Uetsuki Gyokei

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  • Born: 1795
  • Died: 1861/1/17
  • Other Names: 上月新兵衛 (Uetsuki Shinhei)
  • Japanese: 上月行敬 (Uetsuki Gyoukei, Yukiyoshi)

Uetsuki Gyôkei (or Yukiyoshi) was a 19th century member of the Uetsuki family of Iyo province, and a middle-ranking retainer of the Date clan of Uwajima domain. He is known for his paintings of the 1850 Ryukyuan embassy to Edo and related subjects, owned today by Kagoshima University.

Gyôkei was a grandson of Kirino Moritomo, another Uwajima domain retainer, who served for a time on firefighting guard duty in Asakusa, in Edo. During that time, Gyôkei produced a number of paintings of firefighting-related subjects, though it is unclear whether those paintings survive today. Gyôkei's father, Uetsuki Yukinobu (Gyôsen) was adopted into the Uetsuki family from his birth family, the Amaki line. He became family head in 1781, with a stipend of 155 koku, 9 to, and 6 masu, and served as a page (koshô) for a time before being appointed monogashira. Yukinobu retired in 1832 at the orders of the lord, passing headship of the household to Gyôkei on 12/2 of that year.

When on duty in Edo himself in 1850, Gyôkei recorded the Ryukyuan embassy's procession through Edo, as well as the busy scene of the streets immediately following their passage, the facade of the Uwajima Date clan mansion, and several other related subjects. According to inscriptions on the paintings themselves, he created these images in order to send them to his children back in the provinces, in order to convey to them a sense of the sights of Edo.

Gyôkei's wife Hisa was a daughter of Ôuchi Rokuzaemon Yoshikata. They had a son named Uetsuki Ganzô.

Gyôkei was appointed Nagae-gashira in 1853, and in 1857 was named toritsugi. He retired two years later, dying of illness on 1861/1/17.


  • Uetsuki Gyôkei, "Ryûkyûjin gyôshô no zu" and "Ryûkyûjin ôrai suji nigiwai no zu," c. 1850, Tamazato Collection, University of Kagoshima Library.
  • Niwa Kenji, "Uetsuki gyôkei hitsu Ryûkyûjin gyôshô no zu, Ryûkyûjin ôrai suji nigiwai no zu ni tsuite," Gazoku 雅俗 16 (2017), 61-76.