The dynastic culture and history of its domanial cities

01.Ryukyu Kingdom

Okinawa prefecture used to be called Ryukyu Kingdom and formed an individual nation that has king at the top.
In 1187, Shunten Dynasty has started, and Eiso Dynasty and Satto Dynasty took over that. The king Satto sent TAIKI and gave gifts in accordance with invitation from China. Derived from this, SAPPU system has launched, that is composed of SHINKO, surrounding countries give gifts to China and receive imperial gifts, and SAPPU, Chinese emperors give approval to surrounding countries’ sovereigns as the king.

Ryukyu had been divided into Hokuzan power, Chuzan power and Nanzan power at that time, however, Sho Hashi who is the king of the First Sho Dynasty subverted them and accomplished unification of the three powers. Whereafter, in 1470, Kanamaru who is from Izena Island took over the throne and renamed Sho En. That is the beginning of the Second Sho Dynasty.

From 14th century through 16th century, Ryukyu has intermediate traded with China, Japan, Korea and South East Asian countries and had been flourished. Afterward, this was called “Great Trading Age” and the state of this flourished era is written on “BANKOKUSHINRYO NO KANE.”
However in 1609, Satsuma-han has invaded Ryukyu with 3,000 soldiers. Since then, Ryukyu has integrated into Japan's shogunate regime, meanwhile they still had relationship with China and had kept kingdom regime under diplomatic relationship between Japan and China.

01.Ryukyu Kingdom

02.Shuri/Naha in Ryukyu Kingodm period

Various cultures had been circulating within Ryukyu which were active among Asian countries as a trading nation. As a result of that, unique culture which is strongly influenced by China and Japan has created. The center of that is Shuri and Naha which are current Naha City.

Current Naha City consists of 4 regions such as Shuri, Naha, Mawashi and Oroku which have different aspects.
Shuri used to be an imperial city which surrounds a castle, SHURI-JO and had been a center of the nation’s politics and culture.

Naha has developed since it has Naha Port. Tomari Village which has Tomari Port and Kume Village where a number of Chinese descendents had lived are located right next to Naha of the time.

In addition, Naha used to be a separated island, called “UKISHIMA” and connected to opposite shore by CHOKOTEI (about 1 km length undersea road) which had built in 1451.
On the other hand, Mawashi and Oroku areas (called Mawashi-magiri and Oroku-magiri at that time) contributed to city life of Naha and Shuri as suburban farming villages.

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03.Start of Okinawa Prefecture

In 1872, Meiji government forcibly placed "Ryukyu-han" instead of the kingdom, army force and police were sent to Ryukyu and has launched Okinawa Prefecture in 1879 (Disinstallation of Ryukyu).
At that time, the prefectural government was placed in Naha and that made Naha the center of politics and economies. In addition, in May 20, 1921, municipalization was implemented in Naha area and Shuri area. That was the first time that "City" was made in Okinawa Prefecture.
However, 90% of Naha City area was destroyed by the U.S. military's "10.10 Aerial Attack" in 1944 and a lot of lives and cultural heritages were lost by the ground battle between Japanese and U.S. military.
Postwar Okinawa had been put under the rule of the U.S. military and some U.S. military-related facilities were built in Naha City such as the Naha Military Port on forcibly expropriated lands.

Naha City has merged with Shuri City and Oroku Village in 1954, and with Mawashi City in 1957, and formed current Naha City area.
After 27 years of U.S. military ruling era, on May 15, 1972 the administrative right of Okinawa has given back to Japan, and neo-Okinawa prefecture has launched (Reversion to Japan). However it was a reversion with some issues such as concern about U.S. military bases located here and it is still remaining as the big problem.
G8 Kyushu Okinawa Summit has taken place in 2000, and also some historic sites in the city such as SHURI-JYO site, SHIKINAEN, SONOHYAN-TAKI ISHIMON, TAMAUDUN ROYAL was registered to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In doing so, Okinawa is increasingly introduced to the world.
Naha city has been a front stage of Okinawa and Ryukyu's history in a long history. Even now, it still keeps developing as majestic capital city of Okinawa which hands down its history and culture.

03.Start of Okinawa Prefecture

Successive Dynasties

Tenson-shi Dynasty (25 generations, 17802 years)

The mythical first Ryukyu dynasty. The name of each king is unidentified.

Shunten Dynasty (3 generations, 73 years)

The name of kingReignDate of birth and death
1Shunten1187 - 12371166 - 1237
2Shunbajyunki1238 - 12481185 - 1248
3Gihon1249 - 12591206 - ?

Eiso Dynasty (5 generations, 90 years)

The name of kingReignDate of birth and death
1Eiso1260 - 12991229 - 1299
2Taisei1300 - 13081247 - 1308
3Eiji1309 - 13131268 - 1313
4Tamagusuku1314 - 13361296 - 1336
5Seii1337 - 13491328 - 1349

Satto Dynasty (2 generations, 56 years)

The name of kingReignDate of birth and death
1Satto1350 - 13951321 - 1395
2Bunei1396 - 14061356 - ?

First Sho-shi Dynasty (7 generations, 64 years)

The name of kingReignDate of birth and death
1Sho Shisho1406 - 1421? - 1421
2Sho Hashi1422 - 14391372 - 1439
3Sho Chu1440 - 14441391 - 1444
4Sho Shitatu1445 - 14491408 - 1449
5Sho Kinpuku1450 - 14531398 - 1453
6Sho Taikyu1454 - 14601415 - 1460
7Sho Toku1461 - 14691441 - 1469

Second Sho-shi Dynasty (19 generations, 410 years)

The name of kingReignDate of birth and death
1Sho En1470 - 14761415 - 1476
2Sho Seni1477( 6 months)1430 - 1477
3Sho Shin1477 - 15261465 - 1526
4Sho Sei1527 - 15551497 - 1555
5Sho Gen1556 - 15721528 - 1572
6Sho Ei1573 - 15881559 - 1588
7Sho Nei1589 - 16201564 - 1620
8Sho Hou1621 - 16401590 - 1640
9Sho Ken1641 - 16471625 - 1647
10Sho Shitu1648 - 16681629 - 1668
11Sho Tei1669 - 17091645 - 1709
12Sho Eki1710 - 17121678 - 1712
13Sho Kei1713 - 17511700 - 1751
14Sho Boku1752 - 17941739 - 1794
15Sho On1795 - 18021784 - 1802
16Sho Sei1803(one year)1800 - 1803
17Sho Kou1804 - 18341787 - 1834
18Sho Iku1835 - 18471813 - 1847
19Sho Tai1848 - 18791843 - 1901

Naha city and Sho family-related chronology

A.D.Name of an eraPrincipales eventos
Around 30000 B.C.-YAMASHITADOJIN inhabited (Yamashita-cho First Cave Site).
607TAIGYOU3Yodai, the emperor of Sui, the Chinese dynasty, sent Shukan to Ryukyu.
1187JUNKI14Shunten took over the throne.
1260KEITEI1Eiso took over the throne.
1350SHISEI10Satto took over the throne.
1372KOBU5Koubutei, the emperor of Ming, the Chinese dynasty sent Yosai to Ryukyu and suggested paying tributes. Satto, the king of Chuzan power accepted the suggestion. (The beginning of Ryukyu-China relations).
1404EIRAKU2Bunei, the king of Chuzan power got SAPPU, the token of approval as a king from Ming (The beginning of SAPPU).
1406EIRAKU4Sho Hashi ruined Bunei, the king of Chuzan power, and made his father Sho Shisho the king (The beginning of First Sho Dynasty).
1414EIRAKU12Ashikaga Yoshimochi, the Shogun of Muromach shogunate sent the letter to Sho Shisho. Since then, Ryukyu sent emissaries until 16th century.
1416EIRAKU14Sho Hashi ruined Han'anchi, the king of Hokuzan power.
1429SENTOKU4Sho Hashi ruined Tarumi, the king of Nanzan power and three powers (Hokuzan power, Chuzan power, Nanzan power) were integrated.
1458TENJUN2Sho Taikyu installed a big bell called "BANKOKUSHINRYO NO KANE" on Seiden, the main building of SHURI-JO.
1467SEIKA3Ryukyu gifted parrots and peacocks to Korea, and in return, Seiso, the king of Korea gifted HOUSATSUGYO, the Buddhist scriptures.
1470SEIKA6Kanamaru took over the throne and renamed Sho En (The beginning of the Second Sho Dynasty).
1501KOUCHI14THE TAMAUDUN ROYAL (Tumb of Sho Family) has built.
1609BANREKI37Satsuma-han invaded Ryukyu with 3,000 soldiers (Since then, Ryukyu had been integrated to Japan's shogunate regime and had diplomatic relation with Japan and China). Satsuma-han took over Amami from Ryukyu and made it their ruling territory.
1689KOUKI28Ryukyu established a government office called KEIZUZA and they made a demand on samurai class families to compile and submit their Kafu, the documents of the family history.
1798KAKEI3SHIKINAEN was started building (complete in 1799).
1816KAKEI12Basil Hall of British navy visited Ryukyu. On a way back to the homeland, he told Napoleon about the state of Ryukyu.
1853KANPO3Perry's fleet of the US navy arrived Ryukyu.
1854KANPO4Ryukyu-US treaty of amity was cocluded.
1855KANPO5Ryukyu-France treaty of amity was concluded.
1859KANPO9Ryukyu-Netherlands treaty of amity was concluded.
1872DOUCHI11Ryukyu sent a party called KEIGASHI to Tokyo. Sho Tai was approved to be the king of Ryukyu-Han (RYUKYU-HAN was placed).
1879MEIJI12Meiji government sent 400 army soldiers and some police officers to Ryukyu-Han and forced to recreate Ryukyu as Okinawa Prefecture (RYUKYU SHOBUN / HAIRYUCHIKEN).
1944SHOWA19Oct. 10, the U.S. mobile troops made a aerial attack to Naha city and decimated 90% of the whole Naha city area (JU-JU KUSHU).
1945SHOWA20Apr. 1, the U.S. military landed Okinawa main island. A lot of lives and cultural heritages were lost by the ground battles (Organized resistance by Japan was ended on Jun. 23).
1945SHOWA20The U.S. military expropriated lands and started building facilities.
1950SHOWA25Dec. 5, the United States Civil Administration was launched. (USCAR; the local agency of the U.S. government for dominion of Okinawa)
1952SHOWA27Apr. 1, Ryukyu government was launched. (Self-government for citizen in the whole Ryukyu area).
1972SHOWA47May 15, administrative right was given back to Japan and Okinawa prefecture was launched.
1992HEISEI4Sho Hiroshi (The 22nd head of Sho Family) donated THE TAMAUDUN ROYAL, SHIKINAEN and SOGENJI to Naha City.
1995HEISEI7Sho Hiroshi donated Sho Family-related materials (Old documents, and fine arts and crafts next year) to Naha City.
1997HEISEI9Sho Hiroshi died. (At the age of 80 on Aug. 30)
2000HEISEI12G8 Kyusyu Okinawa Summit meeting was held.
2006HEISEI18Jun. 9, Sho Family-related materials were designated as the first national treasure in Okinawa after the World War II.
2006HEISEI18Jul. 8, Naha City Historical Museum opened.

*Used Chinese names of era before RYUKYUSHOBUN in 1879 and used Japanese era names for the rest.

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