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Okinawa Collection Recent Acquisitions: Shuri Castle

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Brief History of Shuri Castle

Built during the 13th century by the second king of Chuzan, Shunbajunki, Shuri Castle was a former royal residence located in Naha, Okinawa. Before the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879, the castle was home to several Ryukyu kings and was the center of the capital city, Shuri (now a part of Naha). Over the centuries, the castle has been burnt down and rebuilt many times, most recently during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It joined the list alongside other Ryukyu Kingdom related cultural sites under the collective title "Gusuku* Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu." (*Gusuku means "castle" in the Okinawan language and the red tiles that adorned the castle are a classic staple of Okinawan architecture.)

On October 31, 2019, the main buildings of the castle were destroyed in a fire, but the government plans to have the historic site rebuilt within the next 2 years on the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan. 

Photo Ⓒ国営沖縄記念公園(首里城公園)

Photo Books

History of Shuri Castle


English-language Resources on Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle Won Easily by Marines (New York Times) GW Login Required

Author: W.H. Lawrence By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.The New York Times (U.S. Marine Corps)The New York Times (U.S. Coast Guard).

Published: June 1945

Shuri Caslte and Calligraphy/Ink Painting

Book cover首里城正殿の鐘と墨絵「光と影の世界」
by 小島瓔禮, 金城美智子, 豊平峰雲

Publication Date: 1991

Call Number: GRC JRC ND2462 .K65 1991

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