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Urasoe Castle Park was first center of Okinawa

Date Posted: 2003-03-28

Urasoe Castle Park offers one of the best sightseeing points over Urasoe City and surrounding areas. The park is constructed on a site where the castle, a temple and a royal tomb were located. All were completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa at the end of World War II. Urasoe City was once the political center of Okinawa, Today it is the second largest city in the prefecture. The Eiso family ruled the castle from 1187 to 1392, and the tombs constructed by King Eiso still exist today.

The tomb complex is called Urasoe-yudore, meaning the Paradise of the Rest. When Japanese priest Zenkan visited Urasoe, King Eiso constructed the Temple of Paradise.

Next to the temple he built tombs made of coral in which he was buried. In the tomb next to his lies King Sho Nei, who in 1609 fought against Satsuma troops from mainland Japan. He was defeated and buried here. This defeat brought Okinawa under the control of the Satsuma and effectively ended its independence.

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