Tama-u-dun Mausoleum

Shuri, Okinawa

The stone mausoleum was built in 1501. Located adjacent to Shuri Castle, it is the burial place of the rulers of the second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom of Okinawa. Sho En is the first king buried here. The mausoleum was restored after suffering heavy damage in WWII. It consists of three chambers. The bodies would be placed, initially, in the central chamber (cylindrical room, photo center) until they decomposed. After defleshing, the bones would be washed clean and moved to the left or right chamber for final burial. Kings and queens were buried in the left chamber, while other members of the royal family were buried in the right chamber.