Zakimi Castle

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Zakimi Castle
Yomitan, Okinawa
Type Gusuku
Site information
Controlled by Ryūkyū Kingdom (1429–1879)
 Empire of Japan (1879–1945)
US flag 48 stars.svg United States Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands(1945-1950)
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands(1950-1972)
Open to
the public
Condition Ruins, partially restored
Site history
Built 1416-1422
Built by Gosamaru
In use 1422–1972
Materials Ryūkyūan limestone, wood

World War II

Garrison information
Occupants Gosamaru, Aji of Yomitan Magiri

Zakimi Castle (座喜味城 Zakimi jō?) is a Ryūkyūan gusuku in Yomitan, Okinawa. It is in ruins, but the walls and foundations have been restored. It was built between 1416 and 1422 by the renowned Ryūkyūan general Gosamaru, a project which involved workers from as far away as the Amami Islands, and was partly constructed with materials taken from nearby Yamada Castle.[1] Zakimi Castle oversaw the northern portion of cental Okinawa Island. The gusuku fortress has two inner courts, each with an arched gate. This is Okinawa's first stone arch gate featuring the unique keystone masonry of the Ryukyus.

Before and during World War II, the castle was used as a gun emplacement by the Japanese, and after the war it was used as a radar station by the US forces. Some of the walls were destroyed in order to install the radar equipment, but they have since been restored.

Zakimi Castle and Okinawa's other castles were named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in November 2000.


  • Motoo, Hinago (1986). Japanese Castles. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 200 pages. ISBN 0-87011-766-1. 

Coordinates: 26°24′30″N 127°44′31″E / 26.40833°N 127.74194°E / 26.40833; 127.74194

  1. ^ "Gosamaru." Okinawa konpakuto jiten (沖縄コンパクト事典, "Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia"). Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報). 1 March 2003. Accessed 25 July 2009.