Jinguuji Yakata

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Although Jingūji occupies the site of the yakata today, and the origins of that temple are obscure, it may have existed alongside the yakata, but in a different place, as the temple is thought to have originally been located in the mountains surrounding Asama, and subourdinated to either the Asama-jinja or the Tsukama-jinja (formerly, presumably, also temples - that is, places where the buddha and kami were worshipped and revered alongside each other). So even though the temple's recorded history goes back to the Kamakura Period, the yakata may have been established during or after that time too. Jingūji switched from the Shingon Sect to the Rinzai Sect at the end of the medieval era, and its relocation to the site of the yakata may date either to this time, or to later in the Edo period when Mizuno Tadanao, lord of Matsumotojō, rebuilt the temple's yakushidō at the request of his mother. Unfortunately, during the Meiji period's Shinbutsu-bunri, which may be thought of akin to Japan's "cultural revolution" - an attack on religion and traditional culture, albeit more focused - the temple was basically levelled, and had to be rebuilt. Traces of or materials pertaining to the yakata may have been lost during this time. Anyway, of the yakata itself little is known, but it was likely subourdinated to the nearby yakata established by the Oguchi Clan at the order of Hōjō Mototoki.

Visit Notes

Jingūji-yakata is a former medieval fortified manor hall site which is now the site of a temple, Jingūji. The temple is a hidden gem! It features (tasteful) modern takes on traditional art forms, and has a dry landscape garden with broad veranda not unlike one might see at famous temples in Kyōto. I found no traces of the yakata, unfortunately, though I tried to get a sense of the lay of the terrain. I quickly became occupied by the idyllic temple.


Castle Profile
English Name Jinguuji Yakata
Japanese Name 神宮寺館
Founder Oguchi Clan?
Year Founded Medieval Era
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Matsumoto Station; 18 minute drive, 75 minute walk, or bus (the tram line closed in 1964, sorry!)
Visitor Information 24/7; Free; Temple
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 15' 58.64" N, 137° 59' 20.40" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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