horus
 member, 911 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 07:52
Shuri-jou
Today news reached my ears that saddens me no end.  On Thursday, at 0240 Okinawa time, Shuri-jou (Shuri Castle) near Naha, Okinawa, went up in flames.  This was just in advance of a festival that was in the preparation stage.

The castle had served as the Japanese military's strategic headquarters during the battle of Okinawa in WWII, and, so had been destroyed once before, but it was recently restored (I think in 1996?).  The site of Shuri-jou is designated a UNESCO world heritage site.

Many of you who know me know I lived in Okinawa as a child from 1962 to 1969.  I spent many a day on the outer steps of Shuri Temple (across from the main building that burned) doing my homework.  Shuri is one of my favorite places on Earth.  It was so serene, especially toward evening.

I am hopeful Shuri can and will be rebuilt.
Jhaelan
 member, 236 posts
 Prefers roles to rolls
 Based in UTC+1
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 09:29
Shuri-jou
Sad news indeed, my friend
Starchaser
 member, 679 posts
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 13:06
Shuri-jou
So sorry to hear that Horus. Are there plans to rebuild? Was it accidental or arson?
horus
 member, 912 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 20:00
Shuri-jou
The Mayor's office in Naha, the prefectural government, and the Japanese national government all assert that Shuri will be rebuilt if for no other reason than its cultural importance.  This is reassuring, given Shuri's strong historical ties to the Ryukyu Kingdom (and, symbolically, to Okinawan nationalist movements).  Perhaps putting aside politics will have a healing effect here, I don't know.  I sure hope so.  I have not yet heard of any American offers of assistance, but there is supposed to be an international account being set up to accept donations. I don't know if I can share further about that here, though.

Investigation is ongoing, but preliminary reports seem to indicate arson was unlikely.  The structures burned were mostly made of cypress, some of it quite ancient at the time of its harvesting for the construction.  The fire was detected by heat sensors sometime around 0230, with report being made by the security company to local authorities around 0240.  More that that, I cannot say and shouldn't speculate.

When I was there, the castle buildings themselves were in somewhat of a state of disrepair from the war, but the place was still very beautiful.  The temple where I did my lessons had been restored sometime before I entered school at Mercy Elementary (an overseas dependent's school near Ginowan).  That would have been sometime around 1966 to 1968 (fifth and sixth grades).
Starchaser
 member, 680 posts
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 06:45
Shuri-jou
Yeah TBH I would have been surprised if you said it had been arson. Its a real shame, but at least there are definate plans to rebuild. I know that means the original structure and materials are no more but I'm guessing they will do a pretty good job of recreating the original.
GreenTongue
 member, 888 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 14:44
Shuri-jou
Hopefully craftspeople are still available for the reconstruction.
Starchaser
 member, 681 posts
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 16:18
Shuri-jou

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 16:21, Mon 04 Nov.

horus
 member, 917 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 17:31
Shuri-jou
I'm certain there are still crafts-folk in Japan who remember the old techniques - the Japanese are too proud of their culture and history to let something like that slip.

I do know that there exists adequate documentation, plans, photos, and other information to make a complete rebuilding possible.  (After all, they had just finished restoring the place in the nineties.)