Zuisenmon Gate at Shuri Castle.
Shuri castle Seiden, royal seat for the Ryukyu Kingdom for 500 years.
We happened upon a festival while at Shuri Castle, it is called Hatagashira. The Hatagashira of Okinawa can be likened to the Mikoshi of mainland Japan. A Mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine. Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Japan at the time of a parade or celebration. They are carried in a procession and hoisted up and down to a chant by the bearers. The Hayagashira does something similar and there are helper with y-sticks or ropes to make sure it doesn't topple over. They stop and proceed and restart after lighting firecrackers to announce the next session. There were martial arts displays and I saw a wooden headed snapping dragon that you see during Chinese festivals-the Chinese influence is very apparent here.