Shuri Castle burning
Around 2:30 am on October 31st, a fire broke out in Shuri Castle, a World Cultural Heritage site and a symbol of the Ryūkyū Kingdom and Okinawa Prefecture. The Seiden and Nanden all the way to the Nike-Udun and Yuinchi and other buildings were burnt down.
Shuri Castle, the royal residence of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, was destroyed by fire in the past in 1453, 1660, 1709, and 1945. After the war, the University of the Ryūkyū was built on the site of the castle. After the relocation of the university in 1980, a full-scale restoration was carried out. In 1992, the Seiden and other buildings were restored. On the occasion of the opening ceremonies of the castle park, Okinawa karate grand masters offered a dedicatory demonstration.
Photo: “History and Tradition of Okinawan Karate” by Mr. Hokama Tetsuhiro
In 2000, the castle was registered as a World Heritage site as part of the “Gusuku and related heritage group of the Ryukyu Kingdom” under the name of “Site of Shuri Castle”. After that, a new area O-uchibara was opened in 2019, introducing the world known as “Oku” located being the Seiden.
Until now, many tourists visited the castle as a World Heritage site and a tourist spot, and Shuri Castle, which has a deep relationship with Shurite and Okinawa karate, has been visited by many international karate enthusiasts.
This time is the fifth time Shuri Castle burns down. Okinawan citizens, world Uchinanchu and karate enthusiasts are deeply shocked, and messages of sympathy are arriving one after another from all over the world.
At the moment, we can only pray for all tragedies, including fires in Amazon, California and other locations on earth.
Although we are already receiving donation consultations and proposals, we are communicating with the Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division and will announce new information as they arrive.