400th Anniversary

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shimabara Castle, we have compiled a short story about Shigemasa Matsukura, the master builder of Shimabara Castle!

Was Shigemasa Matsukura, the builder of Shimabara Castle, really a bad lord? Based on a hypothesis, this is a compact story from the perspective of Shigemasa Matsukura himself at that time.

The castle tower and the walls of Shimabara Castle have been redone before the 400th anniversary of the castle’s construction.

Shimabara Castle will celebrate its 400th anniversary next year in 2024. We are planning to hold a two-day event on October 19 (Sat.) and 20 (Sun.), 2024, as the 400th anniversary main event. The lord who built Shimabara Castle, Shigemasa Matsukura, is generally associated with the negative image of the daimyo who was responsible for the Shimabara Rebellion (Shimabara-Amakusa Revolt). However, before coming to Shimabara, he built a castle and castle town in Gojo, Nara, and even today, more than 400 years later, festivals are held in his honor. What was he thinking when he moved to Shimabara and built Shimabara Castle? We hope this short story will help you to know more about Shigemasa, the man who created the symbol of Shimabara!


[Background of the editorial]
Lord Shigemasa Matsukura, the lord of the castle, is portrayed in a novel written by a famous novelist as a man of cruelty and mischief, but in reality, he was not. We wanted to dispel the public image of the 400th anniversary of the castle by depicting the castle from the viewpoint of Shigemasa at that time, so we planned to write this primary novel. This time, the first novel is written by Yoshiyuki Amatsu, the winner of the 12th Nikkei Encyclopedia Award, in cooperation with Histolink, a service that matches historical researchers and other professionals.


[Time of publication]
January, 2024 February, 2024 (WEB)
In January of next year, the 400th anniversary of the construction of Shimabara Castle, we will publish a short story on the 400th anniversary special page of the Shimabara Castle website.

The five-story castle tower, which stands out against the blue sky, was rebuilt in 1964.

Wooden statue of Shigemasa Matsukura in the collection of Shimabara Castle


Original illustration of Shimabara Castle by Shigemasa Matsukura, the master builder of the castle


[Artist’s Profile]
Yoshiyuki Amatsu
Born in 1979, native of Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Lives in Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture. Graduated from the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Faculty of Culture, Osaka University. After working as a bookseller and writer for an editorial production, he is now a reporter for a trade newspaper. He won the 12th NIKKEI Primary Fiction Award and made his debut with the prize-winning novel “Toshinobu no mei sono to Masanari” (Takeru and Masanari). He was nominated for the 12th NIHON HISTORICAL AND JIDAI WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION Award for New Writers for his work “Arujichinashi to te”.

Mr. Yoshiyuki Amatsu, who is in charge of this work

・Message from Mr. Yoshiyuki Amatsu, who is in charge of this work
I am very honored to be involved in the 400th anniversary of Shimabara Castle. The owner of the castle, Shigemasa Matsukura, was a difficult man to write a primary novel about because of his many controversies, so I was very worried when I was asked to write about him. Shigemasa was born and raised in Towa Province, now Nara Prefecture, and entered Shimabara when he was the youngest of four. When I visited Shimabara, I was overwhelmed by the deep blue of the sea and sky, which was different from that of Kansai, and the grandeur of Mount Unzen. –I wondered if Lord Shigemasa might have felt the same way. From this idea, we have conceived a story of the time from Shigemasa’s entry into Shimabara to the construction of the castle. We hope that everyone in the local community will enjoy it.

Preliminary Report on Shimabara Castle

View of the castle town from the observatory of Shimabara Castle


Cooperation for the project
Histlink – Matching service with historical researchers


Contact for inquiries from customers
Shimabara Tourism Bureau, Shimabara Castle Main Tower Office
TEL: 0957-62-4766, 9:00-17:30