Nanzan Castle

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Nanzan Castle Ray 1.jpg


This is the castle where the king of Nanzan lived during the Sanzan period or The Three Kingdoms period. Nanzan Gusuku or Nanzan Castle is mentioned in local legends as early as in the second half of the 12th century. Archaeological excavation by the Itoman City Board of Education in 1984 found evidence that the castle was founded sometime in the 13th century. From the ceramics and other relics unearthed on site, it further indicates that the castle flourished from the 14th to 15th century. In 1429, the Nanzan Kingdom was conquered by Sho Hashi and became part of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It is likely that the castle continued to be used in some capacity as there are ceramic fragments unearthed dating to the 16th and 17th century.

Today only a small part of the castle walls remains, and most of the castle site is now part of Takamine Primary School and its grounds.

Visit Notes

Nanzan Castle at first glance seems to have lots of ishigaki, but the tight-fitting stone walls are of modern construction from the early 20th century. There is only a small portion of Nanzan Castle’s extant stone wall left, and it is the older nozura-zumi style of more loose-fitting stones. Most of the original stone walls are on the northern side of this castle ruin, along the path to Takamine Primary School.

All the photos shown on this profile were taken in April 2022.

RaymondW wrote this castle profile and contributed all the photos.


Castle Profile
English Name Nanzan Castle
Japanese Name 南山城
Alternate Names Shimajiri-Ozato Castle, Takamine Castle
Founder Ozato Aji
Year Founded 13th century
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Takamine Primary School Bus Stop, 3 minute walk
Visitor Information Free
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 7' 39.00" N, 127° 41' 24.90" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor RaymondW
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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