Okinawa, Photography
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Shuri Castle Destroyed by Fire

 At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Thursday 31st October 2019 a fire started inside Okinawa’s Shuri Castle which destroyed the main hall and several adjoining buildings.

Now, one week later, the Governor of Okinawa and the Prime Minister of Japan have both promised that it shall be rebuilt. The challenges of doing so, and the timeline are not yet clear, but I look forward to it rising once again from the ashes of destruction.

Below are a few pics of Shuri Castle taken over the last 19 years. Most were taken at the New Year Festival or the Shuri Castle Festival which they were preparing for when the fire broke out.

The highlight of October’s Shuri Castle Festival is a lavish recreation of the 1800 Sappou Coronation, which formalized the Chinese Emperor’s recognition of the Ryukyu King. This was particularly important for the islanders as it gave them both protection and the right to trade with China.
Stone Dragon Head Pillar at Shuri Castle, Okinawa, japan
Shuri Castle, Okinawa, Japan
On each of the first three days of the year, a New Year Ceremony is held in the courtyard followed by performances of Ryukyu Dance. The most popular of these classical dances is Yotsudake where the women dress in bright bingata costumes of yellow and red, and don the hanagasa head-dress.
Traditional Okinawan kimonos in the courtyard
A local woman and man are chosen to play the parts of the Ryukyu King and Queen at the ceremony.
Shuri Castle New Year Ceremony
Stone Shisa at Shuri Castle Okinawa
Shuri Castle, Okinawa, japan
October 25th, Karate Day 2013 at Shuri Castle. 
Meitetsu Yagi, Zenpo Shimabukuro, Koei Teruya, Minoru Higa
Seikichi Iha Sensei’s students assemble in August 2019
Shuri Castle August 2019
New Year Festival


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