Capital of Ancient Kai Province

 

Archeology of Fuefuki City


From antiquity to the Middle Ages - a period spanning more than a thousand years - Fuefuki City was the center of Kai province. Visitors can experience the history of Japan, from the Jomon period, through the Kofun and Nara periods in which huge tumuli were erected, and the Sengoku period in which a powerful warlord, Takeda Shingen of Kai, rose to power.

 

Kofun Period


High ranking persons of the Kofun period were buried under a huge mound of earth to show their power, much like the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. They were buried along with burial items such as earthenware, iron swords, mirrors, harnesses and saddles that show the high standard of pottery and metal work at this time.

 

Oka Choshizuka Tumulus


The largest tumulus in Fuefuki City (105m long). The tumulus and its surroundings are now in Yatsushiro Furusato Park. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the town from the top of the tumulus.

Shakado Excavation Site


An excavation site where 1,116 clay figures were found, one of the largest numbers to be found in one place in Japan. Other than figures, more than 30 tonnes of items, including Jomon earthenware, stone implements, and ornaments were excavated from this site.

 

Ancient Period to the Middle Ages


The oldest Buddhist temple in Yamanashi Prefecture, now in ruins and called 'Teramoto Kodai Jiin' was built in the late 7th century, and half a century later, the Kai Kokubun-ji and Kai Kokubun-niji temples were erected. These temples not only spread Buddhism after it arrived from the continent, but also played important roles in advancing civilization.

 

Ruin of Teramoto Kodai jiin


This temple was thought to be the first in Kai province and the location also had a provincial government office in the early days. In the neighboring area, several ruins, including the Kokufu ruins, can be seen.

Kokubun-ji and Kokubun-niji temples


Built in 741, Kokubun-ji is one of the Buddhist temples established in each of the provinces of Japan by the Emperor Shōmu. Kokubun-niji, a nunnery dedicated to the Land of Happiness for women, was built approximately 500m to the north of Kokubun-ji.

 

Sengoku Period


In the middle of the Heian period, a warrior class appeared. After the Kamakura period, the warrior class rose to power. The most powerful clan, Minamoto, had created ties with Kai province by the Middle Ages, and the Kai Takeda clan, a branch of the Minamoto clan, started to govern Kai province. Their base was in present-day Fuefuki City, thus the city is blessed with numerous historical documents, materials and cultural artifacts.

 

Yamanashioka Jinjya shrine


A Shinto shrine with a strong connection to the Takeda clan and the Tokugawa shogunate family. Daidai Kagura, a Shinto theatrical dance, performed on the 4th and 5th of April every year, is also called 'Kagura on Takeda Shingen's departure for the field', and is said to have been dedicated to his victory.

Asama jinjya shrine


The original small shrine was built in 865, to pray for the calming of Mount Fuji, which had erupted in 864. Omiyuki-san Festival, in which men dressed as women parade around carrying portable shrines, is held in April every year to pray for a flood-free year.

 

Museums

 

Shakado Museum of Jomon Culture


The museum displays approximately 1,200 restored earthenware items excavated from Shakado and nearby sites, among which are many examples of earthenware from the middle period, covering all the known styles.

Kasugai Kyodokan


The history and culture of the area from the Jomon period are presented with easy-to-understand displays under the theme of 'The capital of Kai province, a Jomon millennium'.

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum


Here can be found interactive displays on the history and culture of Yamanashi Prefecture, including hands-on-artifacts. Visitors can try dressing in the clothes of bygone days, participate in games experiencing the life of the Edo period or listen to the dialect and folksongs of the area.