Iwasaki-yakata was the fortified manor hall of Iwasaki Nobutaka, the son of Takeda Nobumitsu, the fifth patriarch of the Kai-Genji Clan and the second head of the Takeda Clan, in the early 13th century. Iwasaki Nobutaka, an expert archer, founded the Iwasaki Clan, which was a powerful branch of the Kai-Genji, and handed down the armour and heirlooms of the Kai-Genji for eight generations, treasures which represented their leadership of that house. In the Nanbokuchō period (14th century), Iwasaki Morinobu was head of the clan, and he also became the governor of Kai, indicating that the Iwasaki Clan was on-par with the Takeda Clan at that time. However, in 1457, the Iwasaki Clan was defeated by Takeda Nobumasa (or, because he was ten, someone acting on his behalf) after they joined Atobe Kageie in rebellion. Iwasaki Kojirō, Iwasaki Genjirō, and many other Iwasaki clansmen were killed at this time. It seems that the victorious Takeda may have destroyed many records of the Iwasaki Clan to remove them from history as there is a dearth of records from that period. Iwasaki Naonobu became a vassal of Takeda Nobushige, the younger brother of Takeda Shingen, in the middle 15th century, and handed over the treasures of the Kai-Genji to his new lord.
The Iwasaki-yakata ran 80m north-south and 100m east-west, and the compound was divided by a moat in the middle. The site is located on a clifftop, and was protected by karabori (dry moats) on the plateau side. It appears the the yakata was re-purposed as a fort in the Sengoku period (called 立広砦), and it had an umadashi (barbican) and yaguradai (turret platform). These remains existed until the middle-to-late 20th century but were subsequently destroyed by continual re-development and the construction of a large road; the Takeda began the eradication of the Iwasaki from history, and the modern people of Yamanashi completed it.
Little remains of Iwasaki-yakata, and when I went there were many workmen cutting back weeds along the road. They stopped working when I came by, as a safety precaution, and were shouting at each other over the hum of their grass trimmers to alert their colleagues. Naturally I did not want to be any more 'jama' than necessary, so I just took some quick pictures of the embankments along the roadside and read the information board for the site before quickly leaving. It turned out that there anyway was very little to see, as the site is now vineyards and private property barred to the public.
|English Name||Iwasaki Yakata|
|Year Founded||Early 13th Century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Katsunuma-Budōkyō Station on the Chūō Main Line|
|Visitor Information||Access Limited|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Kōshū, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 39' 11.92" N, 138° 43' 19.88" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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