Suimui utaki

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Gates to Suimui utaki
  • Okinawan: 首里杜御嶽 (suimui utaki)

Suimui utaki was the chief sacred space (utaki) at the center of Shuri castle, the royal palace of the Ryûkyû Kingdom. "Suimui" was also a frequent metonym for the castle or the royal capital as a whole in texts such as the Omoro sôshi.[1]

Suimui was one of ten sacred spaces within the palace grounds known collectively as totaki ("ten [u]taki).

Contained within a small set of stone walls in the shicha-nu-unaa, or second plaza, near the central areas of the castle, the utaki contained banyan (gajumaru) and Formosa palm (kurotsugu) trees. The king of Ryûkyû regularly performed prayers here for a safe journey whenever leaving the castle, and noro associated with the court performed a number of other rituals at Suimui as well.

Following the restoration of the castle in 1992, Suimui utaki was restored in December 1997.


  • Plaques on-site.[1]
  1. Mitsugu Sakihara, A brief history of early Okinawa based on the Omoro soshi, Tokyo: Honpo Shoseki Press (1987), 163, 167.

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