Shuri Castle - Okinawa Japan

Outer Gate of Shuri CastleThis is a picture of one of the outer gates of Shuri Castle. One of the remarkable things is it's similarity to european counterparts. The high walls and reinforced gate is very much european. An interesting difference is the sloped walls which we don't see in Europ very often. This outer wall similarity is one thing but once we get into the inner grounds of Japanese castles we notice some significant differences.

 

 

 

The temple at Shuri CastleThis picture shows the main quarters at the center of the castle compound. There are concentric rings of security around this and this is the very heart of it all. This is the main hall and the administrative section of the castle complex. It is from here that the King of the Ryukyu kingdom would preside. The main door would open and his chair would be displayed. The courtyard is where various people would form.

 

 

 

Diorama of the courtyard

This is a picture taken of a diorama inside the castle. It shows the various kings subjects formed in the courtyard in court with the king.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Shuri Castle

This picture shows the inside of part of the administrative main hall. The wooden architectural is distinctly Ryukyu but has strong influences both from the Japanese and the Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kings Throne

This is the throne seat that the king would sit on. This would be brought out near the open doors that look out on the courtyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grounds around the castle

This is a picture of the grounds around the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtyard View

This picture shows how the castle was built in concentric circles which was an effective means of defense. We are standing near the wall of a higher inner courtyard and looking down on a lower courtyard and its gates. This made defense very effective.

 

 

 

 

It is unknown how old the castle really is. And it no doubt has gone through many changes over the centuries. In 1945 during the battle of Okinawa it was almost completely destroyed and has since been rebuilt based on photographs and historical records.

Shuri Castle is located in the southern portion of Okinawa near Naha City. I have more pictures of Shuri Castle here: Pictures of Shuri Castle

Google Map of The Castle location


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