Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

Japanese Castles 1540-1640 Samurai's Blood

Nakatsu Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady


Nakatsu Domain

1600 - 1632

Hosokawa Clan

399,000 Koku

1632 - 1716

Ogasawara  Clan

80,000 Koku

1717 - 1871

Okudaira Clan

100,000 Koku

Nakatsu Castle is classified as a flatland castle, and is located in Ōita Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Buzen Province. It is associated with the Ogasawara, Okudaira clans. Dates in use: 1587 - 1871.

This castle along with Imabari & Takamatsu castles are noted as the Top Three Water Castles due to their utilisation of rivers and/or the ocean to enhance their defences. The main tower was reconstructed in the 60's to promote tourism & was actually modeled after that of Hagi Castle.

All in all, a very under-whelming castle to visit. For those seeking out the authentic remains of the castle there really is only a minor section of moat & the foundations of the main tower & attached turret. Quite obviously there is a main tower but no-one knows what the original one looked like.


1588 Castle constructed by Kuroda Josui.
1600 The Hosokawa Clan were stationed here.
1632 The Ogasawara Clan were stationed here.
1717 The Okudaira Clan were stationed here.
1871 The castle was abandoned. The remaining structures became the property of newly formed Oita Prefecture.
1877 The remaining structures were burnt during the Seinan war.
1964 The keep was reconstructed using concrete.