Nakatsu Castle in Oita Prefecture followed strange fate in its long lifetime.

Kuroda Kanbei, one of the trusted retainers of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was a samurai lord having Japan under a single authority in the second half of the 16th century, was assigned to the lord of Buzen district, present Nakatsu City and its neighborhood in 1587. He immediately started full-scale castle construction in Nakatsu though, he was unfortunately commanded to move to Fukuoka, 100 kilometers west of Nakatsu, before the castle completion. This castle was completed by his successor, the Hosokawa clan, that is, this project was a joint venture between the two clans.

It was not long before when Japan settled down to enjoy a long life of peace under the rule of successive Tokugawa Shoguns in Edo, present Tokyo.

After these powerful daimyo feudal lords, the Ogasawara clan then the Okudaira clan, both of whom were well trusted as loyal retainers by Tokugawa Shoguns, entered the castle. The Okudaira clan had ruled Nakatsu since 1717 to look out for super powerful daimyo feudal lords on behalf of Shoguns in Edo, together with the Ogasawara clan in Kokura, 60 kilometers northwest of Nakatsu. Tokugawa Shoguns intentionally assigned super powerful daimyo feudal lords to remote districts from Edo. Because these powerful daimyo feudal lords were capable enemies for them.

Present Nakatsu Castle in the picture has a full-scale castle tower though, it originally had no tower. This was rebuilt in 1964 with Okudaira's own money and the contribution from the Nakatsu locals. It is said that Okudaira family wanted the castle with a stately castle tower to attract sightseers.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。



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