This page was created by Hiroko Matsuda. The last update was by Kate McDonald.
Yaeyama under the Sino-centric order
During the late 14th century, the Yaeyama Islands became a tributary of the Ryūkyū Kingdom after the kingdom suppressed a revolt by the Yaeyama rulers in 1500. But, although controlled by the Ryūkyū Kingdom, the Yaeyama Islands retained political autonomy. By the late 16th century, the Ryūkyū Kingdom controlled all of the Ryūkyū Islands, including the Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama archipelagos. The Shimazu Domain, which ruled the southern part of the island of Kyūshū, invaded the Ryūkyū Kingdom in 1609, placed the Kingdom under tight control, and ruled its domestic affairs and foreign trade for more than two centuries. Nevertheless, the Ryūkyū Kingdom maintained some autonomy until its formal annexation by Japan in 1879. The Shimazu Domain strictly monitored its foreign relations, and there is no evidence that the Yaeyama islanders had regular contact with people in Taiwan or other nearby countries.