The gardens of Shikina-en (識名園) are located on a small hill to the south of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. 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. The residence and its gardens are also known as Shichina-nū-Udūn (シチナヌウドゥン) or Southern Gardens (南苑), as opposed to the Eastern Gardens (東苑) or Uchayaudūn (御茶屋御殿), laid out on a small hill to the east of Shuri Castle in 1677.
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. This blend of Japanese and Chinese design and features has been acclaimed as "uniquely Ryukyuan" by UNESCO and advisory body ICOMOS.
The gardens were completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa. Restoration began in 1975 and took around twenty years, at a cost of some eight hundred million yen. 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. The gardens stretch over an area of 4.2 ha and the UNESCO nomination includes a buffer zone of a further 84.2 ha.
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- "Japanese Garden Dictionary: Shikinaen". Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Introduction of Shikina-en". Naha City. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "識名園" [Shikina-en] (in Japanese). Okinawa Prefecture. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "識名園～世界遺産・特別名勝「識名園」の概要～" [Summary of Shikina-en, World Heritage Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty] (in Japanese). Naha City. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- "Ryukyu sites (Japan) No.972". ICOMOS. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "識名園" [Shikina-en] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Map Indicating the Location of the Nominated Property". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- (English) Introduction to Shikina-en
- (English) Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu
- (Japanese) Shikina-en
- (Japanese) Pamphlet with plan of the gardens