Nakatsu CastleNakatsu City, Oita Prefecture

Spring Nakatsu Castle 1Spring Nakatsu Castle 2Spring Nakatsu Castle 3Spring Nakatsu Castle 4Spring Nakatsu Castle 5Spring Nakatsu Castle 6Spring Nakatsu Castle 7
Nakatsu Castle DATA
Other nameNakatsugawa Castle, Ogi Castle, Koinumaru Castle, Maruyama Castle
castle construction1588
addressNinocho Honmaru, Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture
telephone number0979-22-3651
Opening hours9:00-17:00
closing daynone
Admission feeGeneral 400 yen/Children 200 yen
Access to Nakatsu Castle
Approximately 15 minutes walk from JR Nakatsu Station

HISTORYNakatsu Castle was built by two famous Sengoku warlords.

Nakatsu Castle (Nakatsugawa Castle) is a sea castle built in present-day Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture. It is counted as one of Japan's three great sea castles and was built by two famous Sengoku warlords, Kuroda Yosui (Josui) and Hosokawa Tadaoki. Let's unravel the history of Nakatsu Castle.

Yoshitaka Kuroda begins building a castle
Construction of Nakatsu Castle began in 1588 by Yoshitaka Kuroda. Yoshitaka Kuroda, also known as Kuroda Kanbei, served Toyotomi Hideyoshi with his intelligence along with Takenaka Hanbei. Yoshitaka Kuroda was given 123,000 koku in six districts of Buzen Province by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1587, and originally lived in Umagatake Castle, located on the summit of Mt. Umagatake overlooking the Buzen Plain. .
However, this castle was a mountain castle used for battle, so it was not suitable for governing a country. Therefore, they decided to build a new castle at the mouth of the Yamakuni River, almost in the center of their territory.
In 1600, the Battle of Sekigahara broke out, and the Kuroda family sided with the eastern army, and Yoshitaka Kuroda's son, Nagamasa, attacked the territory of the western army from Nakatsu Castle, which was in the process of being built. As a result of this achievement, the Kuroda family's wealth increased to 520,000 koku in Chikuzen and was relocated to Najima Castle in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. As a result, construction of Nakatsu Castle was suspended.
After Kuroda Castle was transferred to Najima Castle, Tadaoki Hosokawa entered the castle with 390,000 koku in two counties, Buzen Province and Bungo Province, and took over the construction of the castle. Tadaoki Hosokawa was the founder and founder of the Higo Hosokawa family. He is also known as the husband of Akechi Mitsuhide's daughter, Hosokawa Garasha. Tadaoki Hosokawa spent 21 years building Nakatsu Castle into the historic site that remains today. During that time, Tadaoki Hosokawa built Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, which has historical sites, and transferred it as the castle owner. When completed, Nakatsu Castle had a nearly triangular fan shape, with the Honmaru at the center, the Ninomaru to the north, and the Sannomaru to the south. Therefore, it has another name, ``Ogi Castle''.
It has 8 gates, 22 turrets, and 6 tiger mouths, and it is unknown if there was a castle tower. According to one theory, the castle tower, which was under construction, was sent to Akashi Castle, which was being built by Hosokawa Tadaoki's third son, Hosokawa Tadatoshi's brother-in-law Tadazane Ogasawara, but Akashi Castle does not have a castle tower.
If this theory is correct, Nakatsu Castle did not have a castle tower from the beginning, and the castle tower sent to Akashi Castle may have been repurposed for another building. Seawater is drawn into the moat, and although it is a flat castle, it has the style of a sea castle.
The stone wall built by Yoshitaka Kuroda remains, and is the oldest stone wall of a modern castle in Kyushu. On the stone wall on the north side of the upper part of the main enclosure, you can see the remains of a new stone wall built by the Hosoda family that was built by the Kuroda family.
Nakatsu Castle in the Edo period
Nakatsu Castle was built by the Kuroda and Hosokawa families and served as the residence of the Nakatsu clan lords throughout the Edo period.
The Hosokawa family was transferred to the Kumamoto domain in 1632, and the Ogasawara and Okuda clans later served as lords of the castle.
Nakatsu Castle is a rare castle with no records of it being damaged by natural disasters.
In the 3rd year of Ansei, a battery was installed at the mouth of the Yamakuni River to strengthen coastal defense, and in the 3rd year of Bunkyu, a new Matsu no Goten was built, but the battery and buildings continued to be used even after the Meiji era. .
Nakatsu Castle after the Meiji period
After the abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures in the Meiji era, Nakatsu Castle's buildings other than Matsu no Goten were destroyed on the advice of Yukichi Fukuzawa, a samurai of the Nakatsu clan. Then, during the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, Matsu no Goten was destroyed by an attack by the Nakatsu troops led by Masuda Sotaro. After that, the Nakatsu Castle ruins remained as they were for a long time, but in 1964, Masanobu Okudaira of the former feudal lord, the Okudaira family, collected donations and used his own personal property to build a mock castle tower. The restored mock Nakatsu Castle castle tower has long been a symbol of Nakatsu City and a tourist attraction, but in 2007 Nakatsu Kangyo, the company that owned the castle tower, transferred the land and buildings to Nakatsu City or a private company. Indicate your intention to sell to a company. The mock castle tower was then sold to Chiga, a company in Saitama Prefecture, and its management and operation was entrusted to Nakatsu Castle, a general incorporated association. Therefore, Nakatsu Castle is the only castle in Japan that is owned by a corporation.
In 2014, the grounds were completely renovated in advance of the broadcast of the historical drama ``Gunshi Kanbei,'' which featured the castle's lord, Yoshitaka Kuroda, as the main character.
It was selected as one of Japan's top 100 castles in 2016, and continues to this day.

Read biographies of people related to Nakatsu Castle

Tadatoshi Hosokawason of garasha
During the Sengoku period, Akechi Mitsuhide was the one who forced Oda Nobunaga to commit suicide during the Honnoji Incident. Mitsuhide has a daughter named Garasha. Tama became the wife of Tadaoki Hosokawa, and the two had several children. However, just before the Battle of Sekigahara
Tadatoshi Hosokawa
Tadaoki HosokawaHideyoshi's Seven Generals
Even during the Sengoku period, when Japan was full of battles and turbulent times, the flower of culture flourished. They are tea ceremony and renga. Hosokawa Tadaoki was a feudal lord who served the Muromachi Shogunate, Oda, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa while cultivating culture during the Warring States period. Tadaoki was the son of Fujitaka Hosokawa.
Tadaoki Hosokawa
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 Nakatsu domain, with Nakatsu Castle as the domain office

Nakatsu domainProduced Yukichi Fukuzawa
The Nakatsu domain was a domain that ruled the area of present-day Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture. Nakatsu Castle, which was built by Kuroda Yoshitaka, who was useful to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Hosokawa Tadaoki, the founder of the Higo Hosokawa clan, served as the domain office, and was ruled by four families until the end of the Edo period. Known as the domain that produced Yukichi Fukuzawa
Nakatsu domain
Nakatsu Clan DATA
Domain officeNakatsu Castle
old areaNakatsu, Shimoge District, Buzen Province
stone height100,000 koku
main lordKuroda family, Hosokawa family, Ogasawara family, Okudaira family
Estimated population100,000 people (first year of Meiji)

Nakatsu Castle Column

Introduction column by castle enthusiasts

Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03