Sho Toku

From SamuraiWiki
Revision as of 03:32, 20 December 2009 by LordAmeth (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Shô Toku was the seventh king of Ryûkyû, and the last of the First Shô Dynasty. He was the third son of King Shô Taikyû, who he succeeded in 1461.

The reign of Shô Toku is known primarily for the king's military adventures, chiefly the conquest in 1465 of Kikaigashima, a nearby island which served no economic, political, or strategic purpose. This campaign saw the adoption of the mitsu-domoe banner of Hachiman, commonly used by wakô at the time, as the royal crest.

The kingdom's coffers being already depleted by his father's campaigns of temple building, lavish entertainments, and ritual and ceremony, this would come to be seen in later generations as an extravagance, and an unnecessary drain on resources.

Shô Toku died in 1469, with no obvious successor. He was succeeded by the royal treasurer, Kanamaru, who took the throne as King Shô En, who was chosen by a council of the top court elders, marking the beginning of the Second Shô Dynasty. Histories such as the Chûzan Seikan and other accounts created under the latter dynasty describe Shô Toku as an unvirtuous ruler, lacking the Mandate of Heaven, a man filled with violence and cruelty. Other tales tell of his infatuation with a priestess of Kudaka Island, and that his dalliance with her provided the opportunity for Kanamaru's rebellion.


  • "Shô Toku." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Dictionary"). Ryukyu Shimpo. 1 March 2003. Accessed 19 December 2009.
  • Kerr, George. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. Revised Edition. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. pp100-101.
  • Smits, Gregory. Visions of Ryukyu. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999. p60.
Preceded by:
Shô Taikyû
Reign as King of Chûzan and Ryûkyû
Succeeded by:
Shô En