Tachibana castle

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Tachibana castle was a castle in Chikuzen province, in the north of Kyûshû; it was located at the peak of Tachibana Mountain, extending in part into what is now Fukuoka's Higashi-ku. The castle is also known as Rikka-jō, Tachibanayama-jō, or Rikkasan-jō (立花山城, Tachibana mountain castle).

The castle was originally built in 1330, by Ôtomo Sadatoshi, Shugo of Bungo province, as a show of support to the Tachibana clan. Since it was in a tactically powerful location, looking down upon the port town of Hakata, the castle was fought over throughout the Sengoku period by the Ôtomo, Ôuchi, and Môri clans.

In one of the more significant sieges, the Ôtomo clan lost the castle to the Môri clan in 1569, who had become one of the most skilled and powerful clans in the field of naval warfare; their use of Western-style cannon granted them a large advantage in this battle. They abandoned it soon afterwards, however, following a defeat at Tatarahama to an allied Ôtomo-Amako clan force.

The castle was besieged once more, in 1586, this time by the Shimazu family; the castle's lord at the time was Tachibana Muneshige. The Shimazu called off the siege, however, when they learned of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's intentions to invade Kyūshū. The Tachibana forces were eventually forced to flee during that campaign, to Yanagawa castle; Tachibana castle fell to Hideyoshi, who entrusted it to Kobayakawa Takakage.

A little over a decade later, at the beginning of the Edo period, Tachibana was largely destroyed and dismantled, much of the stone going into the construction of Fukuoka castle. Today, remnants of the honmaru (central keep), the wells and waterworks survive.


  • This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both S-A and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). 'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell & Co.