The establishment of two shrines for successive Ryukyu kings and introduction of the Sho-boku(Zhao-Mu) order in the reign of the second Sho dynasty

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  • 近世琉球の先王廟と宗廟における昭穆観念
  • キンセイ リュウキュウ ノ センノウビョウ ト ソウビョウ ニ オケル ショウボクカンネン

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Tai-byo (an ancestral shrine) was erected for the second royal line of the Sho dynasty. Sen-o-byo(the shrine for old kings) was dedicated to successive kings who came from several dynasties in Ryukyu Islands. In the Chinese-style system, Tai-byo (Tai miao) refers to a shrine of the House of a ruler where the spirit tablets of the ancestors are placed on both sides of the founder’s tablet,with successive generations placed on alternate sides. According to the Sho-boku(Zhao-Mu) order,the tablets of the father and the son should not to be placed on the same side (Sho or boku) of the altar. This paper examines the changes in the positions of the shrines and the placement of the tablets to understand the national significance of the two Ryukyu shrines from the late 17th century to the early 18th century. It is noteworthy that the Sho-boku order was adopted gradually based on the system peculiar to the Ryukyuans and has transformed into a system unique to East Asia. In Tai-byo, as the founder of the second royal line of the Sho dynasty, Sho Yen's enduring position of honor had been established, while in Sen-o-byo, as the first king of the Ryukyu, Shun Ten’s tablet was located at the center of the altar. At the same time, even if the king’s legitimate son (seshi) had not become the successor, his tablet was placed on the Sho or boku side of the shrines. Thus, the Chinese order was applied in the two shrines to appeal to the predominance and legitimacy of the second Sho dynasty.



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