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Kingdom of Chuuk
Official Languages Chuukese, Japanese
Major Religions
Government type Constitutional monarchy
King Toxiharu
Prime Minister
Independence 1954 (from Japan
Supranational Organizations Part of Micronesian Confederation
Major Subdivisions 5 Districts

The Kingdom of Chuuk was historically the least centralized, most ungovernable, part of what became the Micronesian Confederation. The basic - and highest - level of development was the village, averaging 95 people. Each village was headed by a chief who had little power even over his own village, but served more as a mediator. Above the level of village there was no higher authority. Temporary alliances were formed and broken regularly. Periodically, a great chief would arise who could command the allegiance of many villages, but it was always a personality-based leadership that died with him.

When firearms were introduced, the frequent skirmishes became even more deadly. The Japanese found Chuuk to be the most unruly of their new protectorates. Finally, in 1902, after repeated attempts to organize some kind of government from within Chuuk, Emperor Meidji ordered one Nacayama Toxiyuqui to take over governing. Governor Nacayama entered the main island of Chuuk with a body of troops. He ordered that all firearms be turned over, banned alcohol, arrested several chiefs implicated in murder, and announced that henceforth, his word would be law. The governor divided up his realm into several districts, appointing a chief over the district. Suprisingly, there was very little resistance from the Chuukese to his rule. Weapons were turned over willingly, and the people seemed to be happy about his rule. It seems that the people had been looking for a strong ruler to bring order to their islands. In 1907, Emperor Taixò conferred the title of King upon the governor, who thus became King Toxiyuqui. In a bow to local custom, the king established a matrilineal rule of succession, so that his successor would be his eldest sister's eldest son. That sister and her children were brought with him to Chuuk, and their descendants still live on the island. Though King Toxiyuqui was a wise and benevolent ruler, his successor, King Toxicuni I, was not so wise or benevolent. His rule deteriorated into a dictatorship, and, in 1954, at the same time that Chuuk was released from Japanese protection as part of the Micronesian Confederation, the king was deposed, and in his place, the then-Emperor of Japan was placed as King of Chuuk, naming as viceroy one Han Hitoxi to excercise his power, who was subsequently raised to King of Chuuk in 1965. In 1968, the monarch was abolished, and a republic was created. The republic turned out to be very ineffective, and the Republic of Chuuk proved corrupt and inefficient. Finally, in 1982, the monarchy was restored, and the 67-year-old Prince Toxinobu, nephew to Toxicuni I, was offered, and accepted, the restored kingship. Power is divided between the king and an elected legislature, consisting of an elected Council of the People and a Council of Chiefs, elected by the various chiefs of the islands. Today, the King tends to serve more as a mediator between various local leaders than as a king in the common sense of the word.

Kings of Chuuk

Nacayama Dynasty

  • King Toxiyuqui 1907-1942 (Governor, 1902-1907)
  • King Toxicuni I 1942-1954 (nephew)

Japan Dynasty

Han dynasty

  • King Hitoxi 1965-1968

Interregnum (1968-1985)

Nacayama Dynasty (restored)

King Toxinobu 1982-1984 (nephew of Toxicuni I)
King Toxicuni II 1984-1989 (cousin)
King Toxiharu 1989- (nephew)

See also: Chuukese Succession