Early 14th century castle wall discovered at Nakagusuku Castle, predating previously accepted historical timelines

Early 14th century castle wall discovered at Nakagusuku Castle, predating previously accepted historical timelines

Nakagusuku Board of Education Cultural Office head Shin Tokuchi standing next to the wall he discovered. The yellow stones in the middle hail from the early 14th century. Closer to Tokuchi is the more recent wall constructed in the early 15th century. January 23, Nakagusuku Castle Ruins.

January 24, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


Nakagusuku – A castle wall that appears to have been constructed in the early 14th century was discovered at the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins.

The wall was found on the inside of a more recent castle wall constructed at the end of the 19th century.

The Nakagusuku Board of Education (BoE) made the discovery while removing stones as part of ongoing castle repairs.

It appears to have been constructed during the time of a Nakagusuku chieftain prior to the more well-known folklore of when Gosamaru inhabited the castle.

Previously, it was believed that Nakagusuku castle was constructed in the latter half of the 14th century, however as time moved on, the history of the castle could have been re-written.

A specialist explained, “It could be said that it was a show of strength on the part of the chieftain who constructed it. It is rare for the time period of the masonry to be identified. This is quite the rare discovery.”

The location of the newly discovered wall from the early 14th century (circled and red; image provided by the Nakagusuku Board of Education)

A piece of Chinese pottery that indicated the earth serving as the foundation for the wall dated from the end of the 13th century to the start of the 14th century was discovered, and this led to the determination of the approximate date of when the wall was constructed.

There were other unique characteristics such as shaved off corners, delicately manufactured quarried stone, and neat stacking that indicated it was constructed after Ichi no Kaku.


In the first half of the 15th century, either the chieftain at the time of Gosamaru constructed a new wall on top of the one just discovered.

The wall was 13 meters in height, and is an expansion of Ichi no Kaku. It appears to have been built to fortify the defenses of the castle.


The discovered older wall was completely covered by the newer wall built over it. As the months and years passed on after its initial construction, the damage of the wall began to show, so the new wall was built over it, preserving the older wall on the inside.


Starting February 4, reconstruction of the masonry will begin. BoE cultural office head Shin Tokuchi said, “It is amazing that the wall was uncovered. I want to show this to many people.”


(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


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