Bones of Contention: The Legal Battle for the Return of Ryukyuan Remains
Tsuyoshi Tamagushiku, Descendant of King family of Ryukyu Kingdom, a Plaintiff of Lawsuit against Kyoto University
Yasukatsu Matsushima, Professor of Ryukoku University, Plaintiff Leader of Lawsuit against Kyoto University
11:00-12:00 Thursday, May 27, 2021
The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation / Speakers will join online.
In 1929, a Kyoto University scholar took Ryukyuan human remains from several Okinawan islands without consent, including those of members of the Ryukyu Kingdom's royal family. Various requests over the years by Okinawans that the university return the remains have failed. Arguing that holding them violates the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially Article 12 concerning the rights to religious traditions and customs, as well as repatriation of human remains, plaintiffs, including Tsuyoshi Tamagushiku, a descendant of one of the Ryukyu kings, filed a lawsuit in 2018 demanding that the remains be returned to the original graves.
Please join us as Tamagushiku and lead plaintiff, Ryukoku University professor Yasukatsu Matsushima explain the latest developments in their legal battle, and explain what the case means for the larger effort by Japan to recognize and respect the traditions and culture of the Ryukyu people.
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