Okinawa used to be an independent country named "Ryukyu Kingdom." The kingdom prospered as the main harbor country of waterborne trade in the 16th century. Shuri Castle was the central castle of the kingdom which was located on the top of the hill from where the harbor could be seen. It is even designated as a World Heritage Site. The other day, I visited this castle, but I got my hopes too high. It was burnt several times and the present castle was re-built in 1980's. It is still partly under construction. This picture depicts "Shureimon Gate" which is the main gate of Shuri Castle. It is even drawn on Japan's two-thousand-yen bill. However, everything looked cheap and jerry-built at least for me. I found later that it was not the castle building itself but the ruin of the castle that was designated as the World Heritage Site. Generally, in tropical areas, ancient things such as buildings, documents and tools can hardly stored in good conditions because of its strong weathering. Furthermore, Okinawa and Ryukyu has been overexposed in the modern world history. I think it's very important to do as much as research now before it is lost forever.