Castles In Japan
The history of the Kokura castle has started with the construction of the castle in 1602 by Hosokawa Tadaoki. He entered the country by rewarding the service of the Sekigahara battle. Tadaoki gathered the merchants and the craftspeople in the country as a bourg prosperity plan and executed the commerce and industry protective policy. The foreign trade was made active, and the Gion festival was born at the same time. After Hosakawa was transferred to Kumamoto, Tadazame Ogasawara of main feudal load and alliance with the Hosokawa family entered from Harima Akashi country in 1632. Kokura and the Ogasawara clan had received the special command of surveillance of Kyushu feudal lords from the general, Iemitsu Tokugawa.
At the moment, an important position was established as a starting point of highway into various ways to the other Kyushu area, the Kokura castle was enhanced further at the same time, and the bourg prospered at this time, too. The go round style in landscape gardening with the pond in the housing area of the castle was made at the time of Tadamitsu Ogasawara.
However, it burned down in 1837 due to an originating fire from the castle inside. The castle tower was not rebuilt though it was reconstructed two years later. In the end of Shogunate era, Kokura area became the main base to attack Choshu clan and both Kokura and Kumamoto clan had fought bravely, but the soldiers in other Kyushu various clans had not a positive fighting spirit, and finally they set on fire to the Kokura castle by themselves in 1866 and had to back the battlefront. In the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, the 14th infantryman regiment that stationed in the Kokura castle was led by general Nogi and it went to war.
Afterwards, the command of the 12th infantryman brigade and the 12th division was opened in the castle. It was requisitioned by the United States after the Pacific War though it was released in 1957, and the castle tower was rebuilt by the citizens’ aspirations in 1959. This castle tower is called the tower of Chinese style having characteristics that there are no eaves of the roof between the fourth floor and the fifth floor, and growing of the fifth floor more than the fourth floor.
Moreover, the stone wall in the castle was made with natural or unprocessed stones which are different from typical artificially-cut stones and shows dynamic and simple taste. It is the interactive based cultural building which has the restored feudal lord garden of the detached residence of the lord Ogasawara in the Kokura castle and samurai’s typical study of Edo period in reproduction and that provides with the tearoom. After Hosokawa who built the Kokura castle firest, Ogasawara lord family has been the castle clan in the range of 234 years and the family was one of powerful clans of Tokugawa Shogunate.
Ogasawara family is the heir of Ogasawara clan of whole country, at the same time, the retainaer of Shogun, Ogasawara is one of the family who was known as Ogasawara school of etiquette. Rules of decorum are one of the traditional cultures of Japan that values “Mind of sympathy” and “Mind of the entertainment”. The Kokura castle garden introduces the history of rules of decorum with the mind, and facilities in Japan to pass on a traditional life culture that makes rules of decorum a center to future generations and it is uique facility.
Moreover, it is the new spot in Northern Kyushu City that can feel the atmosphere in Edo period with the Kokura castle while it is in the center of a city enclosed by the building.
The keep was reconstructed in 1959, and the castle was fully restored in 1990. The Matsumoto Seicho museum and castle garden were opened in 1998. The old Japanese-style pre-Brunton lighthouse from Shirasu is in the castle grounds.
The keep contains a modern folkloric museum and admission is charged to the keep (350 yen), garden (300 yen) and Matsumoto Seicho museum (400 yen). A joint ticket to the three attractions costs 700 yen.