Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Samurai's Blood Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty

Kurume Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady

久留米藩

Kurume Domain


田中氏
1601 - 1620

Tanaka Clan

* Koku

有馬氏
1621 - 1871

Arima Clan

210,000 Koku

久留米城
Kurume Castle is classified as a hilltop castle, and is located in Fukuoka Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Chikugo Province. It is associated with the Arima clan. Dates in use: 1504 - 1871.

Located on an elbow of the Chikugo river is Kurume castle, known locally as Sasayama Castle. The stonework of the innermost enclosure & sections of its moat are all that remains of the original fortifications. Surrounding the palace & protecting the main enclosure were seven turrets, the largest being named the Tatsumi Turret. All turrets were three stories high & connected by two & single story turrets.

There's easy access to the stonework only on the southern & eastern sides. Housing is built right up to the foundations on the western side & the northern side is completely overgrown. Occupying the Hon-maru now is the Sasayama shrine & a small hall exhibiting items of the Arima clan, the former lords of the castle. There are two surviving gates, both of which are far, and one of which has been relocated.

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Timeline

1504 -
1521
The castle constructed during Eisho in the latter part of the Muromachi period.
1587 The fief was awarded to the Mōri by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The castle was upgraded.
1600 The Mōri lost the fief having sided with the Western army at Sekigahara.
1601 The Tanaka clan were awarded the fief.
1620 The Tanaka lord died without an heir.
1621 Arima Toyouji took control of the fief. Kurume castle was reconstructed using stones dismantled from Mihara castle.
1631 The Chikuzen moat was completed with the guidance of Kuroda Nagamasa.
1691 The castle was finally completed.
1871 The castle was abandoned & dismantled.
1877 Sasayama shrine was built in the Honmaru of the castle.
1983 The site was designated a Fukuoka Prefecture cultural asset.

Historical recognition

SitePrefectural Historic Site