Hodarakuji Castle

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Hodarakujijō was a fortified residence dating to the Muromachi period, presumed to have belonged to the Ohhara Clan. From historical documents it is known that Hodarakujijō was abandoned upon the demand of Oda Nobunaga after his invasion of Kōka (1585). The compound was abandoned when the Ohhara Clan left the area.

Hodarakujijō was a half chō in size, or about 50m on each side, arranged in a basic square layout. The surrounding earthen ramparts were more than 2.5m tall. Northern segments of dorui were lost in 1995 when a firehouse was built. The entrance to the bailey space now in the east is a modern excavation as the castle's entrance was originally southwestern orientated.

Visit Notes

Hodarakuji Castle is named for Hodaraku Temple, which is to be found at the castle site today. A community center is also here. Unlike the larger, better preserved Ohharajō nearby, Hodarakujijō is not closed to the public, so I was able to look all around it. It is a basic square in layout, with remains of dorui (earth-piled ramparts) ringing it. If the fort formerly had a moat then it has now been filled in, and there's just grass around parts of it instead. It's possible that this moat has been excavated and refilled in modern times. The mountain name of the temple (all temples have an honourific mountain attached to them even if they're on flatland) is Beffu, the same as another castle site located nearby, of which I found even less remains. The remains of Ichibajin'yamajō are located less than 100m away, of which nearly nothing remains.

Nearby sites: Ohhara Castle, Kouka Beffu Castle, Kouka Ichibajin'yama Castle.

  • Dorui

Castle Profile
English Name Hodarakuji Castle
Japanese Name 補陀楽寺城
Founder Ohhara Clan
Year Founded Muromachi Period
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts dorui, bailey
Visitor Information
Access Kouka Station (JR Kusatsu Line); 10 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free
Time Required 15 minutes
Location Koka, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 54' 13.46" N, 136° 12' 33.91" E
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Collections Koka Castles
Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Oshiro Tabi Nikki
Jōkaku Tanbō
Shiga no Shiro-ato / Yakata-ato

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19 months ago
Score 1++
Okay, I updated this profile as it was a bit of a stub. One blog, which I trust and is very matter-of-fact, calls the temple's gate a "castle gate", but I don't know what is meant by that. There's no way the gate (shown in my picture) is from the yakata, and there's no indication that it is intended as a reconstruction, so I think maybe it's a typo, and the author was meant to write 'sanmon' not 'joumon'.