The second Shimizu-jin’ya was established in 1827 by Tokugawa Narikatsu to administer his holdings in the region amounting to around 100,000 koku, a non-trivial fief. Tokugawa Narikatsu was the twelfth lord of Kishū Domain and the fifth patriarch of the Shimizu sub-branch of the Tokugawa. The jin’ya was established when he was 7 and he was dead by 29. Other sources say the jin’ya was established in 1831, meaning Narikatsu would’ve been at the much more mature and responsible age of 11. Even though he died in 1849, the jin’ya was maintained until 1856.
I visited two Shimizu-jin’ya sites in one day! Of course, they were related. This one is Shimizu-jin’ya, and the other is ‘Shimizu-jin’ya (Fuefuki)’ to distinguish them then. The former is in Yamanashi Municipality and the latter is in Fuefuki Municipality, and both are in the historic Yamanashi County.
At this Shimizu-jin’ya site there are the remains of a low stone wall and an irrigation channel said to be the remnant of a moat, but the site is now given over to orchards and a vineyard. Since I had read that there were “moats” and “ishigaki” I was a little disappointed with the fare offered, like when the food pictured in the menu looks totally different on one’s plate! But in compensation there was Kubo-Hachiman Shrine adjacent to the site, and there is some beautifully piled and hewn ishigaki on display there. Swings and roundabouts.
It has been suggested that this site was also that of a medieval fortified residence which the jin’ya was constructed over. The neighbourhood name ‘Deunokoshi デウノコシ’ remains. This probably means ‘城腰’, and is pronounced ‘Jōnokoshi’. デウ is an old way to write the phoneme ‘jō’. Kana, you sweet lamb who has learnt your syllabary by heart, wasn’t actually codified until 1900, and modern kana, which includes the addition of small kana like っ, ゃ, ょ, ゅ so that you can tell the difference between ‘Sho’ and ‘Shiyo’, or ‘katsuta’ and ‘katta’, &c., only dates to 1946. Isn’t that appalling? Part of this reformation of orthography also eliminated antiquated spellings like the one above; ‘deu’ is actually an easy relic to detect because that sound is otherwise very uncommon in modern Japanese.
For information on the first Shimizu-jin’ya see Shimizu Jin'ya (Fuefuki).
|Higashi-Yamanashi Station on the Chūō Main Line; 25 minute walk
|24/7 free; fields
|Yamanashi, Yamanashi Prefecture
|35° 42' 16.49" N, 138° 41' 17.20" E
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