Shō Hō

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Shō Hō
King Sho Hoh.jpg
Official royal portrait of Shō Hō, painted by Shō Genko in 1796.
King of Ryukyu
Reign 1621–1640
Predecessor Shō Nei
Successor Shō Ken
Born 1590
Died 1640
Burial Tamaudun, Shuri, Okinawa
Spouse Gaja-Uemori Aji-ganashi
Kimitoyomi Aji-ganashi
Concubine Nishi no Aji-ganashi, Ryōgetsu
Mafē Aji, Ranshitsu
Mafē Aji, Nangaku
Yonabaru Agomo-shirare
Issue Shō Kyō, Prince Urasoe Chōryō
Shō Bun, Crown Prince Nakagusuku Chōeki
Shō Ken, Prince Kume-Nakagusuku
Shō Shitsu, Prince Sashiki
Princess Shuri-ōkimi Aji-ganashi
Princess Takushi
Princess Shimajiri-Sashisaka Aji-ganashi
Princess Yonashiro
House House of Second Shō
Father Shō Kyū, Prince Kin Chōkō
Mother Kin Ō-Aji-ganashi

Shō Hō (尚豊, 1590–1640), also known as Shengfeng, was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom.[1] 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,[2] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

After a twenty-year reign, Shō Hō died in 1640, and was succeeded by his son, Shō Ken.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Suganuma, Unryu. (2000). Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations, p. 46. at Google Books
  2. ^ a b "Shō Hō." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報). 1 March 2003. Accessed 12 February 2009.
  3. ^ Kerr, George. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. (revised edition). Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. p185.
  4. ^ Kerr. p180.


Shō Hō
House of Second Shō
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shō Nei
King of Ryukyu
Succeeded by
Shō Ken
Political offices
Preceded by
Kikuin Sōi
Sessei of Ryukyu
1617 - 1621
Succeeded by
Kin Chōtei