Nanbu Nobunao, lord of Sannohe Castle was awarded lands around Morioka for his loyalty to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He founded Morioka Castle in 1598 to better control the important riverways of the Kitakami and Nakatsu rivers. Unfortunately, Nobunao died before finishing construction. The castle was completed by his son Shigenao in 1633. The Nanbu family retained control over this castle for the entire Edo Period until the coming of the Meiji Restoration. Nanbu Nobunao also contributed to the construction of Hizen Nagoya Castle which may have influenced him to make such a vast stone walled castle. During the construction there were some problems with flooding and weak foundations of the castle site. You will see some smaller stone walled buttresses against some of the walls that seem to serve no purpose. They may have been built like that to further strengthen the walls.
If you are in the area, Morioka Castle is highly recommended. There are few such vast Edo Period castles in the Tohoku region. As you will see from the photos, the walls are immense and well preserved.
|English Name||Morioka Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||water moats, trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Morioka Station (Tohoku Honsen), 15 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||park, open anytime|
|Time Required||90 mins|
|Location||Morioka, Iwate Prefecture|
|Coordinates||39° 41' 59.68" N, 141° 9' 2.09" E|
|Year Visited||2002, 2018|
|Visits||October 14, 2002; May 11, 2018|
|Added to Jcastle||2002|