Genealogy of the Princely Shō-clan (House Kyan) – Lineage Overview

This is an overview of the genealogy of the House of Kyan, also called the Kyan-dunchi 喜屋武殿内.

Dunchi is a title that refers to families who held the position of a fief steward (jitō 地頭). The Kyan-dunchi were fief steward of Kyan in Shimajiri in southern Okinawa.

There was a large number of such Dunchi families (about 47) from various clans, such as the Mō-clan, the Ba-clan and others. These were not members of the royal family. The Kyan-dunchi was a branch family of the Princely Shō-clan 向氏. It is referred to as Princely Shō-clan in order to differentiate it from the Royal Shō-clan 尚氏. Members of the Royal Shō-clan were referred to as Udun 御殿. In other words, while in the Western transcription both clans are written as “Shō-clan”, they have to be clearly distinguished.

The first generation Chōbu 朝武 (?–1587) was the 10th and last son of King Shō Sei 尚清王 (1497–1555, rg 1527–1555). Chōbu’s older brothers were the 1st generations of the Tamagusku-udun 玉城御殿, the Ie-udun 伊江御殿, and the Tamagawa-udun 玉川御殿  (all members of the Royal Shō-clan 尚氏), as well as the Shinzato-dunchi 新里殿内, the Yonaha-dunchi 与那覇殿内, and the Iraha-dunchi 伊良波殿内 (all of the Princely Shō-clan 向氏).

Names of Branch Families 

There are no branch families (monchū 門中) of the Kyan-dunchi. This also means that the family crest (see upper right) only applied to the legitimate heirs and members of the Kyan-dunchi.


The first character of all male family members (nanorigashira 名乗頭) of the Kyan-dunchi is Chō 朝. Nanorigashira is the first character used in the given name with coming of age. It is predetermined according to the family one belonged.

For example, in the Shō 尚 and Shō 向 clans the first character in the given name is Chō 朝. In the Mō-clan 毛氏 it is Ki 喜, Ei 栄, Sei 盛, Sō 宗, An 安, and Sei 清. In the Ba-clan 馬氏 it is I 維, Ryō 良, Sei 正, or Kō 厚, and in the Ō-clan 翁氏 it is Chū 忠, Jū 重, Sei 盛, or Ka 可 etc.


While two royal princesses entered the Kyan-dunchi by marriage, the premature death of sons continued over generations and brought the family to extinction. The Kyan-dunchi only survived through the succession by an uncle. At another time it only survived by adoption of a husband of a daughter into the Kyan family. This was Chōchō 朝張  (1818–1842), who continued the lineage in the 10th generation. It is therefore a complicated genealogy.

Lineage of the House of Kyan with Links to the Individual Entries

Okinawan lineages are solely based on patrilineal consanguinity but it is simply for convenience reasons that here only the male heirs are given. In the individual entries, however, the mothers, wifes, and daughters are also presented.

The lineage has links to the individual entries. The information for the data presented come from the official genealogies every family had to prepare on royal order. The genealogies were authorized by the Keizu-za, or Royal Government Bureau of Genealogies. One copy remained with the family, the other with the Keizu-za. Updates were included as they went.

All dates are lunar calendar dates as has been used at the time. The ► shows the succession of the Kyan-dunchi.

1. ►Chōbu 朝武 (?–1587)

┃2.1 Chōsei 朝生 (?–1600)

┗2.2 ►Chōshin 朝辰 (?–1604)

┗3. ►Chōan 朝安 (1599–1629)

┃4.1 Chōyō 朝庸 (1621–1654)

┗5.1 Takushi Anji 澤岻按司 (1641–1675)

┗5.2 Chōsen 朝千 (1647–1666)

┗4. 2 ►Chōsei 朝成 (1622–1688)

┗5. ►Chōkō 朝與 (1662–1712)

┗6. ►Chōryō 朝良 (1691–1749)

┃7.1 Chōzō 朝三 (1712–1737)

┃7.2 Chōko 朝恒 (1715–1737)

┗7.3 ►Chōbi 朝美 (1719–1760)

┗8. ►Chōchō 朝昶 (1745–1820)

┃9.1 ►Chōiku 朝郁 (1782–?)

┃10.1 Chōboku 朝睦 (1801–1803)

┃10.2 Chōkyū 朝救 (1806–1827)

┗ 11.1 Chōei 朝映 (1825–1826)

┃ 10.3 Chōshō 朝昌 (1816–1837)

┗ 10.4 ►Chōchō 朝張  (1818–1842) adopted from the Motonaga House

┗ 11.1 ►Chōfu 朝扶 (1839–1910) adopted from the Motonaga House

┗ 12.1 ► Chōho 朝輔

┗ 13.1 ► Chōkichi 朝吉

┗ 14.1 ► Chōei 朝英

┗9.2 Chōshō 朝章 (1802–1826)

Kyan house lineage (excerpt)

Kyan house lineage (excerpt)

© 2016, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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