Okinawa Tourism Information:AwalkthroughOkinawanfolkloreandhistoryTheSashikiUigusukucastleruinsandthetutelarygodTsukishiro

A walk through Okinawan folklore and history The Sashiki Uigusuku castle ruins and the tutelary god Tsukishiro

post : 2017.03.17 09:00

Sashiki, Nanjo City is a historical area where Shoushishou and Shouhashi established the first Shoushi royal line during Ryukyu kingdom period.
A large torii (gateway) located on the east side of Sashiki elementary school on Route 331 is the entrance to a Sashiki Uigusuku castle ruins.
The area surrounding Sashiki Uigusuku castle is a quiet space where the only sounds are the tropical breeze blowing between trees and bird’s singing.
Baten, (the area where Shouhashi’s grandfather, Samikaaufusuu arrived from Iheya Island), Nakagusuku Gulf, and Katsuren Peninsula can be seen from Sashiki Uigusuku, which was built on top of the hill.
Both Shoushishou and Shouhashi lived in Sashiki Uigusuku. In 1938, Tsukishironomiya was built by shrine parishioner of the first Shoushi royal line to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the rein of king of Shouhashi.  The great Samegawa and other kings from the first Shoushi royal line are deified in Tsukishironomiya.  Tshukishiro is the tutelary god of the first Shoushi royal line. The story of a sacred stone called Tsukishiro was included in the royal book Ryukyukoku Yuraikiki, and was also mentioned in Omorosaushi, Okinawa’s oldest book of songs.
Tsukishiro is a name given by a deity and the object representative of a divine sprit of the moon god, while Tedashiro symbolizes the sun god. In the two royal books Ryukyukoku Yuraiki and Ryukyukoku Kyuki, Batennoro Kikoeookimi (Tedashiro) names Kikoeookimi as Tedashiro. But Batennoro calls himself Yonawashiookami instead because Tedashiro had been given to someone else. Batennoro is the sister of Shoushishou and Kikoeookimi was the highest ranking woman of the shrine during the second Shoushi king period.
During the Sanzan period which predated the first Shoushi royal line, King Nakayama Eiso was called Tedako (Son of the Sun). You can tell people back then worshiped a sun god. It followed that Bantennokuchi was named, Tedashiro which was the name of a god.  Giving such an important name to Kikoeoogimi was for switching the religious authorities from the first Shoushi royal line to the second one.
Batennoro became Yonawashi Ookami (a higher ranked deity) for a short time. After becoming Yonawashi Ookami, the next god name for him was Tsukishiro. When the first Shoushi lost Tedashiro, he took the moon god as the tutelary god changing from the sun god. The reason why he did is was that people in Ryukyu believed in both he sun and moon gods.
Walking with Okinawan history and legend
Considering the facts surrounding the transfer of Tedashiro (names of god), myths of Tsukishiro, the tutelary god and Tsukishiro, a spiritual rock during the first Shoushi period might have been established during the second Shoushi period. I believe truth is not certain, because history is written by the winners. Of course, there are varying opinions. It is interesting to examine the political backgrounds of histories like Tsukishiro. It is fun to make your own conclusions about Ryukyu history from various angles. It is like philosophy to me.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Mika Azumi
Sashiki Uigusuku castle ruin: 1155 Sashiki Sashiki, Nanjo City, Okinawa