The details of Taromai's birth are not known for sure, and a number of theories exist. According to Kyûyô, an official history compiled by officials of the Kingdom of Ryûkyû, Taromai was the eldest son of the previous king of Nanzan, Ououso.
Nanzan was invaded and conquered by Chûzan to the north, in 1429, marking the unification of Okinawa Island, and the emergence of the unified Kingdom of Ryûkyû. According to some sources, Taromai's fall was the result of a loss of popular support among the peasantry, after Taromai greedily traded Chûzan a spring (i.e. a precious source of fresh water) for a gold-painted fence. Historian George H. Kerr, however, notes that succession disputes among Taromai's heirs were seen as a sign of weakness by Shô Hashi, king of Chûzan, and as an opportunity to seize control of the kingdom.
- "Taromii." Okinawa rekishi jinmei jiten (沖縄歴史人名事典, "Encyclopedia of People of Okinawan History"). Naha: Okinawa Bunka-sha, 1996. p 47.
- "Tarumii." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo. 1 March 2003. Accessed 29 July 2009.
- Kerr, George H. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. (revised ed.) Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. p86.