Sites & cities that bear the name of Shinoridate


Today in : Japan
First trace of activity : ca. 14th century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 16th century C.E
Recorded names : 志苔館跡, Shinoridate ato

Description : The site of Shinoridate (志苔館跡, Shinoridate ato) in Hakodate, Hokkaidō, Japan, is that once occupied by the Shinori Fort or Fortified Residence (as denoted by the tate or date ending). This was the easternmost of the so-called "Twelve Forts of Southern Hokkaidō", built on the Oshima Peninsula by the Wajin from the fourteenth century. The site was designated a National Historic Site in 1934 and is one of the Japan Castle Foundation's Continued Top 100 Japanese Castles. Shinoridate is located some 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) to the east of the center of Hakodate, along a stretch of coast with many good natural harbours. A short distance inland from Shinori Fishing Port, with the mouth of the Shinori River to the west, the gently sloping site overlooks the Tsugaru Strait and Shimokita Peninsula, with views also towards Mount Hakodate. The earthworks rise to a height of 4 to 4.5 metres (13 to 15 ft) on the north side and 1 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) to the south and are interrupted by an opening on both the east and the west sides. The moat is 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft) wide on the north and west sides and up to 3.5 metres (11 ft) 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.

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