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Ryukyu ensigns (Japan)

Okinawa

Last modified: 2017-10-15 by zachary harden
Keywords: japan | ryukyu | ensign | okinawa |
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Overview

I visited Okinawa Maritime Museum and took photos of a miniature model of a Ryukyu tribute vessel to the emperor of China sent between 1372-1609 which has several ensigns some of which look similar to Chin Dynasty ensigns.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Ensigns

Five stripe ensign (1)

[Five stripe ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

Ryukyu five stripes: horizontal five stripes of red, yellow, blue, white and black.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Five stripe ensign (2)

[Five stripe ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

There are variants in 5 color order believed to be blue, yellow , red, white and black is this order order.

It is said that when one dies the Buddha leads him or her to the Heaven with the five color thread released from his hand.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Yellow pennant

[yellow pennant]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

A yellow pennant with red fringe.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Tribute ensign

[tribute ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

A yellow rectangle ensign with Chinese letters 進貢 in black meaning "tribute" together with a yellow long rectangle pennant with red fringe.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Plow Ensign

[plow ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

The Plow ensign - seven white stars on dark blue field together with yellow streamer named the Centipede ensign. The red fringe represents legs of centipede. The actual size of the streamer was 10 meters long.

In those days it was believed when the sea got stormy the dragon, as the God of the Sea, went on the rampage and that the centipede could threaten the dragon for safe voyage.

The Dynasty flag looks like this ensign.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


"Horseman" Ensign

["Horseman" ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

A yellow rectangular ensign with a saint in blue cloth on horse.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006


Ryukyu Sho Vertical Ensign

[vertical ensign]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 October 2006

A vertical black ensign with Ryukyu Sho Dynasty family crest, which are three white "comma-shaped" designs.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 October 2006