Originally from Iheya Island, he was a son of the lord of Samegawa. Shishô's son Shô Hashi, anji of Sashiki magiri, overthrew Bunei of Chûzan in 1406 and appointed Shô Shishô king, while he himself served essentially as regent and de facto ruler for the duration of his father's reign. Shô Shishô received formal investiture from the Chinese in 1408, and held the throne until his death in 1421.
As king, he worked to incorporate officials of Chinese origin more fully into the Chûzan/Ryûkyû court. By granting them posts and titles which derived from himself, and not solely from the Ming Court, he strengthened their reliance on - and thus loyalty to - the Ryukyuan court.
Though generally considered the first king of the first Shô dynasty, Shô Shishô is only referred to as "king" (国王, J: kokuô, C: guowang) in some historical sources, and not in others. The historical understanding of his position or status is thus known to have been ambiguous.
Shô Shishô is buried near Sashiki gusuku, at a site called Sashiki yôdore which is today located within the Japan Self-Defense Forces' Chinen Air Base. Shishô is the only king buried there; Hashi and his successors are buried elsewhere, at a site in modern-day Yomitan Village.
|Reign as King of Chûzan
- "Shô Shishô." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryûkyû Shimpô. 1 March 2003. Accessed 4 December 2009.
- Kerr, George. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. Revised Edition. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. p184.
- Tomiyama Kazuyuki, Ryûkyû ôkoku no gaikô to ôken, Yoshikawa kôbunkan (2004), 48.
- Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 117.