Zhang Xueli

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  • Chinese/Japanese: 学礼 ( / Chô Gakurei)

Zhang Xueli was a Qing official who led the first Qing investiture mission to the Kingdom of Ryûkyû in 1663. In conjunction with that mission, he also compiled a record known as Shi Ryûkyû ki.

Zhang was originally from Liaoyang. He was appointed to head an investiture mission to Ryûkyû in 1654, but the mission was ultimately called off on account of the maritime threat of the Taiwan-based Ming loyalists Zheng Zhilong and Zheng Chenggong.

Zhang and his embassy traveled to Ryûkyû successfully in 1663. They arrived unannounced, creating some difficulties for the Ryukyuan court; these difficulties were compounded by the fact that Shuri castle burned down in 1660 and was still in the process of being rebuilt. Ultimately, however, everything went smoothly enough, and the pattern of Chinese-Ryûkyû investiture relations was restored.

While in Ryûkyû, Zhang was asked to have members of his mission train Ryukyuan musicians in Qing music. An official named Chen Yi thus instructed the crown prince, the son-in-law of the king, and a son of one of the Sanshikan in the playing of the zheng.[1] This is generally said to mark the first introduction of Qing music into the Ryukyuan court.


  • "Chô Gakurei," Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia, Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  1. 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), 109.