Madama-michi Road from 16th century excavated around Shurei gate

Madama-michi Road from 16th century excavated around Shurei gate

Madama-michi Road developed during the Ryukyuan Kingdom era found around Shurei gate


September 6, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


Stones from Madama-michi Road, a stone-paved road constructed in the 1500s during Ryukyuan Kingdom era was excavated on the grounds of Shuri Castle in Kinjo town, Shuri in Naha city.

The stones were located nearby the Shurei Gate (Shurei no mon), close to where the Madama-michi Road started.

The width of the road is 3.5 meters, and it continues for 4 to 5 meters. The stones were found 50 centimeters deep under the soil.


Kaoru Murata, 30, a specialist at the Okinawa Prefectural Archaeological Center, commented, “We knew that the road was located around here, but we did not think it would appear in such a nice form.

The condition of the road is better than we expected.”


A part of the Madama-michi Road was found around Hanta-gawa River in Naha city in April, but this is the first time part of the road was found in Shuri Castle.

The road was found during an excavation survey for a road improvement project.

The original stone pavement Madama-michi Road stretched over eight kilometers from Shurei Gate through Kinjo town in Shuri, Samukawa town, Hanta-gawa River, Onoyama, and Naha port.


The stones are made of Ryukyu limestone, and some parts have been scraped off. Each rock is of indefinite shape and is sized about 20 to 30 centimeters.

Ceramics from the 1500s were also excavated from the surrounding area, leading the excavators to determine the limestones to be Madama-michi Road.


Madama-michi Road was developed as a military road to prepare against pirates when they were a big threat during the King Shoshin era.

The road is planned to be covered under a protective sheet and be put back underground again later this month.


Although there is no event planned for showing the road, visitors can see the road through the fence around Shurei gate.



(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)


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