Three-year project restores color to vermillion castle

Three-year project restores color to vermillion castle

The seiden before its restoration in June 2016. Photo by Okinawa Genral Bureau.


December 8, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On Dec. 6, the Okinawa General Bureau announced the completion of its three-year repainting project of Shuri Castle located in Naha City. Restoration of the lacquer used on the castle’s seiden, or the main hall, began in 2016 and was completed on Nov. 29. It is the first time an entire exterior wall was treated since the buildings were rebuilt in 1992. Motifs of dragons and lions depicted on the cusped gable and the four pillars jutting out of the facade were revived with pigment and gold leaf, bringing back the vibrant colors it once had shortly after the reconstruction.

The Shuri Castle seiden features a fresh coat of pigment and gilding in March 2018. Photo by Okinawa Genral Bureau.


The castle’s lacquer, made of natural pigments, had eroded over the years under harsh sunlight, winds and rain. Yasushi Nakajima, Director-General of the Development Construction Department, announced the project “successfully returned the castle to its original appearance when it was rebuilt. I invite everyone to visit and enjoy the bright vermillion color of the seiden.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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