The Ancients
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins
503 Aza Oshiro, Kitanakagusuku Village
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Credit: okinawaindex.com

Nakagusuku Castle Ruins
503 Aza Oshiro, Kitanakagusuku Village

One of approximately 300 castle ruins in Okinawa, Nakagusuku is among the best-preserved and well-kept sites on island. Built during the 15th century, this castle was probably constructed by Gosamaru after completing his work on Zakimi Castle. The vantage points from the walls of Nakagusuku offer breathtaking views. As you tour the castle grounds, it is easy to visualize the days of old. Don't leave the island without seeing this national historic site. - SOURCE

Credit: Okinawa Travel

Nakagusuku Castle is one of the castles, which were built across Okinawa during the era of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The independent kingdom had existed for several centuries prior to becoming a Japanese prefecture in 1879.

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Credit: Japan Travel Info..
Credit: ayuko0106's photostream
Gusuku Sites within Okinawa Prefecture
Kingdom of Ryukyu
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Credit: ayuko0106's photostream

The Origin of Gusuku

Gusuku are existent over a wide range, extending from the Amami islands to the Okinawa islands and Sakishima islands.

Many existing Gusuku retain vestiges of the ancient Ryukyus in their appearance, symbolized by stonewall enclosures and castle ramparts. When, by whom and for what purposes were they built?

In clearing up the history of the Gusuku, the as yet unclear portion relates to clarifying issues surrounding the dawn of the Ryukyus.

At present, the Chinese character for castle (romanized as Shiro or Jo) is generally used to write the term Gusuku. When used it is expressed as "the such- and-such castle ruins." However, for example, the outward appearance is quite different when compared to what are termed "castles" on the Japanese mainland. This can be comprehended by tracing back through the history of the once independent Ryukyu Islands.

SOURCE: Okinawa Prefectural Government

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