Katsuren Castle 勝連城
stone walls
Picture Donated by Terry P.
Founder Katsuren Aji
Year early 14th Century
Type Mountaintop
Condition Ruins
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value UNESCO World Heritage Site
Location Uruma, Okinawa Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Bus from Naha Bus Terminal
Website Gusuku Sites - Katsuren
Notes Pictures donated by Terry P.
History The 10th lord of the castle, Amawari Aji, is the last and most well known lord of Katsuren Castle. He is famous for fostering prosperous international trade and many shards of Chinese pottery and tiles were found on the site of Katsuren Castle. He was also a cunning and deceiving lord. It is said that he pushed the 9th lord Mochizuki Aji off the top of the walls when he tricked Mochizuki to come up there one night and thus assumed lordship of the castle. Mochizuki was considered to be a tyrant so Amawari was a savior to the people of Katsuren. As his strength grew, Lord Gosamaru was moved to Nakagusuku Castle to keep Awamari in check. Awamari deceived the king in Shuri that Gosamaru was the bigger threat and got his support to defeat Gosamaru. Later, he also planned to seize control of the whole kingdom and overtake the king at Shuri, but this time the king was warned in time and Amawari was defeated. Some stories say it was Amawari's wife (the king's daughter) found out about the plot and warned her father in time. After Amawari, no powerful lords rose from Katsuren Castle.

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  • furinkazan on My Page    May 09, 2015 at 06:03 PM
    After Nakagusukujô i went to this castle. I went to a different busstop and i was lucky when i arrived the bus came in. I got off bus #30 at Koza and went to the busstop for bus #52. This bus stops right at the foot of Katsurenjô. The name of the busstop is Katsurenjôatomae. The site is like Nakagusukujô with some subtle differences. There are signboards all over the place with english translations and QR-codes for some extra explanations. The site has free wifi. The view from the top is outstanding, but beware of the wind. After visiting the castle i went inside the building on the parking lot. It's an informationcentre and shop. Some small artifacts are on show. There is a nice model of the castle like it was in its heyday. There is also a leaflet in english. Some parts of the castle are under reconstruction. The site is free of charge. To get back to Naha it's easy. The bus#52 goes all the way to the centre of Naha. I payed 1190¥, but I got off at the kokusaidôri. This was my last castle on Okinawa. Tomorrow i'll be elsewhere.
  • Okinawa Budo Kai    May 06, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    One should see the play of Amawari and Gosamaru to understand this Site.
  • Frank T. on My Page    September 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    Strictly speaking, I don't think this can be considered a "Japanese" castle site, and I don't find Japanese castle ruins that interesting given the abundance of sites with actual buildings, whether original or reconstructed. However, these sites in Okinawa are worth a visit for the sake of understanding Okinawan history and culture. The view from the top of the ruins is good, too.
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Uruma, Okinawa Pref.
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