<< Hear the footstep of swordsmen･･･Romantic road of Yagyu >>
After being seen off by various stone Buddhas created from the Heian period
to Kamakura, Muromachi, and Edo period, you will reach to the mountain
village of Yagyu. The mountain village has been getting so much attention
with the novel "Musashi Miyamoto" written by Eiji Yoshikawa and
the place for NHK period dramas so far. You might still be able to hear
the voice of Samurais in such unchanged natural environment there. Those
Samurais would be Sekishusai Yagyu whom Musashi visited twice to fight
for but could not accomplish it after all, then Munenori Yagyu, Jubei Yagyu,
and Mataemon Araki.... Can you imagine what kind of dreams such swordsmen
had in those days while walking this road?
It is officially named as Jingosan Houtoku-ji temple.
In 1638, Munenori Tajimanokami Yagyu constructed the temple for pray of
his late father Sekishusai and the temple became the family temple of the
Yagyus since then. Zen master Takuwan as a friend of Tajimanokami made
the foundation of the temple and the temple is located on the mountain
or Sannoudai with entirely overlooking the village of Yagyu. The place
was considered as the old castle of the Yagyu family or Kakiage castle
so you can find the traces such as stone stairway, roadside canal, and
sentry station there. Sannoudai can be said as a natural castle tower.
The place was located at a border with Yamato (presently Nara prefecture),
Yamashiro (presently Kyoto prefecture), and Iga (presently Mie prefecture)
during the war period and could be the most ideal place to watch war situation's
movement from there.
■Old encampment remain of the Yagyu domain
According to "Old description of the Yagyu domain", the residence
of Muneyoshi Yagyu was located around Momiji-bashi bridge, but Munenori
Tajimanokami Yagyu constructed Houtoku-ji temple in 1638 to pray for his
father Muneyoshi, and then the encampment construction on the hill of Msakizaka
was started and completed in 1942 (1642?) within 3 years. Later, it is
said that Munefuyu build an extension and maintained the building. The
encampment was completely burned down in 1747 and the temporary building
continued to be used as the official building of the Yagyu domain in the
Maiji era, but it was sold in public auction afterward. At present, the
building with remembrance of the past is still maintained as a historic
park and becomes a rest/walking place for the citizens.
■Grave site of the Yagyu family
There is a grave site of the Yagyu family in pine forest, located behind
the mountain (50m of north direction from Houtoku-ji temple). Over 80 successive
mossy tombstones are orderly lined up with the tombstone of Munenori Tajimanokami
Yagyu at the center as well as Muneyoshi Sekishusai and Mitsuyoshi Jubei.
Among those tombstones, the tombstone of Toshichika Yagyu (the second son
of the 8th domain load) gets much attention due to the shape of Sake barrel
foundation, bottle tower, and glass umbrella.