See More on Facebook

Culture and society

30 years of work to restore Shuri Castle undone

The fires took place at Shuri Castle on Okinawa.


Written by

Updated: November 1, 2019

The results of 30 years of efforts to restore Shuri Castle were lost as a massive fire destroyed the castle in Naha early Thursday.

Shuri Castle was a symbol of the distinctive Ryukyu culture that incorporated elements of the cultures of Japan and China. It had Chinese palace-style architecture with a beautiful vermilion tiled roof, along with a karahafu curved gable typically found in Japanese castles.

The castle’s main hall was designated as a national treasure before World War II, but was destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa. Three decades of restoration work on the castle had just been completed in January.

“Shuri Castle represents the history of Okinawa. Many lives and cultural properties were lost in the war, and Shuri Castle was the most notable example,” said Kurayoshi Takara, a former vice governor of Okinawa Prefecture and professor emeritus of the University of the Ryukyus. Takara was involved in the restoration project from its initial stage.

The reconstruction of the main hall started in 1989 based on photographs taken before the war and ancient documents. It was completed in 1992, opening as Shurijo Castle Park.

Reconstruction of the whole area was completed in January this year. In fiscal 2017, about 2.85 million tourists visited the park, and the total number of visitors reached 60 million in December last year, making it one of Okinawa’s representative tourist spots.

“We had just completed the restoration with the wisdom of researchers, shrine carpenters and craftspeople with the aim of restoring Okinawa’s history, but it was lost again,” Takara said.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

Satellite imagery shows activity at North Korea missile site

Satellite imagery has shown vehicle activity at a North Korean missile site on the outskirts of Pyongyang, which could signal the imminent launch of missiles or missile engine tests. Vehicles have been spotted at the missile research center in recent days, but they are not believed to be fueling missiles. The US officials were uncertain whether North Korea was preparing to launch short or medium-range missiles or engine tests. The “activities are consistent with what we’ve seen prior to other missile tests,” one US official told CNN. While there was no sign of an imminent launch, Pyongyang could do so as always, other US officials added. Built in early 2017, the missile research center near Pyongyang is considered one of the key facilities for nuc


By The Korea Herald
January 27, 2020

Culture and society

OPINION: Mockery of press freedom

The year 2019 saw more incidents related to press freedom violation than in the past seven years, according to a report of Freedom Forum Nepal. At the end of last year, a photo of a so-called oath-taking ceremony, in which around 350 media persons were seen swearing allegiance to the ruling party and the government, went viral. This is perhaps the worst mockery of independent journalism in the country observed in 2019. Looking back at the past year from the perspective of press freedom and freedom of expression, the Nepal Communist Party-led government appears to have become more aggressive and hostile with its attempts to control the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Aiming to silence criticism against the government and the ruling party, it introduced severa


By The Kathmandu Post
January 24, 2020

Culture and society

Virus-hit Wuhan temporarily shuts down local transportation

The local government of Wuhan has announced that all public transportation in the city will be temporarily closed starting at 10am on Thursday. The local government of Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus, announced that all public transportation in the city — local buses, long-distanced buses, subway and ferry — will be temporarily closed starting at 10am on Thursday. All flights and trains scheduled to depart from Wuhan also will be temporarily canceled to reduce the risk of spreading the new virus, the government said. Residents in Wuhan were suggested not to leave the city if there is no particular reason, according to the announcement.


By China Daily
January 23, 2020

Culture and society

Kashmir, Afghanistan in focus as PM Imran, Trump meet on sidelines of Davos summit

US President Donald Trump reiterated his long-standing offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum assembly in Davos, Switzerland. The summit is taking place from January 21 to January 24. Trump’s offer came during a pre-meeting press briefing featuring the two world leaders, where Trump also called Prime Minister Imran “his friend” and expressed his pleasure over meeting him once more. The occasion marks the third time the two world leaders have met since the premier assumed office in July 2018. “We’re talking about Kashmir […] if we can help, we certainly will be helping. We’ve been watchin


By Dawn
January 22, 2020

Culture and society

Thai-Chinese consortium to build world’s largest hydro-floating solar project for Thai electricity agency

Under the Power Development Plan BE 2561-2580 (PDP2018), the first hydro-floating solar hybrid project has been implemented by Egat at Sirindhorn Dam. The consortium of BGRIM Power – Energy China , comprising  B Grimm Power Plc (BGRIM) and China Energy Engineering Group Shanxi Electric Power Engineering Co Ltd. (Energy China) has signed a EPC contract to build the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). Under the Power Development Plan BE 2561-2580 (PDP2018), the first hydro-floating solar hybrid project has been implemented by Egat at Sirindhorn Dam. BGRIMM Power – Energy China consortium as selected bidder with the deal worth over Bt842 million, will construct and install a 4


By The Nation (Thailand)
January 21, 2020

Culture and society

China, Myanmar have productive exchange during Xi’s visit

A number of cooperation documents were exchanged by China and Myanmar covering areas as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications amid President Xi Jinping’s state visit on Saturday. China and Myanmar exchanged a number of cooperation documents covering such areas as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications amid President Xi Jinping’s state visit on Saturday.The exchange ceremony was attended by Xi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The two countries issued a joint statement the same day.In his talks with Aung San Suu Kyi, Xi said the two countries should speed up connecting development strategies and jointly push the building of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.Hailing the corridor as a flagship


By China Daily
January 20, 2020