The understandings of Perry's squadron to China-Japan-Ryukyu relationships
修, 斌劉, 嘯虎
373 , 2015-03-31 , 関西大学大学院東アジア文化研究科
Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the Cina seas and Japan is an official report being submitted after the USS East lndia squadron (Perry,s squadron) returned back to America, which is a precious record in research Ryukyu Kingdom of the second half of the nineteenth Centuly. In Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China seas and Japan records, Ryukyu Kingdom tried to keeping the identity of a vassal state of East Asian tributary system，keeping in touchwith China in terms of tribute trade and accepting canonization，and maintained the identity with the inheritance of Chinese culture. At the same time, Ryukyu Kingdom had to endure the press and control from Satsuma domain of Japan，while Ryukyu must maintain its image of "independent country" to foreign countries. Visibly, the Ryukyu was in an embarrassing state of foreign relations. The "sovereignty" of Ryukyu kingdom belongs to China, the "governance" of which belongs to Japan. However, this "sovereignty" of China is a unique right which is a symbol of a vassal state and suzerain in the East Asian tributary system. The "governance" of Japan was enfborced in Ryukyu through "consul" and "garrison" of direct controlled by Satsuma domain in Bakuhan Taisei. The national consciousness and the self localization of Ryukyu is that Ryukyu is a vassal state of China and Japan is a neighbor of Ryukyu. However，the former is a conscious identity to culture and value, and the latter is a helpless and false cognation. So, the embarrassing relationships between Ryukyu and China, Ryukyu and Japan were the legal position of Ryukyu, but the two relationships are widely different. Theconfusion and puzzle that Perry and his staff showed about the position of Ryukyu comes not only from the policy of control which had been subtle by Satsuma domain, but also from the lack of awareness of Westerners to the special tribute system of East Asia World.