Shinoridate Castle (志苔館)

Shinoridate Castle is the ruin of a Medieval castle in Hakodate City, Hokkaido. It is one of the Donan Juni Kan (12 castles of the Oshima Peninsula) that are thought to have been established by the Kobayashi clan. It is designated as a national historic site.


It stands on a hill with the old Shinori-gawa River to the west, valleys and dales to the east and the sea to the south.

Summary of the Ruins

Excavations were conducted by the Hakodate City Board of Education from 1983 to 1985.

The ruins take advantage of the natural terrain, surrounded by earthen walls and a dry moat shaped like a yagen mortar or box yagen mortar. As a whole, it has a rectangle shape. The interior measures approximately 70-80m from east to west, and approximately 50-65m from north to south, with a surface area of approximately 4,100 square meters. The remains of buildings with hottatebashira (earthfast posts) and wells have been found within the kuruwa (castle walls). The earthen walls are about 4.0 to 4.5 meters high in the northern side and about 1.0 to 1.5 meters high in the southern side. In the northern and western sides, which are outside of the earthen walls, there is a dry moat that is approximately 3.5m deep at its deepest point.

Excavations have unearthed ceramics and porcelain including celadon porcelain, white porcelain, Suzu-yaki pottery, Echizen-yaki pottery and Koseto style pottery which mainly date from the first half of the 15th century. The ages of these artefacts are consistent with the date of the fall of Shinoridate Castle (1457) in the Battle of Koshamain of the same year recorded in "Shinra no Kiroku".

Designation as a Historic Site

The site was designated as a national historic site on August 9, 1934.

In May 1971, the koshiguruwa (compound bounded by earthen walls), the moat, valleys and dales were additionally designated as a national historic site.

The Excavation of a Large Number of Chinese Coins

In 1968, three large Echizen-yaki and Suzu-yaki jars which are assumed to have been buried were excavated at a site 100m southwest of Shinoridate Castle. About 370,000 coins, most of which were Chinese copper coins, were found in the jars. They were nationally designated an Important Cultural Property as "Hokkaido Shinori Chusei Iko Shutsudosen" (lit. Coins Excavated from Medieval Remains in Shinori, Hokkaido), and are deposited at Hakodate Municipal Museum.


Akasaka-cho/Shinori-cho, Hakodate City

[Original Japanese]