Thihathu of Ava

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For other people named Thihathu, see Thihathu (disambiguation).
Thihathu of Ava
သီဟသူ (အင်းဝ)
Aung Pinle Hsinbyushin.jpg
Thihathu depicted as the Aung Pinle Hsinbyushin nat (spirit)
King of Ava
Reign c. February 1422 – August 1425
Predecessor Minkhaung I
Successor Minhlange
Born 3 June 1394
Wednesday, 6th waxing of 1st Waso 756 ME[1]
Ava (Inwa)
Died August 1425 (aged 31)
Tawthalin 787 ME[2]
Aung Pinle
Consort Min Hla Htut (divorced)
Saw Min Hla (Chief Queen)[3]
Shin Bo-Me
Shin Sawbu
Issue Minhlange (son)
Saw Pye Chantha (daughter)
Shwe Pyi Shin Me (daughter)[4]
House Pinya
Father Minkhaung I
Mother Shin Mi-Nauk
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Thihathu of Ava (Burmese: သီဟသူ (အင်းဝ), pronounced: [θìha̰ðù]; 1394–1425) was king of Ava from 1422 to 1425. It was during his reign that the Forty Years' War (1385–1424) between Ava and Hanthawaddy Pegu kingdoms came to a formal close. Unlike his late elder brother Minye Kyawswa, he did not consider Pegu his enemy, and followed a policy of conciliation and friendship toward Pegu. In 1423, he actually helped to broker a truce between two rival claimants to the Hanthawaddy throne. For his help in breaking up the fight, Thihathu was given the rival princes' sister Lady Shin Sawbu whom he made his queen.

Though he made peace with Hanthawaddy Pegu in the south, the Shans from various Shan States in the north continued to raid Avan territory. In August 1425, Thihathu was killed in an ambush by the Shan raiders of Thibaw. The ambush was arranged by his queen Shin Bo-Me who wanted to put her lover Kale Kyetaungnyo on the throne.

Early life[edit]

Thihathu was the second son of Minkhaung, the Prince of Pyinsi by his chief queen Shin Mi-Nauk, a daughter of the saopha (Chief) of the Shan state of Mohnyin. As Minkhaung himself was one-eighth Shan, Thihathu was slightly more Shan (9/16th to be exact) than Burman. During his youth, he grew up in Pyinsi, located about 30 miles south of Ava (Inwa) where his father was in charge. In 1400, he came to Ava when his father ascended the Ava throne. His father made him governor of Sagaing, the city across the river from Ava, in 1408.[5]

Thihathu was not like his fiery elder brother and heir-apparent of Ava, Minye Kyawswa, who led a battalion at age 13 and an army by 16. In his 20s, Thihathu did join his brother's campaigns. In 1415, he led a naval contingent that accompanied Minye Kyawswa's land forces that invaded the Irrawaddy delta.[6] Thihathu succeeded his brother as governor of the strategically important city of Prome (Pyay) in 1416. In March 1415, Minye Kyawswa fell in battle. Thihathu was made the next heir-apparent in 1415.[7] He also married his brother's wife Saw Min Hla and had three children.


Thihathu ascended the Ava throne in circa February 1422 without incident. He chose Saw Min Hla as his chief queen, and his father's chief queen Shin Bo-Me as queen. He was so fond of Bo-Me that his chief queen Saw Min Hla retired into religion.[8] In November 1423, following the death of King Razadarit of Hanthawaddy, he marched south to the Irrawaddy delta to break up a succession crisis when Prince Binnya Ran I rebelled against his elder brother King Binnya Dhammaraza. For his help in breaking up the fight, Thihathu came back with the two brothers' sister Lady Shin Sawbu and made her queen.[9]

The king soon grew so fond of Shin Sawbu that Shin Bo-Me became jealous. In August 1425, she secretly instigated the chief of Hsipaw (Thibaw) to attack Ava. In his march to meet the raiders, Thihathu was severely wounded in an ambush and died soon after.[10] The ambush was arranged by Shin Bo-Me who wanted to put her lover Kale Kyetaungnyo on the throne.[9]


  1. ^ Zata 1960: 74
  2. ^ (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 58): Tawthalin 787 ME = 14 August to 12 September 1425
  3. ^ Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 53
  4. ^ Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 54
  5. ^ Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 1
  6. ^ Fernquest Spring 2006: 17
  7. ^ Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 215
  8. ^ Harvey 1925: 85–95
  9. ^ a b Htin Aung 1967: 93
  10. ^ Phayre 1967: 81–82


  • Fernquest, Jon (Spring 2006). "Rajadhirat's Mask of Command: Military Leadership in Burma (c. 1348–1421)". SBBR. 4 (1). 
  • Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd. 
  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma (1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta. 
  • Royal Historians of Burma (c. 1680). U Hla Tin (Hla Thamein), ed. Zatadawbon Yazawin (1960 ed.). Historical Research Directorate of the Union of Burma. 
  • Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese). 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar. 
Thihathu of Ava
Born: 3 June 1394 Died: August 1425
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Minkhaung I
King of Ava
February 1422 – August 1425
Succeeded by
Royal titles
Preceded by
Minye Kyawswa
Heir to the Burmese Throne
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minye Kyawswa
Governor of Prome
c. November 1413–March 1417
Succeeded by
Minye Kyawswa II of Prome
Preceded by
Governor of Sagaing
Succeeded by