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Trace of Sengoku

The ruins, graves and historical spots related to Sengoku Period and early Edo Period.

The ruins of Ichijodani Asakura Clan

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The ruins of Ichijodani Asakura Clan (一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡) is the ruins of the castle town of Asakura Clan and the former capital of Echizen located in Fukui. This historical site is designated as national historic site and special national landscape.
Also, the relics found in this place are registered as the important national properties. Ichijodani is the only site which designated three important categories at once. There are four beautiful uncovered gardens which are still beautiful sceneries today. The ruins of Asakura Yoshikage's house is also another great site in Ichijodani.

Tourist Info.
There is a parking.

0. at Fukui Station
1. use Local bus to Ichijodani Bukeyashiki mae (30 min.)


Karamon Gate (唐門)
... is located at the entrance of the ruins of Yoshikage's house. This gate is not from the house, but it was originally the gate of temple established by Hideyoshi. Legend said, Hideyoshi built the temple dedicated to Asakura Yoshikage after the fall of Asakura clan. Therefore, there are Kamon of Asakura clan in the front, and Kamon of Toyotomi clan at the back. This gate was rebuilt in the middle of Edo period, and placed here later.

The ruins of Asakura Yoshikage's House
This house was also the government office of the land of Echizen. It has 6,400 sqm wide and surrounded by moat and earthworks. Each side have gates, and backside is protected by mountain slope. There were 16 buildings in this residence, and 2 wells. However, there is no lavatory found. Ichijodani was divided by two area. The east side of Ichijodani river was the residence of the lord of Asakura and Asakura clan. West side of the river was for the citizens and Samurai. To keep the ground clean on eastern residence, they placed no lavatory on their houses. In this area, they found the stable. Because the stable stood on the basement stones, it considered that the stable had a wooden floor to prevent the drops of horses from reaching the ground. Also, they don't find any trace of women's location from this area.

The flower garden was also discovered in this residence. It is the oldest flower garden found so far in Japan.

Gardens of Ichijodani
There are 4 gardens in Ichijodani. They are designated as the special national landscape.

Yudono Garden:
The oldest garden in Ichijodani. There is no record about the use of this garden. This garden is so old and traditional so that it has own history. Some of Japanese artist visited this garden and they spend a day just watching this garden.

Yakata Garden:
This garden was probably built at the last. It is very small but has a stone floor at a pond.

Nanyoji Garden:
This is the garden where Asakura Yoshikage had a welcome party for 15th Muromachi Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshikage.

Suwa House garden:
It is the largest garden in Ichijodani. It was built by Yoshikage for his wife, Koshosho. There are over 100 stones, a large pond and waterfalls. The huge stone placed in the middle of this garden is the memorial monument of Asakura former lords, Sadakage, Takakage and the general Soteki.

The ruins of an iron factory and a glass factory
As well as other famous and powerful Daimyo, Asakura clan also had an iron factory for their weapons. Also, the biggest discovery was the glass factory. For long time, glass was imported from China during the Sengoku period. However, because of this discovery, Japan had a technology of glass making already at this period. This also proof that how Ichijodani was advanced at that time.

Asakura Takakage (朝倉孝景)
... was 7th lord of Asakura clan who moved the capital of Echizen to Ichijodani and built the city of over 10,000 population. He was one of the Sengoku heros during the beginning of Sengoku Period. He was born in 1428, and soon he succeeded Asakura clan. Asakura clan was one of the principal retainers of Shibashi clan who the Muromachi governor of Echizen land.

In 1458, a war happened between Shibashi clan and Kai clan, which both of them are Muromachi governor of Echizen land.Takakage supported Shibashi clan and lead them great victories.

In 1460, Takakage raise his army to defeat a riot of Ikko Buddhism of Kanto region and Totoumi land.

In 1466, Onin War happened. Takakage supported Shibashi clan and fought for the Western Union. He defeated many generals of the Eastern Union, Including Honekawa Doken.

However, he betrayed his lord Shibashi and Western Union for the offer from Shogun Yoshimasa which gave Takakage the land of Echizen. He defeated Shibashi and all other feudal lords of Echizen, and became the Muromachi governor of Echizen land instead of Shibashi clan.

He moved the capital of Echizen to Ichijodani. Ichijodani became the 3rd biggest city at that time, and people considered it the Little Kyoto. He loved Japanese linked verses and poems. Takakage welcomed many nobles, high priests, litterateur and poets those who escaped from Kyoto during the confusion of Onin War. They brought the art and culture of Kyoto which helped the florescence of Ichijodani.

In 1481, he died and his sone Ujikage succeed. His brothers helped his son to unified Echizen land.

He joined over 20 battles and he lead victories for most of the battles.

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