Tamagusuku Castle

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Tamagusuku 35.jpg


According to Ryukyuan legend, the goddess Amamikiyo, who created the Ryukyu Islands, built Tamagusuku Castle. There is no existing historical record of when Tamagusuku Castle was constructed or who its builder was. However, Tamagusuku Castle can be found on a map called Ryukyukokunozu (琉球国之図), which is dated to around 1471. It is said that Tamagusuku Aji significantly expanded the castle in the 14th century. Archaeological excavation, uncovering items such as pottery and coins, confirms this and suggests that the castle flourished from the late 14th century to the late 15th century. During the Ryukyu Kingdom era, the Amatsuzu Utaki in Tamagusuku Castle was one of the 14 sacred Agariumai pilgrimage sites. These sacred sites include the UNESCO world heritage sites of Sonohyan Utaki Ishimon at Shuri Castle and Sefa Utaki. After WWII, many of Tamagusuku Castle’s stones were removed by the American military and used in construction of nearby bases. It was registered as a National Historic Site in 1987.

Visit Notes

This castle ruin has three baileys and incorporates natural rock formations with stone walls. The arched gate into the Main Bailey was created by carving an opening in the natural limestone. Like other Ryukyuan gusukus, this castle ruin has a sacred shrine(utaki) within its precincts. For those with a car, there is parking at the foot of the castle ruin for several cars. There are infrequent buses, and the nearest bus stop is 20 minutes away on foot, so going to Tamagusuku Castle by taxi may be the best option if you don’t have a (rental) car.

RaymondW wrote this castle profile and contributed all the photos.

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  • Stone wall remnants
  • Modern stairs up to Main Bailey
  • Main Bailey's stone walls
  • Arched gate to the Main Bailey
  • Second Bailey's stone wall remnants
  • Main Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Tamagusuku Castle
Japanese Name 玉城城
Founder Unknown
Year Founded Unknown
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Bus or Taxi
Visitor Information Free
Time Required 30 to 45 minutes
Location Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 8' 39.30" N, 127° 46' 50.34" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor RaymondW
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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