Shō Toku

Shō Toku (尚 徳 Shō Toku, 1441–1469) was the son of Shō Taikyū and last king of his dynasty. He came to power as a young man in a kingdom whose treasury had been depleted. He engaged in efforts to conquer islands and took the Mitsudomoe, the symbol of Hachiman, as his banner to emphasize his martial spirit. In 1466, he led an invasion on Kikai Island, which strained the Ryukyuan treasury with little benefit.[1] He either died young or was possibly killed by forces within the kingdom as details are somewhat unclear.[2] As is common for rulers who preside over the end of a dynasty, moralists portrayed him as cruel, violent, and lacking in virtue.[3]

Shō Toku
King of Ryukyu
PredecessorShō Taikyū
SuccessorShō En
HouseFirst Shō Dynasty
FatherShō Taikyū
MotherMiyazato Agunshitari-agomoshirare


  • Father: Shō Taikyū
  • Mother: Miyazato Agunshitari-agomoshirare
  • Wife: daughter of Gushikawa Aji
  • Concubine: daughter of Yabiku Aji
  • Children:
    • Shō Shasiki
    • Shō Urasoe
    • Shō Daiyako, descendant was Minshikameya Family
    • Shō Koban


  1. ^ Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Capture a King: Okinawa 1609. Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2009. P. 8-9.
  2. ^ Okinawa, the history of an island people by George H. Kerr, pgs 100–103
  3. ^ Visions of Ryukyu: identity and ideology in early-modern thought and politics by Gregory Smits, pgs 60–61
Shō Toku
First Shō Dynasty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shō Taikyū
King of Ryukyu
Succeeded by
Shō En
Bunei (Ryukyu)

Bunei (武寧) (r. 1398–1406), also known as Wuning, was the last chief of Chūzan, one of three polities on the island of Okinawa, before it was united into the Ryukyu Kingdom by Shō Hashi.

First Shō Dynasty

The First Shō Dynasty (第一尚氏王朝) was a royal house that ruled Chūzan, and later the Ryukyu Kingdom, reigning from 1406 until King Shō Toku's death in 1469.

In 1406, Bunei was overthrown and Shō Shishō became the nominal ruler of Chūzan, placed there by his eldest son Shō Hashi as part of a power bid to control Chūzan while giving an appearance to China of proper Confucian respect for one's elders. Shō Hashi conquered Hokuzan in 1416 and Nanzan in 1429, unified Okinawa successfully. He was given the surname Shō (尚) by the Chinese Emperor, and changed the country name to the Ryukyu Kingdom.King Shō Toku died in 1469, and his offspring were killed in a coup d'état, following which the dynasty was succeeded by the Second Shō Dynasty.

Genealogy of the Shō Dynasties

The First Shō Dynasty and Second Shō Dynasty ruled the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1406–1469 and 1470–1879, respectively. In spite of the names, they were unrelated. Abbreviated genealogies of the two dynasties follow here.

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.

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.

Ryukyuan mon

The Ryukyuan mon (琉球文, Ryūkyū mon, Okinawan: Ruuchuu mun) was the currency of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1454 to 1879, when the kingdom was annexed by the Empire of Japan and the currency was replaced by the Japanese yen. The Chinese character for mon is 文, which was widely used in the Chinese-character cultural sphere, e.g. Chinese wén, Vietnamese văn, and Korean mun. The Ryukyuans produced their own coins until the 15th century, but became dependent on Chinese coins until the 19th century when they briefly minted their own coins again. From 1862 the minting was outsourced to Kagoshima City, Satsuma Domain and were based on the Japanese mon (specifically on the "Kan'ei Tsūhō" copper coins). All of the Kagoshima-minted coins bear the phrase "Ryūkyū Tsūhō" (琉球通寳) (circulating treasure of Ryukyu); this phrase was written in Seal script on the half shu (248 mon) coin. Despite the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879, these coins continued to circulate within Okinawa Prefecture well into the 1880's as the Ryukyuans were initially unwilling to use Japanese yen coins.

Shō Boku

Shō Boku (尚 穆, May 3, 1739 – February 19, 1794) was a king of Ryukyu. His reign began in 1752. Although a period of relative stability, he had to contend with a tsunami in 1771 that devastated the Miyako Islands and Yaeyama Islands. His reign also saw the Chinese envoy Chou Huang who wrote a sixteen volume topography of the islands for the Qianlong Emperor.

Shō Chū

Shō Chū (尚 忠, Shō Chū, 1391–1444) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the third of the line of the First Shō Dynasty. He ruled from 1439 to 1444. Shō Chū was the second son of his father, King Shō Hashi. After Hokuzan Kingdom's annexation, Shō Chū was appointed "Warden of Hokuzan" (北山監守, Hokuzan Kanshu) in 1422. Shō Chū was installed as the king after his father's death. During his reign, Ryukyu began to trade with Java.

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 En

Shō En (尚圓)(1415–1476, r. 1470–1476) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the founder of the Second Shō Dynasty. Prior to becoming king, he was known as Kanamaru Uchima (内間金丸).

Shō Iku

Shō Iku (尚 育, 19 August 1813 – 25 October 1847) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1835 to 1847. He was the eldest son of Shō Kō. According to Chūzan Seifu, he was appointed regent in 1828, in place of his ailing father who was supposedly afflicted by a mental illness. Shō Kō died in 1834, and Shō Iku was installed as the king.

Shō Iku was a Confucian scholar, and had dedicated his life to education. But during his reign, the financial crisis grew more and more serious. When a French ship arrived in Naha in 1844, Ryukyu was forced to trade with France. It was the first contact with Western countries. Théodore-Augustin Forcade, a French priest sent by Paris Foreign Missions Society, came to Ryukyu to spread the Christian Gospel. Bernard Jean Bettelheim, a British Protestant missionary, also arrived in Ryukyu in 1846. Bettelheim established the first foreign hospital on the island at the Naminoue Gokoku-ji Temple.

The king died in 1847, and his second son Shō Tai succeeded him as the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Shō Kei

Shō Kei (尚 敬, August 3, 1700 – March 14, 1752) was king of the Ryukyu Kingdom (today Okinawa Prefecture, Japan) from 1713–1752. His reign, strongly guided by royal advisor Sai On, is regarded as a political and economic golden age and period of the flowering of Okinawan culture.After succeeding his father Shō Eki in 1713, Shō Kei appointed his regent and trusted advisor Sai On to the Sanshikan, the Council of Three top royal advisors, in 1728. His reign is known for a great number of developments, including economic reforms and conservation efforts implemented under the guidance of Sai On, political changes, and scholarly developments.

Shō Ken

Shō Ken (尚 賢, Shō Ken, October 15, 1625 – October 19, 1647) was the 9th king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, who ruled from 1641 to 1647.

Shō Ken was the third son of Shō Hō. He had two elder brothers named Shō Kyō (尚恭) and Shō Bun (尚文), but both of them died before their father. So Shō Ken became the heir apparent of the kingdom, and was given Kume and Nakagusuku magiri as his domain. After Shō Hō's death, Shō Ken was installed as the king.

Many of the Sakishima Beacons were built during his reign.

Shō Sei

For the 19th-century king of Ryūkyū, see Shō Sei (r. 1803).Shō Sei (尚清, 1497–1555) was king of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1526 to 1555. He was the fifth son of King Shō Shin, who he succeeded.

Shō Sei suppressed a rebellion on Amami Ōshima in 1537 and took steps to improve defenses against wakō that same year.

Shō Sei died in 1555 and was succeeded by his second son Shō Gen.

Shō Sei (r. 1803)

Shō Sei (尚 成, 4 December 1800 – 7 February 1803) was king of the Ryūkyū Kingdom from 1802 to 1803.

Shō Sei was the only son of king Shō On. He was 2 years old when he succeeded his father on August 8 (Lunar calendar: 7-month, 11-day), 1802, and died of smallpox one year later. After his death, his uncle Shō Kō was installed as the next king.

Shō Sen'i

Shō Sen'i (尚 宣威, Shō Sen'i, 1430–1477; r. 1477 (only six months)) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the second of the line of the Second Shō Dynasty. He ruled for only six months after his elder brother Shō En died, and was forced to abdicate to his nephew, Shō Shin.

Shō Sen'i was named Prince of Goeku (越来王子) after his abdication, and given Goeku magiri (today part of Okinawa City) as his domain, but died in the same year. It has been suggested that he was murdered by the empress dowager Ukiyaka (宇喜也嘉).

Shō Shishō

Shō Shishō (尚思紹, r. 1407–1421), also known as Talumei, was Anji of Sashiki and later chief of Chūzan, one of three polities on the island of Okinawa, before they were united. He was the progenitor of what became the First Shō Dynasty.

The son of Shishō was Shō Hashi, who is known as the first king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Shō Hashi overthrew chief Bunei of Chūzan in 1406 and installed his father as king. His kingship was acknowledged by the Yongle Emperor of China, who caused a diplomatic mission to be sent to the Ryukyuan capital in 1415.On 30 January 1406, the Yongle Emperor expressed horror when the Ryukyuans castrated some of their own children to become eunuchs to serve in the Ming imperial palace. The emperor said that the boys who were castrated were innocent and did not deserve castration, and he returned the boys to Ryukyu and instructed them not to send eunuchs again.

Shō Shitatsu

Shō Shitatsu (尚 思達, 1408–1449) was king of Ryukyu Kingdom who ruled from 1444 to 1449. Shō Shitatsu was the eldest son of king Shō Chū.

He died in 1449 without an heir, his uncle Shō Kinpuku was installed as the king.

Shō Taikyū

Shō Taikyū (尚 泰久, c. 1415–1460, r. 1454–1460) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the sixth of the line of the first Shō Dynasty. His reign saw the construction of many Buddhist temples, and the casting of the "Bridge of Nations" Bell (万国津梁の鐘, Bankoku shinryō no kane).

Shunten Dynasty
Eiso Dynasty
Sanzan period
First Shō Dynasty
Second Shō Dynasty


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.