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Photo: Editorial Office Varie

Kyūyō is the official history document compiled during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. The original is written in classical Chinese, with a Japanese version available from Kadokawa Shoten Publishing. It was completed in the mid-eighteenth century and records were later added based on new reports and official archives. The process of adding and continuing the compilation is called shitsugi. This word also refers to a technique of making aged awamori, whereby a certain amount of awamori is removed from the earthenware pot and replaced with newer awamori. However, the original meaning of the word was to write and pass on historical documents and family trees to the next generation.

Kyūyō includes many texts about history and events, but it also has interesting stories gathered from various parts of Ryukyu. For example, there is a story about a dragon that descended to the center of mainland Okinawa, tore off a huge tree and returned to the sky. In another story, countless paper money began to fall suddenly from the sky in Shuri. These stories not only reflect people’s values, but also the dynamism of their imagination.

Photo: Editorial Office Varie