According to a report published by the Hokuto Municipality in 2011 on archaeological excavations which took place in 2007 before the construction of the priest's house at the temple, Chōsenji, the temple was likely founded in the late 13th or early 14th century (at the earliest in 1354; the exact date is unknown because a fire in 1888 destroyed the temple's records) by Ichijō Tokinobu, a descendant of the Kai-Genji Clan, and later fortified.
At the southern end of the surveyed area, the remains of a 2m wide, 1.5m deep yakkenbori moat, a type of karabori (dry moat), were uncovered. 15th century fragments of Seto ceramics were uncovered from the firmament within the moat. No dorui (earthen ramparts) remains were found on the inside of the moat, and the dorui is presumed to have been levelled at some point. An 'L'-shaped area enclosed by what appeared to be embankments was identified. The dorui there were 2m wide and 1m high. Since the earthworks at the site appeared to enclose an area in a square formation, it is presumed they were intended for defence rather than as water channels or levees.
It is not known when or why the temple was fortified, or whether a pre-existing fortification, as for a residence, was donated to the temple, as the temple hall's location changed over time. If the temple existed before the fortifications in this spot, then likely it fortified during the turbulent Sengoku period for self-protection, but in the latter scenario the fortifications could be older.
Chōsenji-rui was a fort which is now the site of a temple, Chōsenji, for which it is named, in Sutama Township, Hokuto Municipality. It sits somewhat elevated yet in the shadow the Wakamiko Castle Complex built by the Hōjō in 1582, and no ruins remain. It seems some remains may have existed up until the site's redevelopment in 2007. No castle-bloggers have covered this site online as far as I can find, and so I may be the first. My information comes from a report put out by Hokuto Municipality (which also includes nice maps of the Wakamiko Castle complex (I could've done with them when I visited!)).
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|1354 or after
|Pre Edo Period
|Nearest station is Hinoharu Station on the Chūō Main Line
|24/7 free; temple
|Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture
|35° 47' 20.47" N, 138° 25' 14.56" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited