Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty The Baur Collection: Japanese Sword-Fittings and Associated Metalwork

Najima Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady

名島城
Najima 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 Chikuzen Province. It is associated with the Tachibana, Kobayakawa clans. Dates in use: 1532 - 1602.

Just a few items remain of what was a relatively short-lived castle. The three remaining gates have been relocated & a set of sliding screens are being well taken care of by the Kyoto National Museum. Most of the stonework & structures were incorporated into Fukuoka castle during the two years the Kuroda clan resided here.

Najima castle was categorised as a sea castle as a river & the open ocean provided protection on three of its sides. Unfortunately, it was the lack of room to expand that prompted the Kuroda clan to build a new castle just five kilometres to the south.

Of note, it provided Toyotomi Hideyoshi's concubine, Yodo-gimi, temporary lodgings and also contained beautifully painted sliding screens by the artist Unkoku Togan who also painted for the Mōri clan of western Honshu.

Google Map Views (グーグルマップ)


Best view ベストビュー
Orbit view 軌道ビュー

Timeline

1532 The castle was constructed and served as a branch castle to the Tachibana clan's mountain castle.
1587 Kobayakawa Takakage was awarded Chikuzen by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Takakage then had the castle renovated.
1600 Kuroda Nagamasa was transferred here from Nakatsu castle after the battle of Sekigahara. Over the next two years Najima castle was dismantled to aid in the construction of Fukuoka castle.
1602 The castle was abandoned.
1990 Excavations unearthed sections of the main tower's base.
2004 Continued excavations found further sections of the main enclosure's stone walls.
2009 The Najima castle ruins are currently undergoing redevelopment. By year's end, a park, a viewing platform & displays of historical items that have been unearthed will be completed.

Historical recognition

Kara GatePrefecturally Designated Important Cultural property
Najima GateCity Designated Important Cultural Property
Sliding screensImportant Cultural Properties