Shuri Castle ....... This page will turn in 90 seconds

This was the location of the King of the Ryukyus and the seat of local government until 1879, when Okinawa was made a prefecture of Japan. In the early 13th century, Shumba-junki, King of Chuzan (the "Central Mountain Kingdom"), son of Shunten, built the first castle on this hill. At first it was a subsidiary castle for the Chuzan kings... the main castle then being in Urasoe. In 1428, King Sho Hashi moved the government to Shuri and expanded the grounds.

The castle was a unique architectural mixture of Japanese and Chinese influences. Its outer wall, about 50 feet high and 20 feet thick, had a perimeter of about 3,300 feet. Within its walls stood 19 structures and the interior area covered about 7,500 square yards.

The castle was originally built some 1000 years ago, and succeeding generations of Shoo family rulers gradually developed the castle from the time of Shoo Hashi, who unified regional rulers into the Ryukyu Kingdom.

The castle grounds and buildings were completely destroyed during the Battle for Okinawa in 1945, the Japanese Army Command having established its headquarters there - both above and below ground.

The forgoing commentary was shamelessly heisted from and from "Where Is It?" a superb and invaluable publication for anyone who wants to find their way around the island.

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