Tongari-yashiki was the residence of the Iwaoka-Satō Clan, vassals of the hegemonic Ogasawara, nominal rulers of Shinano. The fortified residence served as a branch fort and forward defensive bulwark of Nakatōjō, the great castle mount. The Niki Family Chronicles (二木家記) mention Tongari-yashiki, calling it the Nakatō-koya, saying "the Nakatō-koya, where the lord hath installed his family, is built upon a stolid site; armaments and rice are stored there". This shows the fort's close association with Nakatōjō and its readiness for war.
For more information see: Nakatou Castle
There is little to see of the minor but interesting site of Tongari-yashiki as most of what ruins remain are located on private property. I went all around where I could freely go, descending into each of the steep gorges which hem in the fort site. Due to thick tree growth, however, I could see little from below. I went to the rear of the site and managed to get a glimpse of the former fort's main bailey area. The southern gorge is given over to rice paddies, gardens and nature, with some sheds and a quaint log cabin. The northern gorge is now a park. The fort site itself is a rural workshop surrounded by apple orchards.
The term "tongari (尖)" refers to a tapering point. The top portion of the ideograph is "small" and the bottom "big", and this maps onto the site of the fort, which is situated between two meeting gorges, and tapers to a sharply angled terminus. This triangular extremity is split at the beak with a depression which separates two baileys, and the nothern bailey is thought to have been the primary bailey. This is a perfect area for a forward fort, since the two deep gorges which come from either side of the mountain meet here beneath Nakatō Village which sits between the yashiki and the mountaintop castle; the terrain, with the fort at its tip, is like a spear thrusting into the plain.
|English Name||Tongari Yashiki|
|Alternate Names||Nakatō-koya 中塔小屋|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Nearest station is Hata Station on the Kamikouchi Line|
|Visitor Information||Private Property|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 14' 40.34" N, 137° 50' 17.12" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|