Shuri Castle

This here is Shuri Castle. It was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom back in the 14th century. So before Okinawa was an official part of Japan it was a tributary to China, known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. Then it was a tributary to Japan and wasn't adopted as a Japanese Prefecture until 1879. So for a while it was doing it's own thing and had it's own ruler and the capital was here at Shuri Castle! The castle was completely destroyed during WWII and wasn't reconstructed until the early 90's. It has been a very slow process and many areas around the castle are still being worked on! I also learned they had the G8 Summit here in July 2000 with those heads of state in attendance here, so ya know, kind of cool.
Some of the outer gates around the castle

 We had to remove our shoes to go through most of the museum out of respect-something that I'm still getting use to here! Many places you go eat at or museums and people's home you are suppose to remove your shoes and a couple times I've totally forgotten and felt like a big dummy.
 Where the king sat!
 A little replica built of some of the ceremonies performed here. They still use the castle and courtyard for certain festivals and what not. So we'll have to go back during one of those!
It has been really fun learning about a culture so different than what we are use to. I'm so glad we got to come over here and hope to learn much, much more!

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