Whilst the Bakufu (Shogunate) was based in Edo, territories directly administered by the Bakufu and not various Daimyō were known as Tenryō. Iijima-juku, a transit town, and surrounding land became such a territory in 1677 and was administered from Iijima-jin'ya. Iijima-jin'ya was very basically protected with a boundary wall and gate, and fitted-in with the Shukuba ("inn town") along with such facilities as the Honjin ("main inn for travelling samurai"). It was not especially fortified then, and did not have ramparts or a moat. The term jin'ya designated its position in the administrative hierarchy of the Bakufu rather than as a fortified position.
Iijima-jin'ya was a complex of structures which included offices for government officials, residences of officials, nagaya (row houses), stores, stables and so on. When the feifdom became its own prefecture, Ina Prefecture (伊那縣), in the Meiji Period, the structures were preserved as prefectural offices. However, shortly thereafter Ina Prefecture was merged into Chikuma Prefecture, which itself would be later merged into Nagano Prefecture, and the old jin'ya structures were demolished. The jin'ya was rebuilt in 1994.
Iijima-jin'ya, reconstructed in 1994, gives us a rare opportunity to appreciate what jin'ya were like. The style of architecture is vernacular, built in the honmune-źukuri style. The distinctive roof crest on the main building is known as suzume-odori, or "dancing sparrow". Tours are guided and in order to enter the premises one must telephone ahead and make an appointment. Then someone will come down from the Board of Education offices for one's sake and open the place up. My tour guide happened to be a nice young lady who charmed me into doing the various "activities" on offer, such as being forced to kneel on a wooden grate as a criminal, making calculations on a soroban, reading a scroll in kanbun kundoku ("Chinese writing, Japanese reading"), lighting the hearth with a flint and tinder, and posing as a hatamoto.
|English Name||Iijima Jin'ya|
|Founder||Bakufu / Hatamoto|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Go'ten (reconstructed), Kabukimon (reconstructed)|
|Access||Iijima Station on the Iida Line; 8 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||9am - 5pm; phone ahead|
|Time Required||120 minutes|
|Location||Iijima, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 40' 48.79" N, 137° 55' 30.97" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|