Hakodate, Japan

The site of Shinoridate (志苔館跡, Shinoridate ato) in Hakodate, is that once occupied by the Shinori Fort or Fortified Residence. This was the easternmost of the so-called 'Twelve Garrisons of Southern Hokkaido', built on the Oshima Peninsula by the Wajin from the fourteenth century. The site was designated a National Historic Site in 1934.

The earthworks rise to a height of 4 to 4.5 metres on the north side and 1 to 1.5 metres to the south and are interrupted by an opening on both the east and the west sides. The moat is 5 to 10 metres wide on the north and west sides and up to 3.5 metres deep and is crossed by two earth bridges, that to the west particularly well-preserved.

First laid out around the end of the fourteenth century, Shinoridate features in the Matsumae Domainal history Shinra no Kiroku, which tells of it being sacked by the Ainu in Chōroku 1 (1457), during Koshamain's War, and again falling to the Ainu in Eishō 9 (1512), after which its occupants, the house of Kobayashi (小林氏), became subject to the Matsumae clan.

The Hakodate City Board of Education conducted excavations and surveys of the enclosure and surrounding area between 1983 and 1985, uncovering the remains of a number of buildings, palisades, a well, artefacts made of bronze, iron, stone, and wood, celadons and white porcelain from southern China, as well as domestic Suzu, Echizen, and Seto ware.

Three different intercolumnar measurements were used in the construction of the buildings, the style of the well is that found in Heian-kyō in the late Kamakura period, while many of the ceramics are typical of the early fifteenth century.

Accordingly, three main phases have been identified: the end of the fourteenth or early-fifteenth century; mid-fifteenth century; and sixteenth century or later. With the archaeological evidence pushing back the origins of the fort at least half a century before Koshamain, its construction can no longer be understood as an immediate response to the contingencies of 1457, and other explanations are required.

Shinori hoard

In July 1968, during widening work on the prefectural road (now National Route 278) that runs past the fort, a Nanbokuchō-period (C14) coin hoard was unearthed some 40 metres inland from the mouth of the Shinori River, at a location 3 metres above sea level. This is the largest hoard found to date in Japan in terms of the number of coins it contains.

The three large vessels excavated weighed, together with their contents, 1.6 tonnes. Ninety-three different types of coin have been identified: a handful in total of early Japanese coinage of the Asuka, Nara and early Heian periods, late tenth-century Vietnamese coinage of the Đinh and Early Lê dynasties, and late eleventh-century Goryeo coinage from Korea; the bulk comprising Chinese coinage, primarily of the Song dynasty, issues ranging in date from 4 Zhu Ban Liang minted in the fifth year of Emperor Wen of Han (175 BC) to Hongwu Tongbao from the first year of the Hongwu Emperor, founder of the Ming dynasty (1368). The 374,435 coins from this hoard now at the Hakodate City Museum have been designated an Important Cultural Property.

A 1999 study of 275 Japanese hoards, totalling 3,530,000 coins, found that the Chinese copper coins used in Japan in the Middle Ages were brought over in the largest number in the thirteenth century, were used primarily in commerce or for paying soldiers, and were buried largely for reasons of security, although there were also instances of ritual or votive deposits. The dating of the Shinori hoard precludes its burial as a response to Koshamain's War; instead it may relate to trade, the local Shinori or Kaga kombu featuring alongside Ezo salmon in the Nanboku-chō period text Teikin Ōrai (庭訓往来). Produce from the area would have been traded along the Hokuriku coast to reach the markets of Kyōto and Ōsaka.





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Hakodate, Japan
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Founded: 14th century
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Japan

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User Reviews

tetsu k (34 days ago)
The Shikokan ruins are located right on the ocean side of Hakodate Airport, on a small hill that rises from the coastline. If you are visiting here, you can park your car on the road leading up to the airport from the national highway. It's close to the airport, so you can hear the sound of planes taking off. Shikokan is said to have been built by the Kobayashi clan, and is the easternmost of the 12 buildings in southern Hokkaido. In 1456 (Yasumasa 2nd year), there was an Ainu uprising and it was conquered. After that, the Kobayashi clan lived in the mansion again, but it was attacked by the Ainu who rose again in 1512, and it is said that the mansion's owner, Yataro Kobayashi, was killed in the battle. Since then, the Kobayashi clan has been subordinated to the Matsumae clan, and the museum has been closed down.
トオルイカラシ (50 days ago)
It feels like a plaza and it feels good to be there. You can clearly see the Tsugaru Strait. You can also see Mt. Hakodate clearly. Stamps of Japan's 100 Famous Castles are placed in the pavilion on the grounds and are open 24 hours a day. In the 15th century, it was the site of a fierce battle between the Ainu people and the Japanese owner of the museum, and the owner died in the aftermath of the fierce battle, but the fact that there is minimal explanation of that and the museum is of little interest. I wonder if it's my fault. There was no one there but me. Visited on April 8, 2024.
Green K (5 months ago)
Shinorikan is a camp with an area of ​​approximately 4,000 square meters, one of the 12 towns in Hakodate City. A gwan was similar in concept to a castle and was the base of the village. The lord of this place was the Kobayashi clan. The time of construction is unclear, but records show that the castle was closed in 1457. A 4-5 meter high mound remains, and during an internal excavation in 1968, hundreds of thousands of coins and other coins were unearthed in jars from the remains of a well at the site of the house. Those classics are on display at the Hakodate City Museum.
YuKi free (6 months ago)
Only the earthworks remain, but it was great to stand on the earthworks and feel the wind all over my body (it was a bit windy that day). For parking, I think it would be best to use the nearby "Airport Green Space Shiori Fureai Hiroba". It takes about 3 to 5 minutes on foot.
Kazuyuki Watanabe (8 months ago)
It has been certified as one of the top 100 castles. One of the 12 medieval Japanese museums in southern Hokkaido. It is located on a plateau along the coast between Hakodate Airport and the Shiori district to the east of downtown Hakodate. The structure is a continuous structure, with a large rectangular main building on a plateau surrounded by earthworks, and other buildings connected to the west side across a dry moat. There is a shrine enshrined in the westernmost enclosure, which is closed and cannot be entered. There are toilets and a pavilion in the third section, and a stamp of the famous castle is also installed inside the pavilion. Although it is well maintained, there is no parking available. Buses leave from Hakodate Station Bus Stop No. 6 about once an hour, but there are times when there are no busses. The nearest bus stop is Shinomori bus stop, and it will be confusing if you approach the castle from the Shinomori Bridge side on the west side.
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