Ôuchi-yakata was built as the fortified manor house of the Ôuchi Clan by Ôuchi Hiroyo, the 24th patriarch of the Ôuchi Clan. Initially it was built with just a ditch and a wall around, modelled after the residence of the then (Ashikaga) Shōgun in Kyōto, but this was later expanded in the Sengoku Period to a moat system with dorui (earthen ramparts) and mizubori (wet moats). The layout of the fortified hall was a simple angular configuration, the ramparts measuring 160m from east to west, and 170m from north to south. The moat continued to the south, possibly partially enclosing an outer compound with extra facilities. The residence was a sumptuous affair with multiple gardens, including a garden with a large pound in the southeast and a dry landscape garden in the northwest (these have since been restored). Immediately to the north of Ôuchi-yakata, another yakata, Tsukiyama-yakata, was built as a guest house, but Ôuchi-yakata was the main residence. Kōnominejō, a nearby yamajiro (mountain castle), was intended by Ôuchi Yoshinaga as a mountain redoubt to help protect the yakata, though he was defeated by the Mōi Clan before he could complete it. Ôuchi-yakata is now the site of Ryūfukuji, a temple and the Ôuchi Clan's former bodaiji (funerary temple).
Ôuchi-yakata was the fortified manor house of the Ôuchi Clan. It is a nationally designated historical site. It has both extant and restored dorui (earthen ramparts). There is lots of information presented on site and the presence of various buildings and ruins is indicated on its grounds. There are also restored gardens. There is a small reconstructed gate in the west. The most impressive part of the site for me was the tall dorui at the rear of the site (north). An old sign had said this was covered in bamboo but thankfully it has now been cleared of vegetation. This dorui would’ve had also a moat in front in its day, and though this is filled in now it is indicated; and the site is park-like with a temple in the center. The temple, Ryūfukuji, is the clan’s bodaiji (clan funerary temple). Much of the site is now a necropolis.
|English Name||Oh'uchi Yakata|
|Year Founded||14th century|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Reconstructed Gate, Restored Gardens, moat traces, other ruins|
|Access||Kita-Yamaguchi Station on the Yamaguchi Line; 10 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Temple|
|Time Required||50 minutes|
|Location||Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 11' 1.54" N, 131° 28' 48.68" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|