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Site of Historic Battle field of Shimabara Rebellion
Harajo Castle ruin is located in Minami-arima in Shimabara and the Battle field of Shimabara Rebellion
which was a peasant uprising agaist bakufu’s persecution of Christians under the leadership of
Amakusa Shiro in 1637.
It was founded by Arima Takazumi in 1496 and was a flat castle with a fortress naturally created
both by the cliff facing Ariake Sea and the tide coming in. This Castle was abandoned since Matsudaira
Shigemasa, the load of Shimabara, built Shimabara Castle after the rupture of Arima family ties.
Christian farmers rose in a riot due to their grievance about the oppression by Matsukura
The Shogunate regarded this riot as Christian rebellion and sent its punitive force,
therefore locked themselves in the castle and with their leader Amakusa Shiro Tokisada fought
against the Shogunate.
On February 27, 1638, he died in battle. The following day, the castle fell. 37,000 Christians
including women and children died a violent death.
It is designated as a national historic site.