Aragaki Chikubei

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  • Japanese: 新垣築兵衛 (Aragaki Chikubee)

Aragaki Chikubee was a Ryukyuan scholar-bureaucrat who introduced the techniques of producing Chinese paper (tôshi or karakami) into Satsuma han, and was granted samurai status.

Originally from Tokashiki Island, Aragaki traveled to Fuzhou three times as a member of official Ryukyuan missions. On one such mission, he managed to learn how to make Chinese paper - a closely-guarded secret. Whether for this reason or some other, he found himself branded an enemy of the state when he returned to his native Ryûkyû, and so fled to Satsuma. He introduced the papermaking techniques there, and was rewarded in 1786 by Shimazu Shigehide, lord of the domain, with samurai status and a position as an official Satsuma retainer.

His grave can be found today in the Yoshino-chô neighborhood of Kagoshima.