University of the Ryukyus Library Ryukyu/Okinawa Special Collection Digital Archives are provided not only for academic research but also for social use with the ease of accessibility through various projects such as digitization of the materials and is aimed at promoting education and research as well as global use of our cultural resources.

In addition to content summaries and descriptions both in English & Japanese, special features such as a glass view function, modern language translations, and honkoku transcription into modern Japanese were added, which enables those who are not familiar with classical texts to access the materials more easily. Furthermore, English translation of the texts of each material is planning to be added for overseas users.

The University of the Ryukyus will be furthering this digital archive project. We are also aiming to become a major center of Ryukyuan/Okinawan studies. In order to accomplish this goal, we will continue to acquire rare materials regarding Ryukyu & Okinawa, conserve them in the best possible condition, and make them available to the world.
1. Data Availability
This digital archive project is still an ongoing project. We will continue adding honkoku transcriptions and translations as soon as they are ready to be published.
2. Description, honkoku, and translations
Description, honkoku transcription, and Japanese and English translations are provided by the library staff members who have experiences in editing historical materials as well as in transcribing classical cursive texts into modern Japanese (honkoku). These modern Japanese transcribed sentences are proofread four times (transcribing and three checks). Illegible letters and words are discussed and decided by the staff team, and the completely undecipherable ones are marked by 〓. Translations are also discussed and determined by the staff members, one/two of which have English translation skills and experiences. This whole process from honkoku transcribing through translating is carried out under the guidance of the university’s professors. The explanatory notes on honkoku transcription (Japanese) are available here.
3. Access Policy
The materials on this website are available for your individual research or any academic, educational purposes, but any use including unauthorized copying and posting of the images in digital form is prohibited. To quote images or any portion on this website for publication, please request permission by contacting us in advance. See here for the details.

The Sakamaki Hawley Collection is owned by Hamilton Library in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. For any use of materials in the Sakamaki Hawley Collection, please contact Hamilton Library Japanese Studies Collection at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa at here.

To access the original of these materials, read here and contact us in advance. Note: Access to some of the original materials is limited due to conservation reasons.
4. Contacts and Inquiries
Our response time to your inquiry regarding the contents of the materials on this website may take longer, but we try to reply as quickly as possible. We are also looking forward to hearing comments and opinions regarding this website and the materials, including the honkoku transcriptions and descriptions, from you.



[宮良殿内文庫] Miyara Dunchi/Dounchi Collection


Miyara Dunchi/Dounchi refers to the Miyara family, who served as the official head position of Yaeyama for generations during the Ryukyu kingdom era, and is also a title of honor for the family. Therefore, Miyara Dunchi/Dounchi Bunko (Collection) is the name for a collection of materials which were inherited in the family.


[仲原善忠文庫] Nakahara Zenchū Collection


A collection of materials, formerly owned by Nakahara Zenchū (1890-1964), a researcher who contributed greatly to the studies of the Omoro Sōshi and the history of Okinawa. Acquired in 1967. This collection has 3,288 items (916 donated, 463 regarding Ryukyu/Okinawa), including a number of materials regarding history and culture.


[伊波普猷文庫] Iha Fuyū Collection


A collection, formerly owned by Iha Fuyū (1876-1947), the pioneer of Okinawan studies. Purchased in 1955. Contains 161 items, including a number of valuable materials such as Yakabi Kunkunshī (designated as a Okinawa Prefecture’s Cultural Property in 1958), Omoro Sōshi (The Tajima Print & Nakayoshi Print), and Kian Nikki (Kian’s Diary).


[島袋源七文庫] Shimabukuro Genshichi Collection


A part of a collection, formerly owned by Shimabukuro Genshichi (1897-1953), who made a great contribution to cultural studies of Okinawa, including researches in customs and folklore. Purchased and acquired in 1957. Contains 115 volumes, including a number of materials regarding ethnological studies, especially on Yambaru (northern region of Okinawa Island).


[阪巻・宝玲文庫] Sakamaki Hawley Collection


The Sakamaki Hawley Collection is a collection of materials; once collected and owned by Shunzo Sakamaki, a former professor at UH Mānoa, and Frank Hawley, an English journalist. The collection is currently owned by Hamilton Library of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.