The Kamakura era
Utsunomiya in the Kamakura era
A record has remained in a book called “Azuma Kagami” of the Kamakura era, saying that “MINAMOTO no Yoritomo stayed at Kotabashi of Utsunomiya on his way of attacking the Fujiwara clan of Oshu, and worshiped Utsunomiya Daimyojin Shrine, praying for the victory.” Futaarayama-jinja Shrine was admired as god of warfare by military commanders of each era.
In the center of Utsunomiya, a waterside called Kagamiga-ike (mirror pond) was sandwiched between a sacred place led by Futaarayama-jinja Shrine to the north and a political ground around Utsunomiya-jo Castle to the south, facing each other. With Okudaido Road toward Oshu running on the east, it is thought that post stations were developed along the way.
The Utsunomiya clan became a gokenin, an influential retainer family of the Shogunate in the Kamakura era.
The lords of the castle include the 5th Yoritsuna who was involved in the establishment of Hyakunin Isshu (traditional Japanese card game), and the 8th Sadatsuna who took office as generalissimo of the Japanese military on the occasion of Mongolian Invasions, etc.
Many poets are turned out from the Utsunomiya clan and its whole families. The poet group led by the Utsunomiya clan is called Utsunomiya Kadan, poetry circle.
In addition, Tobiyama Castle Site is built as a castle of the Haga clan at this time in the current Takeshita-machi.