Oroku Ryokyo

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  • Birth: 1798
  • Death: 1859
  • Titles: 小禄親方 (Oroku ueekata)
  • Other Names: 充中 (Ba Juuchuu / C: Mǎ Chōngzhōng)[1]
  • Japanese: 小禄良恭 (Oroku Ryoukyou)

Oroku Ryôkyô was a Ryukyuan aristocrat-official, and member of the Sanshikan under King Shô Iku (r. 1835-1847). He was the 11th head of the Ba Family (Oroku House).

The grandson of Oroku Ryôei, Ryôkyô served as a dancer (gakudôji) in his youth, performing in particular for the reception of a Chinese investiture envoy in 1808, after being selected for that role the previous year. In 1818, he was appointed jitô (steward) of Oroku magiri, making him "Oroku anji." Ryôkyô later served in a number of other positions over the course of his lengthy career, including Naha satunushi, Osasu-no-soba (Minister of Foreign Affairs), and Mono bugyô (O: umun bujô, Minister of Finance).

In 1832, he served as sangikan on a Ryukyuan embassy to Edo, and in 1837, he was named Vice Envoy for the upcoming 1840 mission to Edo. This 1840 mission was delayed until 1842, however, and in the meantime, in 1839, Ryôkyô was named to the Sanshikan. In the end, he did not take part in the 1842 mission, and was replaced by Ikegusuku peechin An'yû, who was later named to the Sanshikan as well. Ryôkyô was appointed Vice Envoy (fukushi) on a planned 1855 mission as well, alongside Lead Envoy Prince Ie Chôchû. However, after the mission arrived in Kagoshima, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck Edo, forcing the mission to be delayed; they stayed in Kagoshima until the following year, and then returned to Ryûkyû. Several attempts were made to reschedule this mission, but events of the Bakumatsu and Meiji periods resulted in this last mission never materializing.[2]

One of Ryôkyô's sons, Oroko Ryôchû (b. 1819), was a prominent member of the 1832 Ryukyuan embassy to Edo, and later became appointed to the Sanshikan as well. Another of his sons, known by the Chinese-style name Ba Kokunin also served at court as a dancer and dance instructor.[3]


  • Miyagi Eishô 宮城栄昌, Ryûkyû shisha no Edo nobori 琉球使者の江戸上り, Tokyo: Daiichi Shobô (1982), 49-50.
  • "Oroku Ryôkyô." Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia 沖縄コンパクト事典、Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  1. Miyagi Eishô 宮城栄昌, Ryûkyû shisha no Edo nobori 琉球使者の江戸上り, Tokyo: Daiichi Shobô (1982), 194.
  2. Miyagi, 18.
  3. Liao Zhenpei 廖真珮, "Ryûkyû kyûtei ni okeru Chûgoku kei ongaku no ensô to denshô" 琉球宮廷における中国系音楽の演奏と伝承, in Uzagaku no fukugen ni mukete 御座楽の復元に向けて, Naha, Okinawa: Uzagaku fukugen ensô kenkyûkai 御座楽復元演奏研究会 (2007), 124, citing the kafu in Naha shishi, vol 7, 530-531, 539-540.