From Azumi Castle


A postcard from Princess Nami arrived in mail today! Okay, not quite so, but it is from Okinawa, specifically from Expo 75 and the shooting location for Princess Nami’s vision and the fictitious Azumi Castle in Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974). It is a postcard of Nakagusuku Castle (中城城, なかぐすく), “a gusuku in the village of Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa, Japan. It is one of a number of castles built on the island of Okinawa by the Ryukyu Kingdom now in ruins.”1

Back: なかぐすく中城城跡(沖縄・中部) 今から500年ほど前に築城された。現在は城は無いが、堅固で石造芸術の粋ともいえる城壁が空高く残っている。 紺碧の空に美事な構造美……。ここからの太平洋の眺めは素晴しい。Nakagusuku Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (Okinawa / Chubu) The castle was built about 500 years ago. Currently, there is no castle, but the walls, which are solid and can be said to be the essence of stone art, remain high in the sky. A beautiful structural beauty in the azure sky … The view of the Pacific Ocean from here is wonderful. Photo: Toshiaki Tanji

Nakagusuke castle was a fortress built by the legendary Ryukyuan commander Gosmaru in the early 15th century. Commodore Matthew Perry visited the castle in 1853. “Gusuku” in the name “Nakagusuke” is a type of castle or fortress featuring stone walls in the Ryukyu island.2 Today, the castle is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. “A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance.”3

As seen above in the rare photo from the making of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla on the “Godzilla vs Okinawa” event signage, the Toho staff are adding the Shisa statues on the remains of the walls of the Nakagusuku Castle.4 There is no doubt that Nakagusuku Castle will be my first destination on my dream Godzilla vacation to Okinawa.