In the early fifteenth century, Katsuren Castle was a flourishing and powerful gusuku in the central part of the island of Okinawa. Excavations have found many historic remains from China and Japan and have also confirmed that there were buildings with tiled roofs, which suggests that this was a place where trade was lively. Another name for the castle is Kimutaka, meaning a place that is filled with outstanding spiritual power. This gusuku was controlled by Amawari, a well-known figure, who moved to gain control over Shurijo Castle and to acquire hegemony over the Ryukyus. However, in 1458, he surrendered after coming under attack from the army of the royal government at Shuri. After his surrender, the gusuku fell to ruin, but the castle walls have been restored and returned to their former appearance.
In 2000, “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu” was registered under UNESCO World Heritage Site.