Ohtsuka Moated Settlement

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OhtsukaKangoushuuraku (1).JPG


Ôtsuka Moated Settlement developed during the middle Yayoi period, around two millenia ago. The winding moat system used to protect the settlement had a circumference of 600m, a depth of 1.5m, and a width of about 4m. The settlement hosted up to ninety pit-homes, and ten stilt buildings which were likely storehouses. However, the restored portion of the village features a moat 250m in length, in an area which contained only twenty-seven pit-homes, of which seven have been restored along with a single granary. The site was discovered in the early seventies and was extensively excavated. Due to the amount of carbonised rice discovered, it is thought that the settlement was destroyed by fire.

A necropolis developed to the south of the settlement. The tumuli constructed were square with ditches on each cardinal side, in a style referred to as hōkei-shūkōbo, meaning 'square shape with surrounding ditches'. The ditches on each side at this site were separated by unexcavated earth. Referred to as the Saikachido ruins, some of the mounds have been restored. The site was designated a national historic site in 1986.

Visit Notes

Ôtsuka-kangōshūraku, part of the Ôtsuka-Saikachido ruins, is a restored Yayoi period moated settlement in Tszuzuki Ward, Yokohama Municipality. It is a national tier registered historical site, and is maintained as part of the Ôtsuka-Saikachido Archaeological Park.

Ôtsuka Moated Settlement features a karabori (dry moat) wrapping around most of the site (except where the hilltop has been cut away for road expansion), dorui (earthen ramparts), and restorations such as palisades and pit-homes. The entrance area has a gateway with a restored wooden bridge. But the bridge's walkway is topped with concrete, so I called it 'wooden mille-feuille' because that's what it looked like.

In addition to restored pit-homes with thatching and earthen walls, there is a storehouse on stilts. I thought the Yayoi period pit-homes here were quite spacious, and it was easy to walk inside of them without crawling, making them very luxurious compared to the earlier and more rudimentary pit-homes of the Jōmon.

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  • Dry moat and palisades
  • Restored bridge over dry moat, and earthen ramparts
  • Karabori (dry moat) and palisades
  • Model of site
  • Restored storehouse on stilts
  • Tumuli / Necropolis
  • Restored pit-homes

Castle Profile
English Name Ohtsuka Moated Settlement
Japanese Name 大塚環濠集落
Alternate Names Ôtsuka-Saikachido-iseki (大塚歳勝土遺跡)
Founder The Yayoi
Year Founded Middle Yayoi Period
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Karabori, Dorui, Restored Dwellings, &c.
Features bridges, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Sentā-Kita Station on the Yokohama Municipal Subway (Blue Line & Green Line); 8 minute walk to park
Visitor Information 24/7 free; park
Time Required 60 minutes
Website https://www.rekihaku.city.yokohama.jp/en/index.html
Location Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 33' 5.65" N, 139° 34' 50.27" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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