Calendar in Ryukyu

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The royal court of the Kingdom of Ryûkyû maintained its own calendars based on ones received from the Ming and Qing Empires. In the early modern period, the court also maintained awareness of Japanese (Tokugawa shogunate) calendars, so as to correctly coordinate dates with Kagoshima and Edo officials.

Okinawa received formal calendars from China every year, but, since the sunrise & sunset, and divisions of the solar year (the seasons) were different in Okinawa, there was a difference from time in Beijing. Therefore, the court created its own calendar, based on the Chinese one. From 1718 onwards, this Ryukyuan calendar was called senjitsu tsûsho 選日通書.[1]

The first calendar calculated and compiled in Okinawa was produced in 1674, based on the shíxiàn calendar (時憲暦), which was used in China for the remainder of the Qing period, and in Okinawa continued to be published until the Meiji period.[2]


  1. Nakano Hideo 中野栄夫, "Ryûkyû / Yamato no reki ni tsuite" 琉球・ヤマトの暦について, Nihon no naka no ibunka 日本の中の異文化 2 (2006-2008), 18.
  2. Isa Masako 伊佐雅子, "Okinawa no jikan ishiki to bunka no jikansei ni tsuite" 沖縄の時間意識と文化の時間性について, Okinawa Kirisuto-kyô gakuin daigaku ronshû 沖縄キリスト教学院大学論集 2 (2006), 3.