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Oyako

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  • Japanese/Okinawan: 大屋子 (ooyako / ufuyaku), 大屋子もい (ooyakomoi / ufuyakumui)

Ôyako, or ufuyaku in Okinawan, was a title held by various officials in the government of the Ryûkyû Kingdom. Often functioning in a deputy role, ôyako included, among others:

  • Naha ôyako, who served as deputies under the Naha satunushi (head official of the port-town of Naha
  • Two Oyamise ôyako, who headed an office overseeing the four districts of Naha, among other duties
  • Two satôza ôyako who served as deputies under the satôza bugyô (Magistrate of Sugar)
  • Two shinoboseza ôyako, who headed an office overseeing goods to be transported to Kagoshima
  • Shuri ôyako, who served as regional administrators, including the Ô-Shuri ôyako (O: Ufu-sui ufuyaku), who oversaw matters in the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands.

Possibly related to or derived from the term ôyaku 大役 (O: ufuyaku) meaning simply a "great office," the term may have originally had a more generic and less specific denotation. Some have suggested the term may have also been related to the Ryukyuan court title peechin; the characters used to write the latter title (親雲上) do not normally carry any pronunciation (reading) resembling peechin but rather would separately be pronounced uya, kumu, and uii in Okinawan, suggesting a close relationship to the former title.[1]

References

  1. Andreas Quast, Okinawan Samurai: Instructions of a Royal Official to his Only Son, Baden-Württemberg, Germany: Andreas Quast (self-published)(2018), 171-172.
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