For long time, fortresses and the castle have been built in Kokura, faced to Kanmon Channel as important city for transportations of the land and sea. In the long history, there are still stories, told about battles, ancient families caused.
History of Kokura Castle has been began since Mori Family (a powerful family, owned middle west part of Japan ever) built the castle in the current place in 1569. Afterward,
Takahashi Kanshu and Mori Katsunobu lived in the castle and in 1600, Hosokawa Tadaoki who rendered a distinguished an activity for the Battle of Sekigahara (which a hegemony of Japan was concluded by Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari in ;as the result, Ieyasu won and he and his family had owned the hegemony about for 300years in Japan) was promoted as the landlord of Kokura by the supreme ruler, general, Ieyasu.
In 1602, he, Tadaoki began to rebuild the castle and spent 7 years to complete it. Then, he assembled a lot of merchants and craftsmen to prosper the castle town as his one of political measures and the trading business was developed. On the same time, he produced Kokura Gion Festival, which is still opened nowadays in July every year.
After Tadaoki and his family moved to Kumamoto, Ogasawara Tadazane who had a relative by marriage to Tadaoki, hereditary Tokugawa Daimyo became the new landlord in 1632. He, Tadazane was offered a mission to inspect the powerful families in Kyushu area by general, Tokugawa Iemitsu.
In this period, Kokura became important place as a starting point to lead to the other important cities in Kyushu therefore Kokura Castle and the town were prospered much more.
In the period when Tadazane controlled, a garden for circular tours was created, but the castle and garden were burned down by a fire in 1837. 2 years later, the castle was rebuilt, but the castle tower was not.
End of Edo era, Kokura became the first base to attack Choshu clan which influenced over Tokugawa. In the war, Kokura and Kumamoto clans struggled bravely, but the other Kyushu’s clans were passive for the war. In 1866, the feudal lord and the soldiers of Kokura burned the castle to evacuate.
In 1878, Japanese No. 14 troop, stationing in Kokura Castle was departed to Seinan War by general, Nogi.
Afterward, the castle was become a headquarter of Japanese force No. 12 brigade and No. 12 division. After the World War Ⅱ, the castle was confiscated by American army. But, it was returned in 1957 and the castle tower was rebuilt in citizen’s strong demand in 1958.
The tower, called “Karazukuri-no-tenshu’’ doesn’t have a hood between 4th and 5th floor therefore the characteristic of “Karazukuri-no-tenshu’’ is that 5th floor bigger than 4th floor. The cut stones are never used to build the stone walls.
Only by natural stones, they are built therefore they are very simple, but look very splendid.
|Year||Lord of the castle||Events|
|1600||Hosokawa Okimoto||Hosokawa Tadaoki Given Nakatsu Castle in an
achievement of Sekigahara Conflict by Tokugawa Ieyasu and let younger brother, Okimoto defend Kokura.
|1602||Ogasawara Tadaoki||built Kokura Castle and lived. 1612-Musashi Miyamoto and Kojiro Sasaki dueled in Ganryu Island.|
|1620||Ogasawara Tadatoshi||Tadaoki moved to retire to Nakatsu Castel.|
|1632||Ogasawara Tadazane||Hosokawa Tadatoshi moved to Higo. Instead of him, the land lord of Akashi, Tadazane, set as the new lord 1534 Miyamoto Iori taken up a samurai’s service.|
|1665||Chinese priest, Sokuhi established Obaku-Kojusan-Fukujuji Temple.|
|1788||Established public school, Shieikan.|
|1791||Ogasawara Tadamitsu||Minister, Inukai Tomohiro reformed the politics of domain.|
|1837||The castle burned down. (1839-rebult without the castle tower.)|
|1864||First order of conquest from the general family against Choshu clan.|
|1865||Second order of conquest from the general
family against Choshu clan.
Tadayoshi died and kept the decease because of very young next lord(4years old).
|1866||Evacuated to a border of Kikyu county during a battle against Choshu clan|
|1867||Concluded peace with Choshu clan, became Kawara clan.|
|Ogasawara Tadanobu||Tadanobu became the new land lord of Kawara clan.|
|1869||Tadanobu restored the land and the people of domain to the emperor.|
|1870||Prefectural Office moved to Toyotsu.|
|1871||By abolition of clans, Kokura prefecture established.
Kokura prefecture united to Fukuoka prefecture.
|1898||Japanese commanding base(No. 12 division) established.|
|1899||Mori Ogai took up a new post as a head of military physicians in Kokura.|
|1933||An armory of Japanese army (Kokura Armory) opened.|
|1945||Confiscated by American army.|
|1959||The castle tower rebuilt.|
|1998||Kokura Castle Japanese Garden and Matsumoto Seicho Memorial Museum opened.|