Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata




After the Battle of Bitchū-Takamatsujō (1582) Kikkawa Motoharu, a commander in the Mōri army, ascended to head of the Kikkawa Clan. The Kikkawamotoharu-yakata was built as his retirement villa in 1583. Motoharu had begun living at the residence but he died in 1586 before the entire complex was completed. Kikkawa Motoharu was succeeded by Kikkawa Motonaga but he died in 1587. The third lord of the manor was Motonaga's brother, Kikkawa Hiroie. In 1591 Hiroie relocated to Gassan-Todajō and thereafter the yakata gradually fell into decay and ruin. Kikkawamotoharu-yakata last appears in the historical record in an early Edo Period survey where it is listed as a castle ruin.

The yakata ruin was designated as a national historic site in 1986. Archaelogical investigtions were carried out throughout the 1990s. In 2002 it was also listed as a national scenic site. In 2006 maintenance was carried out on the stone walls and two kitchen structures were reconstructed based on archaelogical findings.

Visit Notes

This is a special yakata (fortified manor house) site because of the large stone blocks used in the ramparts which were quarried on-site, and also because some simple buidlings, kitchen structures, have been reconstructed. I had not ancitipated such impressive stonework at so provincial a site, so I was very pleased with the Kikkawamotoharu-yakata.


Castle Profile
English Name Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata
Japanese Name 吉川元春館
Founder Kikkawa Motoharu
Year Founded 1583
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki, Hori, Ishikiriba, Kuruwa, Reconstructed Buildings, Garden, Dorui
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Nearest Station is Yoshidaguchi Station on the Geibi Line; 50 minute drive
Visitor Information 24/7 free
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Kita-Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 43' 1.42" N, 132° 27' 59.00" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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