Sai Kei

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Sai Kei was a Ryukyuan scholar-official who traveled to China in 1601 to officially request investiture for King Shô Nei. Though Beijing initially suggested that a martial official be sent to Ryûkyû to invest the king, Sai somehow managed to convince the Ming to agree to send two civil officials, as per standard protocol and precedent, to invest the king. King Shô Nei was only slightly distantly related to his predecessor, Shô Ei, and his succession and continued rule was somewhat shaky; he therefore felt strongly about the importance of having the investiture ceremonies be performed as usual, to not shed any additional doubt on his legitimacy.


  • Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 216.