Walking around Obi Castle

Walking around Obi Castle

A place which tells the important history of Kyushu

Obi Castle is surrounded by a natural fortress; on the east, west and south side is the Sakatani River serving as a natural moat, and on the north side is the forest. It is said to have been built in Nanbokucho period. From the late Muromachi period, there was constant conflict between the Shimazu family of Satsuma and the Ito family of Hyuga, and many battles were fought over the ownership of Obi Castle. The 90 years of battle ended when the Ito family fled to the country of Bungo of Otomo family. However, in the 15th year of Tensho (1587), Suketaka Ito performed a great feat during the Kyushu conquest by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and was granted a large piece of land (51,000 goku) and became the lord of the Obi Castle. After that, Obi Castle was the seat of the Ito clan, until the Meiji period. The castle we see today is the remains of what was rebuilt after it was greatly damaged by the earthquake in 1684.
In Obi Castle town, the houses are laid out in a neat grid pattern, and the waterways along them were once used for fire protection and for domestic use, but now carps swim in them, giving the town a very pleasant atmosphere. If you want to see around the town, it is not very big, so we recommend renting a bicycle at the train station or at the Castle parking lot.

Experience “Shihan Mato”, a recreation of “samurais”

There is a shooting gallery of “Shihan Mato” in the vicinity of the Obi Castle. There is a distance of 4 and half Ken (about 8.2 meters) to the target, the length of the bow and arrow are 4 and half Shaku (1.37m), and the width of the target is 4 and half Sun (13.6cm), so they are all “4 and half”: thus the name Shihan (4 and half) Mato (target). This game of “Shihan Mato” has an old history, and in the period of the Warring States, samurai warriors of south Kyushu enjoyed the game recreationally.
It only remained in the Obi region as a recreational game, and rules were developed as a sport, with matches being held in and outside the town. It is much easier than ordinary archery, requiring less power because the bow and arrow are smaller and easier to draw. It’s worth a challenge when you visit Obi.


Obi Castle Historical Museum
10-1-2 Obi, Nichinan-shi, Miyazaki Prefecture