Ikkui Yashiki (Kai)

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Ikkui-yashiki, also called Kanayashiki, was the fortified residence of a clan, possibly the Ikkui Clan, who were vassals of Takeda Shingen responsible for overseeing construction of 'the Great Berm of Shingen', an embankment constructed to prevent flood damage from the Kamanashi River.

Ikkui is said to take its name from the following events. Takeda Shingen erected a large berm along the Kamanashi River known as the 'Shingen Tsutsumi' (the Shingen Tsutsumi Park is located northwest of Ikkui). Indeed, powerful feudal lords like Takeda Shingen also had to consider infrastructural projects and not just matters of war. The barrier was used to prevent flood damage during times of water levels in the river rising. The men who built that berm were housed and fed at Ikkui, which may have developed as a camp for workers at the time. The name 'Ikkui' stuck, it is said, when Takeda Shingen also deigned to take a meal here. My image was that he mucked in on the worksite and then ate some simple fare with the lads, but that almost certainly was not the case! The second character in Ikkui, 'kui 喰', means 'to eat', and is a kokuji (zodiograph invented in Japan), featuring a 'mouth' alongside the regular character for 'food'; it's not a usual character to find in a place name and so naturally it has a fun story behind it.

Visit Notes

Ikkui-yashiki is a very little known site and does not appear on any castle blogs or lists of yashiki (residence) sites in Yamanashi, which disheartened me at first, though eventually I was able to dig up some information and it's quite interesting. Firstly I confirmed the location of this site by looking at maps of archaelogical findings put out by the prefecture. Ikkui is a neighbourhood in the municipality of Shōwa Municipality (Nakakoma District, formerly the historical Koma County). It is transliterated on Google Maps as "Itsukui" but this appears to be incorrect. Ikkui today is an old rural neighbourhood made up of old homes and allotments. In recent years it has been heavily developed with maisonettes and new housing squeezed in between the old country lanes, and a very large shopping centre constructed nearby (Shōwa's population has continued to increase as a suburb of Kōfu). It's not surprising then that no ruins of the yashiki are reported. My photos show the settlement of Ikkui, including an old gatehouse I found.

  • Old gatehouse in Ikkui village

Castle Profile
English Name Ikkui Yashiki (Kai)
Japanese Name 甲斐飯喰屋敷
Founder Ikkui Clan?
Year Founded Mid' 15th century
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Jōei Station on the Minobu Line; 20 minute walk
Visitor Information Access Limited
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Shōwa, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 37' 20.14" N, 138° 31' 22.48" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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