Okinawa: Shuri Castle holds ‘reconstruction festival’ 3 years after blaze

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Performers dressed as the king and queen of the Ryukyu Kingdom take part in a procession at Shuri Castle Park in Naha on Saturday.

NAHA — A festival kicked off Saturday at Shuri Castle in Naha, where work is underway to restore the main hall and other structures that were destroyed in a 2019 blaze.

The popular tourist site holds a festival every year around this time. This year the event has been named the “Shuri Castle reconstruction festival,” which runs through Nov. 3.

Shuri Castle, the royal palace and political and administrative center of the Ryukyu Kingdom, was destroyed by fire during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The main hall was reconstructed in 1992.

During the festival on Saturday, performers dressed as the king and queen of the Ryukyu Kingdom took part in a procession in front of the Hoshinmon gate.

According to the Cabinet Office, seven buildings at the site were destroyed in the fire on Oct. 31, 2019, including the main, north, and south halls. Two structures, including the Hoshinmon gate, were also damaged in the blaze.

The government aims to restore the main hall by 2026, at a cost of approximately ¥12 billion.