Yunagaya-jin’ya served as the seat of the Naitō-shi (clan) who ruled Yanagaya-han (feudal domain). In 1670 the area was developed for rice-farming, and a subsidiary domain was created by Naitō Tadaoki, ruler of Iwakitaira-han, for his son Naitō Masasuke, valued at 10,000 koku. Masasuke built Yunagawa-jin’ya in 1676 and developed the surrounding castle town.
The Naitō ruled from here for the rest of the Edo Period. From 1722, Naitō Masātsu codified laws for the domain. From 1824, Naitō Masatami established a Hankō (domain academy) for the domain. In 1868, the Naitō joined the Ōuestu-Reppan Alliance but Yunagawa-jin’ya surrendered without a fight to anti-Shogunate forces. The fiefdom was reduced in size to 1,000 koku and the final Daimyō, Naitō Yoshinori, oversaw the abolition of the Han system.
I came to this local site because I had nothing better to do and it was ideal weather, but although the site is small I was pleasantly surprised to see the very obvious remains of a fortification here. The former Jin’ya (fortified administrative centre) retains impressive Dorui (earthen ramparts) and a right-angled moat segment. The moat’s water is muddy brown and the Kuruwa (bailey) it encloses is lush with summer undergrowth and palm trees. The site is surrounded by forest so that it felt like the ruin was in, well, a much more tropical location than Tōhoku at least! I also found horikiri, maps and a stone marker for the site, on what is now the grounds of a middle school.
Profile and photos by ART
|English Name||Yunagaya Jin'ya|
|Alternate Names||Yumoto Jin'ya|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Access||Yumoto Sta. (Jouban Line), 30-40 min. walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||30 mins|
|Location||Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 59' 19.50" N, 140° 50' 43.12" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2016|