Remembering Shuri Castle 首里城を振り返る

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.

Shureimon, the main entry gate into the castle grounds. August 4, 2018.
The facade of the main hall, which seemed to have a magical ability to be under renovation every time I’ve ever visited. August 4, 2018.
The view from the castle grounds looking north, over the Kyukeimon Gate. Beyond the gate is the Okinawa Prefectural University of Art. August 4, 2018.
Visitors stroll passed the Suimui Utaki (首里森御嶽), a sacred space near the entrance of the inner palace. August 4, 2018.

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