On Wednesday morning I went to the infamous Inunaki Dam to once was Inunaki Valley Village to see some castle ruins.
Inunaki Gobekkan (Annex) was built in 1865 as a kind of Fukuoka (aka Maizuru) castle no.2. Fukuoka castle’s position on the coastline was less than ideal. High ranking samurai Katō Shisho recommended this new castle or annex be built in the old Inunaki Valley Village surrounded by the steep mountains. It was to be a fortress to defend against foreign forces and a place for the Feudal Lord to escape to and hide away in an emergency.
This is also documented in an inscription on a monument to Katō Shisho in the annex grounds. “海邊近キ舞鶴城ノ不便ト此ノ地此ノ溪谷ヲ以テ第二ノ福岡城トナシ以テ一朝有事ノ際ニ備エントシテ犬鳴ノ別館ヲ築ク”
However, just 6 years later, the Han system of government was abolished and the Annex was left abandoned. It holds historical importance as it was built by the last of the Fukuoka feudal clan. In 1884 it was destroyed in a storm.
The Feudal Lord and governor, Kuroda Nagatomo stayed only one night at Gobekkan during an inspection of his domain. Bummer!
After the destruction of the annex, materials were “reappropriated” to private homes in the area and to the nearby Anrakuji temple. Valuable remnants were lost. (I visited the temple, but no one was around to accuse of stealing!)
Inunaki resident Fujishima Miya (1871-1964), recollected that when she was 14 years old she witnessed lines of people taking tatami mats and wood materials from the site daily.
What we can see today is the remains of the front and back gates, high stone walls and the remains of the garden pond.
Although there are no pictures or illustrations of the annex intact, plans were discovered in 1998 in Hisanotei house in Hisayama town. A model is displayed in the Miyawaka Chuo community center. I visited the center and took some pictures.
Here is my video of the site:
Anyway, enough history! The original reason I came here was to set up my trail cam! Inunaki is a great place to see some deer and I wanted to hike along a new trail. I went from the Gobekkan ruins up the mountain that shares the annex’s name, Gobekkanyama.
I’m not sure I found the greatest spot for the trail cam, but we’ll see in a week or two when I come to collect it. I didn’t reach the peak this time. I will when I retrieve the camera.
Thank you always for reading and watching! See you in the next hike!