Ryukyu Shimpo

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  • Founded: 1893
  • Japanese: 琉球新報 (Ryuukyuu Shinpou)

The Ryûkyû Shimpô (lit. "Ryukyu News(paper)")[1] was the first Okinawan newspaper[2]. It was founded in 1893 by Shô Jun, a former prince of the Kingdom of Ryûkyû[3], and is still in publication today.

Historian George H. Kerr says of the newspaper, upon its founding, that it "strengthened leadership and promoted the development of informed opinion on matters of public concern"[4]. It has also been described as speaking for the former ruling class of the kingdom. Editor-in-chief Ôta Chôfu, along with others from the newspaper, played a role in the Kôdô-kai Movement, arguing for leadership of the prefecture to remain hereditary within the Shô family, and opposing the Freedom and People's Rights Movement (Jiyû minken undô) led in Okinawa by, among others, Jahana Noboru[5].

The Ryûkyû Shimpô company involved itself in development and modernization efforts in the island prefecture, spurring agricultural production and innovation by hosting competitions and exhibitions, and arranged in 1915 for the first demonstration of an airplane in Okinawa[6].

Originally published every other day, it became a daily newspaper in 1906[7]. During World War II, as the result of the national government's Newspaper Unification Policy, the paper was combined with the Okinawa Asahi and Okinawa Daily News (Okinawa Nippô) into the Okinawa Shimpô[7], and did not resume publication under the name "Ryûkyû Shimpô" until after the end of the war[2].

Today, it has the largest print-run of newspapers in Okinawa with both morning and evening editions, and the newspaper company is connected to a number of other businesses, including Ryûkyû Shimpô Shipping, Ryûkyû Shimpô Development, and Weekly Lequio (週刊レキオ社, Shûkan Rekio sha)[2]


  1. Denshi Jisho. Accessed 6 September 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Ryūkyū Shimpō." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報). 1 March 2003. Accessed 6 September 2009.
  3. "Shō Jun." Okinawa rekishi jinmei jiten (沖縄歴史人名事典, "Encyclopedia of People of Okinawan History"). Naha: Okinawa Bunka-sha, 1996. p 40.
  4. Kerr, George H. Okinawa: The History of an Island People (revised ed.). Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2003. p423.
  5. Shinzato, Keiji, et al. Okinawa-ken no rekishi (沖縄県の歴史, "History of Okinawa Prefecture"). Tokyo: Yamakawa Publishing, 1996. p192.
  6. Kerr. pp430-432
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Ryūkyū Shimpō." 2008. Accessed 6 September 2009.