Sho Iko

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  • Born: 1494
  • Died: 1540
  • Titles: 浦添王子 (Urasoe ôji, O: Urashii wuuji, Prince of Urasoe)
  • Other Names: 浦添 朝満 (Urasoe Chôman)
  • Japanese: 維衡 (Shô Ikô)

Shô Ikô was the first son of King Shô Shin of the Ryûkyû Kingdom, by his first wife, Queen Kyojin. For reasons which remain unclear, he faced considerable hostility at court and ended his life in exile, never acceding to the throne. The line of succession did eventually return to his descendants (the so-called "Urasoe branch" of the royal family), however, with one of his great-grandsons taking the throne in 1589 as King Shô Nei.

Born in 1494, Shô Ikô was for some reason in disfavor within the royal court or family by 1501, when he was still a young child. He was granted favor again and was named crown prince in 1507, but quickly afterward came under attack from his father's consort Kagô, who wished to see her own son succeed to the throne. By 1509, Kagô or her allies had convinced Shô Shin to order his son, the teenage Shô Ikô, executed. He somehow escaped execution but lived the remainder of his life in Urasoe. Meanwhile, Kagô's son was named crown prince in 1508 or 1509 and took the throne as King Shô Sei upon their father's death in 1526.

Despite his disfavored relationship with the royal court, however, some of Shô Ikô's descendants managed to retain prominence and favor. His eldest daughter (name and dates unknown) is entombed at the royal mausoleum of Tamaudun.[1] and another daughter, Bainan, was the second woman to serve as kikôe-ôgimi (high priestess) of the kingdom,[2] Shô Ikô's eldest son was known as Shô Kôgyô (Urasoe Chôkyô); his eldest son in turn was named Shô I; and Shô I's eldest son, a great-grandson of Shô Ikô, regained the throne from Shô Sei's line in 1589, taking the throne as King Shô Nei.


  • Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 132-133.
  1. Plaques on-site at Tamaudun,
  2. Plaques on-site at Miima udun, Shuri.