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Statue of Natshinnaung and Yaza Datu Kalaya in Taungoo
King of Toungoo
Reign11 August [O.S. 1 August] 1609 – 4 September [O.S. 23 August] 1610
Coronation21 August [O.S. 11 August] 1609
6th waning of Wagaung 971 ME[1]
PredecessorMinye Thihathu II
Bornc. January 1579[note 1]
Toungoo (Taungoo)
Died9 April [O.S. 30 March] 1613 (aged 34)
Tuesday, 6th waning of Late Tagu 974 ME[note 2]
Syriam (Thanlyin)
ConsortYaza Datu Kalaya
Issuesix sons and three daughters by minor queens[2]
Thiha Thura
FatherMinye Thihathu II
MotherMin Khin Saw

Natshinnaung (Burmese: နတ်သျှင်နောင်, [naʔ ʃɪ̀ɰ̃ nàʊɰ̃]; 1579–1613) was a Toungoo prince who was a noted poet and an accomplished musician, as well as an able military commander. He later became a rebellious ruler of Toungoo, and went over to ally himself with Portuguese at Thanlyin (Syriam). He was crucified and executed in 1613.


A grandson of King Bayinnaung and the eldest son of Minye Thihathu, Viceroy of Toungoo, the prince participated in King Nanda's campaigns to reconquer Siam in the early 1590s, and took part in the sacking of Nanda's capital Pegu in 1599. Natshinnaung became Crown prince of Toungoo when his father proclaimed himself the king of Toungoo. In November 1600, he killed the captive king Nanda without his father's permission.[3] On 21 March [O.S. 11 March] 1603,[4] he married his lifelong love, Princess Yaza Datu Kalaya, for whom his famous poems were written. The marriage was cut short however as the princess died only seven months later.

When Natshinnaung succeeded as king following the death of his father on 11 August 1609,[note 3] much of the country had been reunited under the leadership of King Anaukpetlun, one of Natshinnaung's cousins. In 1610, Anaukpetlun attacked Toungoo. The city surrendered on 4 September 1610 (2nd waning of Tawthalin 972 ME).[5] Although the king re-appointed him as viceroy of Toungoo, Natshinnaung was deeply dissatisfied with his reduced status. Natshinnaung secretly made an alliance with Portuguese mercenary Filipe de Brito e Nicote, the ruler of Thanlyin, and invited de Brito to attack Toungoo. When de Brito's attack failed, Natshinnaung accompanied his "blood brother" de Brito back to Thanlyin.[3]

Anaukpetlun finally captured Thanlyin in April 1613 after a month-long siege.[6] The king still offered to pardon his cousin if Natshinnaung would take an oath of allegiance. Natshinnaung refused, saying that he had already taken baptism, and that he was ready to die with de Brito.Therefore, Natshinnaung and Filipe De Brito were crucified in the middle of the city, and executed by impaling them.


Natshinnaung is considered by many to be the greatest yadu (Burmese: ရတု) (a classical genre of poetry) poet in Burmese history. Many of his works are dedicated to Princess Yaza Datu Kalyani. The themes of his poetry were often of love, nature, and war. Natshinnaung employed the use of vocabulary and rhymes in his works. In addition, he was a warrior, who advanced many military strategies and tactics of Burma. Some of his yadu poems describe the infantry and the elephant troops. It has been claimed that Natshinnaung sent his poems to Yaza Datu Kalyani through the usage of a parrot. He wrote all of his works during his youth.

Later in life, Natshinnaung focused on obtaining power for his kingdom. His poems on war are said to have been based on his experiences as a young prince.



  1. ^ He was born some time between December 1578 and February 1579. (Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 337): He was still 13 when the Burmese army marched off to Siam. Per (Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 93), the army began the invasion on 5 December 1592 (2nd waxing of Natdaw 954). The army retreated after 8 February 1593 when Mingyi Swa was slain in single combat. Per (Htin Aung 1967: 137), he was 14 (in his 15th year) on the return trip. It means he had turned 14 during the invasion.
  2. ^ (Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 169) says he was executed by impalement on Saturday, 3rd waning of Tagu 975 ME (6 April 1613). He died three days later per (Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 323).
  3. ^ Chronicles (Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 108) and (Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 114) say that Minye Thihathu died on Tuesday, 15th waxing of Wagaung 971 ME, which translates to Saturday, 15 August 1609. But 15th waxing is a typographical error. First, it is uncommon to state "15th waxing" instead of "full moon". Secondly, the chronicles say that Natshinnaung's coronation ceremony was held on Friday, 6th waning of Wagaung 971 ME, which translates to Friday, 21 August 1609. It means the last possible Tuesday in the waxing part of the month the king could have died on was 11th waxing, which was Tuesday, 11 August 1609 NS. The Burmese numerals 1 (၁) and 5 (၅) are quite similar when written longhand.


  1. ^ Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 114
  2. ^ Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 170
  3. ^ a b Htin Aung 1967: 137–140
  4. ^ (Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 110): Friday, 10th waxing of Late Tagu 964 ME = 21 March 1603 NS
  5. ^ Hmannan Vol. 3 2003: 159
  6. ^ Myint-U 2006: 78–79


  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.
  • Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1829–1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese). Vol. 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar.
  • Sein Lwin Lay, Kahtika U (2006). Mintaya Shwe Hti and Bayinnaung: Ketumadi Taungoo Yazawin (in Burmese) (2nd printing ed.). Yangon: Yan Aung Sarpay.
Born: c. January 1579 Died: 9 April 1613
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Toungoo
11 August 1609 – 4 September 1610
Succeeded by
Royal titles
Preceded by Heir to the Toungoo Throne
21 March 1603 – 11 August 1609
Succeeded by