History/Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

World HeritageAbout Nakagusuku Castle RuinsHistoryAccess
History

Nakagusuku Castle is on the list of 100 famous castles in Japan. It is also designated as a Japanese historical site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site, under the title “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Kingdom”.

Around the middle of the 14th century (Muromachi Era)
The first generation of Nakagusuku Ajis (Ryukyuan Lords) build Nakagusuku Castle and made it their residence. The following generations built the south, west, fourth, first and second enclosures.
Second part of the 14th century (Muromachi Era)
Artifacts from the second part of the 14th century were found during the excavations. Because of those artifacts, we know that the castle is from this period of history.
1440 (Muromachi Era)
Following the order of the King, Lord Gosamaru moved from Zakimi Castle to Nakagusuku Castle in order to prepare for an attack on Katsuren Castle. While living in Nakagusuku Castle, Lord Gosamaru constructed the third and the north enclosure.
1458 (Muromachi Era)
Lord Gosamaru killed himself on August 15th of the Chinese calendar, during a Tsukimi (Moon viewing) banquet. Lord Gosamaru killed himself because
he knew that the king sent Lord Amawari, the Aji (lord) of Katsuren and the General of his army, to defeat him.
1458 (Muromachi Era)
After Lord Gosamaru’s death, the castle became a king-controlled district and the royal family members or its representatives managed the site until 1469.
From 1470 (Muromachi Era)
The castle and Nakagusuku Village became the Prince’s territory.
1729 (Edo Era)
The Magiri headquarters (administrative district for the Ryukyu Kingdom) was established in the first enclosure.
1853 (Edo Era)
Commodore Perry’s expedition conducted a survey of the castle. William (Wilhelm) Heine was the official artist of Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan in 1853-54. Mr. Heine left 4 sketches of this visit.
1879 (12th year of the Meiji era)
The Meiji government enforced the “Ryukyu Disposal Act”. The Ryukyu Han (principality) became the Okinawa prefecture. The Nakagusuku Magiri headquarters remained in the first enclosure.
1882 (15th year of the Meiji era)
The Nakagusuku primary school was constructed in one of the rooms of the headquarters.
1886 (19th year of the Meiji era)
The primary school was moved into the east side of the castle. Four classrooms with tiled roofs and a playground were constructed.
1897 (30th year of the Meiji era)
The Magiri Headquarters was changed to the Magiri Office.
1908 (41st year of the Meiji era)
Following the Chosonsei (the current system of towns and villages) decree, it became the Nakagusuku Village Office.
1920 (9th year of the Taisho era)
The Nakagusuku primary school moved to Yagi and the area where the primary school used to be was turned into a horse training ground.
1945 (20th year of the Showa era)
The Nakagusuku Village Office was destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa.
1946 (21st year of the Showa era)
The Village Office was reconstructed in Okuma and the castle was abandoned.
1947 (22nd year of the Showa era)
On November 5th the civil government (Ryukyu side) gave the secret order to Nakagusuku Mayor Tokashiki Shinboku to designate the castle as a park.
On November 23rd the mayor of Nakagusuku was summoned by the military government and received the plan for the expansion of the park.
1948 (23rd year of the Showa era)
From July to September the preparation for the park construction were under the supervision of Nakaza Hisao. The construction started in September.
1949 (24th year of the Showa era)
On December 12th the Nakagusuku Village council decided that the Nakagusuku Park will be managed both by the village authorities and the public.
1950 (25th year of the Showa era)
In February, the facilities for the park (shops, playgrounds, bullfighting arenas and restaurants) are constructed.
On February 1st the Nakagusuku Park Company, Ltd. was established. It was immediately registered by the “Park Association”.
On February 19th the Nakagusuku Park was officially recognized as a park by the government.
On March 5th a ceremony was held for the park’s opening.
1955 (30th year of the Showa era)
On January 25th Nakagusuku Castle was designated as a Historic and Picturesque Cultural Property (Constructed Sites) by a governmental agency called the Committee of Cultural Property Conservation.
On July 19th the park management rights were given to the public.
1958 (33rd year of the Showa era)
On April 17th Nakagusuku Castle was designated as a Special Historic Property by a governmental agency called the Committee of Cultural Property Conservation.
1961 (36th year of the Showa era)
The restoration work for the castle’s stonewalls began.
1962 (37th year of the Showa era)
Nakagusuku Castle was designated as a Special Important Cultural Property by a governmental agency called the Committee of Cultural Property Conservation in the Ryukyu government.
1968 (43rd year of the Showa era)
End of the restoration work of the castle’s stonewalls.
1972 (47th year of the Showa era)
On May 15th the day Okinawa was returned to Japan, Nakagusuku Castle became a government designated historical site.
1992 (4th year of Heisei)
On April 1st the management of Nakagusuku Castle was given to Nakagusuku Village and Kita Nakagusuku Village.
1994 (6th year of Heisei)
On October 1st the co-management committee of the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins was established.
1995 (7th year of Heisei)
In June the 20 year restoration and conservation program started.
2000 (12th year of Heisei)
On December 12th the site was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the title “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Kingdom”.
2006 (18th year of Heisei)
On April 6th Nakagusuku Castle was chosen as one of the 100 famous Japanese Castles by the Japan Castle Foundation
Page Top

Nakagusuku-jo site

Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

Tel:81-098-935-5719

Fax:098-935-1146

503 Oshiro Kitanakagusuku-son Nakagami-gun Okinawa-ken 901-2314 JAPAN