183.Kurume Castle Part2

The stone walls of the castle are still intact.


Great Stone Walls of Main Enclosure

Today, only the Main Enclosure remains as the ruins of Kurume Castle. The ruins have no castle buildings, but its stone walls are still mostly intact. The scale of the enclosure is not so large, about 150m from north to south and about 100m from east to west. It is surprising to imagine there were seven three-story turrets all connected by two-story row-style turrets in such a limited space. There is the Sasayama Shrine which worships the Arima Clan in the enclosure.

The map around the castle

The ruins of Kurume Castle now have only the Main Enclosure
Sasayama Shrine

Newer Stone Walls of Southern side

The front side of the enclosure is facing the south, which is also the entrance of the shrine. The only remaining water moat is located on that side. You can see the great high stone walls with a height of 15m. The stone walls of this side are constituted of piled, aligned square cut stones, in a method called Nuno-zumi. This method is newer than the one used in the rest of the castle, so it is thought that they were built by the Arima Clan.

The entrance of the southern side
The high stone walls of the southern side

The three three-story turrets; Tatsumi(Southeast), Taiko(Drum) and Hitsujisaru(Southwest) Turrets used to stand on the stone walls. In particular, the Tatsumi Turret was the largest, which meant it was the symbol and the substitute of the Main Tower of the castle.

The ruins of Tatsumi Turret
The stone walls under the Tatsumi Turret Ruins

Inside of Main Enclosure

You can enter the enclosure through the ruins of the Kabuki-gomon Gate, on the paved route turning left. The route used to pass by a defensive square space called Masugata, but it is not visible clearly since the route was paved.

The ruins of the Kabuki-gomon Gate
Entering the Main Enclosure

In the enclosure, there is the Arima Memorial Museum which exhibits the legacy of the Arima Clan, which the Sasayama Shrine isn’t a part of. The museum is on the ruins of the Hitsujisatu and Nishishita(West) Turrets. On or beside the ruins of the other turrets, there are several monuments about the local history. For example, there is the monument for remembering the sufferers of the incident in 1871 on the ruins of the Taiko Turret, where you can see its great stone walls close nearby.

The ruins of the Taiko Turret
the monument for remembering the sufferers of the incident on the Taiko Turret Ruins, on the right of the picture (licensed by そらみみ via Wikimedia Commons)
A view of the high stone walls from the Taiko Turret Ruins

There is also the monument for the 56th Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Army beside the ruins of the Ushitora(Northeast) Turret, where you can see the Chikugo River.

The monument for the 56th Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Army
the ruins of the Ushitora Turret
A view of the Chikugo River

The Older Stone Walls of Eastern side

You can also enjoy a great view of the stone walls at the eastern side of the enclosure. The surface of the stone walls is made of piled roughly processed stones with small stones filling the gaps. This method is called Uchikomi-hagi. On the other hand, their corners are made of piled processed rectangular stones alternately, following the method called Sangi-zumi. These methods are older than the one used at the southern side, so these stone walls might have been built by the Mori or Tanaka Clans.

The stone walls of the eastern side
The stone walls at a corner, made of piled processed rectangular stones alternately

There is another entrance with stone steps on this side, beside the ruins of the Tsukimi(Moon watching) Turret. It might had also been the front gate as this side had originally been the front side of the enclosure. You can see the Kurume University playground from the turret ruins, which was once a water moat of the castle.

The ruins of the Tsukimi Turret
The entrance of the eastern side beside the Tsukimi Turret Ruins
The Kurume University playground

To be continued in “Kurume Castle Part3”
Back to “Kurume Castle Part1”

投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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