Takaino-jin’ya is known chiefly as the residence of Fukushima Masanori after his huge demotion from ruler of Hiroshima Domain. Therefore it is also called the Fukushima-Masanori-yashiki, or the Fukushima-Masanori-yakata, but it is properly categorised as a jin’ya, the administrative base of a small fiefdom. The jin’ya was surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts) which ran 105m east-west, and 73m north-south.
Takaino-jin’ya actually dates to 1616 when it was established by Inōe Shinzaemon, a hatamoto (direct retainer / bannerman) of the bakufu (shogunate). It was in 1619 that Fukushima Masanori built his residence here. In 1620 he had already retired and his heir, Fukushima Tadakatsu, had taken over. But Tadakatsu died unexpectedly, and Masanori had to take over again. At this time Takaino-jin’ya was further reduced in value from 45,000 koku to just 20,000 koku with annexation of one of its exclaves by the bakufu (Fukushima Masanori had once lorded Hiroshima Domain, worth just under 500,000 koku, and he must’ve felt that he had fallen immeasurably). Lord Masanori died in 1624, and his surviving son, Fukushima Masatoshi, may have become lord of the domain, but he cremated his father before a bakufu inspector had arrived to ascertain the fact of Masanori’s death. This proved to be a further violation of the law, Fukushima Masanori being penalised and demoted even in death! Takaino-jin’ya was taken over by the bakufu as a result. Fukushima Masatoshi went on to become a hatamoto, granted a small holding of 3,112 koku. He died in 1637 without an heir, ending his line. In 1687, however, Fukushima Masakatsu, the son of Fukushima Masanaga who was Masatoshi’s nephew, also became a hatamoto on 2,000 koku, thus restoring the Fukushima Clan after its long hardships. Takaino-jin’ya was ultimately abolished in 1740, and the temple Kōseiji was built on the site. The temple (re-)built the ishigaki in 1855.
Even though Fukushima Masanori is sometimes thought of as a warrior who was not a capable administrator, he spent his time in Takaino capably improving flood control infrastructure (probably didn’t want a repeat of what happened in Hiroshima!). Considering all of his past achievements, Tokugawa Hidetada’s zealous punishment of Masanori seems excessive.
Fukushima Masanori rose to prominence serving Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Along with Katō Kiyomasa, he became one of the ‘seven spears of Shizugatake’, one of Hideyoshi’s mounted guards, serving with distinction at the battle of Shizugatake in 1583. Masanori fought at the battle of Sekigahara for the Tokugawa, engaging Ukita Hideie, triumphing when Kobayakawa Hideaki switched sides to the Eastern Army (Tokugawa).
In the Edo period Fukushima Masanori became the daimyō of Hiroshima Domain. Despite his valour at the battle of Sekigahara, Masanori had once been close to the Toyotomi, and as such, when it was rumoured that Masanori was nostalgic for the old order, the Tokugawa Shogunate began to regard him with suspicion.
Fukushima Masanori was scrutinised, we imagine, coolly and quietly. When in 1617 Hiroshimajō was damaged by flooding, the Shogunate took the opportunity to ensnare its lord in a bureaucratic trap. Lord Masanori applied for permission to repair his castle, as was the law, but over two years went by and he had received none, getting the reply only that the matter was under review. When in 1619 Lord Masanori went ahead and ordered the castle repaired anyway – some saying that he made only the most vital repairs in order to avoid repeated flooding – the Shogunate’s vast bureaucratic apparatus sprang into action, and he was put under investigation. Initially the Shogunate seemed forgiving, requiring Lord Masanori to merely un-do the repairs whilst the matter was settled, but at this juncture the daimyō of Hiroshima was further accused of not sufficiently un-doing the repairs he had made, and therefore he was severely censured. He was transferred from Hiroshima Domain, worth about 500,000 koku, to Takaino Domain, a small domain in Shinano worth 45,000 koku, which was a massive demotion. Lord Masanori had not even enough status to build a castle anymore, and so he constructed instead Takaino-jin’ya with a small residence where he lived out the rest of his waning days.
The site of Takaino-jin’ya is now that of a temple, Kōseiji. Ishigaki (stone walls), forming part of what looks like a former gate complex, remain from the Bakumatsu period, though by that time the jin’ya had already been abolished and so the ishigaki was probably built for the temple, replacing earlier stonework. Still, the ishigaki’s date of 1855 is earlier than I would’ve guessed; it seems well put together albeit in a more modern fashion. There is a marker post indicating the site on the former ramparts. A segment of dorui survives, according to some sources, and I think I saw it but it was in somebody’s garden! Considering the site was made a prefectural designated historic site in 1966, I will assume (generously) that some of the surviving dorui has not been demolished. Incidentally, why such a minor site is so highly valued by the prefecture can only be because of the fame of Fukushima Masanori, and not because of the scant surviving ruins.
|English Name||Takaino Jin'ya|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Access||Nearest station is Suzaka Station on the Nagano Line|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; temple|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 39' 58.39" N, 138° 20' 52.69" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
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