King SHO Tai (尚泰王)

King SHO Tai (August 3, 1843 - August 19, 1901) was a King of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the 19th of the line of the Second Sho Dynasty. He was the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He ruled from 1848 to 1879. SHO Tai's father was King SHO Iku, the 18th king of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

On June 8, 1848, SHO Tai ascended the throne at the tender age of 4 (in his 6th year). In 1854 U.S. naval officer Commodore Matthew Calbraith PERRY arrived in Ryukyu, so that a Treaty of Amity between the Ryukyu Kingdom and the United States was concluded.

In 1855 a Treaty of Amity was concluded between the Ryukyu Kingdom and France, which was followed by the conclusion of a Treaty of Amity between the Ryukyu Kingdom and Holland in 1859.

In the following year after an abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures (which is known as Haihan-chiken in Japanese), although Ryukyu had basically maintained her identity (independence) by sending missions to Japan and Qing (China), yet in 1872 Japan forced SHO Tai to be resigned to establishing a vassal relationship with Japan, and SHO Tai was thereby appointed King of the Ryukyu Han (feudal clan) and given a residence in Tokyo with the new title Han-O (king of the clan). Thus, in 1879 the Ryukyu Kingdom was forcibly demolished and the Okinawa Prefecture was created instead, SHO Tai was forced to abdicate and vacate the royal residence of Shuri-jo Castle, whereby the Ryukyu Kingdom disappeared. SHO Tai and his courtiers moved to one of the Ryukyuan royal residences of Naka-gusuku Castle (the Nakagushiku Udun in Ryukyuan), but were displaced to a residence in Tokyo upon order of the Meiji Imperial Government. SHO In, the second son of SHO Tai, and SHO Jun, the fourth son, returned to Okinawa in later years.

Upon announcement of Peerage Law (which is called Kazoku-rei in Japanese), SHO Tai was made Marquis. SHO Tai died in 1901, at the age of 59. SHO Tai's body was buried in Tama-udun Royal Mausoleum of the Ryukyuan royal house, which is located in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. Still today the descendants of the Sho family live in Shuri district of Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture.

A famous "Nuchi du Takara" (words in Ryukyuan, meaning "Life is the treasure") was once attributed to King SHO Tai, but it is originally the lines in a play.

Sakuho-shi Delegates (the term sakuho refers to the Chinese emperor's acknowledgment of the status of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and the Chinese representatives dispatched by the Chinese emperor was called Sakuhoshi) (1866):
Senior envoy: CHO Shin (Zhào Xīn in Chinese) (Ushunbo Usanzen, meaning a Chamberlain of the Right to the crown prince, a member of the Board of the Crown Prince's Household of the Right)
Vice envoy: U Koko (Yú Guāng-jia in Chinese) (Naikaku chusho toneri, meaning an official of the Cabinet Secretariat)

Family

Father: King SHO Iku
Mother: Gentei (queen consort to King SHO Iku, bearing the title of Sashiki-Ajiganashi, Queen of the Ryukyu Kingdom)
Queen consort: Sho-shi Umimajirugani, Sashiki-Ajiganashi (her pseudonym is Kenshitsu, literally meaning the wise wife).
Mistresses
Majirugani: Princess (Aji or Anji or Anzu) Matsugawa (or Machigaa) (the term aji refers to the highest rank below a prince in the Ryukyu Kingdom) (her father was Mo Kisho:Misato Ueekata [the term ueekata refers to the highest rank below Aji in the Ryukyuan aristocracy] An-ko)
Majirugani: Princess (Aji) Hirara (or Pisara or Taira) (her father was Takamiya-gusuku Ueekata Cho-ko)
(Common-Law) Wives

Teu (pronounced Cho) YAMAMOTO
Tei KATAYAMA
Ko MATSUMOTO
Ko TANAKA
Natsu KANDA
Hana TANAKA
Children
The first and oldest son: SHO Ten, Prince (Oji) of Nakagusuku (or Nakagushiku) Cho-ko
The second son: SHO In, Prince (Oji) of Ginowan (or Jinoon) Cho-ko
The third son: SHO Ko (died at the age of 2, his mother was Princess Matsugawa)
The fourth son: SHO Jun, Prince (Oji) of Matsuyama
The fifth son: SHO Shu (Tamagusuku Sho-shu, adopted by Tamagusuku-udun [the honorific title of Tamagusuku Aji])

The sixth son: SHO Ko
The seventh son: SHO Ji

The first and oldest daughter: Majirugani, Princess (Oshu) Tsukayama
The second daughter: Manabetaru, Princess (Oshu) Manabe
The third daughter: Princess (Oshu) Makishi
The fourth daughter: Princess (Oshu) Kadekaru
The fifth daughter: Masako (married Kenwa KANNA)
The sixth daughter: Yaeko (married Itsusen or Issen TO also known as Seiryo KAMIYAMA)
The seventh daughter: Chiyoko
The eighth daughter: Kimiko
The ninth daughter: Sayoko
The tenth daughter: Suzuko
The eleventh daughter: Sadako