pix: Daniel O'Grady
細川氏1646 - 1870
宇土城Uto Castle is classified as a hilltop 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 Konishi, Katō clans. Dates in use: 1588 - 1612.
Very little remains of Uto Castle. Today, it is little more than a place for the locals to spend their recreation time. To get to the castle you must first thread the needle through the back streets of Uto. Finally, you're presented with a short & narrow driveway at the end of which is a tiny car park sandwiched between a graveyard & what was once the main enclosure. At one end of the main enclosure is a statue of the castle's founder, Konishi Yukinaga. Perhaps, just over half of the main enclosure's stonework remains.
About one kilometre to the West is the Uto Kojō, the former castle. Some restoration work was going on in a secondary enclosure during my visit. The main enclosure was open & within it were (token) rebuilt structures. The surrounding ditch had been preserved under a layer of concrete.
|1588||Construction of the castle was started with the intent to replace the older castle a short distance to the West.|
|1600||Konishi Yukunaga, having aligned himself with the those opposing Tokugawa Ieyasu, lost his lands & his life to the armies of Katō Kiyomasa.|
|1608||The castle was refurbished following the decision that Uto castle be the site of Katō Kiyomasa's retirement.|
|1612||The order was given by the Shogunate that the castle be decommissioned.|
|1637||In the wake of the Shimabara Rebellion, the fortifications of the castle were further reduced to ensure it couldn't be used by dissenting factions.|
|1646||The Hosokawa lord had hoped the castle could be resurrected but this plan was quashed by the Shogunate. A Jin'ya (administration offices) was instead built.|
|1870||What had been Uto Domain was absorbed into that of Kumamoto.|
|Site||National Historic Site|