Rokugawa Jin'ya

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Rokugawa-jin’ya was constructed in 1792 by Hori Naonori, lord of Shiiya Domain. Shiiya-han was originally based in Echigo Province, and Rokugawa was a sub-fief of it. Rokugawa-jin’ya was built in Rokugawa in response to a ruling from the Shogunate which, after four rounds of evaluations, ruled that the territory be reduced from 10,000 koku to 5,000 koku, and the former lord, Hori Akitomo, be retired. This was a result of years of instability that had wracked the domain after the authorities tried to auction off the dwindling supply of rice in its stores to the highest bidder, causing widespread peasant revolts from 1786. Despite the fresh break, the domain would remain beset with instability, and in 1851 its chief retainer, Saitō Yaoshirō, attempted to assassinate Lord Hori Yukitoshi. During the Boshin War the domain also saw fierce fighting.

Rokugawa was a sub-fief valued at 5,000 koku, about half of the entirety of holdings of Shiiya-han, and contained 11 villages centred about the Roku River. Rokugawa-jin’ya had a footprint of about 70m by 140m in a roughly oblong configuration. It contained administrative offices for the fief, as well as storehouses and row-houses for samurai. A hankō (domain school) was established in the Meiji period, shortly before the abolition of the Han System and establishment of Shiiya Prefecture in 1871.

Visit Notes

Rokugawa-jin’ya is a jin’ya site near Tsusumi Station in the Tsutsumi village of Obuse Municipality. On the way I visited the Obuse Folk Museum. Well, it seems they don’t get many visitors, and the old man manning it was very happy to see me. He gave me a photograph of Princess Dianna during a visit to Doha. The People’s Princess was holding a bouquet. I decided to use it as a book-marker (that day I had with me ‘War on the West’ by Douglas Murray). The architecture of the museum most interested me, and the displays were mostly the usual old junk found in small local museums, which means a whole tonne of farming equipment! There was a rack of yoriki (police) weaponry, such as sodegarami, a polearm designed to ensnare the sleeves of a kimono. The old man said not to share any pictures on SNS, so I won’t put them online, and you will just have to imagine the strange combination of creepy and cute that the taxidermic tanuki made to stand bipedal like its mythological counterpart produced. Onto the jin’ya site then...

There is a shrine on the site and an information board about the jin’ya. The signs says that ruins include the shrine, water channels and stone walls. I looked about but it seems by ‘stone walls’ what was meant were the old stone blocks lining some of the irrigation ditches in the neighbourhood. The shrine sits on a stone base but this is modern. The shrine is probably the most interesting feature then. I had some time before my train back to Nagano came so I went about the neighbourhood which covers the former footprint of the jin’ya. It is mostly homes and orchards now.

The lead picture shows a satsuban, or a board for displaying rules of the domain. This one may have been restored.

  • Jin'ya rules board

Castle Profile
English Name Rokugawa Jin'ya
Japanese Name 六川陣屋
Founder Hori Naonori
Year Founded 1792
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 3-minute walk
Visitor Information Shrine
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Obuse, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 42' 10.73" N, 138° 19' 14.88" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki

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