Way to main shrine

Home > Facility introduction > Way to main shrine

Free area

Thyme trips in the times of Ryukyu kingdom

We will introduce the distance before going to main shrine which is one of the world heritages from Shuri forest building with parking lot through Shureimon (shureimon).

Shureimon / enhiokubugotakeishimon / The pleasant meeting gate / Dragon gutter / satsufushichihi / zuisemmon / The graduations of a water clock gate / Light stand / Bell of all countries Tsu beam

Shureimon (shureimon)

Shureimon (shureimon)

"shurei" (shurei) is meaning to "follow courtesy" and is written "shureikorekuni" (shureinokuni) to framed picture (strange calyx) raised in the gate. It means, "Ryukyu is state respecting courtesy". Shurijo Castle is stone wall and castle with many castle gates, but, above all, balance take in design, and the representative gate with elegant atmosphere is this "Shureimon". It is erected in format called Chinese pailou (pairou).

"Another name" is added to large number of castle gates and buildings in Shurijo Castle other than "official name". We can read poetic sense of Ryukyuan of the past from those names. They were old, and Shureimon was said to be "the Shuri gate" (shurimon), but general public called "the upper intricate design gate" (iinoayajo) as nickname. "The beautiful gate which there is toward the top" means.

It was erected for the first time from 1527 through 55 (second) charges to still still chase King Kiyoshi (result to carry for he fourth generation), and was appointed, but we were destroyed by the Battle of Okinawa in 1933 (8, Showa) by national treasure. The current gate was restored in 1958 (33, Showa), and is used afterwards as tourist facility symbolizing Okinawa until today. It becomes design of memory bill 2,000 yen bill of 2000.

enhiokubugotakeishimon (sonohyanutakiishimon)


It is place of worship which we prayed for safely when the king goes out with building made with Ryukyu limestone. Form becomes the gate, but, not the gate which people go along, is, so to speak, place that should be also known as "gate of worship" to God.

It is revealed that it was built in 1519 (King Naoma (shoshino) charges) by contents of framed picture (strange calyx) hung in the upper part of the gate. It is said that government official called sei* (we do and ask) from Taketomijima of Yaeyama constructed.

Of stone building of Ryukyu was representative, and was appointed in 1933 (8, Showa) by national treasure, but was destroyed by the Battle of Okinawa partly and was restored 1957 (32, Showa). It becomes country-designated important cultural property now. In addition, we were registered as world heritage in 2000 (12, Heisei).

The pleasant meeting gate (kankaimon)

The pleasant meeting gate

At the first front gate contained in castle (jokaku) of Shurijo Castle, "pleasant meeting" (kankai) means that we welcome. In former times, messenger "satsufushi" (sapposhi) of the Chinese emperor was invited to Shurijo Castle, but this name was touched in meaning to welcome such people.

Shurijo Castle is surrounded double by outer fence (the outside castle) and second enclosure (the inside castle), but is also known as another name "dependence gate of a palace" (behave like a baby cormorant fisherman) here at the first gate of outer fence. "Dependence" means "happy thing" by archaic word of Ryukyu.

The foundation was destroyed by fire by the Battle of Okinawa at 1477-1500 age (the Shin Sho monarchical age), but was restored in 1974 (49, Showa). In the gate, wooden oar (tower) is carried on board on the arch-formed castle gate of stone. This style is the same as kyukeimon (kyukeimon), tsugiyomon (keiseimon) described below.

There is twin stone lion statue called "Shiisa" on both sides of the gate, but this is placed in meaning of charm.

Dragon gutter (ryuhi)

Dragon gutter

Because spring sprang out of entrance of dragon as for "the dragon gutter", it was named like that. This water was used as drinking water of the royal palace. In addition, it is said that we carried water every day from here to the lodgings called "angel building" (tenshikan) which were near the Naha Port when messenger, satsufushi (sapposhi) of the Chinese emperor visited Ryukyu.

Sculpture of dragon was brought in 1523 by China, and is before about 500 years.

satsufushichihi (sapposhichihi)

"satsufushichihi" is seven monuments established around dragon gutter (ryuhi).
Standing praised cleanness of water of dragon gutter, and successive "satsufushi" (sapposhi) where we were sent to to declare the enthronement of King of Ryukyu as messenger of the Chinese emperor composed on Chinese poetry, and they left title. Those monuments were destroyed by the Battle of Okinawa and hardly existed, but, in the case of excavation, broken monument called "waterfall" (hisen) was discovered in 1984 (Showa 59), and it became clear to be half of the remainder of monument called "*gyoku" (sogyoku) saved in Okinawa Prefectural museum, and it was in topic in those days. "hisen*gyoku" (hisensogyoku) means that clean spring splashes like ball. A certain seven monuments are restored based on rubbed copy, and scholar of title, the gist is as follows now.

The Nakayama first (chuzandaiichi)

  • Scholar of title: Hoko Jo
  • The next offing year: 1719
  • The gist: Quantity of water of spring is spring where Ryukyu is first as for the quality of the water.

Cloud base lithomarge (unkonsekizui)

  • Scholar of title: All Sakigake (zenkai)
  • The next offing year: 1756
  • The gist: It is milk of stone springing out of hole of place with high mountain.

The Yokoku soul source (yokokureigen)

  • Scholar of title: *bunkai (we buy butterfly)
  • The next offing year: 1800
  • The gist: It is strange spring in place to appear of day of east end.

katsu**ji (katsuhatsuhatsuchi)

  • Scholar of title: ** (we mix result)
  • The next offing year: 1808
  • The gist: Force of water is extremely active spring so that fish jumps.

The source banishment to a distant district head (genenryucho)

  • Scholar of title: rinhishikuinen (phosphorus does not lie down in this way)
  • The next offing year: 1838
  • The gist: Source is far, and spring has a long running water.

hisen*gyoku (hisensogyoku)

  • Scholar of title: High person model (we do not grow on feel)
  • The next offing year: 1838
  • The gist: Clean spring splashes like ball.

reimyakuryu* (reimyakuryufun)

  • Scholar of title: *shin (we believe in butterfly)
  • The next offing year: 1866
  • The gist: It is flow with high fragrance to go out of water vein of mystery.

zuisemmon (zuisemmon)


"zuisen" (zuisen) means "excellent happy Izumi".

Spring in the right side was called "dragon gutter" (ryuhi) for the sake of the gate and was named in this way for that. At the second gate, it is also known as another name "hikawa gate of a palace" (cormorant fisherman) here.

We put devices (hang gutter) that "gutter" (hi) receives rainwater of long pipe deriving water from river and spring or groove or roof and drains into ground. On the other hand, we express all well and the springs as river (kava or car) in Okinawa. "hikawa" is word that we matched such an expression with and pronounces fee jar garfish.

The foundation was destroyed by fire by the Battle of Okinawa in around 1470, but was restored in 1992 (4, Heisei). Twin Shishi children (ishijishi) line up on both sides of the gate. This is placed in meaning of charm, too.

Oar (tower) gets on zuisemmon directly on the gate of two excellent things unlike the pleasant meeting gate of arch-formed gate stone which we looked at earlier. This type of passage under a turret (tower thing) can look even at castle gate of Japanese soil, but framed picture (strange calyx) called central "zuisen" of oar gives characteristic peculiar to Ryukyu.

The graduations of a water clock gate (roukokumon)

The graduations of a water clock gate

"Water clock" means in Chinese with "graduations of a water clock" (roukoku). At the third gate, it is also known as another name "basket residence se gate of a palace" (cormorant fisherman) here.

Government official with high social position gets on palanquin (basket) and we did up-jo Castle, but are called by Shurijo Castle like that in those days even official went down from palanquin in honor of the king at this place. The foundation is the around 15th century.

We install water tank in oar (tower) on the gate, and it is said that we measured time with quantity that water leaks. Government official of person in charge beat drum here when we measured the time, and another government official who heard that clapped Ogane (Gane) at the same time in azana of the east (get nervous) and azana of the west (iri) and migiwakimon (garden plant thing) and told about the time outside in castle and castle.

About system of this "graduations of a water clock", it is written in Korean record of 1456, "there are not thing and no substitute for our country" (in that of Ryukyu).

Light stand (nichieidai)

Light stand

It is sundial called "light stand" (nichieidai) that is placed in the front of "the graduations of a water clock gate" (roukokumon). We were placed in this place, and former times were spent as supporting tool of water clock, too.

In 1739, conventional graduations of a water clock is informed light caliber (nichieiki) for the first time saying that it is incomplete as we produce and installed. System continued until establishment of prefectures in place of feudal domains (haihanchiken) afterward in 1879 (Meiji 12) in this time.

Bell (bankokushinryonokane) of all countries Tsu beam

Bell of all countries Tsu beam

It is recorded as this bell was hung in Shurijo Castle main shrine with history material in 1458, but installs here for the time being as concrete setting place is unidentified.

It is replica of "bell of all countries Tsu beam" stored in Okinawa Prefectural museum. Inscription of purpose to "be country which Ryukyu country is beautiful country of Nankai, and does ship with go-between of all countries in between Korea, China, Japan, and prospers by trade." is ticked away, and proud disposition as the ocean kingdom of the past is shown in bell.

It is sent back to the top of page