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okinawa scrap book
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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