The Story Jana Oyakata (Ueekata)

Revised April 17th, 2009

When Dai Sensei Yagi Meitoku was first introduced to Chojun Miyagi by his grandfather, he was identified as a decendent of Jana Oyakata and of the original Chinese immigrants of Okinawa. Jana Oyakata was celebrated as a pro-Ryukyu minister of 1600’s who made the ultimate sacrifice of his life for the kingdom he served.

Jana Oyakata Teidō 謝名親方鄭迥 , was the head of Kume village in Naha and was also one of the top 3 ministers known as the Sanshikan 三司官, who served the king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Oyakata was the title given to these ministers. Jana Oyakata was a scholar educated in China and served the King Sho Nei during the invasion of the the Shimatsu clan in 1609. The invaders had captured and imprisoned the king, his Sanshikan, and other servants on Kagoshima for 2 years and 5 months. King Sho Nei and his Sanshikan were compelled to sign a vow of servitude to their captors and altering the lineage of the Ryukyus. The king and 2 of the Sanshikan signed the document thus granting them their freedom. Jana however refused in patriotic defiance. To make an example of such defiance, the Shimatsu clan sentenced Jana Oyakata to his death by being boiled in oil.

The legend of Jana Oyakata is told all over Okinawa and has been the inspiration of television and stories. His martyrdom is celebrated today with a memorial statue in Okinawa.

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2 thoughts on “The Story Jana Oyakata (Ueekata)

  1. I appreciate the story very much! Both my parents are descendants of one of the five original envoys, named GiSai Tei (in Japanese, YiChai Cheng (sp?) in Chinese) from FuCheng, China (1392). Teido (Jana) was 9th generation and he had two younger brothers who changed their last names after that, according to some research. I have been learning and gathering my own background, history and related information. During the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival (Oct.2011) in Okinawa, I met a distinguished scholar who is also a desendant of Jana. I am from Nago, Nago City, Okinawa and currently reside in New Jersey. I’m in the process for writing an autobiography for my grandchildren.
    Thank you!

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