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"Entrance to Nakagusuku Castle"
12018-04-23T13:40:27-04:00CHASS Web Resources398fc684681798c72f46b5d25a298734565e6eb821The plaque reads: "This castle was built by Gosmaru Liege Lord and father-in-law of King Sho Taiku. While in its eighth year of construction (1450-1458) it was captured and destroyed by Amawari, Lord of Katsuren Peninsula and opposer of the king."plain2018-04-23T13:40:27-04:0026.283327, 127.799050Charles Gail Collectionms0470_pho_1-13aCHASS Web Resources398fc684681798c72f46b5d25a298734565e6eb8
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12018-04-23T13:40:27-04:00Heritage - Nakagusuku Castle1google_maps2018-04-23T13:40:27-04:0026.283327, 127.799050late 14th century1952Nakagusuku Castle was constructed during the mid-to-late 14th century, when several kingdoms struggled for dominance, marking a particularly turbulent time in Ryūkyū's history. Like most of the archipelago's archeological structures, the castle is made of coral limestone and impressively designed to account for both structural and aesthetic principles.
In the early 1950s, much of Okinawa's cultural heritage remained in tatters from the devastation of the war. Shuri Castle, for example, had been completely destroyed. It's very likely that Nakagusuku was one of the few locations in the southern part of the main island where Americans like Gail could experience Okinawan archeological heritage. The plaque at the entrance to the castle, written in English, shows that this location was meant to draw in American soldier-tourists. The plaque and the opening of this space is also indicative of American government mandates that sought to spotlight Ryūkyūan history and identity as a Cold War strategy for carving the islands away from Japanese cultural and political dominance. "The steps of Nakagusuku"
Nakagusuku Castle Wall The castle, and much of the Nakagusuku period construction, consists of two different construction styles: Nunozuni and Aikatazumi. Nunozuni style refers to stone blocks that are stacked in horizontal allignment, while Aikatazumi blocks often appear to be stacked hexagonally or randomly, as it appears in Gail's photo. In 2017, project team members returned to Okinawa to continue research. One group of students went to Nakagusuku Castle to try to find the exact location from which Gail took this photo of the wall, but the task proved difficult. Even measuring the intricate stonework and trying to match it with the photo did not result in positive identification. Of final note here is Gail's description, in which he compares the walls of Nakagusuku to those of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. However, Gail refers to the Emperor's palace "in Japan," rather than "in Tokyo," which seems to indicate that he understood Okinawa to be distinct from Japan proper.