The Takamuro Clan, formerly known as the Ogasawara Clan, served the Takeda Clan as hereditary vassals. Under Takeda Nobutora's rule they moved to Takamuro, taking that as their new name, in 1531. They continued to rule Takamuro in the Edo period as nanushi (village headmen), at which time it is said that the clan learnt medicine from a Chinese immigrant (one might imagine this was before 1633). Throughout the Edo period the family produced herbal medicine. The extant omoya has two floors; the attic floor, which has a jutting roof portion, a vernacular feature of homes in Kai, was used to dry herbs for medicines and store pharmaceuticals. The residence could also accommodate important guests, such as Shogunal officials, if necessary.
Takamuro-yashiki is a medeival fortified residence site with extant Edo period architecture. The omoya (main house) dates to 1788, and other buildings include kura (storehouses), walls, and a nagayamon (row-gatehouse) with a mushamado (a window used by guards). There is a remaining segment of dorui (earthen ramparts) which formerly ran around the whole site. Although they became dilapidated overtime and were gradually replaced, the layout of the buildings in this bukeyashiki (samurai residence) complex has remained consistent from the 16th century, and so the Takamuro-yashiki is an rare opportunity to see how medieval residences once looked.
The yashiki, known as the 'Takamuro Family Residence (高室住宅)', is open to the public but only by appointment and on weekdays. I'd like to go back for a tour but I don't know when I'll get the chance. I'm glad I went and checked it out anyway because most of the residence can be seen from the road. It seems like some restoration work is going on. The old concrete block walls around parts of the site are in the process of being removed, and the surrounding land has been completely cleared, with old stones and ceramic tiles piled here and there. Two large lightning rods have been recently installed to protect the residence, registered as an important cultural property, from lightning strikes. It seems that the beautiful thatched roof of the residence was also covered with sheet metal at some point, but this has now been thankfully removed.
|English Name||Takamuro Yashiki|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||has Important Cultural Properties|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Omoya, Nagayamon, Dorui|
|Features||gates, samurai homes|
|Access||Koikawa Station on the Minobu Line|
|Visitor Information||Open by Appointment|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 36' 34.63" N, 138° 33' 27.54" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|