Invasion of Ryukyu

Invasion of Ryukyu
Map of Ryukyu Kingdom.png
Map of Ryukyu Kingdom
DateMarch–May 1609
Location
ResultSatsuma victory; Ryukyu becomes a vassal state
Belligerents
Ryūkyū Kingdom Ryukyu KingdomMaru juji.svg Satsuma Domain of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Greater than 3,000 men; unknown number of ships3,000 men in 100 ships
Casualties and losses
At least 1,500No more than 500

The invasion of Ryukyu (琉球侵攻, Ryūkyū Shinkō) by forces of the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma took place from March to May 1609, and marked the beginning of the Ryukyu Kingdom's status as a vassal state under Satsuma. The invasion force was met with stiff resistance from the Ryukyuan military on all but one island during the campaign. Ryukyu would remain a vassal state under Satsuma, alongside its already long-established tributary relationship with China, until it was formally annexed by Japan in 1879 as Okinawa Prefecture.

Etymology

The war was called the Disturbance of Kiyū (己酉ノ乱, Kiyū no ran) (1609 being a kiyū (己酉) year in the sexagenary cycle) or the Japanese Disturbance of Kiyū (己酉倭乱, Kiyū Wa ran) by the Ryukyu Kingdom.[1] In Japanese, the war was called the Ryukyu Expansion (琉球征伐, Ryūkyū Seibatsu) or the Ryūkyū iri (琉球入り, "entry into Ryukyu") during the Edo period,[2] and was called the Okinawa Expansion Campaign (征縄役, Sei Nawa no Eki) by many Japanese scholars before WWII.[3][failed verification]