Nagahama-jo Castle (Omi Prefecture) (長浜城 (近江国))

Nagahama-jo Castle is a castle built by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI in Koen-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture.


When Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI (Hideyoshi HASHIBA) was given the territory owned by the ASAI clan as a reward for Hideyoshi's contributions to the battle against Nagamasa ASAI, Hideyoshi renamed the region from Imahama to Nagahama. He began building the castle by utilizing the material used at Kotani-jo Castle as well as wood and other material, which he found hidden at Chikubu-shima Island.

The castle was completed by 1576 or 1577, and Hideyoshi moved into the castle. A stone wall was built in the lake so that ships could move in and out directly from the water gate of the castle. The castle town was moved in its complete form from Odani (Kohokucho Ibe, Higashi Azai County, Shiga Prefecture). That is why even to this day the castle town retains the atmosphere and the buildings of those years. This is the first castle that Hidoyoshi built to live in and where he culminated his thinking on the management of a castle city.

After the incident at Honno-ji Temple, Katsutoyo SHIBATA, a nephew of Katsuie SHIBATA who gained the right to rule Nagahama at the Kiyosu Meeting, became the lord of the castle, but was attacked by Hideyoshi who clashed with Katsuie, and had to abandon the castle. Katsutoyo YAMAUCHI lived in the castle for six years after the Battle of Shizugatake. Then Nobunari NAITO followed by Nobumasa NAITO became the lords of the castle, but it was torn down in 1615 and most of the material was used for building the Hikone-jo Castle. The tenbin-yagura turret of Hikone-jo Castle is said to have been moved from Nagahama-jo Castle. The daidokoro-mon gate of Daitsu-ji Temple in Nagahama City is said to have been the ote-mon gate of Nagahama-jo Castle, and scars made with spearheads can still be seen on the gate. The front gate of Chizen-in Temple in Nagahama City is said to have been the karamete-mon gate of Nagahama-jo Castle.

The current main building of the castle was rebuilt in 1983 modeled on Inuyama-jo Castle and Fushimi-jo Castle, and houses the City's Nagahama-jo Castle Historical Museum.

[Original Japanese]