Skip to main content

Okinawan Studies: BLOG / News

This guide to introduce you to resources on Okinawa and Ryukyu.

COS Director's Op-Ed in Nikkei Asian Review

by Sachiko Iwabuchi 岩渕祥子 on 2019-11-07T19:40:28-10:00 | Comments

Prof. ISHIDA Masao, current Director of the Center for Okinawan Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa contributed an op-ed to Nikkei Asian Review. 

Ishida, Masato. (7 Nov 2019, JST). Nikkei Asian Review. "Shuri Castle fire highlights unique Okinawan history and identity: Uniting Japanese, Chinese and Ryukyuan elements, heritage site should rise again." Retrieved from

During World War II, the Japanese 32nd Army decided to station its headquarters in Shuri, fortifying the hill on which the castle stood, and dug a kilometer-long network of military tunnels right beneath it.

The decision made Shuri Castle a conspicuous target of destruction for the U.S. military. Intense bombardment and gunfire took countless lives, including those of civilians, and reduced the castle to nothing but rubble and ashes, leaving the American flag on the ruined hill by the end of May 1945. Okinawa became an American possession until 1972.

Why, then, was Shuri Castle granted the status of a World Heritage site, when restoration efforts began only in 1989 in preparation for the 20th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan?

Meanwhile, the NHK News Web reports that a group of researchers at the University of Tokyo launched a project called OUR ShurijoShrui Castle Digital Reconstruction. 


 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.



  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.