A fire ravages Shuri Castle, a symbol of the Okinawa region. The cause of the incident is currently unknown.

A treasure of Okinawa disappeared

Built in the 15 th century and rebuilt after the 2 nde World War, Shuri Castle was largely destroyed during the night of Wednesday to Thursday.

This castle is located in the southern Okinawa archipelago. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is at the heart of an important architectural complex dating back to the kingdom of Ryukyu, which would have been used from the 15 th century. Moreover, the wooden structure, which was destroyed last night, was a reconstruction carried out after the war. All made from photographs and old plans.

Material damage but not human

Fortunately, no injuries were reported by the firefighters. The main buildings, however, have not had the same luck. They are all completely burned.

The firefighters managed to control the fire around 7:30 am local time (9:30 pm in France) even if white smoke continued to escape in several places. “The heat emitted was very strong. The firefighters had a lot of trouble getting close to it, ”said a firefighter to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. In total, 4,800 square meters of the complex burned down.

The first elements of the investigation did not determine the cause of the incident. Even though a security alarm went off around 2:30 a.m., said Ryo Kochi, a police spokesperson for Okinawa.

The “Shuri Castle Festival” took place on site from October 27 to November 3. Work related to these festivities had been carried out until 1 am.

Okinawa Prefecture is one of the prefectures in southern Japan and is made up of hundreds of Ryukyu Islands. Find more information on this island on our special destination page Okinawa.