Kunigami Seikaku

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  • Died: c. 1571?
  • Titles: 国頭親方 (Kunjan ueekata; Kunigami ueekata)
  • Other Names: 順徳 (Ba Juntoku / C: Mǎ Shùndé)
  • Japanese: 国頭 正格 (Kunigami Seikaku)

Kunigami ueekata Seikaku, also known by his Chinese-style name Mǎ Shùndé, was a Ryûkyû Kingdom official of the late 16th century.

He served as a member of the Council of Three, the top royal advisors and administrators, during the reign of Shô Gen. According to the Chûzan seifu and Kyûyô (official kingdom histories produced in later centuries), King Shô Gen traveled himself to Amami Ôshima in 1571 to lead an invasion of (or punitive mission against) the island in person, and fell ill while there. Kunigami reportedly prayed to Heaven that his life be taken instead of that of the king, and soon afterwards Shô Gen recovered his health and Kunigami weakened and died. Very nearly the same story appears in another text, the Chûzan seikan, as having taken place roughly a generation earlier, in 1537, during the reign of King Shô Sei; in all three accounts, the king declares that all later heads of the Ba family should hold the esteemed title of Kunigami anji, in recognition of Kunigami's great sacrifice.

While historian Kuroshima Satoru suggests that King Shô Gen may have been wounded in battle on Amami, Gregory Smits suggests that the 1571 invasion may not have taken place at all, but may simply be a repetition or reflection of the events of the earlier generation.


  • Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 186.