Yashima Castle

From Jcastle.info



Yashima no Ki is an ancient castle established in 667 by the Yamato. It is mentioned in the Nihon-Shoki. In 663 the Yamato Court aided on the losing side of the Battle of Baekgang in Korea between the Baekje and Silla Kingdoms. The Silla, aided by Tang Dynasty China, crushed Baekje and the Japanese naval fleet. Baekje loyalists fled to Japan after their defeat. The Japanese feared reprisals from the victorious Tang-Silla Coalition and so established a series of defences around Dazaifu, the then Imperial Office governing Kyūshū, and the Seto Inland Sea. Yashima no Ki was one of these castles, along with Kanata no Ki on Tsushima, and Takayasu no Ki in Yamato (Nara).

Yashima played an important part in Japanese history during the Gempei War between the Taira and Minamoto Clans. The Taira retreated to Yashima in 1183 and the Emperor Go-Shirakawa held court here. After a lull in fighting following the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani, Yashima, which had served as a Taira safe-haven, was finally assaulted by the Minamoto and fell during the Battle of Yashima in 1185. There is a pond next to Yashima Temple called Chi no Ike, 'Blood Pond', because it is said that when the victorious Minamoto washed their weapons here the blood ran off and dyed the pond red. People buy small clay discs and throw them off the mountain for good luck. It symbolises the victorious Minamoto throwing off their headpieces after defeating the Taira.

In the Taisho period the ruins of the castle were discovered and, following a large scale excavation in 2009, the walls of the gate area were restored around 2016.

Visit Notes

A note on the Kanji and pronounciation: Both Kanji are used, 屋島城・屋嶋城 , the latter having the older kanji for island. Due to the great age of this site, the pronounciation is properly 'Yashima no Ki', how it was recorded in the Nihon-Shoki, rather than Yashimajō. The ruins themselves are modest, but the mountain has several other cultural and historic sites which add to the trip.

Profile by ART and photos by ART and Furinkazan

  • Restored Stone Walls
  • View of gate site from above
  • Yashima Mountain
  • inland-sea from the top of Yashima
  • The hill seen from the entrance to Yashima Jinja
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Yashima Castle
Japanese Name 屋嶋城
Alternate Names Yashima-jo
Founder Yamato Court
Year Founded 667
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Yashima Sta. (Kotoku Line), Shuttle buses running hourly go up and down the mountain. Kotoden-Yashima Station on the Kotoden-Shiba Line is also serviced by this bus. You can see a rope way from Kotoden-Yashima but since 2004 it no longer in use
Visitor Information free, 24/7
Time Required 15 minutes
Website https://www.city.takamatsu.kagawa.jp/4727.html
Location Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 21' 15.44" N, 134° 6' 18.54" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2016
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(2 votes)
Add your comment
Jcastle.info welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.



93 months ago
Score 0++
Furinkazan-san. I came across your comment when I was searching for information was about the site. I was surprised at how recent the excavation and restoration all was. There are certainly lots of historical sites in the area which make going to this restored ishigaki worthwhile. I enjoyed Yashima Temple and checking out the views on the mountain. Unfortunately I didn't have time for Shikoku-mura, which the bus to the summit goes past, but it's another good recommendation. Recently Eric posted about VR at castle sites in an article featuring Yashimanoki. I'd like to revisit here someday, it's a great area.


93 months ago
Score 0++
I visited the site of this castle in april 2012. I gave some info on the page of Kinojô. In that year there was still nothing rebuilt of the castle. So it is nice they have reconstructed the stone base of a gate. When i visited Yashima i went first to the Yashimajinja and then to the Shikoku-mura. Both are at the foot of the hill. Shikoku-mura is a village-museum where several old buildings of Shikoku were regrouped. It was very interesting. After that i went to the top of the hill with a bus and visited Yashimaji. I did a tour of the plateau and saw some excavations about the castle. But there was no info of it.