Okinawa was once separate from Japan and controlled by the Ryukyu Kingdom, founded in 1429 with the unification of the Ryukyu islands. Okinawa long prospered as a trading nation, expanding trade not only with China and Japan, but also with Korea and various Southeast Asian countries. This kingdom was based in the magnificent Shuri Castle. The bright red painted Shuri Castle was damaged by fires in 1453, 1660 and 1709, but rebuilt each time, before being completely destroyed during WW2. After the war, the Shurei-mon Gate and the Kankaimon Gate were restored, and in 1992 with the reconstruction of the main palace buildings completed, "Shuri Castle Park" was opened. Further building works continued to take place, however in 2019, a major fire destroyed many of the buildings in the central area, including the Main Hall, and so repair efforts are currently underway.