Ryukyu Kingdom’s royal mausoleum “Tamaudun” to be designated as national treasure

Ryukyu Kingdom’s royal mausoleum “Tamaudun” to be designated as national treasure

The Council for Cultural Affairs indicated to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology that the Ryukyu royal mausoleum Tamaudun should be designated as a national treasure (Photograph provided by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education)


October 19, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On October 19, the National Council for Cultural Affairs reported to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masahiko Shibayama that the Tamaudun royal mausoleum of the Ryukyu Kingdom will be designated as a national treasure.


In Okinawa Prefecture, a collection of “Ryukyu Sho Dynasty Related Artifacts” owned by Naha City has received national treasure designation, but this is the first time for structures in Okinawa to be recognized as national treasures.


The mausoleum will be officially designated by public notice.


There are 226 national treasures including Tamaudun. Along with its report, the Council indicated eight buildings including Ohmae Shrine (Maoka City, Tochigi Prefecture) as important cultural assets.


King Sho Shin of the Ryukyu Kingdom built Tamaudun in 1501.

It is located to the west of Shuri Castle. The three tombs are enclosed by stone walls in a “hafubaka” style peculiar to the Ryukyu region.

It is the oldest and largest scale mausoleum of this style that exists today. Naha City owns the mausoleum.


Tamaudun is one of the properties that was registered on the World Cultural Heritage list in 2000 under “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Kingdom.”


The three tombs and two stone walls that surround them are the structures being reported as national treasures at this time.


Mayor Mikiko Shiroma of Naha City said, “As citizens, we are extremely pleased and proud to designate structures in the prefecture as national treasures for the first time.

I will strive to preserve and protect valuable cultural assets in order to pass down.”


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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