Iwaya Castle

From Jcastle.info



Takahashi Shigetane was head of the Takahashi clan, who served the Otomo clan during the 1500s. He was given charge of Iwaya castle and commanded a force of roughly 700 when the Shimazu clan launched an attack on the castle in 1586. Estimates put the numbers of Shimazu troops at either 20 000 or 50 000, in either case they vastly outnumbered the forces in Iwaya castle, who somehow managed to hold out for two weeks against incredible odds. After it became clear the castle could hold out no longer, Takahashi committed seppuku. His honorable death and stories of his refusal to betray the Otomo by surrendering impressed the victorious Shimazu clan, who praised his spirit. Although little remains, at the site of the former honmaru there is stone with the words 『嗚呼壮烈岩屋城址』(Aa, souretsu, Iwayajoshi) (Ah, the bravery, Iwaya castle ruins) that stands testament to the battle.

Visit Notes

This site is on the same mountain as Ono castle and has excellent views of Dazaifu. It was the site of the Siege of Iwaya Castle. The grave of Takahashi Shigetane (Takahashi Shōun/Jōun) is nearby. profile and photos contributed by Kris
profile and photos contributed by Kris


Castle Profile
English Name Iwaya Castle
Japanese Name 岩屋城
Founder Otomo clan, Takahashi Clan
Year Founded 1532- 1554
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access By car or foot (30 - 40 mins uphill) from Dazaifu Station.
Visitor Information None.
Time Required Half an hour or less.
Website http://www.dazaifu.org/map/tanbo/tourismmap/18.html
Location Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 33° 31' 33.38" N, 130° 31' 13.04" E
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Added to Jcastle 2013
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(one vote)
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55 months ago
Score 0++

Some of the best views of Dazaifu to be had from Mt. Ohno are at the ruins of Iwayajō. From here the ruins of the Mizuki and Dazaifu's old citadel can be clearly seen. Some scant ruins remain of earthworks, particularly the flattened main bailey and a large embankment to its rear with a trench below.

The site itself has an interesting history, a signboard at the castle reading: "Site of Iwaya Fortress: A fortress which once stood on this site was the scene of a great battle in 1586, in which more than 700 warriors led by Takahashi (Shigetani) perished at the hands of an army sent by the Shimazu Clan of Satsuma." Iwayajō's ruins are actually located in the older, more expansive ruins of Ohnojō.


56 months ago
Score 0++
There's some features of a Sengoku Period yamajiro as you would expect but not too many. But it's really great if you come here for the view of Dazaifu!