The region around Fukano was the stage for the national unifier Oda Nobunaga's preparations for entering the capital.
The Nantei Kogo grave at Kami-Kasama.

As these examples show, because Fukano was adjacent to the capital region, political refugees and those defeated in power struggles drifted into the area. Contact with this cosmopolitan culture encouraged a high degree of literacy, allowing Iga and Koga provinces to adopt the latest in sophisticated intellectual trends and advanced technology. The influence of those currents runs deep in Fukano, as it is located in the same area.

One surprising historical fact is that Oda Nobunaga traveled to the Kasama District as many as five times, accompanied by Hideyoshi, Maeda Toshiie, Oda Nobuo, Mori Ranmaru and others. The object of these trips was to carry out Nobunaga's plan to get closer to the imperial court and learn the manners and decorum of upper-class society, part of the preliminary preparations for his entry into the capital and invasion of Iga Province.

Two river gorges called Ryuguchi (literally, "mouth of the dragon") are found in the mountains that Sasayuri-ann overlooks from its location in Fukano Village (the Iga Ryuguchi in Nabari City, Mie Prefecture and the Yamato Ryuguchi in Uda City, Nara Prefecture, respectively). The castle of Momochi Tanba (the successive lords of this castle were known by the title "Tamba-mori") stands at the border of the two Ryuguchi, and is known as "Castle Mountain. Today, the descendants of Momochi remain in both areas.

The Momochi are direct descendants of emperor Seiwa. Emperor Godaigo overthrew the warrior government and replaced it with direct imperial rule in 1333, but after his attempt at imperial restoration failed, he fled the capital and escaped to Yoshino, where he established the Southern Imperial Court. The supporters of the Southern Imperial Court (who possessed the three imperial regalia), a portion of the nobility and those whose ancestors who had originally served as guardians of the ancient emperors, changed their appearance as well as their surnames and took up the task of protecting the emperor of the Southern Court. Foremost among the nobility that defended the Southern Court were the Sanjo and Momochi clans. As one would expect, it was no coincidence that bases of the Southern Court were established on the front lines running from Fukano through Kami-Kasama, just over the mountain ridge from the valley that stretches from Yamato Ryuguchi to the Uda River. It is also a strange twist of fate that Sasayuri-ann in Fukano incorporates beams and columns salvaged from traditional Japanese houses in the Yamato Ryuguchi region.

The mansion in Yamato Ryuguchi where Momochi Sandaiyu, progenitor of the Iga ninjas, was born.
A ninja.
Two large beams from a dilapidated old Japanese-style house in Yamato Ryuguchi once owned by the Minami Nobumitsu family were moved to Sasayuri-ann after widening the access road to accommodate construction machinery. This lumber was used to support the wide-open space above the wooden floor. Again, this was not simply a coincidence but an amazing twist of fate. These beams are estimated to be more than 150 years old. A large Zelkova-wood column was also salvaged from the same old house and used as the central column supporting Sasayuri-ann's thatched roof. This column shows evidence of having originally been salvage from an even earlier structure, and is thought to be more than 200 years old.
Giant pine beams and a zelkova main column are salvaged for the restoration of Sasayuri-ann from a dilapidate house in Yamato Ryuguchi.
Sasayuri-ann did not even have a single pinewood beam, and in order to restore the original traditional Japanese construction style, two giant pinewood beams were brought from Yamato Ryuguchi and incorporated into the construction.
The extremely ill matching, newer Japanese cypress columns of the Sasayuri-ann were replaced with recycled antique zelkova columns.
There are many anecdotes that vividly illustrate the hardness of this old wood that developed with age. One example is the trouble craftsmen from Tamamura Toryo, who undertook the restoration of Sasayuri-ann, experienced when reworking the giant zelkova wood columns, including even the unheard of occurrence of breaking nearly indestructible carbide drill bits. The skill of master craftsmen to exhaustively reuse and recycle building materials was known in the terminology of traditional Japanese construction techniques as kanawatsugi (literally "inheriting the golden ring"). This entails saving the columns of houses rotted by Japan's humidity or suffering from termites by replacing their damaged lower portions with a section of new zelkova wood. Three of Sasayuri-ann's columns were given new life by using this method.
A carbide drill bit broken on the old zelkova columns.
A column saved through
the kanawatsugi technique.