Okada Chikayoshi Yakata

From Jcastle.info



The Okadachikayoshi-yakata was the fortified manor hall of Minamoto Chikayoshi, the fifth son of Minamoto Yoshimitsu, and a military commander of the late Heian period. He took the name of Okada in 1156 whilst serving as the magistrate of Okada-gō, Chikuma District, a township and collection of settlements which included the important Asama-onsen. Okada Chikayoshi, alongside his sons, fought for Minamoto Yoshinaka in 1180, repulsing attacks from the Taira Clan throughout Shinano Province, including at the Battle of Aida (a valley in the north of Matsumoto Municipality). In 1183, however, he was slain at the Battle of Kurikara Pass. The manor hall is now the site of the Okada Shrine in the village of Okada, Matsumoto Municipality.

Visit Notes

Not much remains of his Heian period site, the former manor hall of Lord Okada Chikayoshi. There is a sign board which explains about it though, which is nice. It even has pictures and a map. The remains of a moat encircling an enclosure have been identified. Now the site is rice paddies, a residential area which is part of Okada village, and the Okada Shrine dedicated to the Heian lord. I noticed that the shrine sat at the bottom of a hill, so I climbed up to investigate this. Generally a yakata (fortified manor hall) was made for living in, so it needn't take advantage of terrain to the extent of a dedicated fortified redoubt, yet I thought I should check to see if the hill had been fortified or not. This was whay back in the Heian period of the Classical Era, of course, so I didn't count on finding much. Yet I definitely made out earthworks. Yet... of a castle? Nay, but of a kofun, an ancient burial mound! It turns out little Okada has quite an extensive history, serving as a manor hall and township in the Heian period, a settlement in the Yayoi period, and the site of a large mausoleum in the Kofun period, making it truly ancient.

I, a castle hunter, didn't know about the kofun. Now, s'pose a kofun hunter came here and didn't know about the yakata? Hah! Those kofun hunters... they are our shadow, tramping about the hills of Shinano. One day I expect to encounter one photographing the earth of some desolate peak. We'll look at each other, and each supposing the other could only be after the same purpose, he'll break the silence and say "Kofun?", and I'll say "...castle". Our eyes will narrow and we'll slowly back away from each other...

  • Site ruins map, showing moat trace

Castle Profile
English Name Okada Chikayoshi Yakata
Japanese Name 岡田親義館
Alternate Names Okadahorinouchi-yakata 岡田堀内館
Founder Okada Chikayoshi
Year Founded 1156
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Moat
Visitor Information
Access Kita-Matsumoto Station on the Shinonoi Line; 58 minute walk or 12 minute drive
Visitor Information 24/7; Free; Shrine
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 16' 4.30" N, 137° 58' 25.86" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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