Shō Nei

Shō Nei (尚寧, 1564–1620) was king of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1587–1620. He reigned during the 1609 invasion of Ryukyu and was the first king of Ryukyu to be a vassal to the Shimazu clan of Satsuma, a Japanese feudal domain.

Shō Nei was the great-grandson of Shō Shin (尚真, r. 1477–1526) and the adopted son-in-law of Shō Ei (尚永, r. 1573–1586).

Shō Nei
尚寧
King Sho Nei
Shō Nei, painted by Shō Genko (1748–1841) in 1796.
King of Ryukyu
Reign1589–1620
PredecessorShō Ei
SuccessorShō Hō
Born1564
Died1620
Burial
SpouseAoriyae Aji-ganashi
Concubine
  • Nishi no Aji
  • Adaniya Ōaji-shirare
HouseSecond Shō Dynasty
FatherShō I, Prince Yonagusuku Chōken
MotherShuriōkimi Aji-ganashi

Biography

Early in Shō Nei's reign, Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi planned an invasion of Korea. Through messengers from Satsuma, he ordered that the kingdom contribute warriors to the invasion efforts, and was refused; he also commanded that Ryukyu temporarily suspend its official missions to China. The mission traveled to Beijing anyway, on business relating to Shō Nei's formal investiture, and related Hideyoshi's plans to Chinese Court officials there. A short while later, Shō Nei sent a missive to Hideyoshi, as was customary upon the installation of a new ruler. He formally congratulated Hideyoshi on having taken over Japan, and on bringing peace and prosperity to the realm, and sent along with the missive a gift of Ming Chinese lacquerware. The letter referred to Ryukyu as a "small and humble island kingdom [which], because of its great distance and because of lack of funds, has not rendered due reverence to you."[1] Shimazu Yoshihisa, lord of Satsuma, then suggested that Ryukyu be allowed to supply food and other supplies instead of manpower. Hideyoshi accepted this proposal, but Shō Nei ignored it, and sent no supplies.

Following Hideyoshi's death in 1598, and Tokugawa Ieyasu's subsequent rise to power, Shō Nei was asked by Satsuma to formally submit to the new shogunate, a request which was also ignored.

Satsuma invaded Ryukyu in the spring of 1609. When Satsuma landed in Northern Okinawa and attacked Nakijin Castle, the King's son and heir apparent, Shō Kokushi, was killed during the battle. Shō Nei surrendered on the fifth day of the fourth lunar month after Satsuma surrounded and breached Shuri Castle.[2] Shō Nei was taken, along with a number of his officials, to Sunpu to meet with the retired Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, then to Edo for a formal audience with Shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada, and then to Kagoshima, where he was forced to formally surrender and to declare a number of oaths to the Shimazu clan. At Edo, the shōgun stated that Shō Nei should be allowed to remain in power due to the long history of his line's rule over the islands.[2]

This marked the first time the ruler of a foreign country had come to Japan,[3] and Shimazu Tadatsune, the lord of Satsuma, made sure to take advantage of the political value of the occasion for himself. His successors would continue to make use of their status as the only daimyō to have a foreign king as a vassal to secure for themselves greater political privileges, stipends, and court ranking. In 1611, two years after the invasion, the king returned to his castle at Shuri once Tadatsune and his advisors were satisfied that he would uphold the oaths he had sworn.

Stone sarcophagus of King Sho Nei
Stone sarcophagus of King Sho Nei

Though Satsuma initially exercised a strong hand in declaring policy in Ryukyu, and purging the royal government of those perceived as disloyal to Satsuma, by 1616 this approach came to an end.[2] "Japanization" measures were reversed, at the request of Satsuma, and Shō Nei was once more formally granted primacy over his kingdom. For the remainder of his reign, Shō Nei would continue to bear all the trappings of royal authority, and exercised great power over his domain within the frameworks set by Satsuma.

Upon his death, Shō Nei was buried not in the royal mausoleum at Shuri, but rather at Urasoe Castle. Popular belief says this is because he felt that by succumbing to Satsuma's invasion, he had deeply dishonored himself before his ancestors, and was unfit to be buried with them. However, Shō Nei was originally from Urasoe, so a more mundane explanation may be the truer one.

The Oaths Sworn

Shō Nei was forced to swear a number of oaths during his time in Kagoshima,[4] as he and his kingdom were formally made vassals to the Shimazu clan. The so-called Fifteen Injunctions (掟十五ヶ条, Okite jūgo-ka-jō) were among the most major, and primarily involved political and diplomatic matters. These stated, among other stipulations, that Ryukyu would not engage in trade or diplomatic relations with foreign states without the consent of Satsuma. These policies, along with maritime restrictions and other stipulations, would govern Ryukyu's domestic situation and foreign relations for over 250 years.

Shō Nei and the members of his Council of Three were also required to swear that the kingdom had long been a dependency of Satsuma (a falsehood), and that they acknowledged that their failure in recent years to live up to their obligations to Satsuma had brought this invasion, a punitive measure, upon themselves. The oath went on to acknowledge the benevolence of Satsuma in allowing the king and his councillors to return to their kingdom, and to continue to rule. Shō Nei swore to pass on these oaths to his descendants, further ensuring the relative permanence of the vassal-lord relationship into which Ryukyu had been entered with Satsuma.[5]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Kerr, George H. (2000). Okinawa: The History of an Island People. (revised ed.) Boston: Tuttle Publishing. p153.
  2. ^ a b c Smits, Gregory (1999). Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. pp15–19.
  3. ^ Kerr. p160.
  4. ^ The Fifteen Injunctions, and the King's Oath, can be found in translation in Kerr. pp160–163.
  5. ^ Matsuda, Mitsugu (2001). The Government of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, 1609–1872. Gushikawa, Okinawa: Yui Publishing Co. pp26–7.

References

  • Kerr, George H. (1965). Okinawa, the History of an Island People. Rutland, Vermont: C. E. Tuttle Co. OCLC 39242121
  • Smits, Gregory. (1999). Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-824-82037-4; OCLC 39633631
  • Suganuma, Unryu. (2000). Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations: Irredentism and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824821593; ISBN 9780824824938; OCLC 170955369
Shō Nei
Second Shō Dynasty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shō Ei
King of Ryukyu
1587–1620
Succeeded by
Shō Hō
Chūzan Seikan

Chūzan Seikan (中山世鑑) or Mirror of Chūzan, compiled in 1650 by Shō Shōken, is the first official history of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In six scrolls, the main text occupies five and an accompanying summary the sixth. Unlike later official histories such as Chūzan Seifu and Kyūyō, which were written in kanbun, Chūzan Seikan is largely written in Japanese, other than for the summary and a number of quotes in Chinese.The account of Shō Nei, whose reign saw invasion and subjugation by Satsuma, opens with the statement that the kingdom had been in subordinate vassal status to the Shimazu clan since the Eikyō era. The account of the siring of Shunten by Minamoto no Tametomo was similarly exploited during the Meiji period and after to help legitimize the annexation of the kingdom and its reconfiguration first as the Ryūkyū Domain and subsequently as Okinawa Prefecture.

Hirata Masumune

Hirata Masumune (平田 増宗, 1566 – 7 April 1610) was a Japanese samurai of the early Edo period. He was a retainer and karō in the service of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Domain.

Hirata took part in Battle of Sekigahara. After Western Army lost the war, he saved Shimazu Yoshihiro's wife and Shimazu Iehisa's wife, let them go back to Satsuma safely.

Shimazu clan decided to invade Ryukyu Kingdom in 1609, Hirata Masumune was appointed vice general. The invasion of Ryukyu was successful, Satsuma troops captured King Shō Nei and his ministers, and took them to Kagoshima. But Hirata got involved in family conflict of Shimazu clan, and was murdered by Oshikawa Kimichika (押川 公近) in the next year.

Ikegusuku Anrai

Ikegusuku Ueekata Anrai (池城 親方 安頼, 1558 – 1 February 1623), also known by his Chinese style name Mō Hōgi (毛 鳳儀), was a bureaucrat of the Ryukyu Kingdom.Ikegusuku Anrai was the third head of an aristocrat family called Mō-uji Ikegusuku Dunchi (毛氏池城殿内). His father Ikegusuku Antō (池城 安棟), was a Sanshikan during Shō Gen and Shō Ei's reign.Jana family (謝名一族) launched a rebellion against King Shō Nei in 1592. He took part in suppressing this rebellion together with Kochinda-Higa Seizoku (東風平比嘉 盛続) and Mabuni Ankō, and put down it successfully. All of them received ueekata, the highest rank in the yukatchu aristocracy of Ryukyu.Satsuma invaded Ryukyu in the spring of 1609. When Satsuma troops approached Naha, he followed the sessei Gushichan Chōsei to hold peace talks with Satuma at Oyamise (親見世), but the peace proposal was rejected. After King Shō Nei's surrender, he was taken to Kagoshima together with King Shō Nei and a number of high officials by Satsuma troops. He returned to Ryukyu together with Gushichan Chōsei in the next year in order to deal with tributary affairs. Satsuma sent him to Ming China to pay tribute together with Kin Ōkai (金 応魁, also known as Gushi Pekumi 具志親雲上), but they tried to let Ming China get involved in secretly. Ming China refused to receive tribute from Ryukyu until King Shō Nei was released by Satsuma in the year 1611.Ikegusuku took the place of Urasoe Chōshi and became a member of Sanshikan. In 1623, he was sent to China together with Sai Ken (蔡 堅, also known as Kiyuna Pekumi 喜友名親雲上) to ask for investiture of King Shō Hō, and requested for permission to pay tribute once every five years. Ikegusuku was serious ill on the way home and died in Jiangnan.

Invasion of Ryukyu

The invasion of Ryukyu (琉球侵攻, Ryūkyū Shinkō) by forces of the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma took place from March to May 1609, and marked the beginning of the Ryukyu Kingdom's status as a vassal state under Satsuma. The invasion force was met with stiff resistance from the Ryukyuan military on all but one island during the campaign. Ryukyu would remain a vassal state under Satsuma, alongside its already long-established tributary relationship with China, until it was formally annexed by Japan in 1879 as Okinawa Prefecture.

Kian (tea master)

Kian (喜安, 20 January 1566 – 10 August 1653) was a Japanese tea master and priest who was active in the Ryukyu Kingdom. In Ryukyuan history records, his full name was Bin-shi Kian Nyūdō Bangen (閔氏 喜安入道 蕃元) or Bin-shi Kian Ueekata Bangen (閔氏 喜安 親方 蕃元). He is best known for his diary, the Kian Nikki (喜安日記), which chronicled the 1609 Invasion of Ryukyu.Kian was born in Sakai, Izumi Province, Japan. He studied tea ceremony from Kōin (康印), a disciple of Sen no Rikyū. Later, he learned Waka and Classical Chinese poetry.

Kian came to Ryukyu at the age of 35. He enjoyed a widespread reputation there and several years later he was appointed Chamberlain of the palace and was given the Chinese style surname, Bin (閔).

In the spring of 1609, Satsuma Domain invaded Ryukyu and captured the strategically important Nakijin Castle. Kian went there to request a peace negotiation together with a Buddhist monk named Kikuin, but they were arrested by Satsuma troops. After the war, he was taken to Kagoshima together with King Shō Nei and a number of high officials by Satsuma troops. After Shō Nei returned to Ryukyu, Kian was appointed "imperial tea master" (御茶道).

Kian wrote a Gunki monogatari called Kian Nikki (喜安日記, "Kian Diary") during King Shō Hō's reign. It is a very important account of Satsuma's invasion.

List of monarchs of Ryukyu Islands

The list of monarchs of the Ryukyu Islands extends from chief Shunten in the 12th century to the last king in the 19th century.

Nago Ryōhō

Nago Ueekata Ryōhō (名護 親方 良豊, 1551–1617), also known by the Chinese-style name Ba Ryōhitsu (馬 良弼), was a Ryukyuan aristocrat and bureaucrat in the royal government of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Nago was born to an aristocrat family called Ba-uji Oroku Dunchi (馬氏小禄殿内), whose ancestor was Yuwan Ufunushi, a tribal chief from Amami Ōshima. Both his father and grandfather been a member of the Sanshikan, the king's closest advisors. In 1579, he went to Ming China to pay tribute together with Jana Ueekata, whom later became his colleague. In 1592, at the age of 41, his father retired, and he became a member of the Sanshikan.

At this time, Japan was unified by the daimyō Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi planned to invade Korea and China, and demanded that the Kingdom supply 10 months' rations for 7,000 troops to aid in his invasions through agents of Satsuma. The court was split between pro-Chinese and pro-Japanese factions; Nago was pro-Japanese, suggested that king Shō Nei should obey, but this suggestion was strongly opposed by his colleague Jana. Jana suggested that all the demands should be rejected. However, both of their advice was not accepted by king Shō Nei; the king sent a warning to China in 1591, and sent only half of the demanded supplies in 1593.

Following Hideyoshi's death and after Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power, king Shō Nei was ordered by Satsuma to pay tribute to the Tokugawa shogunate, the newly established government. Shō Nei ignored the demand, largely upon the advice of Jana Ueekata. In 1609, Ryukyu was invaded by Satsuma, in response to this and other refusals of Japanese demands on the part of the Kingdom. The war broke out on April 8, 1609; less than a month later, Satsuma troops landed on the Motobu Peninsula on northern Okinawa Island. Nago Ryōhō was sent by the king to reinforce Nakijin Castle, leading a force of a thousand soldiers. On April 30, Nago met the samurai at Nakijin, but lost half his force and was captured.

Nago was brought to Naha harbor by the Japanese. After the surrender of king Shō Nei, Nago was released to control Shuri Castle, the capital of Ryukyu, under the watch of Satsuma bugyō while the king and a number of other officials were brought to Kagoshima, the capital of Satsuma Domain. Two years after the invasion, the king returned to Ryukyu, and Nago remained in his position. Nago retired in 1614, and died three years later.

Omoro Sōshi

The Omoro Sōshi (おもろさうし) is a compilation of ancient poems and songs from Okinawa and the Amami Islands, collected into 22 volumes and written primarily in hiragana with some simple kanji. There are 1,553 poems in the collection, but many are repeated; the number of unique pieces is 1,144.The hiragana used, however, is a traditional orthography which associates different sounds to the characters than their normal Japanese readings. The characters used to write omoro, for example (おもろ), would be written this same way, but pronounced as umuru in Okinawan.

The poetry contained in the volumes extends from the 12th century, or possibly earlier, to some composed by the Queen of Shō Nei (1589-1619). Though formally composed and recorded at these times, most if not all are believed to derive from far earlier traditions, as a result of their language, style, and content. The poems contained in the compilation vary, but follow a general pattern of celebrating famous heroes of the past, from poets and warriors to kings and voyagers. A few are love poems. They range from two verses to forty, some making extensive use of rhyme and couplet structures.

Ryukyu Kingdom

The Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawan: 琉球國 Ruuchuu-kuku; Japanese: 琉球王国 Ryūkyū Ōkoku; Middle Chinese: Ljuw-gjuw kwok; historical English name: Lewchew, Luchu, and Loochoo) was an independent kingdom that ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th to the 19th century. The kings of Ryukyu unified Okinawa Island and extended the kingdom to the Amami Islands in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture, and the Sakishima Islands near Taiwan. Despite its small size, the kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia, especially the Malacca Sultanate.

Sanshikan

The Sanshikan (三司官), or Council of Three, was a government body of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, which originally developed out of a council of regents.

It emerged in 1556, when the young Shō Gen, who was mute, ascended to the throne of Ryūkyū. The council of regents that formed in order to handle this challenge and manage the country on the king's behalf soon grew into an established and powerful government organ. Shō Gen died in 1571, but the Council remained, acting alongside the successive kings in managing the affairs of government. In fact, the Articles Subscribed to by the King's Councillors, which bound the royal government in loyalty and servitude to the Japanese daimyō of Satsuma, explicitly prohibit the king from "entrust[ing] the conduct of public affairs in the islands to any persons other than San-shi-kuan".Over time, the Sanshikan eclipsed the power and prestige of the sessei, a post which is often translated as "prime minister," and which served as chief royal advisor. Candidates to join the Council of Three had to live in Shuri, the capital, and had to pass tests of both merit and birth; they had to be of proper aristocratic heritage, and to pass tests of knowledge of literature, ethics, and other classical Chinese subjects. These exams were very much akin to those taken by scholar-bureaucrats in China, but were less strict.

The Council, and sessei, worked alongside the heads of various administrative departments who were known as the Council of Fifteen when assembled. The Fifteen advised the higher-ranking officials on policy, and made recommendations to fill vacancies in the administration.

The Sanshikan was dismantled along with the rest of the royal government when Ryūkyū was formally annexed by Meiji Japan in the 1870s. Members of Ryūkyū's aristocratic class were allowed to maintain some of their prestige and privileges, but even members of the Council were only afforded the equivalent of the sixth rank in the Japanese Imperial Court structure.

Sessei

Sessei (摂政) was the highest government post of the Ryūkyū Kingdom below the king; the sessei served the function of royal or national advisor. In the Ryukyuan language at the time, the pronunciation was closer to shisshii, and has only changed relatively recently. Though the same Chinese characters which compose the modern Okinawan word sessei are read as sesshō in Japanese, the position is not quite the same, and the Ryukyuan post is not derived from the Japanese model or system.

The sessei worked alongside the king and the Sanshikan (Council of Three) to draft and enact laws, though the king gradually became more and more of a figurehead over the course of the period when Ryūkyū was a subsidiary of the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma (1609–1870s). Like most Ryukyuan government officials at the time, most sessei were appointed from the elite class of yukatchu, scholars of Chinese subjects from the town of Kumemura.

According to the Chūzan Seikan (中山世鑑, "Mirror of Chūzan"), the classical Ryukyuan history text by sessei Shō Shōken, the sessei have always been a part of the system of the Ryukyuan Kingdom and were originally appointed by Eiso. The three men who held the position of sessei during the first Shō Dynasty of Ryukyuan kings were Chinese, but beginning with the Second Shō Dynasty, sessei were native Ryukyuans. Royal officials, sometimes princes, would select the sessei, and the appointment would come with an appropriate rank and title, often that of "prince", despite the sessei being in essence a bureaucrat and not royalty himself. It was not uncommon for such a title to be conferred upon anyone who performed great service to the kingdom, though right of succession and other such royal rights implied by the title of "prince" did not accompany such an honor.

While most sessei essentially played the role of a bureaucrat and privileged member of the royal entourage, Shō Shōken, who held the post from 1666 to 1673, is particularly known for acting as a lawmaker, issuing a great many important and beneficial reforms during his short tenure.

Shō Ei

Shō Ei (尚 永, 1559–1588) was king of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1573 to 1588. Shō Ei was the son of Shō Gen and his wife, and was the second son of king Shō Gen.

He died in 1588 without an heir. His son-in-law Shō Nei was installed as the king.

Shō Hō

Shō Hō (尚豊, 1590–1640), also known as Shengfeng, was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He succeeded Shō Nei, whose reign saw the invasion of Ryukyu by Japanese forces in 1609 and the subjugation of the kingdom to Satsuma Domain, and ruled from 1621 until 1640.

Shō Hō was the fourth son of Shō Kyū, the third son of King Shō Gen. In 1616, he was appointed kokushō, a high government position akin to prime minister or chief royal advisor, which would later be replaced with sessei.

Three years later, Shō Hō was named Prince of Nakagusuku and given Nakagusuku magiri as his domain. King Shō Nei died without an heir in 1621, and Shō Hō was selected to succeed him. As the first king to be enthroned since Satsuma's invasion in 1609, formal permission and acknowledgment of the king's authority and legitimacy was required before performing the coronation ceremony, sending heralds to China, and assuming the responsibilities of the throne. In addition, while Shō Hō retained powers related to organization of offices and administration of punishments, along with all the ritual prestige of the throne, Shō Nei was the last king of Ryukyu to rule personally, directly, and absolutely as monarch. Much of the decisions and behavior of Shō Hō's government were subject to Satsuma's approval.Relations with China were also strained. At the start of Shō Hō's reign, Okinawan tribute ships were only welcome in Fuzhou once every ten years. The Chinese Imperial Court had reduced the tribute missions to this frequency following the Japanese invasion in 1609, claiming that it was done in consideration of the instability and poverty that the chaos of the invasion must have brought to the kingdom. In fact, these tribute missions, the only legal method of trading with Ming China, were essential to the kingdom's economic prosperity. Therefore, in 1623, when investiture missions were exchanged, the Ryukyuan officials pushed for a return to the system of sending tribute every other year; it was decided that missions would be allowed once every five years.After a twenty-year reign, Shō Hō died in 1640, and was succeeded by his son, Shō Ken.

Shō I

Shō I (尚 懿, ? – 3 May 1584), also known by Prince Yonagusuku Chōken (与那城 朝賢), was a royal of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He was the third head of a royal family, Oroku Udun (小禄御殿), and was also father of King Shō Nei.

Shō I was a grandson of Urasoe Chōman (Shō Ikō), the deposed crown prince of King Shō Shin. His father was Urasoe Chōkyō. Urasoe Chōshi was one of his younger brother.

Shō I had two famous sons: the eldest son was King Shō Nei, the second son was Gushichan Chōsei. He died in 1584, and buried in Urasoe yōdore.

Shō I was posthumously honored as king in 1699, and his spirit tablet was placed in Sōgen-ji. His title was stripped in 1719, and his spirit tablet was moved to Tenkai-ji.

Shō Kyō

Shō Kyō (尚 恭, 8 March 1612 – 22 March 1631), also known by Prince Urasoe Chōryō (浦添 朝良), was a prince of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He was the eldest son of King Shō Hō.

King Shō Nei had no heir. Shō Kyō was chosen as Crown Prince by the kingdom’s ministers, and was recognized by Satsuma as the rightful heir. However, Shō Nei died in 1620 and Shō Kyō was too young to succeed the throne. Yuntanza Seishō, who was a member of the sanshikan, suggested that Shō Kyō's father, Shō Hō (Prince Sashiki Chōshō), should be the new king. Many ministers supported it, but were concerned about the reaction of Satsuma. Yuntanza went to Satsuma to report this decision. Finally, Satsuma recognized Shō Hō as the new king.Shō Kyō remained in his position of Crown Prince, but died in 1631 before being able to succeed to the throne. His daughter, Princess Urasoe (浦添翁主), was the originator of a royal family, Takamine Udun (高嶺御殿).His spirit tablet was placed in Tenkai-ji.

Sōgen-ji

Sōgen-ji (崇元寺) was a Buddhist temple and royal mausoleum of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, located in Naha, Okinawa. It was erected during the reign of King Shō Shin (r. 1477-1526), and destroyed in the 1945 battle of Okinawa.

In 1496, memorial tablets representing the kings of the Ryūkyū Kingdom were installed in the temple, establishing it as a royal mausoleum. Anyone entering the temple grounds, including the king himself, had to dismount and enter the temple on foot out of respect for the prior sovereigns. The temple grounds were expanded at this time as well, with the construction of the massive stone gates and walls which remain today. Though these royal memorial tablets continued to be enshrined in the Sōgen-ji for many centuries, beginning in 1521, the actual royal remains were entombed in the Tamaudun mausoleum completed that year a short distance from Shuri Castle.

In the early years, spirit tablet of three royalties were placed here: Shō Shoku (尚 稷), father of King Shō En; Shō Kyū (尚 久), father of King Shō Hō; and Shō I (尚 懿), father of King Shō Nei. In 1699, Shō Shoku and Shō Kyū's spirit tablet were moved to Tennō-ji, Shō I's was moved to Tenkai-ji.All the temple buildings were destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945; only the stone walls and gates, foundations and steps, and some tablets and steles survived. Of two stone tablets erected outside the gates warning visitors to dismount, one remains today. The site is today a public park.

Tomigusuku Seizoku

Tomigusuku Ueekata Seizoku (豊見城 親方 盛続, 1520 – 28 May 1622), also known by his Chinese style name Mō Keiso (毛 継祖), was a bureaucrat of Ryukyu Kingdom.Tomigusuku Seizoku was born to the aristocratic Mō-uji Tomigusuku Dunchi (毛氏豊見城殿内) family. He was the eldest son of Tomigusuku Seishō (豊見城 盛章, also known as Mō Ryūbun 毛 龍文), whom served as a member of the Sanshikan during Shō Ei and Shō Nei's reign.

Seizoku put down the rebellion of the Jana family (謝名一族) together with two generals, Ikegusuku Anrai and Mabuni Ankō (摩文仁 安恒, also known as Kin Ōku 金 応煦). All of them received ueekata, the highest rank in the yukatchu aristocracy of Ryukyu.Ming China sent a mission for the investiture of King Shō Nei in 1606. Concerned about the rampant wakō pirates, King Shō Nei dispatched an army led by Seizoku to defend Nakijin Castle.Satsuma Domain invaded Ryukyu in the spring of 1609. When Satsuma troops approached Naha, Gushichan Chōsei led a mission to hold peace talks at Oyamise (親見世). Tomigusuku Seizoku, Kikuin, Kian, Ikegusuku Anrai, Esu Seishō (江洲 盛韶) and Tsuken Seisoku (津堅 盛則) were sent as assistants. Neither Kabayama Hisataka nor Hirata Masumune appeared at the peace talk, and the peace proposal was rejected by Satsuma.Later, Tomigusuku Seizoku and Jana Ueekata oversaw the defense of Yarazamori Castle and Mie Castle in Naha harbor respectively, and repelled an initial Japanese landing there. However, the Satsuma navy landed at nearby Makiminato and seized Naha port after the king surrendered. Seizoku had to retreat to Shuri. His house was burned by Satsuma troops during the siege of Shuri.After the surrender of king Shō Nei, Seizoku was left in Ryukyu to control Shuri Castle under the watch of Satsuma bugyō together with Nago Ryōhō and Mabuni Ankō, while the king and a number of other officials were brought to Kagoshima, the capital of Satsuma Domain.Seizoku served as a member of Sanshikan from 1614 to 1622.

Urasoe Chōshi

Urasoe Ueekata Chōshi (浦添 親方 朝師, 1558 – 1620) was a politician and bureaucrat of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He was also known by his Chinese style name Shō Ritan (向 里端) or Shō Rizui (向 里瑞).

Urasoe Chōshi was the sixth son of Prince Urasoe Chōkyō (浦添 朝喬). He was also an uncle of King Shō Nei. After Shō Nei ascended to the throne, he became a member of the Sanshikan. He was pro-Chinese and supported his colleague Jana Ueekata. In the spring of 1609, Satsuma invaded Ryukyu and besieged Shuri Castle. Chōshi's three sons, Makaru (真かる), Mayamado (真大和) and Momochiyo (百千代), were killed in the battle.

After King Shō Nei's surrender, Chōshi was taken to Kagoshima together with King Shō Nei and a number of high officials by Satsuma troops. King Shō Nei was released and went back to Ryukyu together with many ministers in 1611, except for two pro-Chinese high ministers: Urasoe Chōshi and Jana Ueekata. Chōshi was held as hostage, and Ueekata was executed. Chōshi was removed from his position and remained in Satsuma until 1616. He died in Shuri at the age of 61.

Yamazaki Nikyū

Yamazaki Nikyū (山崎 二休, 1554 – 1631) was a Japanese physician who was active in Ryukyu Kingdom. In Ryukyuan history records, his full name was Yō-shi Yamazaki Nikyū Morizō (葉氏 山崎 二休 守三).

Yamazaki was born in Echizen Province, Japan. He heard that many Ryukyuan physicians studied high skills in Ming China, so he went to Ryukyu to study medicine. But actually, Ryukyu was lagging in the quality of their physicians. Yamazaki was regarded as a skilled physician and received rewards from the king, Shō Nei. The king later appointed him gotenyaku (御典薬, "physician of imperial bureau of medicine"), and gave him the Chinese style surname, Yō (葉).

In the spring of 1609, Satsuma invaded Ryukyu and besieged Shuri Castle. Unlike many Ryukyuan officers, Yamazaki fought bravely at the west gate and repelled the attack.

After King Shō Nei's surrender, Yamazaki was captured by Japanese samurai Hōmoto Niemon (法元 弐右衛門). Hōmoto asked him: "You are Japanese, why do you fight for Ryukyu?" He replied: "I fight for gratitude to the Ryukyuan king." Before his execution, King Shō Nei used a lot of gold, silver and jewelry to save his life. King Shō Nei was taken to Kagoshima together with a number of high officials by Satsuma troops. Yamazaki wanted to followed, but King Shō Nei refused and left him in Ryukyu.

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