What is Obi?

A castletown of Itoh
family, Obi Domain head.

Itoh family come from a long line of Fujiwara Nanke. During the era of Sukemochi Itoh, the 6th generation descendant, Takauji Ashikaga gave the land to the Itohs and they expanded its power.
For once, Itoh lost to Shimazu and the entire land was taken. However, Suketake Itoh was rewarded for his work and was given the Obi castle. After that for 280 years, Itoh family ran the land until the 14th generation descendant.

Even after Meiji era, Obi was the center of southern Miyazaki since then.
Because this region was the center of politics, Obi has many historical scenaries and cultures.

History of Obi

Selected as the first
Preservation Districts for
Groups of Historic Buildings
in Kyushu

The town of Obi is surrounded by Sakatani river which became the natural moat and the town was built in a grid pattern. The zoning of the town was planned based on the status of the families and the distance from the castle. From nearest to the furtherst; high-ranked vassals, middle-ranked vassals, merchants, low-ranked vassals. The gates of samurai houses were chosen based on family status as well. Many made walls by Obi stones and placed bushes above.

After Meiji era, streets and zoning of the town were kept as it was. Stone walls, bushes, gates and samurai houses were preserved well which got along with its nature environment to form it historical scenary.
Due to its condition, Obi was selected as the first Preservation Districts for Groups of Historical Buildings in Kyushu in March 1977. Obi became the typical small sized castletown in the provinces.

Highlights of Obi

  • 1

    Stone walls and
    Samurai houses

    Samurai houses in Obi have stone walls by streets, bushes on stone walls, and gates depending on the status of the family. Most of the houses have stone walls and bushes heights below eye level. For some houses with high stone walls do not place any gates. Inside the properties, gardens and tiled roofs houses.

  • 2

    Folk performing arts and
    food cultures

    There are many folk performing arts and food cultures in Obi castletown from Edo era, or maybe earlier. A Bon festival dance called Taihei dance, Yagoro doll festival in Tanoue Hachiman shrine, and archery called Shihanmato are the most famous folk performing arts of all. For food culture, a deep fried food called Obiten, thick omelet called Atsuyaki Tamago, and shochu alcohol are familiar in this region.

  • 3

    Utilization of
    historical resources

    There are many actives by the citizen to enhance the town: volunteer tour guide team, Eating tour activities, and etc. In addition to those activities, a few traditional houses were renovated into hotels.

Historical Facilities Related to Obi Castle