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Shuri Castle

【 Okinawa 】 area


Structure, the history, charm of Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle is a castle (Flatland Mountain Castle) which was in current Okinawa Shuri, Naha-shi, Okinawa of Japan.

 In 2000, The Shuri Castle Ruins was registered as a World Heritage Site. Unlike other castles of Japan, Shuri Castle greatly catches the influence of the castle of China.
 The gate and various buildings were lacquer and were done vermilion coating, and Korai tile and Ryukyu tile (red cement tile) were used for a roof tile, and dragons which were a symbol of the king were used many for the decoration of each part. In addition, it may be rebuilt in the Ryukyu Heian period without the war and am designed mainly on the role as the center of the politics than military purposes. Shuri Castle is greatly divided into the Inner Enclosure (inside castle) and the Outer Fence (outside castle), the Inner Enclosure was completed in the early 15th century, the Outer Fence was completed in the mid 16th century.
 In the 14th century, on the main island of Okinawa there were three countries. Three countries are Nanzan, Chuzan, Hokuzan. Creative age of Shuri Castle is not clear. By recent excavation, the oldest remains of an ancient structure are estimated to be a thing of the end of 14th century. It is confirmed that it was used as Chuzan Castle at the time of Sanzan period. In 1429, Syou Hashi of Chuzan King unified three statelets, and Ryukyu kingdom was formed When Syou Hashi raised Ryukyu dynasty, it came to use Shuri Castle as a castle of the royal family. At the same time Shuri prospered very much as the capital.
 Shuri Castle is destroyed by fire over several degrees. The first destruction by fire was time of the throne fight that occurred after death of Sho kinpuku king of Daiichisho-shi in 1453, and the inside of this Castle was completely destroyed. The second destruction by fire happened in 1660 and needed time of 11 years to rebuild it. In the year 1709, a third fire broke out, and the Main Palace, North Palace, South Palace etc. were destroyed by fire . Shuri Castle architecture now seen is based on the figure from 1715 to 1945 rebuilt after the third fire.
 Disposition of Ryukyu; forced assimilation of Okinawa into Japan, and ending its tributary relations with China and abolishing the Ryukyu Kingdom (1872-1879).
 Afterward the building of Shuri Castle including the Main Palace lost a role as the location of the government and it was disposed by the Shuri city and was used as schools. In Shuri Castle which was not the royal palace, the dilapidation advances rapidly, and deterioration is intense; just before the collapse was in a condition. However, preservation was decided by the effort of the person concerned. The Main Palace became the main shrine of Okinawa Shrine, and Tametomo Minamotono and the each generation king were worshiped.
 Shuri Castle was a base of politics, military affairs and was a sanctuary eminent Ryukyu.