Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

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

Morioka Castle

Images: Japan - Photo


Morioka Domain

1600 - 1871

Nanbu Clan

100,000 Koku

Morioka Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Renkakushiki), and is located in Iwate Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Mutsu Province. It is associated with the Nanbu clan. Dates in use: 1598 - 1871.

This castle was built by the Nanbu clan to better control the local waterways. It's white-granite stone walls stand in contrast to other castles in the Tōhoku region where earthen walls are the norm. This is yet another example of a castle built without a Tenshu (main tower). Instead, upon the Tenshidai (main tower foundations), a three-story turret was built.

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


1598 Coming here from Kunohe Castle, Nanbu Nobunao commenced the building of fortifications.
1599 Nobunao died.
1633 The castle fortifications were completed by the third generation Nanbu lord.
1634 A fire destroyed the main tower. The Nanbu clan returned briefly to Kunohe Castle.
1635 Several repairs were completed (but the main tower was not rebuilt) & the castle was again inhabited by the Nanbu.
1673 The castle underwent refurbishment.
1871 The castle was abandoned.
1874 All buildings were demolished.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site