Yanagawa Castle[Castle Special Topic Japanese History]

柳川城:大友家の重臣立花道雪の婿養子立花宗茂が治めた柳川城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

[Castle name]
Yanagawa Castle
a castle owned by Muneshige Tachibana who was a son-in-law of minister for the Otomo clan, Dosetsu Tachibana

Yanagawa Castle was a flatland castle located in Yanagawa-shi, Fukuoka.
In the early Sengoku era, Haruhisa Kamachi built this castle to support Kamachi Castle at first.

During the mid Sengoku era, Shigenami Kamachi withstood the attack from Takanobu Ryuzoji and Naoshige Nabeshima; however, Takanobu Ryuzoji killed Shigenami by tricking him and took over the land along with Yanagawa Castle.

Dosetsu Tachibana, a minister for the Otomo clan, attacked Takanobu Ryuzoji, but failed to win back Yanagawa Castle. Takanobu Ryuzoji and Sorin Otomo gradually lost their control over the northern lands as Yoshihisa and Yoshihiro Shimazu were on the conquest.

柳川城:大友家の重臣立花道雪の婿養子立花宗茂が治めた柳川城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

It was the Battle of Mimigawa when it became clear that Otomo clan was losing power. During this battle against Yoshihisa Shimazu, Sorin Otomo lost many soldiers and ministers.

The Otomo clan was not the only one who suffered from the rising Shimazu clan. Knowing the fall of the Otomo clan, Takanobu Ryuzoji took over Chikugo and Chikuzen, but was stopped by the Iehisa Shimazu’s force and Ryuzoji clan accepted defeat. With their main Funai Castle taken away, the Otomo clan requested reinforcement from Hideyohi Toyotomi, who was about to conquer Japan.

Hideyoshi sent his force to lay siege to Kyushu and seized all of Shimazu’s territories except for Satsuma. The Shimazu clan accepted unconditional surrender at this point. This concluded Hideyoshi’s conquest of Kyushu.

Muneshige Tachibana, a son-in-law of Dosan Tachibana who worked for the Otomo clan, was given the land of Yanagawa by contributing 130,000 Goku. After the fall of the Toyotomi clan, Muneshige Tachibana joined the West force led by Mitsunari Ishida during the Battle of Sekigahara.

柳川城:大友家の重臣立花道雪の婿養子立花宗茂が治めた柳川城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

The battle was marked with Ieyasu Tokugawa’s victory within a day. Muneshige prepared to sustain a siege at Yanagawa Castle, but handed over the castle after being convinced by Kiyomasa Kato and Kanbe Kuroda.

Yoshimasa Tanaka received Yanagawa Castle with 310,000 Goku. The castle was ruled by the Tanaka clan for two generations. When the second chief of the castle passed away, Muneshige Tanaka came into possession of Yanagawa Castle once again. The castle and the land of Yanagawa were governed by the Tachibana clan through Meiji Restoration.

Honjo-machi Yanagawa-shi, Fukuoka 832-0061


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