Kanzou Yashiki

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The Takano family were entrusted with supplying liqourice to Tokugawa Yoshimune, the eighth Tokugawa shōgun. Until the Meiji period the Takano received tax exempt status for cultivating this liqourice. The Takano Clan started as a lineage of wealthy farmers originally named simply Ihē, enjoying relatively high social standing for mere farmers as the leaders of the local peasantry (though they were below shōya (village headmen)). From 1720 they paid liqourice tribute to the shogunate and in return they were granted samurai status, taking the name Takano. The residence is set up to entertain high-ranking guests, and the Takano received the shōgun's retainers who handled their dealings with the shogunate as guests. Along with the samurai (except the very top ones), the Takano lost their privileges in the Meiji period.

Visit Notes

Kanzō-yashiki is the site of a host of Edo period buildings used by the Takano Clan. The site, also and properly called the Takano Residence, is known as Kanzō-yashiki ('Liquorice Mansion') due to it being the production centre of medicine and sweets for the Shogunate and Imperial family; in autumn the residence is strewn with drying persimmons, which also happen to be a major vice of mine. Kanzō-yashiki is an example of a latter day yashiki, and one of several Edo period yashiki I've been to now with most of its original architecture intact. The style of the main residence, which dates to the late Edo period, is called Kōshū style, a vernacular style notable for its multi-tiered central roof section which allows for ventilation and facilitates sericulture. Other Edo period buildings include stables, storehouses, the east gate, a library, and other minor structures. Buildings from the Meiji period include other gates and a special open storage 'shelf' with a roof for drying hanging persimmons. Other structures on the residence grounds include wells, a stone bridge, stone walls and a pond. The residence is registered as a national level important cultural property. Although registered from 1953, the residence did not open to the public until 1993. In 1960 the thatching on the omoya (main residential building) was covered in sheet metal tiling for preservation.

  • Omoya, Takano Residence

Castle Profile
English Name Kanzou Yashiki
Japanese Name 甘草屋敷
Alternate Names Takano-yashiki
Founder Takano Clan
Year Founded 1720
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations has Important Cultural Properties
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Gates, Stables, Warehouses, Omoya, Ishigaki, &c.
Features gates, palace, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Enzan Station on the Chūō Main Line; 2 minute walk
Visitor Information Open 9:00-16:30, except Tuesdays, unless Tuesday is a bank holiday. Closed year's end (28/12-4/1) and days after bank holidays. Admission fee is 310 yen.
Time Required 60 minutes
Website https://www.city.koshu.yamanashi.jp/map/info/2021011400298/
Location Kōshū, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 42' 23.26" N, 138° 44' 5.64" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
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