Sonohyan-Utaki Ishimon

Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Prefecture
Naha , Japan

The structure is made with Ryukyu limestone and was a sacred site where the king came to pray for a safe journey whenever he left the castle. The shape is that of a gate, but its purpose was not a passageway for people, but rather, it was a “gateway to pay respects” to the gods.
From the framed wooden plaque placed at the top of the gate, we know that it was constructed in 1519 (during the reign of King Sho Shin). It is said that a government official by the name of Nishito, who was from Taketomi Island in Yaeyama, was responsible for its construction.
This is one of the representative stone structures of Ryukyu and was designated as a National Treasure in 1933, but it was partially destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa. It was restored in 1957 and presently, is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. It was also registered as a World Heritage Site in the year 2000.


  • Title: Sonohyan-Utaki Ishimon
  • Location: Shurijo Castle Park
  • Original Source: Shurijo Castle Park
  • Rights: Okinawa Churashima Foundation

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