Sho Genko

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A posthumous portrait of King Shô Nei (r. 1587-1620), painted by Shô Genko in 1796.
  • Born: 1784/11/13
  • Died: 1841/12/9
  • Other Names: 小橋川朝安 (Kobashigawa Chouan)
  • Japanese: 元瑚 (Shou Genko)

Shô Genko, also known by the Japanese-style name Kobashigawa Chôan, was a painter who served under five successive kings of Ryûkyû. The first painter to ever be elevated to the rank of ueekata,[1] he is best known for his posthumous royal portraits of the kings of the kingdom, but is said to have also been a master of, in particular, bird-and-flower painting, and paintings of tigers.

Genko was born in Shuri, and began teaching Chinese-style painting in Kagoshima in 1801.[1]

He was elevated to the rank of ueekata in 1843.[2]

Many of his works were stored at his former home for many years, but most were destroyed in the 1945 battle of Okinawa.


  • "Shô Genko." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo. 1 March 2003. Accessed 22 February 2010.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Junko Kobayashi, "The Demise of Ryukyuan Painting," Okinawan Art in its Regional Context symposium, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 10 Oct 2019.
  2. Okinawa bijutsu zenshû vol 6, Okinawa Times (1989), 65.