Ozu domainproduced many famous scholars

Ozu domain

Wakisaka family crest “ring difference crest”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Ozu Domain (1608-1871)
Ehime Prefecture
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Ozu Castle

Ozu Castle

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The Ozu clan was a domain that ruled the area from Ozu City to Iyo City in Ehime Prefecture. Takatora Todo, who was said to be a master of castle construction, was the first lord of the domain, and through the Wakisaka family, the Kato family ruled the domain until the end of the Edo period. It is known as the domain that owned the steamship Irohamaru operated by Ryoma Sakamoto. Let's unravel the history of the Ozu clan.

Ozu domain until the Kato family ruled

The land of Ozu was given to Todo Takatora through the Iyo Utsunomiya clan, Takakage Kobayakawa, father of Hideaki Kobayakawa, and Katsutaka Toda. Todo Takatora significantly renovated Ozu Castle, which was then called Jizogatake Castle, into a modern castle. Todo Takatora was transferred to the Ise-kunitsu domain in 1608, but Ozu remained his fief. Later, Yasuharu Wakisaka, one of the Seven Spears of Shizugatake, was transferred from Awaji, and the Ozu Domain was founded at this time. The land of Ozu had previously been called Otsu, but when the Wakisaka family moved there, the name was changed to Ozu.

Yasuharu Wakisaka was already of a certain age at this point, so after the Osaka Campaign, he handed over the headship of the family to his second son, Yasumoto Wakisaka, and retired. His successor, Yasumoto Wakisaka, was transferred from Iyo Ozu to the Shinano Iida domain for 55,000 koku in 1617. The accomplishment of the Wakisaka family and Takatora Todo was to renovate Ozu Castle into a modern castle. Ozu Castle is unusual for a castle that was extensively renovated in the early Edo period, and records such as drawings have been passed down well into the Showa period, which was useful when the castle tower was rebuilt using traditional wooden architecture.

Reign of the Kato family

After Yasumoto Wakisaka moved to Shinshu, Sadayasu Kato was transferred from the Yonago domain of Hoki Province for 60,000 koku. As a result, the Kato family ruled the Ozu domain for 12 generations until the Meiji Restoration, but the path was not always smooth.

The first lord of the domain, Sadayasu Kato, died suddenly in 1623 without setting a successor. Afterwards, the eldest son, Yasuoki, had an audience with the second shogun, Hidetada Tokugawa, and was granted inheritance. At that time, his younger brother Yasutaka received an informal offer of 10,000 koku and established the Shintani clan. However, his eldest son Yasuoki did not approve of this, and the family turmoil continued until 1639. In the end, Yasuoki was satisfied with this decision through Uchibun Bunchi (a form of establishing a new domain without reducing the kokudaka given to him by the shogun), and the family disturbance was settled.

Since the third lord, Yasitsune Kato, the lords have not achieved any notable achievements. On the contrary, the Kato family had many rulers with a scholarly temperament, and their vassals also tended to be strongly influenced by this.

Perhaps because of this, it produced such famous scholars as the Yomei scholar Nakae Toki in the early Edo period and the Japanese scholar Yano Gendo in the late Edo period. Toki Nakae is a strong-willed man who left his domain and returned to Omi (Shiga Prefecture) for health reasons and out of filial piety to his mother.

Gendo Yano lived until 1898 and was deeply involved in the administration of education and education during the Meiji period.
Furthermore, Morobuchi Mise, who was not only a scholar but also Siebold's disciple and studied medicine, was also from the Ozu domain.
Morobuchi Mise married Takako Kusumoto, Siebold's granddaughter, and worked to establish Osaka Medical School and Hospital, the predecessor of Osaka University School of Medicine, from the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji period. Although he died young at the young age of 39, his contributions to the development of Japanese medicine are significant.

The Ozu domain suffered from financial difficulties from an early stage, as it often held positions for the shogunate, such as entertaining Korean envoys, but it was not affected by natural disasters and means of earning cash, such as wax, were established early on. As a result, the domain was managed stably until the Meiji era without experiencing severe financial difficulties.

Therefore, at the end of the Edo period in 1866, the company purchased a British steamship owned by the Satsuma clan and named it the Irohamaru. The Irohamaru was operated by the famous Kaientai, to which Ryoma Sakamoto belonged, but in 1867 it collided with the steamship Meikomaru owned by the Kishu clan and sank. . This is the Irohamaru Incident. After this accident, there is an episode in which Ryoma Sakamoto cooperated with Shojiro Goto, a Tosa feudal retainer who was in charge of negotiating, to negotiate compensation with the Kishu Domain, and ultimately succeeded in getting the domain to pay a large amount of compensation. .

After that, during the battles of Toba and Fushimi, the Ozu clan cooperated with the new government's army and played an active role as a king's domain. Perhaps because of his accomplishments, the last feudal lord, Yasuaki Kato, served as a vanguard for Emperor Meiji's parade to Tokyo.
In the Meiji period, the Kato family was appointed as a viscount, and Yasumichi Kato, the second son of Yasuaki Kato, held various positions including a commissioned officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a ceremonial official, a chamberlain, an Imperial Household Secretary, and an Empress Palace Secretary.


Perhaps because the Ozu domain was located in Shikoku, far from Edo, there were no notable incidents other than the family disturbances at the beginning of the domain's establishment, and the domain's government was stable. Although there were many feudal lords whose lives were short-lived, there were also many who devoted themselves to learning. In return, the domain produced many excellent scholars and doctors, which paved the way for the rise of modern Japan.

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Writer(Writer)I am a writer who loves history, focusing on the Edo period. My hobbies are visiting historical sites, temples and shrines, and reading historical novels. If there is a place you are interested in, you can fly anywhere. I'm secretly happy that the number of sword exhibitions has increased recently thanks to the success of Touken Ranbu.
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