Gi Gakuken

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  • Born: 1806/8/29
  • Died: 1850/7/4
  • Titles: 牧志親雲上 (Makishi peechin)
  • Japanese/Chinese: 学賢 (Gi Gakuken / Wèi Xuéxián)

Gi Gakuken was a Ryukyuan scholar-aristocrat who traveled as a musician (gakushi) on the 1842 Ryukyuan embassy to Edo, and to China in 1844.

Originally from Kumemura, Gi would have been well-trained in a variety of traditional arts. He was named to the upcoming Edo mission in 1837, at the age of 31, but the mission would not take place until five years later, in 1842. In addition to serving as a musician, he composed numerous Chinese-style poems (kanshi) during this 1842 journey in Japan; these were published in Japan the following year, alongside poems by the lead envoy of that mission, Urasoe Chôki, and the gieisei (head of processional music) Tei Gen'i. Famed for his Chinese prose and poetry, Gakuken also delivered speeches in Mandarin Chinese, at the request of the lord of Satsuma han, on at least one occasion, for which he was rewarded by the lord.

While resident in Fuzhou in 1844, Gi received from the British consul the opportunity to create and keep a copy of the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing.


  • "Gi Gakuken," Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia, Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  • Shirarezaru Ryûkyû shisetsu 知られざる琉球使節, Fukuyama-shi Tomonoura rekishi minzoku shiryôkan (2006), 46.
  • Kaneshiro Atsumi, "Gakudôji, gakushi, kagakushi - uzagaku o tsutaeta hitobito" 「楽童子・楽師・歌楽師-御座楽を伝えた人々」, in Uzagaku no fukugen ni mukete 御座楽の復元に向けて, Naha, Okinawa: Uzagaku fukugen ensô kenkyûkai 御座楽復元演奏研究会 (2007), 78.