Ryūkyū Shimpō

Last updated
Ryūkyū Shimpō
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
PublisherRyūkyū Shinpōsha
FoundedSeptember 15, 1893 (1893-09-15)
OCLC number 72000851
Website ryukyushimpo.jp
Ryukyu Shimpo Newspaper Building Ryukyu Shimpo Newspaper Building.jpg
Ryukyu Shimpo Newspaper Building

The Ryūkyū Shimpō(琉球新報,Ryūkyū Shinpō, literally "Ryukyu News(paper) [1] ") was the first Okinawan newspaper. [2] It was founded in 1893 by Shō Jun, a former prince of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, [3] and is still in publication today.

Okinawa Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It encompasses two thirds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long. The Ryukyu Islands extend southwest from Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu to Taiwan. Naha, Okinawa's capital, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island.

Historian George H. Kerr says of the newspaper, upon its founding, that it "strengthened leadership and promoted the development of informed opinion on matters of public concern". [4] It has also been described as speaking for the former ruling class of the kingdom. Editor-in-chief Ōta Chōfu, along with others from the newspaper, played a role in the Kōdō-kai Movement, arguing for leadership of the prefecture to remain hereditary within the Shō family, and opposing the Freedom and People's Rights Movement led in Okinawa by, among others, Jahana Noboru. [5]

George H. Kerr, also known in Taiwan as 葛超智, was a United States diplomat during World War II, and in later years he was an author and an academic. His published works and archived papers cover "economic and political affairs in Taiwan in the 1930s and 1940s, Taiwan's transition from Japanese rule before and during World War II to postwar Chinese rule, Taiwanese rebellion against Chinese rule in 1947, and U.S. foreign policy toward Taiwan." His works also include "information about economic and political conditions in Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands after World War II."

Ōta Chōfu Japanese politician

Ōta Chōfu was a prominent Ryukyuan journalist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, famous for his involvement in the Kōdō-kai Movement, advocating the maintenance of hereditary rule of Okinawa under the heirs to the royal family of Ryūkyū.

Freedom and Peoples Rights Movement Japanese political and social movement for democracy in the 1880s

The Freedom and People's Rights Movement, Liberty and Civil Right Movement, or Free Civil Right Movement was a Japanese political and social movement for democracy in the 1880s. It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal Treaties with the United States and European countries, the institution of civil rights, and the reduction of centralized taxation. The Movement prompted the Meiji government to establish a constitution in 1889 and a diet in 1890; on the other hand, it failed to loosen the control of the central government and its demand for true democracy remained unfulfilled, with ultimate power continuing to reside in the Meiji (Chōshū–Satsuma) oligarchy because, among other limitations, the Meiji Constitution enfranchised only men who paid a substantial amount in property taxes, as a result of the Land Tax Reform in 1873.

The Ryūkyū Shimpō company involved itself in development and modernization efforts in the island prefecture, spurring agricultural production and innovation by hosting competitions and exhibitions, and arranged in 1915 for the first demonstration of an airplane in Okinawa. [6]

Originally published every other day, it became a daily newspaper in 1906. [7] During World War II, as the result of the national government's Newspaper Unification Policy, the paper was combined with the Okinawa Asahi and Okinawa Daily News (Okinawa Nippō) into the Okinawa Shimpō, [7] and did not resume publication under the name "Ryūkyū Shimpō" until after the end of the war. [2]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Today, it has the largest print-run of newspapers in Okinawa with both morning and evening editions, and the newspaper company is connected to a number of other businesses, including Ryūkyū Shimpō Shipping, Ryūkyū Shimpō Development, and Weekly Lequio(週刊レキオ社,Shūkan Rekio sha) [2]

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  1. Denshi Jisho. Jisho.org. Accessed 6 September 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 "Ryūkyū Shimpō." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報). 1 March 2003. Accessed 6 September 2009.
  3. "Shō Jun." Okinawa rekishi jinmei jiten (沖縄歴史人名事典, "Encyclopedia of People of Okinawan History"). Naha: Okinawa Bunka-sha, 1996. p 40.
  4. Kerr, George H. Okinawa: The History of an Island People (revised ed.). Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2003. p423.
  5. Shinzato, Keiji, et al. Okinawa-ken no rekishi (沖縄県の歴史, "History of Okinawa Prefecture"). Tokyo: Yamakawa Publishing, 1996. p192.
  6. Kerr. pp430-432
  7. 1 2 "Ryūkyū Shimpō." Kotobank.jp. 2008. Accessed 6 September 2009.