Isshikijō was a medieval hirajiro (flatland castle) constructed by the Isshiki Clan in Kanzaki District, Ōmi Province, in the 13th century. The Isshiki Clan, founded by a branch family of the Ashikaga Clan, served the Ashikaga who would later become overlords of Japan. The castle was captured in the Early Sengoku Period by the ascendant Sasaki-Rokkaku Clan who installed one of their vassals as castellan there. Isshikijō played a vital defensive role when the Azai Clan attacked Namazue Castle (around 1564), located across the Echi River from Isshikijō. In 1568 Oda Nobunaga defeated the Rokkaku and Isshikijō was put to flame.
I came here to Isshikijō as part of a tour of minor sites in Higashi-Ōmi, Shiga. I thought there might be more to see but there’s not a lot. The site is now a shrine. There are a few markers designating castle features, such as a moat trace and a yaguradai (platform for turret), the latter now used for a shrine structure.
Isshiki is a small village in Higashi-Ōmi Municipality. We went west of here through Ichihara village. North of Ichihara was a hamlet we passed through which was curiously peopled by scarecrows or dummies engaged in various tasks, from tending fields to waiting for a bus. These completely clothed and realistic proportioned kakashi (scarecrows) are indistinguishable from behind, and one can only tell them apart from real people by gazing into their lifeless faces or observing their unnatural stillness. This was a rather apocalyptic and unsettling thing to come upon by chance. The site is apparently called Eiganji Kakashi World (永源寺案山子ワールド). Since there’s not much at Isshikijō itself I’ll recommend stopping by here too for the bizarre and uncanny.
|English Name||Gamou Isshiki Castle|
|Year Founded||13th century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Nagatanino Station on the Ōmi Rail Minokuchi-Gamōno Line; 10 minute drive or 90 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Shrine|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Higashi-Oumi, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 4' 26.87" N, 136° 15' 36.40" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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