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Nentoshi

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  • Japanese: 年頭使 (nentoushi)

The nentôshi was a mission sent from the Ryûkyû Kingdom to Kagoshima each year during the Edo period to convey formal New Year's greetings from the Ryukyuan royal court to the lord of Satsuma han and his court. The term can also refer to the leader of that mission, who then remained in Kagoshima, serving as zaiban ueekata - the resident head of the Ryûkyû-kan, for a period of one year, until he was replaced by the next year's New Year's envoy.

The practice of sending a New Year's envoy began in 1613. From 1642 until 1646, the envoy sent was a member of the Sanshikan, the highest committee of royal advisors in the kingdom. The practice of having the New Year's envoy remain resident in Kagoshima for a year began in 1667. This was a prestigious post, and by the end of the Edo period, most members of the Sanshikan had held this post earlier in their careers.

References

  • "Nentôshi," Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia, Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  • Marco Tinello, "The termination of the Ryukyuan embassies to Edo : an investigation of the bakumatsu period through the lens of a tripartite power relationship and its world," PhD thesis, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia (2014), 45n72.
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