The Shuri Castle is a gusuku located in Shuri , Okinawa . It was the first palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom . In 1945 , during the Battle of Okinawa , was almost completely destroyed, leaving only a few walls standing just at ground level. In 1992 it was rebuilt on the original site, using information from photographs, historical accounts and memory.
The exact date of construction of the castle is unknown, although recent excavations are the oldest ruins of the castle at the end of XIV century . It is thought that a principle was a gusuku (fortress), finished before 1427 . There is also evidence of a plaque celebrating the creation of the gardens outside, kept in the Museum of Okinawa Prefecture .
When the King Sho Hashi unified the three sections of Okinawa and established the Ryukyu Kingdom , Shuri Castle used as your residence. At the time, Shuri flourished as the capital and remained so until the second Sho dynasty. For 450 years since the early fifteenth century , the fortress served as the imperial court and administrative center of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. It was at the center of foreign trade and the political heart, economic and cultural development of Ryūkyū.
According to various records, Shuri Castle caught fire several times and was rebuilt in each. Before the Second World War , was designated as National Treasure of Japan , but at the beginning of the war, the Japanese army established their quarters in the castle. In early May 25 , 1945, the U.S. battleship USS Missouri and others bombarded for three days. The May 27 caught fire.
After the war, Ryukyu University was moved to the castle. In 1958, the door Shurei Gate was rebuilt and in 1992 rebuilt the main building of the fortress. Today, the area around the castle is part of Shuri Castle Park. In 2000 , along with other gusuku and related sites, was declared a World Heritage Site for UNESCO as part of the cultural sites associated Gusuku and the Kingdom of Ryukyu .