Zaiban (Ryukyu)

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  • Japanese: 在番 (zaiban)

The Ryukyuan zaiban (lit. "resident watch[man]") were officials of the Ryukyuan royal court, selected from the Ryukyuan scholar-bureaucrat aristocracy, to serve as representatives of the court overseeing goings-on in the outlying regions of Okinawa Island and of the more distant islands within the kingdom. Six zaiban were dispatched to Miyako, Yaeyama, Kumejima, and seven to various regions on the island of Okinawa proper. In the outer islands, one zaiban was assisted by two clerks. Kumejima had two zaiban - one overseeing Gushikawa magiri, and one overseeing Nakazato magiri.

The position was abolished in 1879, along with the kingdom. The position of kuramoto, however, continued.[1]


  • "Zaiban," Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia 沖縄コンパクト事典, Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  1. Ryûkyû shisetsu, Edo he iku! 琉球使節、江戸へ行く!, Okinawa Prefectural Museum (2009), 48.

See also

  • Zaiban bugyô - the Satsuma domain magistrate resident in Ryûkyû
  • Zaiban oyakata - the chief Ryukyuan royal official resident in Kagoshima