Nagoya Castle (Hizen Province)

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Old map of Nagoya Castle in Hizen Province. South is on top.

Nagoya Castle (名護屋城, Nagoya-jō) was a Japanese castle located in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.

Nagoya Castle was located within Hizen Province on a peninsula near to Iki Island, and served as the base from which Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched his invasions of Korea from 1592 to 1598. None of the original historic structures of Nagoya Castle remain, but the castle's ruined foundations survive in the formerly separate town of Chinzei, now part of the city of Karatsu.

It is said that during the brief time that Hideyoshi stayed at Nagoya Castle, he memorized the shite (lead role) parts for ten Noh plays and performed them, forcing various daimyō to accompany him onstage as the waki (accompanying role), and even performed before the Emperor.[1]

A museum dedicated to the history of Japanese-Korean relations and related subjects is associated with Nagoya Castle and located nearby [1].


Remains of the inner citadel.

Nagoya Castle was located on a hill about 90 meters high on the Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula. During the early Sengoku period (1467–1615), this was a strong-point of the Matsuura clan. According to clan history compiled in centuries later in the Edo period), the Matsuura was a clan allied with the Minamoto, claiming descent from Emperor Saga (r. 809–823), who had a "navy" (or Wokou).

The castle, built in 1591 by Hideyoshi in preparation for his invasion of Korea, had a five-story tower (Tenshu) on the hill, a magnificent residential palace, and various outlying defenses covering 170,000 square meters. Within a 3 km radius were the camps of about 120 vassals.[2] A town grew up around the military establishments, with a population of over 100,000 people at its height.

After the death of Hideyoshi 18 September 1598, the invasion of Korea came to a halt and the castle is believed to have been abandoned at this time. It is said that construction materials were utilized by Terazawa Hirotaka (1563–1633) to build Karatsu Castle.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ichikawa, Danjūrō XII. Danjūrō no kabuki annai (團十郎の歌舞伎案内, "Danjūrō's Guide to Kabuki"). Tokyo: PHP Shinsho, 2008. p140.
  2. ^ Gakushu Kenkyusha editors (2008). 【決定版】図説 よみがえる名城 漆黒の要塞 豊臣の城 [Definitive Edition: Famous Castles Come to Life through Illustrations: Hideyoshi's Castles: Lacquer-Black Strongholds] (in Japanese). Gakushu Kenkyusha.
  3. ^ Hirai, Kiyoshi general editor (1996). 『城』(九州沖縄 8) [Castles Volume 8: Kyushu and Okinawa] (in Japanese). Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nagoya Castle (Hizen) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 33°31′49″N 129°52′09″E / 33.530316°N 129.869264°E / 33.530316; 129.869264