Special Feature: 400th Anniversary of the Construction of Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Castle stands proudly in Shimabara. This magnificent castle was completed in 1618 by Lord Matsukura Bungomori Shigemasa over a period of seven years. Centered around the five-story castle tower, there are 16 large and small turrets in the Honmaru and Ninomaru areas, and 31 flat turrets in the outer circle, making it a masterpiece of early modern castle architecture.

The castle is surrounded by a massive 5,320-meter-long yasama wall, It was a magnificent castle that combined the stone wall construction techniques of the early Edo period with the Momoyama period’s view of castle construction.

In 1637(14th years KAnei), the Shimabara-Amakusa Revolt took place in Shimabara, and
In 1792(4th years Kansei), Shimabara suffered a historic catastrophe when Mt. Bizan collapsed and a tsunami hit the city, but it remained the center of the Shimabara clan for 250 years. However, in 1873(6th years Meiji), the castle was sold to the private sector in accordance with the “Ordinance on the Abolition of Castles,” and by 1876(9th years Meiji), the castle tower and many of its turrets were regrettably dismantled. Nevertheless, the castle tower was restored in 1964(39th years Syowa) and remains the pride of the citizens to this day.

In 2024(6th years Reiwa), Shimabara Castle will celebrate its 400th anniversary,
In this commemorative year, various events will be held to look back on the rich history and culture of Shimabara Castle and the castle town,
Various events will be held to look back on the rich history and culture of Shimabara Castle and the castle town, and to pass them on to the future.
Through this commemorative project, we will begin to uncover new charms of Shimabara Castle and pass them on to the next generation.
Please join us on the journey of Shimabara Castle.

Blue Impulse Dances in the Sky Above Shimabara

Photo: Japan Air Self-Defense Force Blue Impulse (CC BY 4.0)
URL:https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/matsushima/katudou/gallery3/images/6.JPG

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the construction of Shimabara Castle, with the support of Nagasaki Prefecture, the Nagasaki Regional Cooperation Headquarters of the Self-Defense Forces, and everyone involved, an exhibition flight by the 11th Flight Squadron ‘Blue Impulse’ of the 4th Air Wing of the Air Self-Defense Force will be realized!

During the eruption disaster of Mount Unzen-Fugendake, Shimabara Castle served as the location for the disaster relief command post for four and a half years. At that time, the dedicated and courageous efforts of the Self-Defense Forces members provided reassurance, hope, and courage to many citizens. Through this exhibition flight, the splendid performance of the Blue Impulse team will vividly color the sky above Shimabara, contributing to the excitement of the commemorative events for the 400th anniversary of Shimabara Castle’s construction. Let’s share this step towards the future together.

  • Event Date: Sunday, October 20th, Reiwa 6
  • Location: Shimabara City
Blue Impulse

To raise awareness of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the specialized team known as the Blue Impulse performs dazzling aerobatic flights, called exhibition flights, at events such as air shows and national festivals. Officially designated as the 11th Flight Squadron of the 4th Air Wing based at Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi Prefecture, this team consists of six aircraft colorfully painted in blue and white. Their flawless formations and dynamic solo maneuvers unfold in the sky, providing a series of astonishing performances for first-time viewers. The ground resonates with cheers and excitement. Their beautiful, majestic, and precise flights have earned high praise both domestically and internationally. The Blue Impulse will continue to pursue exhibition flights that bring dreams and inspiration to more people, under the motto of ‘Challenge to Creation’.

Source: Japan Air Self-Defense Force website ‘About Blue Impulse’
URL:https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/pr_report/blueimpulse/about/index.html

Novel : The Story of Shigemasa Matsukura, the Builder of Shimabara Castle “The Castle on the Sea Route: The Biography of Shigemasa Matsukura”

This novel was created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the castle’s construction. Shigemasa Matsukura, who built Shimabara Castle, is a feudal lord with a negative image who was a factor in the Shimabara Rebellion (Shimabara-Amakusa Revolt). However, before coming to Shimabara, he built a castle and castle town in Gojo, Nara, and even now, more than 400 years later, festivals are held in honor of Shigemasa, making him a very good lord to the people of Gojo.

The exhibition will be divided into six sessions, each of which will show what Shigemasa was really thinking when he moved to Shimabara and built the Shimabara Castle.

“Kaido no Shiro – Matsukura Shigemasa Biography”

Related Events (April to August)

April

Sakura Sakura Project Shimabara Castle Koto Concert

Date: Saturday, April 6th, 2024 Ended
Time: Doors open at 13:00, Performance starts at 13:30, Expected to end at 17:30
Venue: Shimabara Culture Hall Main Hall
Admission: Free
Contact: Shimabara Tourism Bureau (TEL: 0957-62-4766)

Details (Shimabara Castle HP)

Kosaki Kan Woodblock Print Exhibition

Period: April 27th (Sat) – May 26th (Sun), 2024
Venue: Shimabara Castle Tourism Revitalization Memorial Hall
Admission: Free
Contact: Shimabara Castle Construction 400th Anniversary Commemorative Project Executive Committee (Within Shimabara Tourism Division) ☎0957-62-8019

Details (Shimabara Castle HP)

May

Seasonal Tea Ceremony: ‘Shimabara Castle Iris Tea Ceremony’

Date & Time: May 11th (Sat), 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Yusui Teien “Shimeiso”
Contact: Shimabara Castle Construction 400th Anniversary Commemorative Project Executive Committee (Within Shimabara Tourism Division) ☎0957-62-8019

Details

July

Shimabara Mirai Campus

Scheduled for a total of 3 sessions.

Seasonal Tea Ceremony: ‘Shimabara Castle Tanabata Tea Ceremony’

Date & Time: July 6th (Sat), 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Shimabara Castle Omamijyo
Contact: Shimabara Castle Construction 400th Anniversary Commemorative Project Executive Committee (Within Shimabara Tourism Division) ☎0957-62-8019

Details

140th Anniversary Special Exhibition of Kitamura Seiho’s Birth

Period: July 20th (Sat) – August 25th (Sun), 2024
Venue: Shimabara Castle Tourism Revitalization Memorial Hall
Host: Kitamura Seiho’s 140th Anniversary Special Exhibition Executive Committee

Details (Official Website)

Shimabara Future Peace Concert

Date: Sunday, July 21st, 2024
Venue: Shimabara Culture Hall Main Hall

Details (Official Website)

August

Summer Festival

Date: Sunday, August 11th
Venue: Inside Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Onsen Gamadasu Fireworks Festival

Date: Late August 2024 (Planned)
Venue: Shimabara Port

Details

Products Related to the 400th Anniversary of Castle Construction

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the construction of Shimabara Castle, a variety of commemorative merchandise is being introduced one after another. Please find your favorite items as a souvenir of your visit to Shimabara Castle.

Details

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