Yarazamori gusuku

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  • Built: 1546
  • Japanese/Okinawan: 屋良座森城 (Yarazamori gusuku / Yarazamui gusuku)

Yarazamui gusuku was a small defensive fortress in Naha, the main commercial harbor of the Ryûkyû Kingdom. It and Mii gusuku were each located at the ends of earthen embankments sticking out into the harbor, and functioned chiefly to defend the harbor from pirates. Both were constructed during the reign of King Shô Sei using labor not only from Okinawa Island but from elsewhere in the kingdom as well.[1]

In the late 16th century through the beginning of the 17th, a large chain was at times extended across the harbor, between the two fortresses, to block pirates or other ships from entering the harbor. By 1609, cannon were mounted at each of the two fortresses as well.[2]

Nothing survives of Yarazamui gusuku today.


  1. Gallery labels, National Museum of Japanese History (Rekihaku).[1]
  2. Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Capture a King: Okinawa 1609. Oxford: Osprey Press, 2009. p26-27.