fukuoka castleFukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture

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Fukuoka Castle DATA
Other nameMaizuru Castle, Ishijo
castle construction1601
address1 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
Access to Fukuoka Castle
8 minutes walk from Daimoikoen subway station

HISTORYFukuoka Castle is the largest castle in Kyushu built by Kuroda Kanbei and Nagamasa.

Fukuoka Castle was built by Kuroda Kanbei, a master castle builder, and his son, Kuroda Nagamasa, and was the largest castle in Kyushu, serving as the Kuroda family's castle until the Meiji period. Today, the castle ruins, including the castle tower and Tamon Yagura, have been developed into a park and are a tourist attraction. Let's unravel the history of Fukuoka Castle.

Fukuoka before Fukuoka Castle was built
Fukuoka has been an important place since the Kofun period as a key location for the country and as a window for diplomatic relations with foreign countries. In the Nihon Shoki, there is a record that a government position called ``Tsukushi no Omikotomochi'' was established, and an official was dispatched from the central government to Fukuoka. In addition, facilities called Chikushikan in the Nara period and Korokan in the Heian period were built to welcome facilities from present-day China and Korea. Fukuoka Castle was built on the site where Korokan was, and excavations of Korokan are still ongoing. The excavated items from Korokan are displayed at Sannomaru Square in the Fukuoka Castle Historic Site.
At the end of the Muromachi period, Najima Castle was built by Tachibana Akikoto, a vassal of the Otomo clan, as a branch of Tachibanayama Castle. Later, when Hideyoshi conquered Kyushu, Chikuzen was given to Takakage Kobayakawa, who renovated Najima Castle and made it his residence. Furthermore, Takakage Kobayakawa's adopted son is Hideaki Kobayakawa, who is famous for betraying the Western army at the Battle of Sekigahara. Hideaki Kobayakawa was transferred to Okayama due to his efforts in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. After that, Nagamasa Kuroda, who had also achieved great success in the Battle of Sekigahara, was entrusted with the responsibility of Kyushu.
Construction of Fukuoka Castle
Kuroda Nagamasa entered Fukuoka in 1601 and initially made Nagashima Castle his residence. However, it soon became too small, so in the same year, construction of Fukuoka Castle began. It was completed six years later, in 1607. Kuroda Nagamasa's father is Kuroda Kanbei (Kuroda Josui), who is also a famous tactician. Kanbei, along with Todo Takatora and Kato Kiyomasa, is famous as a master of castle construction. Fukuoka Castle is an echelon-style flat mountain castle, and in addition to buildings such as the palace, 47 turrets and 10 castle gates were built in the Honmaru, Ninomaru, and Sannomaru. Documents show that the castle town was spread out to the north of the castle, using the Naka River flowing to the east of the castle and the Kusae tidal flat to the west of the castle as a moat. The castle tower of Fukuoka Castle still remains today, but it is unknown whether the castle tower was ever built or not. The ``Shoho Fukuhiro Soezu'' created in 1646 already depicts only the castle tower. In other words, if there had been a castle tower when Fukuoka Castle was completed in 1987, it would have disappeared within about 40 years. Therefore, the prevailing theory is that the castle tower was never built, but if new materials are discovered, this theory may be overturned.
With the completion of Fukuoka Castle, Kuroda Nagamasa changed the name of the area, which had previously been called ``Fukusaki,'' to Fukuoka, after ``Fukuoka, Nagafune-cho, Setouchi, Okayama Prefecture,'' which was connected to the Kuroda family. After that, Fukuoka Castle became the domain office of the Fukuoka domain until the end of the Edo period, and the Kuroda family served as the lord of the domain for generations. Fukuoka Castle was regularly salvaged, but the major renovations carried out by the 11th castle lord, Nagahisa Kuroda, are particularly famous.
Fukuoka Castle after the Meiji era
In the Meiji era, Fukuoka Castle was abandoned due to the abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures. Many buildings at Fukuoka Castle have been demolished or relocated, and the army is now stationed at the site. The iron turret was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1902, and the main armored armored turret, which was relocated to Kuroda Villa, was destroyed by fire in the Great Fukuoka Air Raid in 1945. Later, in 1957, the Fukuoka Castle ruins were designated as a national historic site. Around the same time, the tide turret, prayer turret, and Otemon gate were designated as Fukuoka Prefecture's cultural properties. In 2006, it was designated as the 85th castle in Japan's 100 Famous Castles. Since 2013, greening of the castle ruins and restoration of buildings have been underway based on the ``Fukuoka Central Park Concept,'' a large-scale historical green park centered around the castle ruins.
Fukuoka Castle is the largest castle in Kyushu and functioned as the domain office of the Fukuoka domain until the end of the Edo period. The castle ruins are now Maizuru Park and Ohori Park, but the stone walls remain the same. In addition, at the museum in the park, you can remember the days of Fukuoka Castle and enjoy seasonal flowers. Currently, the turrets and gates are being gradually restored based on the Fukuoka Central Park concept, so one day you may be able to see Fukuoka Castle as close to how it was.

Read biographies related to Fukuoka Castle

Yoshitaka KurodaThe best tactician in the Sengoku period
During the Sengoku period, there were various types of military commanders, including those who excelled in martial arts such as spears, bows, and guns, those who excelled in domestic administration and castle building, and those who won battles with their wits rather than fighting. Among them, Yoshitaka Kuroda served Toyotomi Hideyoshi as a highly intelligent staff officer and was pushed by the people of Japan.
Yoshitaka Kuroda

History of the Fukuoka Domain, with Fukuoka Castle as its domain office

Fukuoka domainRuled by the Kuroda family
Fukuoka Domain was a large domain located in present-day Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. It owns almost all of Chikuzen Province, and has the Akizuki Domain as a subsidiary domain. The Fukuoka domain was founded by Kuroda Nagamasa, the son of the famous military tactician Kuroda Kanbei (Kuroda Josui), who became the first lord of the domain.
Fukuoka domain
Fukuoka domain DATA
Domain officefukuoka castle
old areaNaka District, Chikuzen Province
stone height523,000 koku
main lordKuroda family
Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03