Katsunumashi Yakata

From Jcastle.info



There is evidence of a fortification on this site going back to the 1400's but the earliest records claim that it was the residence of Katsunuma Nobutomo, a brother to Takeda Nobutora. Nobutomo died in a battle with Hojo Ujitsuna in 1535 and his son Nobumoto succeeded him. There is some speculation whether Nobumoto became the new lord of Katsunuma or the nearby Imai clan did. Regardless, Nobumoto was killed by Takeda Shingen in 1560 on suspicions of inciting a rebellion.

Visit Notes

The castle ruins were discovered in 1973 when building the neighboring Prefectural Wine Center. Don't miss the ruins of the vassal's residence around the back side of the castle. While the castle is called a yakata (palace or residence) the large double embankment, deep moat and turrets show that it was as fortified as any castle at the time.

Katsunuma is very famous for grapes and wine. I went in early October towards the end of grape season and got the best grapes I've ever had from a simple roadside stand. You can get there by regular non-express train from Shinjuku in about 2 hours.
県立ワインセンターの建設時に発見した城跡です。 すぐ近くの家臣屋敷跡も見逃さないでください。 訪れたのは十月上旬で道端の売店で買ったバイオレットキングという新種のブドウが今まで食べた中で一番美味しいブドウでした。

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  • Central bailey
  • Stone foundation of a bridge across the large trench
  • Stone foundation of a bridge across the large trench
  • Trench and stone foundation of a bridge
  • Large deep trench
  • Embankment and trench of the central bailey
  • Embankment and trench of the central bailey
  • Masugata style entrance
  • Embankment and trench
  • Earthen embankment
  • Entrance from the bridge
  • Entrance from the bridge
  • Yagura foundation at the entrance from the bridge
  • Embankment in the central bailey
  • water reservoir
  • Outlines of buildings in the central bailey
  • Central bailey
  • Large trench of the central bailey
  • maps of the site's evolution
  • Map
  • Waterway of the Outer Bailey
  • Waterways of the Outer Bailey
  • Large embankment of the outer bailey
  • Outer Bailey
  • Outer Bailey
  • Outlines of several buildings
  • Waterways of the Outer Bailey
  • Work areas
  • Waterways of the Outer Bailey
  • Entrance and waterways of the Outer Bailey
  • Illustration of the vassal's residence
  • Reconstructed Sengoku era building
  • Sengoku Period reconstructed building

Castle Profile
English Name Katsunumashi Yakata
Japanese Name 勝沼氏館
Founder Katsunuma Nobutomo
Year Founded 1400's
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Katsunuma Budokyo (Chuo Line), 30 min walk
Visitor Information open anytime
Time Required 45 mins
Website http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/kankou/spot/p1 3763.html
Location Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 39' 35.60" N, 138° 43' 54.26" E
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Added to Jcastle 2017
Admin Year Visited 2017
Admin Visits October 9, 2017

(2 votes)
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56 months ago
Score 1++

Katsunuma-yakata joins the very few yakata (fortified manor houses) that people bother visiting; it even has its own wikipedia article, in English no less! Ashikaga-yakata would be another example. Stepping off the train at Katsunuma Town (or, as per the station name, "Katsunuma Grape Village") presents a promising spectacle. The whole area is an upland of clustering hills and rolling slopes, most of it covered in vinyards.

The ruins consist of the inner bailey which has high earthen ramparts surrounded by karabori (dry moats). Two entrances to the main enclosure are evident, one being a masugata (box-form) complex, and another which had a bridge over the moat. The ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) used to support the bridge structure are a prominent feature. Inside the enclosure various buildings' footprints are shown with their function indicated. The lord's chambers were toward the corner - very snug. It is interesting to see the drains and ditches restored. These were indispensable to the conveniences of daily living and connected to kitchens. The inner enclosure is itself divided with small embankments. Latrines and guardhouses were located toward the outer bailey near the masugatamon.

Behind the main part of the yakata are ruins of an area which once contained the yashiki (residences) of the lord's retainers. There are trenches, a large dorui (earthen rampart) segment and a mock reconstructed yashiki here. The yashiki is a little disappointing because they decided to build it like it was some sort of gazebo? Basically it's too open to be a house and the original structure would've only had pokey little windows. But! They get points for workmanship on the roof, although the straw thatching now needs a little fix'er-upper.