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okinawa scrap book

Brought to you by your friend at Mick's Big Sky!

Tougani Ayagu

by Genzi Kuniyoshi

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The Story of Gosamaru

Gosamaru was born in 1394 at Yamada Castle in Onna. He fought in the battles of Hashi against Hokuzan. In 1426 he built Zakimi Castle on the Yomitan Peninsula to defend against any invasions from the north. Later on, realizing the ambitions of Amawari, Lord of Katsuren, he began to build Nakagusuku Castle to defend Shuri from that direction. King Sho Taikyu chose Gosamaru's daughter as his wife.
Gosamaru also opened Nagahama Port in Yomitan for trade with Southeast Asia and other countries. Nakagusuku, which means "Central Castle" was begun in 1441and took ten years to build. When it was finished, Amawari, who was married to King Sho Tasikyu's daughter, told the king that Gosamaru was really planning to invade Shuri and become king himself. He advised the king to send a spy, who would see soldiers training day and night.
The king did find this and sent Amawari as head of his army to defeat Gosamaru. The good lord, on August 15th, 1558, during a moon-viewing party, saw the king's army coming. Refusing to fight them he opened his castle and then killed himself.
Amawari took the head of Gosamaru to the king. A note had been placed in the dead lord's mouth, swearing his loyalty. Realizing that he had been tricked, the king sent his army to defeat Amawari. The Crown Prince of Okinawa later took the title "Prince of Nakagusuku" and, in respect, no other person with "Naka" as part of their name ever used the same character to write it.
Gosamaru was interred in the first "turtle back" tomb on Okinawa.

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