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Title: <論説>十九世紀琉球国の西洋語通事
Other Titles: <Articles>The Role of Western Interpreters in Relations between Ryūkyū and the West in the 19th Century
Authors: 張, 子康  KAKEN_name
Author's alias: ZHANG, Zikang
Keywords: 東アジア
East Asia
Issue Date: 31-May-2019
Publisher: 史学研究会 (京都大学大学院文学研究科内)
Journal title: 史林 = THE SHIRIN or the JOURNAL OF HISTORY
Volume: 102
Issue: 3
Start page: 474
End page: 509
Abstract: 十九世紀、東アジア地域へ進出した西洋諸国から盛んに接触を受けた琉球国は、主として英語、フランス語を習得した西洋語通事を養成し、彼らに西洋人への対応を委ねた。本稿は従来注目されることが少なかったこれら西洋語通事の制度的展開と具体的職務を解明し、琉球西洋交渉におけるその役割の大きさを示すものである。第一章では、まず近世期琉球における漂着船への対応体制を確認し、その先例が機能しなくなりつつあった先に西洋語通事が創設されたことを示す。第二章では、アヘン戦争後琉球に英仏宣教師が逗留するに及んで、西洋語通事職が体系的に整備、養成される過程を特に久米村通事との比較において示す。最後に第三章では、一八五〇年代に米ペリー艦隊、仏ゲラン艦隊が来琉し、それぞれ条約を締結して出航するまでの期間を対象に、通事係=西洋語通事の職掌がその重要性を増した過程を具体的な役割に即して検証する。
Early-modern Ryūkyū (1609-1879) was not only under the substantial control of Satsuma (i.e. Japan) but also subordinated to China. While Ryūkyū had accepted the so-called "Sakoku" policy of the Tokugawa Shogunate in which Christianity was strictly prohibited and foreign trade was strongly controlled, it also maintained an annual tributary relation with the Qing dynasty. Ryūkyū and Satsuma concealed their relationship from China, in order not to damage the traditional tributary relationship with China. Through these careful maneuvers, Ryūkyū maintained peaceful relations with the two major powers, as well as contributed to the stability of the East Asia region at this time. This stability, however, was disrupted by the increasingnumber of Western ships arrivingin Ryūkyū in the nineteenth century. The great powers such as Britain, France, and the United States were all attracted by the geopolitical location of Ryūkyū, and many ships called at the port for surveys and negotiation. Furthermore, French and British missionaries began residing in Ryūkyū from the 1840s in defiance of Ryūkyū's policy. Ryūkyū was forced to sign treaties with the U.S. and France in 1854, and 1855 respectively. In order to deal with these unprecedented situations, Ryūkyū trained a group of interpreters (tsūji 通事), Western interpreters who specialized in English and French. Traditionally, Ryūkyū maintained a group of Chinese interpreters, who were residents in Kumemura 久米村, in charge of tributary affairs, as well as dealingwith any unexpected foreigners showingup on Ryukyuan shores, mostly as castaways. The new interpreters, however, were recruited from youngofficials outside Kumemura, signifyingthat encounters with Western powers were considered as somethingRy ūkyū had to commit special resources to deal with. These new interpreters were at the forefront of contact with the Western powers. Their role was a difficult one that required them to defend the interest of Ryūkyū while not provokingthe Western powers to take any serious measures against Ryūkyū. This paper provides a comprehensive examination of these Western interpreters, regarding whom no study exists. The first section of the paper starts with an explanation of the general principles in early-modern Ryūkyū regarding the treatment of castaways. To prevent the exposure of the Ryukyuan-Japanese relationship, castaways were isolated from the local population and closely monitored. If Christian, they were sent to Nagasaki for further interrogation by the Japanese. If not, they were sent to China, and from China to their homelands. The section then continues to analyze the arrival of a British fleet in 1816 that requested an official audience with the kingand to conduct surveys. This was an unprecedented situation for Ryūkyū as no Western nation had visited Ryūkyū for political purpose before. As a means to deal with the unwelcome and hazardous visitors, the Ryūkyū government appointed two young officials to acquire English skills and to perform as interpreters. After difficult negotiations, Ryūkyū successfully persuaded the British to give up their demand for the audience. Thus, this section shows that the interpreters were established at the very moment when traditional ways of dealingwith foreigners had ceased to be functional. The second section analyzes in detail how in the 1840s, with the arrival of missionaries in Ryūkyū, the Ryukyuan government started the full-scale trainingand implementation of the new interpreters. This section describes how the interpreters, while keepingwatch over the missionaries at all times, made much an effort to acquire English and French skills from them. Furthermore, the new interpreters gradually took over the role of the Kumemura interpreters and were charged exclusively with dealing with Western nations. The third section discusses the specific roles of these new interpreters in the treaty negotiations with the U.S. and France. Their job included daily negotiations, such as those for the furnishingof supplies, keepinga close watch on the foreigners who came ashore, gathering information about each ship's whereabouts and future course, preventingand mediatingtroubles that occurred between the foreigners and local people, and, of course, interpretingofficial meetings. Also, duringthe treaty negotiations, the interpreters conducted behind the scene negotiations on many matters and supported the development of the formal meetings. In conclusion, this paper sees the emergence of these Western interpreters as an elaborate maneuver on the Ryūkyū side to counter the drastic changes of the international relations in the region. Their duties were by no means spectacular, but practical and essential to the everyday dealings between Ryūkyū and the West.
Rights: 許諾条件により本文は2023-05-31に公開
DOI: 10.14989/shirin_102_474
Appears in Collections:102巻3号

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