Jito (Ryukyu)

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  • Japanese/Okinawan: 地頭 (jitou/jitu)

The jitô were local officials appointed by the Ryukyuan court to serve as district administrators, after the anji (local lords) were removed from their lands by King Shô Shin in the early 16th century.

There were several ranks of jitô: those assigned to an entire magiri (district) were known as anji-jitô, while those assigned to smaller territories within a magiri were known as waki-jitô. The jitô resided in the capital as did the anji, appointing officials known as jitôdai to administer their lands for them. While the anji-jito, also known as sôjitô, earned a stipend from the court in addition to tax revenues from their fief, the waki-jitô relied solely on revenues from the fief.[1]


  • Smits, Gregory. Visions of Ryukyu. University of Hawaii Press, 1999. p165.
  • "Jitô." Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia 沖縄コンパクト事典. Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  1. Marco Tinello, “The Ryukyuan Embassies to Edo seen from the Shuri Royal Government’s Perspective,” in Rosa Caroli (ed.), Imagined Okinawa: Challenge from Time and Space, Ca’ Foscari University in Venice (2015), 178.