻi Foundation and Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation.Huey has been Professor of Japanese Literature in the UH Mānoa Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures since 1985. He also served as director of UH Mānoa’s Center for Japanese Studies and is widely recognized for his expertise in classical and medieval Japanese poetry, Japanese culture in the Ryukyu Kingdom, and Okinawan studies.

Huey has authored many works including monographs, articles, book chapters, among others. In 2014, he edited English translations of all entries in the Sakamaki-Hawley Collection database published on the University of the Ryukyus library website.

Huey has received numerous honors and awards for his academic work. He has also moderated, presented, and served on panels for hundreds of workshops, conferences and symposia. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ryukyus in 2010 and, in 2019, he was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.

Ryukyus Stingrays football

The Ryukyus Stingrays football program represents University of the Ryukyus in college football. Ryukyus is a member of the Kyūshū Collegiate American Football Association.

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins (白保竿根田原洞穴遺跡, Shiraho Saonetabaru Dōketsu Iseki) is a paleoanthropological site located on Ishigaki Island of the Yaeyama Islands in Japan. Shiraho Saonetabaru is a limestone cave.It was discovered in 2007 when plans for the New Ishigaki Airport were being developed. Remains of human heads, feet and arms were found, in all 9 bone fossils, by the Okinawa Limestone Cave Association between 2007 and 2009, and three human samples were dated to between 20,000-16,000 years before present. In the ruins were also found bones from wild boar and birds (one animal bone calibrated at 12,000 BP), while during the three months in 2011 were discovered approximately 300 human bones from the stratum between 24,000-20,000 years old.In 2015, researchers from the University of the Ryukyus and University of Tokyo succeeded in radiocarbon dating three out of five of the bones tested. The three bones yielded the following dates: (20,030 to 18,100 years BP), (22,890 to 22,400 years BP) and (24,990 to 24,210 years BP).The investigation held between 2012 and 2016 found more than 1,000 human fragments from at least 19 human skeletons. The "No. 4" almost full skeleton was dated about 27,000 BP, being the oldest full skeleton discovered in East Asia and several thousand years older than the skeletons of the Minatogawa people. Due to the skeletons' postures, the site has been confirmed as the first graveyard in the Paleolithic age in Japan.

Teruo Higa

Teruo Higa (比嘉 照夫, Higa Teruo, born December 28, 1941) is a professor at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, to the south of the main Japanese archipelago, and grew up there. Following his graduation from the Department of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, he took his doctorate from the Agricultural Research Department of Kyushu University Graduate School, eventually returning to join the teaching staff of the University of the Ryukyus as lecturer in 1970, becoming assistant professor two years later. He became Professor of Horticulture in 1982.

He pioneered the development of "Effective microorganism" products. He is a Master of Health and Nutrition with The Beijing DeTao Masters Academy (DTMA), a high-level, multi-discipline, application-oriented higher education institution in Shanghai, China.


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