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Momoto Fumiagari

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  • Japanese: 百度踏揚 or 百十踏揚 (Momoto Fumiagari)

Momoto Fumiagari was a royal princess of the Ryûkyû Kingdom, the daughter of King Shô Taikyû (r. 1454-1461), and wife of Amawari (d. 1458), lord of Katsuren. Gosamaru (d. 1458), lord of Nakagusuku, may have been her maternal grandfather.

Like all women of close relation to the kings of Ryûkyû, she was believed to possess particularly great spiritual power, and is represented as such where she appears in the Omoro sôshi. It is from this spiritual character that the honorific, spiritual/religious name Momoto Fumiagari derives. Her true given name is unknown; she is sometimes referred to simply as "Princess [of] Shô Taikyû" (尚泰久王女).

In order to appease Amawari, lord of Katsuren, who was perceived as a threat to the court, Momoto Fumiagari was married to him. Shô Taikyû also had Nakagusuku castle built, placing it between Shuri and Katsuren, as a further step to protect himself from Amawari; Amawari accused the new lord of Nakagusuku, Gosamaru. Momoto Fumiagari, however, discovered that Amawari was himself plotting against the King, and escaped, along with her attendant, master fencer Oni Ôgusuku (O: Uni Ufugushiku), returning to Shuri Castle and revealing her husband's intentions to her father, the king. The entire affair ended in royal forces attacking both Nakagusuku and Katsuren, and in the deaths of both Momoto's husband, Amawari, and her grandfather, Gosamaru. Most literary versions of the narrative paint Amawari as the villain, though some sources suggest that the entire affair may have been a scheme by Shô Taikyû to eliminate both Gosamaru and Amawari as threats to the throne.[1]

Momoto was thus widowed, but re-married soon afterwards, wedding her attendant, Oni Ôgusuku. By this time, however, there had been a dynastic change in Shuri, and Shô En now ruled as king, marking the end of the First Shô Dynasty and the beginning of the Second Shô Dynasty. Oni Ôgusuku was killed as a loyal retainer to the old regime. Momoto then escaped, along with her older siblings, to Tamagusuku, where she lived out the remainder of her years relatively uneventfully. As a prominent woman of the royal family, she was actively involved in a variety of rituals and ceremonies performed at Shuri to strengthen and protect the king and the court; she may have taken part in similar rituals at Tamagusuku as well.

The precise years of Momoto Fumiagari's birth and death are unknown, but given that the Gosamaru-Amawari incident took place in 1458, it is safe to assume that she died sometime in the latter half of the 15th century, or perhaps in the very early years of the 16th century.

References

  1. "Amawari." Okinawa rekishi jinmei jiten (沖縄歴史人名事典, "Encyclopedia of People of Okinawan History"). Naha: Okinawa Bunka-sha, 1996. p10.
    "Gosamaru-Amawari no hen." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報). 1 March 2003. Accessed 25 July 2009.
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