Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

Japanese Castles 1540-1640 Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty

Obi Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady


Obi Domain

1587 - 1871

Itō Clan

36,000 Koku

Obi Castle is classified as a hilltop castle, and is located in Miyazaki Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Hyūga Province. It is associated with the Shimazu, Itō clans. Dates in use: 1458 - 1871.

Until Hideyoshi's armies swept through the area in 1587, numerous battles were fought between the Shimazu & Itō clans for possession of this castle. Once possession was secured by the Itō clan, The castle was enlarged & improved with the castle town protected on three sides by the Sakatani river.

Much stonework remains though damaged in some places by earthquakes. A reconstructed main gate, a fence gate, the Yoshokan residence & an historical museum are located on the grounds. Also, several old samurai residences still exist nearby which can be visited.


1346 Fortifications were built.
1458 The Shimazu clan expanded & improved the castle.
1484 The Itō clan invaded from the north of Hyuga to take possession of the castle.
1577 The Shimazu clan defeated the Itō clan to gain control of the area. Prior to this the Itō clan were in possession of a network of 48 castle.
1587 The Itō clan regained control of the area after the Shimazu submitted to Hideyoshi.
1684 The castle was repaired after damage caused by an earthquake.
1693 Repairs were completed.
1869 The castle was abandoned.
1870 The Yoshokan Palace was built.
1873 All castle related structures were torn down.
1978 The Ote Gate was rebuilt.

Historical recognition

SiteCity designated Historic Site