Kokuo shotokuhi

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The kokuô shôtoku-hi.
  • Erected: 1543
  • Japanese: 国王頌徳碑 (koku ou shou toku hi)

The kokuô shôtoku-hi (lit. "stele of poem of the king's virtue") is a stele erected in 1543 which stands just outside the compound of Shuri castle, the royal palace of the Ryûkyû Kingdom. It is, for that reason, also known as the "Ishijô no higashi no himon," or "Stele to the East of the Stone Gate [to the palace]."

The inscription, by Sengan, sixth abbot of Engaku-ji, reads in part:


Shuri okiyakamoi ganashi no miyo ni miyako yori chiganemaru mikoshi mitama no watari môshi sôrô toki ni tatemôshi sôrô hinomon

"Stele erected on the occasion of the dispatch from Miyako of a sword named 'Chiganemaru' and sacred beads during the reign of King Shô Shin."[1]

The stele is believed to have been erected in commemoration of that occasion. Other elements of the inscription include a proscription against self-immolation following the king's death.


  • Okinawa bijutsu zenshû 沖縄美術全集. vol. 4. Okinawa Times, 1989. Description of Plates 81-82.
  1. Text, romanization, and translation from Okinawa bijutsu zenshû.
The inscription on the kokuô shôtoku-hi.
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