According to the Chûzan seikan, Shô Sen'i left his parents at age five and was raised instead by his brother, Kanamaru, the lord of Goeku gusuku. Once Kanamaru took the throne as King Shô En, he named Sen'i lord of Goeku, and intended him to be his heir.
His succession was a point of contention, as Shô En's wife, Yosoidon, wished to see her son on the throne. Shô Sen'i's niece, the chief priestess of the kingdom, arranged to have his enthronement ceremony conducted with all the priestesses facing west rather than the traditional east - a strong show of symbolism that the sun was not rising on Shô Sen'i's reign, but rather setting. Taking the hint, Shô Sen'i abdicated a mere six months into his reign, was succeeded by his nephew, Shô Shin, and retired to Goeku only to die about a month afterwards.
Though believed by many historians to have been a politically engineered coup, this overturning of Shô Sen'i's reign is predictably represented in the Omoro sôshi, the kingdom's official histories, and other such sources in terms of his relative lack of virtue or of the destiny to be the ruler compared to Shô Shin.
- "Shô Sen'i." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo. 1 March 2003. Accessed 18 December 2009.
- Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 128-129.
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