Friday, 20 May 2016

Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu

This site consists in a series of monuments and sites that were part of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, an independent kingdom in the Ryukyu islands from the 15th to the 19th century.

Katsuren Caslte
This postcard was sent by Noriko

Katsuren Castle was built on a large hill of Ryukyuan limestone, 98 meters (322 ft) above sea level on the Katsuren Peninsula. With the Pacific Ocean on two sides, it is also called the "Ocean Gusuku". Its "golden age" was in the mid-15th century, under the powerful Aji of Katsuren, Amawari. The castle was attacked in 1458 by the Ryūkyūan army. Precious tile and Chinese porcelain of the era have been excavated from Katsuren. Such remains testify to the magnificence of the ancient structure and the robust entrepôt trade between Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia. The castle also has an active shrine of the Ryūkyūan religion within the first bailey dedicated to Kobazukasa. In the 2010 Okinawa earthquake an outer wall at the northeast of the third bailey of Katsuren Castle was damaged. - in: wikipedia

Shuri Castle
This postcard was sent by Jennifer

Shuri Castle (首里城 Shuri-jō?Okinawan: Shui Gushiku) is a Ryūkyūan gusuku in Shuri, Okinawa. It was the palace of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed. Beginning in 1992, it was reconstructed on the original site based on photographs, historical records, and memory.
The date of construction is uncertain, but it was clearly in use as a castle during the Sanzan period (1322–1429). It is thought that it was probably built during the Gusuku period, like many other castles of Okinawa. When King Shō Hashi unified the three principalities of Okinawa and established the Ryūkyū Kingdom, he used Shuri Castle as a residence. At the same time, Shuri flourished as the capital and continued to do so during the Second Shō Dynasty.
For 450 years from 1429, it was the royal court and administrative center of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. It was the focal point of foreign trade, as well as the political, economic, and cultural heart of the Ryūkyūs. According to records, Shuri Castle was burned down several times, but rebuilt each time. It was captured by the armies of Satsuma during the 1609 Invasion of Ryukyu, during the reign of Shō Nei. After the Kingdom was annexed by Japan in 1879, the King was removed and the castle was used as a barracks by the Japanese army. - in: wikipedia

This site consists of the following nine sites (in red what I already have):
  • Tamaudun
  • Sonohyan-utaki Ishimon
  • Nakijin-jô Castle
  • Zakimi-jô Castle
  • Katsuren-jô Castle
  • Nakagusuku-jô Castle
  • Shuri-jô Castle
  • Shikinaen 
  • Sêfa-utaki 

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