Shimashi Ozato Castle

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Shimashi-Ozato Castle Ray 1.jpg

History

According to the Chuzanseifu(中山世譜), Shimashi-Ozato Castle was founded by the Shimashi-Ozato Aji(Lord) in the 14th century.

In 1402, Sho Hashi, the lord of Sashiki Castle, conquered Shimashi-Ozato Castle. After Sho Hashi conquered the three “Sanzan Kingdoms” and unified them to form the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1429, the Seiden (main palace) at Shimashi-Ozato Castle became an outlying imperial palace. Shimashi-Ozato Castle’s Seiden was the second biggest palace in the Ryukyu Kingdom after Shuri Castle’s Seiden.

Archaeological investigation in 1991 found pottery, coins, and other artefacts dating to the 14th to 16th century at the castle ruin and former castle town.


Visit Notes

Shimashi-Ozato Castle is around an 8-minute walk from the Nishihara Iriguchi bus stop after getting there by a mini-bus. They run from Nanjo City Hall roughly once every two hours. This castle ruin is quite extensive with lots of sacred shrines in and around the castle ruin. When I visited, there were some other people visiting the castle ruin just for the shrines.

All the photos uploaded with this profile were taken in early May 2022.

RaymondW wrote this castle profile and contributed all the photos.


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Castle Profile
English Name Shimashi Ozato Castle
Japanese Name 島添大里城
Founder Shimashi-Ozato Aji
Year Founded 14th century
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Bus
Visitor Information Free
Time Required 1 to 1.5 hours
Website https://www.kankou-nanjo.okinawa/bunka/details/3
Location Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 11' 11.51" N, 127° 45' 36.04" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor RaymondW
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed


4.00
(one vote)
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avatar

RaymondWDaimyo

8 months ago
Score 0++

I posted my previous comment below based on my first visit to this castle ruin during Golden Week in May 2022. After posting that comment, I decided that I had to revisit this magnificent gusuku ruin.

I rushed my previous visit, so this time round in late March 2023, I spent a much more leisurely 3.5 hours on site including checking out the site of the former castle town, which is now a residential area. In some places, there are some nuno-zumi and nozura-zumi styled stone walls around people’s private properties. I also came across sites like the Inuka Spring, the Ibinu Utaki, and the Iimai Utaki. After visiting Shimashi-Ozato Castle, I made my way to Oshiro Castle, located a few kilometres south of Shimashi-Ozato Castle. Oshiro Castle is a new gusuku ruin for me.
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EricShogun

8 months ago
Score 0++
3.5 hours? You certainly must have taken in everything. Are you sure you weren't spending time on that Ozata Castle golf course? Just kidding, but seriously, did the gold course eat up a chunk of the original castle?
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RaymondWDaimyo

8 months ago
Score 0++

Hehehe…golfing. No, I was not out on the putt-putt course but rather spent nearly 40 minutes under shelter next to it waiting for a thunderstorm to pass over the area, so I probably should have said that I spent nearly 3 hours on site in my earlier comment.

The miniature golf course is outside the original castle grounds, possibly on the site of some farmland just outside the castle. The closest part of the putt-putt golf course is near the eastern side of the outer bailey. This area is heavily overgrown with grass, weeds and bushes exceeding a person’s height, so it isn’t possible to get in and see the stone wall remnants there. There’s also an outlying fort several hundred metres from Shimashi-Ozato Castle called Mii Gusuku. This small fort has a clear view overlooking the coast and Baten Port. Baten Port was the trading port for Shimashi-Ozato Castle. On a clear day at Mii Gusuku, you can also see all the way up the coast to where Nakagusuku Castle and Katsuren Castle are located.

I should add a profile about Mii Gusuku to JCastle sometime in the future. The problem is that I visit and revisit more castles than I have time to write up profiles about them. Even in Okinawa alone, I have visited 24 gusukus so far, but I have only added a dozen new gusuku profiles to JCastle, so there are still more to come whenever I have some free time to put together a castle profile.
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RaymondWDaimyo

8 months ago
Score 1++
This Ryukyuan gusuku ruin way exceeded my expectations. I had expected just some collapsed stone walls, but the amount of stone wall remnants remaining is quite impressive as is the size of this Ryukyuan fortress. My wife and spent nearly 90 minutes on site exploring its stone wall ruins and multiple shrines located in and around the castle, but I reckon we could have done with another 30 minutes as there were a lot of ruins to see and photograph.