Kawaura Kuchidome-bansho Gated Checkpoint

A gated checkpoint that later became Kawaura Kuchidome-bansho was installed along Chichibu Okan Road in 1384, as the road was instrumental in carrying supplies to and from Chichibu and Kofu, and it was also used for military purposes. Thereafter, Takeda Shingen developed the nine roads collectively called “Kai Kusuji” that radiated out from Kofu, and began installing checkpoints at Kawaura and other important traffic points. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), the Shogunate systematized the installation of checkpoints and forbid any private installation of checkpoints by feudal domain lords. However, in all domains, the inflow and outflow of people and goods were controlled by installing Bansho guard stations and Kuchidome-bansho checkpoints at important traffic points leading to other domains and to territories of the Shogunate, and local villagers took turns standing guard as sentries. Kawaura Kuchidome-bansho consisted of a sentry box and gate on a 15-tsubo-area land (1 tsubo ≈ 3.3m2), and two sentries worked a 24-hour shift per day. It is said that travel permits were issued so they would be collected at Tochimoto checkpoint in Chichibu.


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