Kato Sango

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  • Born: 1865/10/6
  • Died: 1939/4/6
  • Japanese: 加藤三吾 (Katou Sango)

Katô Sango was a significant early scholar of Okinawan Studies.

Originally from Hirosaki in Mutsu province, he began teaching natural history at Okinawa Middle School in 1899, and presented the results of his research on Okinawan history and folk customs in the Tokyo Anthropology Journal (Tôkyô jinruigaku zasshi). Katô helped found the Okinawa Scholarly Research Association (Okinawa gakujutsu kenkyûkai) in 1901, but he was transferred to a middle school in Nagasaki prefecture the following year.

He published much of his research on Okinawa in a 1906 volume entitled simply Ryûkyû no kenkyû ("Ryûkyû Research"); among other distinctions, this was the first scholarly work to deny the veracity of the legend of Minamoto no Tametomo traveling to Okinawa in the 12th century and siring the first king of Okinawa (thus making the entire Ryukyuan royal lineage a branch of the Minamoto clan, and of the Japanese Imperial lineage).[1]


  1. Yokoyama Manabu 横山学, Ryûkyû koku shisetsu torai no kenkyû 琉球国使節渡来の研究, Tokyo: Yoshikawa kôbunkan (1987), 6.