pix: 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.
|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.|
|Kara Gate||Prefecturally Designated Important Cultural property|
|Najima Gate||City Designated Important Cultural Property|
|Sliding screens||Important Cultural Properties|