NHK News is reporting that Shuri Castle has apparently been nearly completely destroyed by a fire in the early morning hours of October 31. The cause is still unknown. A Japanese National Treasure and a UN World Heritage Site, the castle was a Ryukyuan royal palace that dates back 500 years. Sadly, the castle was also laid waste in the last century during the Battle of Okinawa.
Below, a few photos from a trip I took to the castle with the Okinawa Memories Initiative during the summer of 2018. The site is a spread across beautiful grounds that offer expansive views of Naha and beyond, making it a popular spot for tourists.
When Notre Dame Cathedral was partially destroyed by fire earlier this year, it was reported that $1 billion had been donated for repair. Let’s hope that this tragedy might inspire similar generosity for Shuri Castle.