Ichijodani - Historical Ruins of the Asakura Clan in Fukui

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In this article we are going to talk a little bit about a tourist spot that takes you to the old period in a Samurai Village of Japan located in the Fukui region. These are the historic ruins of the Asakura clan. I hope you like this short article.

The Japanese site is called Ichijōdani Asakura-shi Iseki [一乗谷朝倉氏遺跡] and is at Kidonouchi in the city of Fukui in the Hokuriku region of Japan. This area was controlled by the Asakura clan for 103 years during the Sengoku period.

These historic ruins and samurai village were designated as Historic Sites in 1971 and, in June 2007, 2,343 artifacts found were designated as Important Cultural Heritage.

Ichijōdani it is a valley close to the Asuwa River with a width of approximately 500 meters and a length of approximately three kilometers. The valley is surrounded by mountains to the east, west and south, and the river to the north, forming a natural fortification.

See below a video of my friend from the Otaku channel in Japan visiting this village of Samurais in the Fukui region that goes unnoticed by many tourists who visit Japan. Perhaps this could be your next goal.

The history of the Asakura clan and the Ichijodani

In 1471, Asakura replaced the Shiba clan as the Shugo military commander of Echizen province. In the same year, Asakura Toshikage (1428-1481) fortified the Ichijōdani by building hilltop fortifications in the surrounding mountains and building walls and gates to seal the northern and southern ends of the valley.

Within this area, he built a fortified mansion, surrounded by the homes of his relatives and retainers and, eventually, the homes of traders and craftsmen and Buddhist temples. It offered refuge to people of Kyoto culture or skills trying to escape the conflict of the Ōnin War, they became an important cultural, military and population center.

At the time of Asakura Takakage (1493-1548), the. valley had a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants. Yoshikage succeeded his father as head of the Asakura clan and lord of the castle at Ichijōdani Castle in 1548.

The Asakura maintained good relations with the shogunate Ashikaga and thus ended up in conflict with Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's capture of Kyoto, Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki appointed Asakura Yoshikage as regent and requested help to expel Nobunaga from the capital.

Ichijodani – ruínas históricas do clã asakura em fukui

As a result, Nobunaga launched an invasion in Echizen province. Due to Yoshikage's lack of military skill, Nobunaga's forces were successful in the siege of Kanegasaki and the subsequent battle of Anegawa in 1570, leaving the entire domain of Asakura open to invasion.

Ichijodani was razed by Nobunaga during the siege of Ichijodani castle in 1573. The excavation of the ruins began in 1967 and continued in 2017, revealing the shape of the entire city, including the lord's house, samurai residences, temples, merchant houses , artisans' houses and streets.

Samurai residences and merchants' quarters have been restored along the 200-meter-long street. Four Japanese gardens were dug up and partially restored.

Approximately 1,700,000 relics have been found in the ruins, of which 2,343 are designated nationally Important Cultural Properties, many of which are on display at the Ichijodani Asakura Family Site Museum.