2019: Okinawa: Shuri Castle, a symbol of the region’s history and culture, destroyed by fire

Shuri Castle, Historic Tourist Draw in Japan, Is Destroyed by Fire on Oct. 31, 2019

The World Heritage site, a symbol of the southern island of Okinawa, was once the seat of a kingdom that spanned 450 years.

New York Times article

Cultural News likes to express the sympathy to people in Okinawa and overseas Okinawan descendants who experienced major lost of the Shuri Castle, their heart of Okinawa history and culture.


Robert Walker, Author on Okinawa

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It burned to the ground yesterday. The buildings around it were saved but the main replica castle is gone.

They’ll build a new replica as this one was before – the original completely obliterated in the Invasion of Okinawa in 1945. Maybe this time they’ll install a sprinkler water system so they don’t have to do this yet another time. Seems to me, since this was such an important building to local culture – and since it was all built of wood – not stone – that it should have had such a water system in the first place.

To my Okinawa friends on this list, I am sorry for your loss. It’s a terrible tragedy, somewhat akin to Notre Dame in Paris. But take heart, they will build a better one.

Regretfully, Bob

Robert Walker is the author of “Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands: The First Comprehensive Guide to the Entire Ryukyu Island Chane” published by Tuttle Publishing in 2014.


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