Sai Kokki

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  • Titles: 高良親方 (Takara ueekata)
  • Japanese: 国器 (Sai Kokki)

Sai Kokki was a Ryukyuan scholar-official of the mid-to-late 17th century.

He was dispatched to China in 1676 in response to a request from Geng Jingzhong, a claimant to the Ming throne & anti-Qing rebel, for Ryûkyû to aid his efforts by providing him with much-needed sulfur, for producing gunpowder. This request was carried to Ryûkyû by an envoy from Geng named Chén Yīngchāng.[1] Ryûkyû agreed, after much consideration and after seeking permission from Satsuma han, and so Sai was dispatched. By the time Sai arrived in China, however, in 1677/3, Geng had already been defeated by the Qing. Sai destroyed a letter addressed to Geng from King Shô Tei, and presented the Qing forces with another letter, addressed to them from the king. Though the Qing commander expressed suspicion that Sai Kokki and his men were there to aid the rebels, Kokki is said to have responded quite deftly, assuring the Qing commander that having received that request from Geng, they had of course rejected it, and in light of the great favor shown to Ryûkyû by the Qing, King Shô Tei had dispatched this mission in order to kindly inquire after the dynasty's well-being. Some Ryukyuan accounts, such as Sai Kokki's own family genealogy records, speak highly of Sai Kokki, pointing to this specific event as helping ensure the stability of continued Ryûkyû-Qing relations through that potentially disastrous moment.


  • Watanabe Miki, "Ryûkyû kara mita Shinchô" 琉球から見た清朝, in Okada Hidehiro (ed.), Shinchô to ha nani ka 清朝とは何か, Fujiwara Shoten (2009), 256-257.
  1. Watanabe, 259.