Photos Reveal Aftermath of Shuri Castle Conflagration

Society Japan in Video

A week has passed since the fire that broke out in the predawn hours of October 31, destroying all the major structures of Shuri Castle, a landmark on the main island of Okinawa Prefecture. The raging flames that are believed to have started in the Seiden main hall and spread from there to the Hokuden north hall caused the roof tiles to fall off and turned wooden pillars into charred remnants. But some cultural treasures that were stored in highly flame-resistant vaults escaped the conflagration intact.

(Originally published in Japanese on FNN’s Prime Online on November 7, 2019. Translated and edited by

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