‘Shurei-mon gate’ is a wooden two-storied gate standing at the main entrance of ‘Shurijo-castle’ that’s the largest castle in Okinawa Pref.
‘Shurei-mon gate’ in the picture is supposed to be built in the middle of the 16th century. This gate was burnt down during the Second World War and was rebuilt in 1958. The name of ‘Shurei’ came from the tablet reads ‘Shurei-no-kuni’, literally a country of observance of courtesy, fixed on the upper part of the gate. When it was rebuilt after the War, the gate stood apart all alone in the grounds of ‘Shuri-jo castle’. However, it is now standing together with other rebuilt buildings of old ‘Shuri-jo castle’ which has a unique appearance different from Japan’s traditional castle. ‘Shurei-mon gate’ has become one of the symbol of Okinawa and is adopted as a design on the 2000 yen bill.
By Masahisa Takaki.
1-2 Kinjo-cho, Shuri, Naha City, Okinawa
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