This page is best viewed with screen resolution of 800 x 600

King Satto
. Satto was born of the legendary "Angel of Mori-no Kawa." He married the daughter of the lord of Shoren. He was also named Hagomoro and Janamui. His reign was a period of great recovery. He introduced iron implements to the farmers of his area. Until 1349 he was the governor of Urasoe. After the death of Seii, Satto became the lord of Chuzan, the central mountainous area of the island. In 1350, at his direction Shuri Castle was enlarged.

In 1368, in China, the Ming Dynasty replaced the Yuan Dynasty. Overland trade routes were reduced as China turned to trading by sea. In 1372 Satto was the first foreign ruler to establish tributary relations with China. In 1374 his brother, Taiki, went on a mission to China and Okinawa received the greatest trading rights with China of any country in the Pacific. The last trade mission to China was in 1874.

In 1393 a Chinese community was established at Kume Village in Naha, the present-day capital of Okinawa. Chinese style government, writing and calendar began to appear on Okinawa. Miyako and Yaeyama islands began paying tribute to Chuzan, unifying the Ryukyus for the first time. Trade with Java, Sumatra, malacca and Siam was expanded.

Satto established the first formal relations with Korea and Japan. Some Shinto practices were imported. The sansen (samisen), a three-stringed lute, was brought into Okinawa from China and was later introduced into Japan. On Okinawa, however, only court officials were permitted to play it. There is some evidence of a Korean community having been established at Naha as well. Roof tiles and dancing seem to have been introduced to Okinawa also during Satto's reign.

Bunei, the son of Satto and who reigned from 1395 to 1407, sent a mission to Korea in 1397 with rare goods from Southeast Asia. The Yi Dynasty had been established in Korea in 1392. It is determined then that Buddhism with a Korean flavor was introduced to Okinawa. Further Shinto practices were also introduced during this period.

Bunei's reign was marked by powerful lords in Hokuzan and in Nanzan. All three lords looked for recognition by China and Brunei was finally recognized in 1406 but he was overthrown soon thereafter.

Return to History of Okinawa

(c)2001 Webmaster: S.A.Mick McClary P.O. Box 6245 Great Falls, MT 59406 U.S.A.