Name: The Giant Zelkova of Yana Hachimanguu (梁八幡宮のケヤキ)
Type: Zelkowa serrata
Trunk Circumference: 6.5m
Location: 栃木県小山市梁 (36° 19′ 13″N 139° 53′ 23″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-28
Yana Hachimanguu is near the border with Ibaraki. From here to the Oyama City Office, as the crow flies, is 8km, but to the Yuki City Office, in Ibaraki, it’s a mere 2km.
On the grounds, this is the biggest zelkova. There’s an incredibly large bump or burl on the base of this tree. I know not why.
In Bunji 5 (文治５年, 1189CE) Yuki Tomomitsu (結城朝光), who joined Minamoto no Yoritomo‘s (源頼朝) army when he marched to subjugate the Northern Fujiwara (奥州藤原氏), built Yana Hachimanguu to help protect his castle from demons. Yuki Castle was to the southwest of here, meaning Yana was to the northeast, the unlucky direction.
One expects that these are stories of the distant past, unknown to this zelkova.