Ashimori Kinoshita Residence

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Background

This residence, famous as the birthplace of poet Kinoshita Rigen, was the residence used by Kinoshita Toshiyasu in the Bakumatsu period. Toshiyasu was the twelfth and final feudal lord of the Ashimori Domain, and Rigen (originally called Toshiharu), a poet of the Taishō period, was his adopted son. The residence’s main hall dates to 1852. Architectually it is notable for its hip roof. The colours of the earthen walls also stood out to me. Originally it was connected to the jin'ya structures adjacent, and so the lord could go between his residence and the domain offices without going into the road outside of the moat. It looks like the house may have been restored during the Meiji period whilst it was still lived in by Rigen. The gatehouse and stone bridge over the moat are also at least partially Edo period structures. The gatehouse, a rowhouse-type gate, is quite unique, and it was originally located at a separate residence, that of the Neya family, and it was moved to the residence in the Meiji period, and alterations to the structure may have been made at this time (I say as I’ve never seen a configuration quite like this from the Edo period). The combination of rowhouse-gate and kura (storehouse) with bare earthen walls is striking.

Kinoshita Toshiyasu, who became lord of Ashimori Domain in 1847, fought locally on the side of the Restorationists during the Boshin War (1868-1869), fighting with and pursuing Itakura Katsukiyo, lord of Bitchū-Matsuyamajō (the castle itself was surrendered bloodlessly), in the opening stages of the conflict, and was later knighted, becoming a viscount in the aristocracy of Imperial Japan.


Gallery


Ashimori Kinoshita Residence Profile
English Name Ashimori Kinoshita Residence
Japanese Name 木下屋敷・木下利玄之生家
Year 1852
Residence Type Daimyo
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Features Gates, Garden, House
Visitor Information weekends and holidays, 9:30-4:30; free
Website https://tabioka.com/birthplace-of-rigen-kinoshita/
Location Okayama, Okayama Prefecture
Castle Ashimori Jin'ya
Coordinates 34° 43' 50.70" N, 133° 48' 2.59" E
Ashimori Jin'ya and nearby Samurai Homes
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Added Jcastle 2022
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