Shuri Castle

From Jcastle.info

Shuri1.jpg

History

The castle was originally founded somewhere in the 13-14th centuries. It was modified and expanded several times coming into its hieght of power during as a palace and fortress for the Ryukyu kings who established the unified Ryukyu kingdom in 1429. These kings ruled for abour 400 years until the Meiji government ousted the king in 1879 and established the prefecture of Okinawa. From 1609 the kingdom was under the control of the Satsuma clan and thereby the Tokugawa Shogunate but they kept some freedom regarding their relationships with China.

Obviously Shuri Castle was neither influenced by the same factors as typical mainland castles nor does it have many of the same structures or types of architecture. The castle and other related sites in the area were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

Visit Notes

not personally visited, all the pictures were donated by readers. I would love to visit this and some of the other castles of Okinawa someday.


Gallery



Castle Profile
English Name Shuri Castle
Japanese Name 首里城
Founder
Year Founded 13-14 Century
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles, UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 2 levels, 2 stories
Year Reconstructed 1992 (wood, concrete)
Features gates, palace, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Bus
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.shurijo.com/
Location Naha, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 13' 1", 127° 43' 9"
Loading map...
Admin
Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Added to Jcastle 2006


4.29
(17 votes)
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LidiamqPeasant

30 months ago
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Astonishing because it is a very different castle from the main islands and the colours are powerful, a magnificent glimpse of a lost empire.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

43 months ago
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Thanks for the congrats.
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RaymondWHatamoto

43 months ago
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Congrats on hitting your 100th castle, Furikazan. I haven't been to this one yet, but it is certainly on my \To Visit List". Thanks for all the informative comments that you have been posting about your castle visits in Okinawa northern Kanto and Tohoku now. I will definitely make use of them when I visit castle sites in those regions"
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JcastleHatamoto

43 months ago
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Furinkazan, Congratulations on #100 and what a fantastic site to do it at! Are you visiting many more Okinawa Castles ?
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FurinkazanHatamoto

43 months ago
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Guess who is back in Japan? For my 100th castle visit in Japan, i wanted something special. I thaugt Shurijo would be perfect for that. It's easy to access with the Yui monorail, getting off at Shuristation. The reconstructed buildings are very interesting. Reconstruction is still going on behind the Seiden, on the eastern part of the castle. This year i bought the book for collecting the 100 meijô stamps. Coincidentally number 100 is Shurijô. I really recommend visiting this castle.
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RonSAshigaru

75 months ago
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I hope I can clear some confusion here.

Shuri castle was built as both a fortified castle and a royal palace. The stone fortifications are Okinawan in design and belong to a separate (and older) tradition from mainland Japanese castles. If there was any influence from one to the other it was probably from Okinawa to Japan.

The wooden structures are a fusion of Chinese and Japanese elements and functions that are blended in a uniquely Okinawan way.

Therefore, Shuri Castle is unique in all the world. It belongs on this site and in other works about Japanese castles because Okinawa is today a part of Japan.

One more thing - the fact that it could be reconstructed after nearly being obliterated during the WW II and then having a university campus built on top of what little was left is truly a modern miracle!
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Anonymous user #1

119 months ago
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I am not sure if the castle stand as the same class of castle of Japanese castle. Okinawa used to be a culturally and language distinct island nation than the Japanese Isles. It only got annexed and assimilated into Japanese in the recent history.
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Anonymous user #1

122 months ago
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Visit Okinawa's Shuri Castle and realise the hard detail it took to rebuild the landmark. The Okinawans were nearly wiped out by the U.S. and the original castle still stood before WWII. Today, it's an art work by the revival of the people of Okinawa, and today, 3 million Okinawans live in the world as opposed to 1/3 being wiped out by Americans.