Hirata no Sho (平田荘)

Hirata no sho was a manor located in old Yamato Province. It was the biggest manor in Yamato, scattered from Katsuge County to Hirose County.

It ranged from the present Yamatotakada City to Katsuragi City, Koryo-cho, Kita-Katsuragi County.

During the Heian period, the manor was a zoyakumen (land that was excepted from all levies except the regular land tax), and the estate of a Sekkan-ke (family which produced regents and advisers). During the Kamakura period, it was the estate of the Konoe family. Kasuga-taisha Shrine was the ryoke (lord of the manor), and Kofuku-ji Temple Ichijo-in was in charge of the chigyo (fief). During the Muromachi period, the manor was reportedly over twenty-one square kilometers (Daijoin jisha zojiki (Miscellaneous Records of the Daijo Temple and Shrine)). It became the heartland of the Hirata clique (including the Taima, Fuse, Oka, and Manzai clans; while they were in conflict, both the Toma and Fuse clans also called themselves the Takada clan) of Yamato bushi (samurai of Yamato Province). The Hirata clan took charge of important ceremonies, such as the yabusame (horseback archery) for the Kasuga Wakamiya On-matsuri (Kasuga-Wakamiya Shrine festival in Nara -- an annual festival where prayers are made for a good harvest and protection against evil).

[Original Japanese]