Chinese-style bridges in Shikina-en

The gardens of Shikina-en (識名園) are located on a small hill to the south of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa.[1] The gardens were laid out in 1799 to embellish one of the residences of the Shō family, rulers of the Ryūkyū Kingdom; they were used for the reception of an envoy from China the following year.[2][3] The residence and its gardens are also known as Shichina-nu-Udun (シチナヌウドゥン) or Southern Gardens (南苑), as opposed to the Eastern Gardens (東苑) or Uchayaudun (御茶屋御殿), laid out on a small hill east of Shuri Castle in 1677.[4]

The stroll garden features a pond with two small islands; a Chinese-style hexagonal pavilion; other pavilions with red tiles, the use of which was reserved for the upper classes; Chinese-style arched bridges; and seasonal plantings of plum, wisteria, and bellflower.[4][5] This blend of Japanese and Chinese design and features has been acclaimed as "uniquely Ryukyuan" by UNESCO and advisory body ICOMOS.[5][6]

The gardens were completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa.[2] Restoration began in 1975 and took around twenty years, at a cost of some eight hundred million yen.[2]

First designated for protection in 1941 in accordance with the 1919 Law, in 1976 the gardens were once again designated a Place of Scenic Beauty; in 2000 they were redesignated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and included within the inscription of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.[2][6][7] The gardens stretch over an area of 4.2 ha and the UNESCO nomination includes a buffer zone of a further 84.2 ha.[8]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shikinaen.


Coordinates: 26°12′16″N 127°42′55″E / 26.20444°N 127.71528°E / 26.20444; 127.71528


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 2/12/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.