Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877 Imjin War book cover

Nakijin Castle

今帰仁城
Nakijin Castle is classified as a mountain castle, and is located in Okinawa Prefecture It is associated with the Haniji clan. Dates in use: 13C - 1665.

This castle has sustained much damage in its long history. In 1416 it fell to the forces of the Central Kingdom. In the early 1600's, a fire raged through the castle. And finally, during WWII, the castle was bombed by the U.S.

Little else remains today apart from the 1500 or so metres of beautifully undulating but roughly cut stone walls.

Timeline

13C The castle was built.
1416 This castle, which was controlled by the Northern Kingdom, fell to the forces of Okinawa's Central Kingdom.
1422 The Central Kingdom transferred one of their generals here.
1609 The Shimazu clan of southern Kyūshū invade and seize control.
1665 The castle was abandoned.
2000 Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Okinawa's other significant Gusuku sites.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site
SiteUNESCO World Heritage Site