Isshiki Castle (Omi)




Isshikijō was a medieval hirajiro (flatland castle) constructed by the Isshiki Clan in Kanzaki District, Ōmi Province, in the 13th century. The Isshiki Clan, founded by a branch family of the Ashikaga Clan, served the Ashikaga who would later become overlords of Japan. The castle was captured in the Early Sengoku Period by the ascendant Sasaki-Rokkaku Clan who installed one of their vassals as castellan there. Isshikijō played a vital defensive role when the Azai Clan attacked Namazue Castle (around 1564), located across the Echi River from Isshikijō. In 1568 Oda Nobunaga defeated the Rokkaku and Isshikijō was put to flame.

Visit Notes

I came here to Isshikijō as part of a tour of minor sites in Higashi-Ōmi, Shiga. I thought there might be more to see but there’s not a lot. The site is now a shrine. There are a few markers designating castle features, such as a moat trace and a yaguradai (platform for turret), the latter now used for a shrine structure.

Isshiki is a small village in Higashi-Ōmi Municipality. We went west of here through Ichihara village. North of Ichihara was a hamlet we passed through which was curiously peopled by scarecrows or dummies engaged in various tasks, from tending fields to waiting for a bus. These completely clothed and realistic proportioned kakashi (scarecrows) are indistinguishable from behind, and one can only tell them apart from real people by gazing into their lifeless faces or observing their unnatural stillness. This was a rather apocalyptic and unsettling thing to come upon by chance. The site is apparently called Eiganji Kakashi World (永源寺案山子ワールド). Since there’s not much at Isshikijō itself I’ll recommend stopping by here too for the bizarre and uncanny.

  • former site of yagura platform with shrine structure; stone platform modern

Castle Profile
English Name Isshiki Castle
Japanese Name 一式城
Founder Isshiki Clan
Year Founded 13th century
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Yaguradai, Hori-ato
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nagatanino Station on the Ōmi Rail Minokuchi-Gamōno Line; 10 minute drive or 90 minute walk
Visitor Information Free; 24/7; Shrine
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Higashi-Oumi, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 4' 26.87" N, 136° 15' 36.40" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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38 months ago
Score 0++
Somehow I thought if I were to reach out and touch one of the unerringly still villagers from behind then it would suddenly turn around, revealing a necrotic, worm-eaten face, and sink its undead teeth into me... Added scarecrow pictures as per description.