Oki Castle (Koka)
The Oki clan were one of the key Rokkaku allies in Koka and one of the 21 families to receive recognition from the Rokkaku for support duing the Oumi Magari no Jin. They are also one of the older families in the Koka region with records back to the Kamakura Period where they possibly started as a branch family or close relatives of the Rokkaku.
Oki Castle, Uchikoshi Castle, Okishi Castle IV are yakatajiro style castles but the others are more like small mountaintop castles with baileys along the ridge.
Oki Castle is found at the Taikoji Temple. There are a few remains of the embankments around the main bailey which (a 50m x 50m yakatajiro) and a secondary bailey can also be seen around the side of the temple grounds. This was also known as the Oki Yakata and likely the fortified residence of the leader of the Oki clan. The castle has a fantastic view of the valley and the main fortifications of the Oki Castle network spread across several low hills south of the castle. There are no detailed historical records of these sites, but they are assumed to be Oki clan castles for being in Oki led territory.
Uchikoshi Castle is a yakatajiro design with the main bailey 25m x 30m. The embankments and trenches are very well preserved. It is the most northernmost point of Oki territory and was an important location to watch the roads into the valley. To that point, the south corner of the castle embankment has a wider and higher space so it's thought to have been a watchtower base (yaguradai). The castle is just to the side of the Karenji Temple today but it is private property. Please ask permission at the house alongside to enter. The owner is an incredibly nice person and a member of the local tourism association. He also maintains the site on his own.
Okishi Castle I is about 100m along the same hilltop as Uchikoshi Castle. It is comprised of several terraced baileys along the natural contours of the hill. Some of have been partly built over for houses.
Okishi Castle III is directly across the valley from Uchikoshi Castle. It is the largest and most extensive of the Oki castles. It is like a typical mountaintop castle with three large baileys along the ridgeline with some smaller side baileys. The castle features several well preserved trenches and earthen embankments making it an enjoyable visit.
Okishi Castle II is on the hilltop south of Okishi Castle III and just across the valley from Okishi Castle I. The main bailey is 30m x 30m but part of it has been eroded or developed over so the entrance is no longer visible. Other small side baileys can also be found around the hilltop. Originally the main bailey was ringed by an earthen embankment but it seems to have been all eroded away. This was likely a fortified residence of an Oki branch family.
Sunasaka Castle is located on the next hill over from Okishi Castle II. It is primarily 2 baileys with the main bailey 20m x 30m. A couple smaller levelles side baileys may also be seen.
Okishi Castle IV is located on the far western end of this range of hills and about 500m directly south of Oki Castle. It is a smaller 20m x 20m yakatajiro.
The Oki group of castles is situated in Northern Koka about a 30 minute walk from Terasho Station to the nearest castle, Oki Castle. I did not have time to visit them all last season but I included their information here to be comprehensive. They will be easy updates when I visit them next season.
|English Name||Oki Castle (Koka)|
|Alternate Names||Oki Yakata|
|Year Founded||15th C.|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Terasho Sta. (JR Kusatsu Line), 30 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Daikoji Temple, open 24/7|
|Time Required||15 mins|
|Location||Koka, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 55' 56.46" N, 136° 11' 44.09" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||2022|
|Admin Visits||February 25, 2022|
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