From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
  • Japanese/Chinese: 懐機 (Kaiki / Huái Jī)

Kaiki (C: Huái Jī) was a Chinese-born official in the Ryukyuan Court, known for having designed the Chôkôtei embankment connecting Naha to the "mainland" of Okinawa Island, as well as sections of the outer gardens of Shuri castle, including the Ryûtan pond & gardens. The latter were one of several key areas used for receiving and entertaining Chinese investiture envoys to the kingdom.

Huaiji came to Ryûkyû from Fujian during the reign of King Shô Shishô (1406-1421). He served under four kings: Shô Hashi, Shô Chû, Shô Shitatsu, and Shô Kinpuku.

Along with figures such as Lin You and Wang Mao, he was one of a number of Chinese-born officials in Ryûkyû who received formal court robes from the Ming Court, honorarily recognizing him as a member of the ranks of the Ming bureaucracy.[1] He was also appointed by the Chûzan/Ryûkyû government to the Chinese-style posts of changshi (長史) and "prime minister" (国相).[2] Though figures like Kaiki ostensibly served under the king, Gregory Smits suggests that Kaiki in fact had considerable power, coordinating Ryukyuan trade and relations otherwise with both the Ming dynasty and various Southeast Asian polities, and exercising authority or prominence in a way that transcended the supposed divisions between the three ostensibly separate kingdoms on the island.[3]


  1. Tomiyama Kazuyuki, Ryûkyû ôkoku no gaikô to ôken, Yoshikawa Kôbunkan (2004), 44.
  2. Tomiyama, 48.
  3. Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii (2019), 112.