Friday, September 29, 2023

Kojiro-kuji Samurai District


Kunimi Town on the Ariake Sea coast in the northern part of the Shimbara Peninsula is home to a small, little-known, samurai district registered as a Historic Preservation District.

Samurai districts tended mostly to be adjacent to castles, but sometimes, like here, they were established as kind of fortified villages some distance from the castle town. In Kyushu, the ones at Kaseda and at Chiran were quite similar.

This one belonged to the Nabeshima Clan whose headquarters were quite a distance away in Saga. Here in Kujiro they established a jinya , a mansion, in the mid Edo Period near where a castle had stood until being demolished in the early Edo Period.

The Nabeshima mansion is an impressive property which I will cover in the next post. There was little in the way of interesting architecture other than the mansion.

What does remain, and what was deemed worthy of preserving, was the layout of the streets with their canals, stone walls, and hedges. Interestingly all the power cables in the area had been buried which helped in imaging how it looked centuries ago. There is a local history museum nearby where you can see displays connected to the area and pick up a map.

The previous post on this series on day 61 of my Kyushu Pilgrimage was on the two shrines at the castle site on the hill behind the samurai district.

Other than the two samurai districts mentioned above, on this pilgrimage, I also visited samurai districts in the castle town of Kitsuki and the castle town of Obi.


  1. I wish more places in Japan would bury power lines.

    1. I've had friends visiting say it looks so third world....