The Rekidai Hōan

Rare Primary Sources for Chinese, East, and Southeast Asian Studies

The Rekidai Hōan (歷代寶案, Precious Documents of Successive Generations) was compiled under the royal government of the Ryukyu Kingdom in Shuri and contains the diplomatic documents between Ryukyu and China, as well as its neighboring countries and trading partners at that time, including Siam (now Thailand), Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Sumatra, in the 15th and 16th centuries. The original documents of this archive cover a period of 444 years from 1424 A.D. to 1867 A.D and spans the period from the twenty-second year of Ming Dynasty Emperor Yong Le to the sixth year of Emperor Tong Zhi of the Qing Dynasty. These documents were written entirely in Chinese and contain detailed records of diverse types of missions from and to the Ryukyu Kingdom government and official correspondence exchanged between the country and China, such as lists of gifts given in tribute, letters sent by Ryukyu kings to imperial China and trade permits issued by the ancient Chinese government.

The Rekidai Hōan

Key Stats

  • Archive: 15th – 16th centuries
  • Language: Traditional Chinese
  • City: Shuri, Okinawa
  • Country: Japan
  • Format: Full-text, full-image; PDF
  • Producer: Transmission Books & Microinfo Co., Ltd.
  • Platform: Transmission Books & Microinfo Co., Ltd.

About The Rekidai Hōan

As a result of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, the original archives of The Rekidai Hōan were destroyed and lost to the world. This collection represents the only documents of the original archive to survive those two events. The collection is preserved at the National Taiwan University. TBMC is the first to digitize these materials in cooperation with the National Taiwan University. (In addition, TMBC has produced a 53-volume facsimile print edition).

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