Ochiai-yashiki is known as a 'rōnin yashiki' because it was built by the Ochiai Clan, vassals of the Takeda Clan, who retained their bushi status and did not revert to farming after the death of Takeda Katsuyori in 1582. The Ochiai-yashiki may have been built before that, or was built after 1582. The names of the 'rōnin yashiki' come from the names of the clans' original territories. Ochiai is a village in Kōfu and the Ochiai Clan had their original residence there; it was abandoned after 1582. Not much is known to history about the medieval Ochiai Clan but it may have been led by Ochiai Sōhē in the late 16th century.
Ochiai-yashiki is a fortified residence site in Kudama, a rural neighbourhood of Kōfu Municipality. Although in recent decades the area has become more urbanised, the yashiki (residence) site is still made up of fields, groves and orchards surrounding an old homestead. The site is surrounded by fortifications in the form of mizubori (water moats) in the south and east, and dorui (earthen ramparts), which go around most of the site except in the southeastern corner. The dorui is most visible from the roadside along its northern side, and it is tallest here; access is restricted to the public since the site is private property (of the descendents of the Ochiai Clan one would assume). The entrance to the property is down a narrow lane between modern houses, and here one finds a nagayamon (rowhouse gate), which looks like it could date to the Edo period. A bridge spans a moat before the gatehouse.
There are several residence sites called Ochiai in Yamanashi, and two 'Ochiai-yashiki' according to most lists of castle sites in the prefecture (both are in Kōfu). I actually went by the other Ochiai-yashiki, which appears to be the original one of that name, located in Ochiai, a couple of days later, but I decided not to check it out because it seems there are no ruins there. Even though that is the original residence site of the Ochiai Clan, this one has actual remains of fortifications so I give it primacy of place. If I ever visited the other Ochiai-yashiki I'll probably have to list it as 'Ochiai Yashiki (Ochiai)' or something.
|English Name||Ochiai Yashiki|
|Year Founded||Late 16th Century|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Mizubori, Nagayamon|
|Features||gates, water moats, trenches|
|Access||Sakaori Station on the Chūō Main Line|
|Visitor Information||Access Limited|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 38' 58.56" N, 138° 35' 45.71" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|