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October 20, 2012

Travels on a Small Island

Before the central government decided it had strategic value and annexed it 1879, Okinawa had its own local culture – the Ryukyu Kingdom. The seat of the kingdom is Shuri Castle in Naha, now the capital of Okinawa, which was originally built in the 1300s but completely destroyed in WWII. The buildings here are a reconstruction built in 1992 but they did a very good job of it and you get a splendid sense of the uniqueness of Ryukyu culture.

The approach to the front gate:

The main gate to the castle, Shureimon:

Stairs leading up to the main castle entrance give some idea of the power that the kingdom once held as a main point on the trade routes between China, Korea and Japan:

There are wonderful views from the castle out over Naha city to the ocean in the distance:

The main hall of Shuri Castle:

The throne…

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