Shurei means to “observe proprieties” and on the framed wooden plaque hanging above this gate are the characters that read Shurei no Kuni, meaning “Ryukyu Kingdom is a land of propriety”. Shurijo Castle has many stonewalls and castle gates, but the Shureimon gate has a well-balanced design and an elegant atmosphere.
Zuisen means “a great, auspicious spring”. The water spring at the front-right of the gate is called Ryuhi, and this is how Zuisenmon got its name. This is the second gate leading to the castle and Zuisenmon is also called Hikawa Ujo.
Kofuku means to “spread good fortune”. Kofukumon is the fourth gate leading up to the castle and is also known as Naga Ujo. The structure itself functions as a gate and this style is unique to the castle gates at Shurijo Castle.
The meaning behind the name, Hoshinmon, is “a gate to respect the gods”. This is the last gate on the path that leads to the Una at the Shurijo Seiden. The roof on the north side has been damaged by the fire and is about to be repaired.
The Una forecourt is at the center of Shurijo Castle. Facing the Seiden, to the right (south) is the Nanden and Bandokoro, and to the left (north) is the Hokuden. These halls surround a central courtyard known at the Una. it was in this area that there was a fire. Preparations are currently underway to restore the burnt down building. In the future, you can see the building being gradually improved.
Hakuginmon was also known as Shirogane Ujo.
The style of this gate is different from the other stone gates on the castle grounds. It is built in a masonry style using Ryukyu limestone like that of a roof of a building.
Agari-no Azana (An observation area)
Agari-no Azana is an observation area on the eastern end of the castle. It is approximately 140 meters in altitude, and from here, one can command a view over the communities beyond the castle, as well as behind the Seiden and Ouchibara within the castle grounds. On clear, sunny days, you can see Kudaka Island to the east and the Kerama Islands to the west.
This was the gate where the ladies of the court, who attended to the king and his family, passed through to reach Ouchibara. It is also known as Mimono Ujo and Unaka Ujo. A Yaguramon style gate with hip and gable irimoya-zukuri roof, with hongawara roof tiles.
Kyukeimon is also known as Hokori Ujo. While the Kankaimon was the main gate, Kyukeimon functioned as a service gate where mainly women passed through. The gate was used on occasions when the king visited the temple to offer his prayers, or when he set on his journey to visit the Urasoe area and further north.
Shurijo Castle Park