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1872

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Meiji 5 (明治五年)

Timeline of 1872

  • Meiji 4/12 (January 1872) Narahara Shigeru and Ijichi Sadaka lead an Imperial mission to Shuri, to discuss various matters relating to Ryukyuan obligations to Satsuma han, and policies Tokyo wishes to implement in the Ryukyus.
  • 1872/1 Ijichi Sadaka meets with the Ryukyuan regent to discuss administrative policy in the islands, under the new Meiji government.
  • 1872/3/10 The Tokyo National Museum opens.
  • 1872/4 Order Number 133, issued by the Ministry of State, abolishes public laws against the breach by clergy of their Buddhist vows.
  • 1872/4/24 Deputy Finance Minister Inoue Kaoru suggests ending Ryûkyû's tributary relations with China and incorporating Ryûkyû into Japan. The Minister of the Left opposes this suggestion, arguing that Ryûkyû should remain subordinate and not be made a han or otherwise counted as naichi, and further that since the Ryukyuans are ethnically not Japanese, the Ryukyuan king and royal family should not be made kazoku (Japanese aristocracy).
  • 1872/5 The first railroad stations and lines are opened, connecting Yokohama (today, Sakuragichô Station) with Shinagawa.
  • 1872/5 Officials from Tokyo meet with Ryukyuan officials to discuss economic matters, including the end of the minting of Okinawan coinage (which had been minted in Satsuma up until that point).
  • 1872/c. 6 The Meiji Emperor begins an Imperial tour of the provinces in Kagoshima, visiting Tsurumaru castle and the Shûseikan factory complex, among other sites.
  • 1872/7/12 The Meiji government requests, via the authorities in Kagoshima prefecture, that the Ryûkyû Kingdom is ordered to send messengers to officially congratulate the Meiji Emperor on the success of the Meiji Restoration.
  • 1872/7/16 Prince Ie Chôchoku and Giwan Chôho are nominated to lead a mission of thirty-five Ryukyuan officials to Tokyo.
  • 1872/7/25 The Ryukyuan mission departs Ryûkyû.
  • 1872/9/2 Prince Ie and Giwan Chôho arrive at Shinagawa.
  • 1872/9 The railroad connecting Yokohama to Shinagawa is extended to Shinbashi (Shiodome), and is officially opened by the Meiji Emperor.
  • 1872/9/14 Prince Ie and Giwan Chôho ueekata meet with Emperor Meiji. They are informed of the annexation by Japan of the kingdom as Ryûkyû han, and the "promotion" of King Shô Tai to "Lord of Ryûkyû han" and a member of the peerage. The envoys return to Okinawa and inform King Shô Tai of this development.
  • 1872/9/18 (Oct 20) Charles DeLong, US Diplomatic Minister resident in Japan, writes to Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi, asking if the Japanese government was going to honor provisions agreed to in treaties between the Ryûkyû Kingdom and foreign powers.
  • 1872/9/23-27 Soejima Taneomi meets with Charles DeLong and Charles LeGendre (legal and policy advisor to the Meiji government), and is advised that since the Chinese do not exert effective (de facto) control over certain sections of Taiwan - those dominated by aborigines - the territory is essentially terra nullius, and if Japan were to occupy the territory, under Western/modern international law, it could be rightfully Japan's.
  • 1872/9 The Kingdom of Ryûkyû is released from its vassal status under Kagoshima prefecture (formerly Satsuma han), and comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The zaiban bugyôsho (Satsuma's office in Ryûkyû) is abolished, and replaced by an office of the Foreign Ministry, albeit with many of the same Satsuma/Kagoshima staff.
  • 1872/9/28 A Dajôkan Proclamation has the official copies of Ryûkyû's formal treaties with the US, France, and the Netherlands confiscated by Tokyo.
  • 1872/12/2 The last day of the use of the lunar calendar.

Other Events of 1872

Births and Deaths


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