Shōsatto (承察度), read variously as Ōzato, Ofosato, and Ufusatu, was a local ruler of Okinawa Island, who was given the title of King of Sannan. Contemporary sources on Shōsatto are very scarce. Following a visit of a Chinese envoy on Okinawa Island, he first sent a tributary mission in 1380. His last contact was of 1396. His "reign" deviated too much from the ideological ideal. Only the "king" should have a tributary relationship with the Chinese emperor, but the "King's father's younger brother" (王叔) Ōeishi also sent envoys from 1388 to 1397. In 1403, Ōōso, who claimed to be Shōsatto's younger brother or cousin, reported Shōsatto's death in 1403 and was recognized as King of Sannan the next year.[1]

King of Sannan
Reign?–1403 (traditional dates)
Died1403 (traditional date)

His real name is unknown. Modern attempts to decipher the enigmatic un-Okinawan name Shōsatto point to Ōzato (大里), a toponym with multiple referents. There were two candidates in southern Okinawa: Shimasoe-Ōzato in modern-day Nanjō City and Shimajiri-Ōzato in modern-day Itoman City.[2]

The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea records mysterious events about the King of Sannan. In 1394, Satto, King of Chūzan, requested Korea to return Shōsatto, Prince of Sannan (山南王子承察度), who had supposedly fled to Korea. In 1398, Onsadō, King of Sannan (山南王温沙道), fled to Korea after reportedly being banished by the King of Chūzan. He died there in the same year. These records clearly contradict the Veritable Records, raising questions about the reliability of Okinawa's diplomatic correspondence to foreign countries.[1]

Historian Ikuta Shigeru speculates that the King of Sannan was a puppet of the King of Chūzan from the very beginning. He re-interpretes the phrase "Prince of Sannan" (山南王子) as a title given by the King of Chūzan to his senior retainer, possibly his blood relative.[1] Historian Wada Hisanori criticized Ikuta's hypothesis, arguing that the King of Chūzan's subjugation of the King of Sannan began later, during the reign of King Ōōso.[3]

The Chūzan Seikan (1650), Ryūkyū's first official history book, identified the King of Sannan as the Aji of Ōzato. The Chūzan Seikan only made a single reference to Shōsatto: It claimed that Shōsatto, King of Sannan, together with the Kings of Chūzan and Sanhoku, paid tribute to the Chinese emperor for the first time in 1372. This statement clearly contradicts Chinese records, which dated the first mission to 1380. Sai Taku's edition of the Chūzan Seifu (1701) generally followed the Chūzan Seikan but Sai On's edition of the Chūzan Seifu (1725) drastically rewrote history. Having access to Chinese diplomatic records, he added the records of tributary missions sent under the name of Shōsatto. Sai On naïvely inferred that Shōsatto died in 1403, the year Ōōso reported his death to the Chinese emperor.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ikuta Shigeru 生田滋 (1984). "Ryūkyū-koku no "Sanzan tōitsu"" 琉球国の「三山統一」 [The so-called "Unification of the Three Kingdoms" in Ryukyu History]. The Toyo Gakuho 東洋学報 (in Japanese). 65 (3–4): 341–372.
  2. ^ Dana Masayuki 田名真之 (2004). "Ko-Ryūkyū ōkoku no ōtō" 古琉球王国の王統. In Asato Susumu; et al. (eds.). Okinawa-ken no rekishi 沖縄県の歴史 (in Japanese). pp. 59–96.
  3. ^ Wada Hisanori 和田久徳 (2006). "Ryūkyū-koku no Sanzan tōitsu" 琉球国の三山統一. Ryūkyū ōkoku no keisei: Sanzan tōitsu to sono zengo 琉球王国の形成: 三山統一とその前後 (in Japanese). Yōju Shorin 榕樹書林. pp. 7–64.
Preceded by
King of Sannan
?–1403 (traditional dates)
Succeeded by