Mt. Oe (大枝山) (大枝山)

Mt. Oe (大枝山): A mountain located in Kyoto Prefecture. The mountain is located in the boundary between Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City, and Kameoka City. Its altitude is 480 m. It is also called 大江山 (Mt. Oe) (in "Manyoshu" (Japan's oldest anthology of poems)) or 大井山 (Mt. Oi) (in "Nihon Koki" (the third of the six official national histories)). It sometimes indicates Oino-saka-toge Pass, which is 230 meters high, located on the north-side slope of this mountain.

In the past, the pass of Mt. Oe (大枝山) was called 'Oeno-saka Slope' (大江坂), but is now referred to as Oino-saka Slope (老の坂) (Oino-saka-toge Pass (老ノ坂峠)).

People using the Sanin-do Road from Heian-kyo, passed through Oeno-seki (the Oe gate station) placed on Oeno-saka Slope, located in the boundary between Yamashiro Province and Tanba Province, in order to bid farewell to the capital; therefore, it was known as a place of utamakura (a place name often used in ancient Japanese poems) (even before the capital was moved to Heian-kyo, this route was used for going to Heijo-kyo via Yodo-gawa River). Due to its strategic location from a transportation and military perspective, it was recorded that, in Jowa-no-hen (Jowa Incident) and in Hogen-no-ran (Hogen Disturbance), many were stationed to prevent suspicious persons from entering or exiting the capital. It is also known that famous military commanders passed through here: For examples, it is said that MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune, famous for Ichinotani-no-kassen (Battle of Ichinotani), Takauji ASHIKAGA attacking Rokuhara Tandai (an administrative and judicial agency located at Rokuhara, Kyoto) and Mitsuhide AKECHI, famous for Honnoji-no-hen (Honnoji Incident) passed through here on their way to battle. A sekisho (checking station) was placed here in the Muromachi period. It was recorded that, when Tadatoshi (Joan) NAITO (later a retainer of Yukinaga KONISHI), who was known as a Christian daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) was the lord of a small territory, missionaries, including Luis FROIS, were invited by Tadatoshi and visited Tanba via here.

This place was designated as one of Shisakai (four boundaries) to prevent unclean influences from outside from entering the Capital of Heian-kyo and to rid the capital of filth generated from within. For this reason, it was known that thieves ousted from Kyoto lived in the areas around Mt. Oe and it was also believed that demons lived there as well. Some legends say that 大江山 (Mt. Oe) in the Shuten Doji folk stories (stories about the leader of a group of bandits that roamed the area) indicates in fact this 大枝山 (Mt. Oe), and a kubi-zuka (a mound where a head is buried) where the head of Shuten Doji is said to have been buried still exists on the south side of Oino-saka-toge Pass.

In the past, Kyoto and Kameoka were connected via Oino-saka-toge Pass, but now, the Shin (new)-Oino-saka tunnel (for National Route 9 and for the Kyoto Longitudinal Expressway) was constructed directly under the pass.

[Original Japanese]