- Author: Kyongwon Yoon, Haesoon Park (transl.)
- Publication Date: October / 2019
- Publisher: Zininzin
The book is a voluminous work of research, with the original being around 450 pages and the translation being around 500 pages. It consists of an introduction, five main chapters, and a supplementary chapter. The introduction overviews the issue and organization of the book, while the first chapter systematically describes the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Chapter 2 examines the process of King Sho Tai’s appointment and its historical meaning in the context of Ryukyu’s relationship with mainland Japan and the meaning of the central government’s policy of power centralization. Chapter 3 describes the political upheaval in relation to the advocacy of a punitive expedition to Korea and the process leading up to the military dispatch to Taiwan, and chapter 4 deals with the ‘disposal of Ryukyu’ completed in the context of the abolition of the han system. Chapter 5 interprets and evaluates the meaning of the Ryukyu annexation in modern East Asian history from the perspective of two annexations. In the supplementary chapter, the author introduces in detail Kishaba Choken, a figure that motivated the research on the Ryukyu annexation, and his work Ryukyu Kenbun-roku.
On October 31, there was an accident in which Shuri Castle, the castle of the Ryukyu Kingdom and a World Heritage site, was destroyed by fire. Both Okinawa and Korea share the historical sorrow of having been dispossessed of independent national sovereignty by imperialist Japan. In the process of a new Cold War world order being constructed in East Asia after WWII, Korea underwent the pains of division and Okinawa stays as a mere prefecture in Japan. The Ryukyu Annexation in Modern East Asian History – From Chinese world order to Japanese colonial empire – will become important evidence for learning a lesson in preparing for a new Pax Asiana, as it understands the mechanism of the East Asian order of the time being integrated into Japanese imperialism from a subordinate position, to criticize the suzerain state’s imperialist view of history.