Yamashina Honganji

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The Honganji Temple was built by Rennyo between 1478 - 1483 with multiple high earthen embankments fortifying the temple and village. The temple was dedicated to the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism and would become the main fortress of the Ikko-ikki movement which opposed samurai rule. The Ikko-ikki carried out attacks against rival religious sects and soon grew bold enough to attack those in Kyoto itself. This led to Hosokawa Harumoto, Rokkaku Sadayori and the rival Hokke Ikki sect (Nichiren Buddhism) razing the temple and village on 1532. This did not end the Ikko-Ikki however. The followers fled to Ishiyama Honganji, also founded by Rennyo, which was an even larger and stronger fortress. The Ikko-ikki and Hokke ikki conflicts continued but that is a story for another forum.

Visit Notes

There are a few bits of the original embankments remaining today as you can see by the green areas marked on the map below. Those in the red outlines have been designated National Historic Sites. The excavated ruins of the nanden have been turned into a nice park with dorui on one side and outlines marked for a section of moat, pillar foundations for uncovered buildings and a steam bath or sauna. There are some more sections of earthworks that I will visit soon to fill out this profile. Not specifically castle related but on the north side of the Nanden Park there is an old farmhouse, storehouse and amazing nagayamon gate. This is private property but the gate viewed from outside is still impressive. I'll include one photo below at the end of reference.

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  • Southwest corner embankment
  • Steam bath
  • Nagayamon Gate

Castle Profile
English Name Yamashina Honganji
Japanese Name 山科本願寺
Alternate Names Yamashina Mido, Honganji-no-shiro
Founder Rennyo
Year Founded 1483
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features water moats, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Higashino Sta.
Visitor Information parks, open any time
Time Required 90 mins
Website https://www.city.kyoto.lg.jp/yamasina/page/0000012089.html
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 34° 58' 55.81" N, 135° 48' 32.98" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2022
Admin Visits May 3, 2022

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