Baba Yashiki




A fortified residence used as a base by the Suwa Clan

Visit Notes

Baba-yashiki is a wealthy farmer's residence from the Edo Period. Quite curiously the residence is fortified: it is surrounded by dorui (defensive embankments of piled earth) and the large gates on the property are also formidable. Whilst some more elaborate farmers' homes had gatehouses, the main gate at the Baba Residence has mushamado, windows flanking the entrance at which (likely armed) guards would've been stationed. This gate is a Nagayamon type doubles as a guard house. I wonder about the rooftiles used. The choice of hibi (roof ornamentation) would indicate a degree of status above farmer! Indeed the shachihoko (tiger-fish) motiff was found usually only on temples and castles (later they could be found on public buildings and in modern times private citizens sometimes put them on their houses too). Although not ostensibly a fort in itself, it turns out that the residence functioned as a sort of secret branch base for the Suwa Clan and Takashima Domain! Sometimes temples were also utilised in this way.


Castle Profile
English Name Baba Yashiki
Japanese Name 馬場屋敷
Founder Suwa Clan
Year Founded Edo Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Gates, Nagayamon, Minka, Dorui, Walls, Karabori
Features gates, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Murai Station on the Chūō Main Line; walk 40 minutes
Visitor Information 9:00 - 17:00, closed mondays and end of year holidays; 300 yen admission
Time Required two hours
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 10' 2.42" N, 137° 59' 7.84" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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