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Castle Mukasa Castle

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城) is located at the western end of the Miyazaki Plain created by the Ōyodo River (大淀川), about six kilometres west of Miyazaki city centre.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


The castle was first mentioned in the Nanboku-chō period when the Northern and the Southern court competed for hegemony. Hatakeyama Naoaki (畠山直顕) served as shugo (守護, governor-general) of Hyūga Province (part of modern-day Miyazaki Prefecture). Naoaki sided with the Northern dynasty and successfully expanded his power to Ōsumi Province (east Kagoshima) from Mukasa Castle.

In the Sengoku Period, the region around the castle became the stage of the struggle between the Shimazu (島津氏) and the Itō (伊東氏). Shimazu Hisatoyo (島津久豊, 1375-1425), the eighth head of the clan, conquered the castle in 1403. In 1445, the Itō reconquered the castle under Suketaka and ruled for the next 130 years. When the Itō were finally defeated by the Shimazu in 1577, Mukasa Castle came under the control of the Shimazu clan again.

The structure of Mukasa Castle is divided into four sections.

  • Section A consisted of small enclosures and moats. It served mainly as a defensive structure.
  • Section B covered the highest ground and was located in the centre of the castle. It consisted of the honmaru and was surrounded by earthworks and housed the residence of the lord’s family.
  • Section C comprised large enclosures and barracks.
  • Section D consisted of defensive structures, just like Section A.

mukasa-castle-13.JPG


Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)

Based on a map of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

I visited the castle by car.

① Strange enough, the otherwise detailed guide board at Mukasa Castle gave no hint where the entrance and the parking lot were. I only knew that the entrance was next to Mukasa Elementary School, but the school had been moved across the street. At last, walking through the gates of the former school building I reached the entrance to the castle.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


At the time of my visit, only sections A and B were open to the public.

② Enclosure A

Section A is the enclosure located in the middle of the hill. The bamboo fence looked like a piece of restored structure, but it just serves to protect visitors from falling.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


These enclosures were actually restored.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


mukasa-castle-07.jpg


This is the view from the corner of the enclosure, an excellent observation area.

mukasa-castle-08.jpg


It was easy to walk along the trench between the enclosures as the grass had just been cut.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


③ Enclosure B

Section B is part of the main enclosure.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


Fortunately, just like at Shibushi Castle, I met the people who were excavating the castle. This time, too, I was able to talk to them and ask some questions. They had already finished their excavation of the main parts of the enclosure and were now moving on to the surroundings.

It may be difficult to see in the photo that the colours of the soil are black and yellow. The black part was probably part of a pond.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


I was allowed to take a closer look at the shards of pottery and porcelain which had just been unearthed. I truly appreciated the kindness of the archaeological team.

Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


Mukasa Castle (穆佐城)


Date of visit: 22 October 2013

Access:


  • Address: Takaoka-cho, 918 Oyamada, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki 880-2214
  • Access: 4 kilometres from Higashi-Kyūshū Expressway Miyazaki-Nishi Interchange via Prefectural Route 352
  • Parking: -
About author
Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.

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Author
Hiroto Uehara
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Location
〒880-2214 宮崎県宮崎市高岡町小山田918 穆佐城

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