The Hirata patriarchs served as nanushi (village headmen) of Shōkō Village from at least 1626. The Hirata were descended of the Yamada Clan who served the Takeda Clan as hereditary vassals. The location of their residence has changed over time, and it moved in 1666 so as to secure a better water source. The surviving residential building dates to this time.
Following local beliefs, the main hall of the residence, built in the middle 17th century, was orientated east toward Kinpusan, a sacred mountain. The house is made of earthen walls, thatched roofing and wooden beams, but it uses large stones as foundation stones for the pillars, and is said to have been the first house in Shōkō Village to do so, indicating it was the most impressive home in the area. Until the 19th century the Hirata kept butlers and maids, and were wealthy land-owning provincials who supported themselves through farming.
An umaya (stable) is attached to the omoya (main residence). The patriarch of the Hirata family was known throughout the Edo period as Hirata Chōzaemon, ‘Chōzaemon’ being a name passed from father to son down the generations.
The Hirata family stopped inhabiting the omoya in 1965, and built a modern home adjacent to it at that time. The omoya was subsequently only used for storage, eventually becoming dilapidated. The omoya was registered as importance cultural property in 1988, and the Hirata donated it to Kobuchizawa Municipality (now part of Hokuto Municipality) in 1989. In the early nineties various excavations of the yashiki took place, and in 1992 the omoya was relocated to its present location for preservation. It is one of the oldest extant omoya residence in Kai (others are at the Takamuro Yashiki (1788), Yatsushiro Yashiki (1808), Ueno Yashiki (early 16th century) and Kanzou Yashiki (1720) (and the shoin of the Hatta Yashiki, though categorised differently, dates to 1661)).
The Hirata-yashiki, also known as the ‘Former Hirata Residence’, was originally located in the Shōkō area of Kobuchizawa, but it was moved closer to the station in 1992. The main living area (that is, a house) is now preserved alongside a local museum building, and is open to the public.
|English Name||Hirata Yashiki|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||has Important Cultural Properties|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Access||Kobuchizawa Station on the Chūō Main Line; 10 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||9:00-17:00; 210 yen|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 51' 31.10" N, 138° 19' 4.44" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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