Tamaudun (玉陵) is a mausoleum in Shuri, Okinawa, built for Ryūkyūan royalty in 1501[1] by King Shō Shin, the third king of the Second Shō Dynasty a short distance from Shuri Castle.

The site, covering an area of 2,442m²,[2] consists of two stone-walled enclosures, the three compartments of the mausoleum itself facing north and backed by a natural cliff to the south.[3] A stone stele in the outer enclosure memorializes the construction of the mausoleum, and lists the name of Shō Shin along with those of eight others involved in the construction.[2] The three compartments of the mausoleum are laid out from east to west, with kings and queens in the eastern compartment and the princes and rest of the royal family in the western compartment, the central compartment used for the Ryukyuan tradition of senkotsu;[2][3] remains would only be kept here for a limited time, after which the bones were washed and entombed.[4] The shisa (stone lions) guarding the tomb are examples of traditional Ryūkyūan stone sculpture. The architectural style of the mausoleum represents that of the royal palace at the time, which was a stone structure with a wooden roof.[2][4]

Eighteen kings are entombed at Tamaudun, along with their queens and royal children. The first to be buried there was King Shō En, for whom the mausoleum was constructed upon the orders of his son and successor, Shō Shin. The last was former Crown Prince Shō Ten, son of the Ryūkyū Kingdom's last king, Shō Tai, who was entombed there on September 26, 1920. The structure suffered extensive damage in the 1945 battle of Okinawa, and was subsequently looted,[1] but the tombs and royal remains themselves remain intact, and much of the structure has been restored in the years since the end of the war. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on December 2, 2000, as a part of the site group Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.[2]

Royalty entombed

  • Eastern Chamber[4][5]
  • Shō En (1415–1476)
  • Shō Shin (1465–1526)
  • Shō Sei (1497–1555)
  • Shō Gen (1528–1572)
  • Shō Baigaku, Queen of Shō Gen (d. 1605)
  • Shō Ei (1559–1588)
  • Aoriya anji Kanashi[6] (dates unknown)
  • Shō Konkō, Queen of Shō Ei (1562–1637)
  • Shō Hō (1590–1640)
  • Shō Baigan, Queen of Shō Hō (dates unknown)
  • Shō Kyō, eldest son of Shō Hō (1612–1631)
  • Shō Rankei, Queen of Shō Hō (1588–1661)
  • Shō Ken (1625–1647)
  • Shō Kaho, Queen of Shō Ken (1630–1666)
  • Shō Shitsu (1629–1668)
  • Shō Hakusō, Queen of Shō Shitsu (1629–1699)
  • Shō Tei (1645–1709)
  • Shō Gesshin, Queen of Shō Tei (1645–1703)
  • Shō Jun, Crown Prince, eldest son of Shō Tei (1660–1706)
  • Shō Giun, Crown Princess, wife of Shō Jun (1664–1723)
  • Shō Eki (1678–1712)
  • Shō Konkō, Queen of Shō Eki (1680–1745)
  • Shō Kei (1700–1751)
  • Shō Ninshitsu, Queen of Shō Kei (1705–1779)
  • Shō Boku (1739–1794)
  • Shō Shukutoku, Queen of Shō Boku (1740–1779)
  • Shō Tetsu (1759–1788)
  • Shō Tokutaku, Queen of Shō Tetsu (1762–1795)
  • Shō On (1784–1802)
  • Shō Sentoku, Queen of Shō On (1785–1869)
  • Shō Sei (1800–1803)
  • Shō Kō (1787–1834)
  • Shō Juntoku, Queen of Shō Kō (1791–1854)
  • Shō Iku (1813–1847)
  • Shō Gentei, Queen of Shō Iku (1814–1864)
  • Shō Tai (1843–1901)
  • Shō Kenshitsu, Queen of Shō Tai (1843–1868)
  • Shō Ten, Crown Prince, eldest son of Shō Tai (1864–1920)
  • Shō Shō, Crown Princess, wife of Shō Ten (dates unknown)

  • Western Chamber
  • Shō Gesshin, eldest daughter of Shō En (dates unknown)
  • Eldest daughter of Shō Ikō (name, dates unknown)
  • Shō Shōi, third son of Shō Shin (dates unknown)
  • Shō Isshi, eldest daughter of Shō Gen (d. 1570)
  • Shō Setsurei, wife of Shō Gen (dates unknown)
  • Shō Bairei, wife of Shō Gen (dates unknown)
  • Shō Getsurei, second daughter of Shō Ei (1584–1653)
  • Shō Ryōgetsu, wife of Shō Hō (1597–1634)
  • Shō Setsurei, wife of Shō Kyō (d. 1697)
  • Shō Ryōchoku, wife of Shō Bun (dates unknown)
  • Shō Kyū, third son of Shō Gen (1560–1620)
  • Shō Yō, second son of Shō Kō (1813–1815)
  • Shō Ken, fourth son of Shō Kō (b. 1818)
  • Shō Ten, seventh son of Shō Kō (1829–1833)
  • Shō Shun, eldest daughter of Shō Iku (1832–1844)
  • Shō Otoko and Michiko, fifth and sixth daughters of Shō Tai (dates unknown)
  • 17 Unknowns, one in the Central Chamber

See also


  1. 1 2 Kerr, George H. Okinawa: The History of an Island People (revised ed.). Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2000. p109.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Official pamphlet obtained on-site
  3. 1 2 Kadekawa, Manabu. Okinawa Champloo Encyclopedia (沖縄チャンプルー事典). Tokyo: Yama-Kei Publishers, 2001. p56.
  4. 1 2 3 Official plaques and gallery labels on-site.
  5. Nakamura, Toru. 沖縄の世界遺産玉陵被葬者一覧 (Tamaudun, World Heritage Site of Okinawa - List of Persons Entombed). October 2005. Accessed 24 August 2008.
  6. This is a title, not a name. This person was the wife (indicated by kanashi) of the anji (an aristocratic rank and administrative post/title which might be translated as "local lord") of Aoriya (a placename). See also Okinawan family name for the ways in which these terms were typically used by the Ryukyuan aristocracy at the time in place of personal names.
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Coordinates: 26°13′06″N 127°42′53″E / 26.21833°N 127.71472°E / 26.21833; 127.71472

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