Shō Shitsu

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Shō Shitsu
King of Ryukyu
PredecessorShō Ken
SuccessorShō Tei
SpouseMisato Aji-ganashi
ConcubineMafē Aji, Honkū
Adaniya Agomo-shirare, Honkō
Miyashiro Agomo-shirare, Keishitsu
Moromizato Agomo-shirare, Getsurei
IssueShō Tei, Crown Prince Nakagusuku Chōshū
Shō Kōki, Prince Ōzato Chōryō
Shō Kōjin, Prince Nago Chōgen
Shō Kosai, Prince Chatan Chōai
Shō Kōtoku, Prince Kochinda Chōshun
Shō Kōshin, Prince Motobu Chōhei
Shō Kōzen, Prince Ginowan Chōgi
Princess Adaniya
Princess Moromizato
Princess Yonamine
Princess Ōmine
Princess Miyahira
HouseSecond Shō Dynasty
FatherShō Hō
MotherNishi no Aji-ganashi, Ryōgetsu

Shō Shitsu (尚質, 1629–1668) was a king of the Ryukyu Kingdom who held the throne from 1648 until his death in 1668.

The fourth son of King Shō Hō, he was named Prince of Sashiki in 1637, at the age of eight, and was granted Sashiki magiri as his domain. In 1645, his domain was changed to that of Nakagusuku magiri, and his title to Prince of Nakagusuku.[1]

Shō Shitsu succeeded his brother Shō Ken as king in 1648.[1] His reign coincided with a period of rebellion and instability in China, as factions loyal to the Ming Dynasty, which fell in 1644, continued to fight against the new Qing Dynasty order. On at least one occasion, Ryukyuan tribute ships were attacked by pirates or rebels, who killed at least one of the Ryukyuan sailors and stole various objects; the authorities of Satsuma Domain[2] declared the head envoy and his deputy to be at fault and had them executed.[3] Another incident involved an attack on an Okinawan mission on the road to Beijing; the Ryukyuans defeated their attackers, and Hirata Tentsu came to be known as a national hero.[3]

Though there was initially some uncertainty, particularly within Japan, as to whether the kingdom should support the new dynasty, or the Ming rebels, the Tokugawa shogunate left the decision up to Satsuma. The king's eldest son, Shō Tei, who would later succeed him as king, journeyed to Beijing and submitted the formal royal seal given the kingdom by the Ming rulers, to the Qing Court, which in turn granted the prince a new royal seal for the kingdom and declared its official recognition of Shō Shitsu as king.[3]

A number of major reforms were effected in the final years of Shō Shitsu's reign, primarily at the guidance or suggestion of Shō Shōken, who was appointed sessei, a position which has been compared to prime minister, in 1666. Shō Shōken also compiled the Chūzan Seikan ("Mirror of Chūzan"), the first history of the kingdom, at the king's orders.[4]

Upon his death in 1668, he was entombed in the royal mausoleum Tamaudun,[5] and was succeeded by his eldest son, Shō Tei.


  1. ^ a b "Shō Shitsu." 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.
  2. ^ One of the Japanese feudal domains known as han, Satsuma claimed the Ryūkyū Kingdom as a vassal state.
  3. ^ a b c Kerr, George. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. (revised ed.) Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. p176.
  4. ^ Smits, Gregory. Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999.
  5. ^ Official plaques and gallery labels on-site at Tamaudun
Shō Shitsu
Second Shō Dynasty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shō Ken
King of Ryukyu
Succeeded by
Shō Tei