The Shimabara domain was ruled by the Christian Arima clan
in the late Muromachi period. After the
Tokugawa government banned Christianity
the daimyô Arima Naozumi was replaced by Matsukura Shigemasa.
Matsukura enforced the prohibition against the Christians and raised
taxes to pay for the new castle Shimabara-jô (1618-24). This
repression of the peasants was a major factor leading to the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-38).
castle came under siege during the riots, but was not damaged. The
Kôriki clan, Matsudaira clan, Toda clan and again the Matsudaira
family remained in residence at Shimabara castle until the Meiji
period. Only moat and walls remain original.