Kyara-gosho was constructed by Fujiwara Hidehira, the fifth head of the Ōshū-Fujiwara from 1159. Kyara-gosho was constructed in 1170 as a new residence in order to renovate the older Yanagi-gosho ('Willow Palace') where the Fujiwara had held court since Fujiwara Kiyohira's founding of the dynasty in 1100. The 1170 move was due to Hidehira's being recognised as the Chinjufu-shōgun by the Imperial Court. The court nobles recognised the incredible wealth of Hiraizumi, and also feared that the Ōshū-Fujiwara could bring their military to bear against them. Hidehira was cool on the court though because he perceived that they thought of him as little more than a barbarian due to his Emishi ancestry.
Following the Gempei War, Minamoto Yoshitsune fled to Hiraizumi (he had previously lived in exile there in 1174) to avoid the wrath of his half-brother, Minamoto Yoritomo, who established the Kamakura Shogunate that year - 1185. When Fujiwara Hidehira died in 1187, Minamoto Yoshitsune and Saitō Benkei were still under the protection of the Ōshū-Fujiwara. Hidehira had instructed his son, Fujiwara Yasuhira, to protect Yoshitsune after he had passed on. However, in the summer of 1189, Yasuhira conceded to pressure from Yoritomo, and surrounded Yoshitsune's residence at Koromogawa-tate with troops. Yoshitsune committed seppuku whilst besieged, and Benkei was killed in battle at the castle's main gate. Yasuhira then sent Yoshitsune's pickled head to Yoritomo. This did little to deter Yoritomo from later that year attacking Hiraizumi, destroying the city and its palaces, and slaying Yasuhira.
Kyara-gosho, also called Kyara-no-gosho and Kyaragoshojō, is a former kyokan (feudal lord's palace) site in Hiraizumi Township in historical Iwai County. Few ruins of this palatial residence, also refered to as a kyojō (residential castle), remain on-site, though the remains of a moat and earthen ramparts have been identified. Of this fortified palace which served the Northern Fujiwara dynasty, a near full-scale reconstruction can be found at the Esashi-Fujiwara Village in neighbouring Ōshū Municipality (historical Esashi County).
|No main keep but other buildings
|Pre Edo Period
|gates, palace, trenches, walls
|Hiraizumi Station on the Tōhoku Line; 7 minute walk
|Reconstruction is at Esashi-Fujiwara Village
|Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture
|38° 59' 27.71" N, 141° 7' 5.38" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle