Jionji Yakata

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Also known as Kongōderajō, Jionji-yakata was the main residence of the Rokkaku Clan in the late Muromachi period, and was built by Rokkaku Takayori who died in 1520. Kongōdera, the temple from whence the castle draws its name, was originally located at the Kaneda-yakata site, that one referred to as Kongōjijō (with the same kanji but a slightly different reading), but was burnt down in 1469 by the Kyōgoku Clan; it was rebuilt here at the Jionji-yakata site in 1486. The main fortified residence of the Rokkaku Clan was moved concurrently. To avoid confusion I have referred to this site principally as Jionji-yakata.

Jionji-yakata was involved in the conflicts between the Rokkaku Clan and th Ashikaga Shogunate, and in 1491 Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshitane conquered the fort and made it his camp throughout the campaign. Jionji-yakata was abandoned some point after Kannonjijō became the main Rokkaku base, though it may have been retained as an annex for some time.

Excavations of Jionji-yakata were carried out in the early nineties. Jionji-yakata was trapezoidal in layout, with a western side of 140m, an eastern side of 130m, and north and south sides of around 105m in length. The moat of the residence was 8m in width. In an area of around 300m² surrounding the castle the remains of various residences were discovered, indicating the yakata was surrounded by a jōkamura (castle village).

Visit Notes

No definitive ruins remain of Jionji-yakata, a fortified residence, and the site is now fields bordering a river and that of the temple Jōgon'in (浄厳院). On two sides of the temple there are embankments, however: there are stone walls on the northern stretch, and the walls are higher on the outside of the temple than within, and the southern stretch separates the temple and a bamboo grove from neighbouring fields. The temple Jōgon'in has old architecture and is worth a visit.

See also Gamou Kongouji Castle.


Castle Profile
English Name Jionji Yakata
Japanese Name 慈恩寺館
Alternate Names Kongōderajō
Founder Rokkaku Takayori
Year Founded 1486
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui
Visitor Information
Access Azuchi Station on the Biwako Line; 10 minute walk to Jōgon'in
Visitor Information 24/7 free; fields / temple
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Higashi-Ōmi, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 8' 16.04" N, 136° 7' 42.60" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Tanbō
Masaki Shibata

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