Monument to Basil Hall Ryukyu visit erected in Tomari

A monument to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the visit to the Ryukyus by Basil Hall, a 19th century British naval officer, was unveiled in a ceremony in Tomari, Naha City, Friday, with 170 people participating in the event.

The ceremony highlighted achievements of Hall who visited the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1816, and had friendly exchanges with Ryukyu people, and transferred his experiences to the West in his books.

At the ceremony, Eitetsu Yamaguchi, the chairman of the Hall Monument Association said, “I would be grateful to everyone who approved the plan to build the monument, and hope that many people would be inspired to learn something about Hall through the monument.”

Vice Governor Mitsuo Ageda read a message on behalf of Governor Takeshi Onaga that stated, “The friendship between the British and Ryukyu people has lived throughout the ages. I believe that this monument will be a symbol of friendship between the Western countries and Okinawa.”

Hall stayed on Okinawa as the captain of the British government vessel in autumn of 1816. After returning to England, he wrote the book “Account of a voyage of discovery to the west coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island” that introduced the friendship between the Ryukyu Kingdom and Western countries.

 

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