Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877 Samurai's Blood

Kikuchi Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady

鞠智城
Kikuchi Castle is classified as a mountain castle, and is located in Kumamoto Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Higo Province. It is associated with the Yamato Court. Dates in use: 7C - ???.

Yet another castle that I'd continually put off seeing, but what a pleasure it was to visit. Truly informative, multi-lingual signs & displays, and the staff are super friendly. Irrespective of what there actually was to see at the site, it was these secondary factors that made it a complete joy.

The main focal point of the site is the octagonal drum-tower. Well, from here on in, I should preface all comments with as allegedly, because a lot of guesswork has gone into the appearance & roles of each building at this site. All-in-all though, it is a great place to visit should you be in Kumamoto.

Timeline

7C Though the exact date is unknown, It was built some time after 663.
698 It was ordered by the government of Dazaifu that this castle, along with Ōno & Kii castles, be repaired.
858 February - It had been officially recorded that the beating of a drum could be heard emanating from one of the castle's store-houses.
858 June - Once again, it had been recorded that a drum could be heard emanating from one of the castle's store-houses. Several rice store-houses burnt to the ground.
875 Flocks of crows caused great damage to the thatched roofs.
879 Yet again, It had been officially recorded that the beating of a drum could be heard.
1967 Excavation of the site commenced. The sites of 72 in all were unearthed.
1994 The reconstruction of selected buildings commenced.
2004 The site was designated a National Historic site.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site