Nakatsu castle tower is a museum of the Okudaira family, who were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa family.
Priceless heirlooms such as; a weapon that was used at the battle of Nagashino; armor and battle coats passed down and worn by successive generations; and writing in Tokugawa Ieyasu's own hand can be viewed by the general public.
An Okudaira heirloom received from Tokugawa Ieyasu and passed down the generations:
The Swan Sheath Spear with the arrowhead
of Chinzei Hachiro Tametomo(from the end of the Heian period).
We are told the point of the spear is an arrowhead used by the legendary archer, Minamoto Tametomo.
Tokugawa Ieyasu received the spear from Oda Nobunaga, so it became an heirloom of the Tokugawa.
Later, in the second year of Genna, 1616, the great-grandson of Ieyasu, Okudaira Tadamasa, together with chief retainer Kuwana Kazuyone, went to Sanpu to visit Ieyasu during his final illness. It was his first audience with his great-grandfather, but the then six-year old Tadamasa requested the spear and received it.
The Okudaira garnered particular attention because of the authority granted by the spear, and it would even serve to grant permission to pass through the front entrance of the Edo Castle upon visits. Thereafter the spear became an heirloom of the Okudaira. It is said to be the work of Sanjo Munechika.
Worn by Okudaira Nobumasa:
Battle coat of navy blue cloth with image of Sagittaria trifolia
This battle coat uses an imported woolen cloth much prized at that time.
Using cutting and replacing techniques, the rear side was garnished with a simple white omodaka flower. The vivid contrast of navy blue and white is beautiful to the eye.
Also the collar and hem has a clear sky blue satin weave and fine purple twist braids; this modest decoration brings the entire battle coat's refined image to a higher level.
Horn used at the battle of Nagashino (Property of the Okudaira family)