Shuri Castle

Okinawa, Japan

Burned down 2019

The Disappointed Tourist: Shuri Castle, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Requested by Yohei S. & Karoline N.

Shuri Castle (首里城) was a Ryukyuan Gusuku castle in Shuri, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The date of construction is uncertain. It was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom 1429 and 1879 after which it fell into disrepair. In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed. After the war, the castle was re-purposed as a university campus. Beginning in 1992, the central citadel and walls were largely reconstructed on the original site based on historical records, photographs, and memory. In 2000, Shuri Castle was designated as a World Heritage Site, as a part of the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu. On the morning of 31 October 2019, the main courtyard structures of the castle were destroyed in a fire. The painting is based on an open-source photograph by Uwe Aranas found on Wikipedia.