Takada DomainMany transfers of related clans and fudai daimyo

Takada Domain

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Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Takada Domain (1598-1871)
Niigata Prefecture
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Takada Castle

Takada Castle

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Takada Domain was a domain located in Echigo Province (near Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture). Sandwiched between the Echizen Fukui Domain, which had a high rice yield, and the Kaga Maeda Domain, the domain was considered important by the shogunate when it was established, as a watchdog for outside daimyo located on the Japan Sea side in the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions. However, the impression of the domain was negatively affected by the removal of the first lord, the Hori family, and then Matsudaira Tadateru, the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu who was put in charge of Takada Domain, and from the mid-Edo period onwards, it was positioned as a place to which related domains and fudai daimyo were demoted. Let's unravel the history of Takada Domain.

Successive demotions of the Hori family and Matsudaira Tadateru

After the Sengoku period, Echigo Province was ruled by the Gamo and Uesugi clans, and was given to Hori Hideharu, who made great contributions in the Gobunroku Invasion and the construction of Fushimi Castle. At that time, the territory's rice yield was 300,000 koku. Hori Hideharu was skilled at maneuvering, and after Toyotomi Hideyoshi's death, he approached Tokugawa Ieyasu, and in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 (the 5th year of the Keicho era), he sided with the Eastern Army and was granted confirmation of his territory. However, he died at the young age of 31. He had an eldest son, Hori Tadatoshi, but he was only 11 years old, so a conflict broke out between the chief retainer Hori Naokiyo and his half-brother Hori Naoyori, who wanted to seize real power in the domain. (Echigo Fukushima Disturbance)
This turmoil eventually escalated to the point that Tokugawa Ieyasu had to act, and as a result the Hori family was stripped of their title.

After the Hori family was abolished, the land of Takada was given to Matsudaira Tadateru. He was the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu and married the daughter of Date Masamune, the ruler of the Tohoku region. His father-in-law, Date Masamune, took a liking to him and served as the general manager of the construction of Takada Castle.

However, Matsudaira Tadateru was scheduled to take part in the Summer Siege of Osaka that broke out in 1615, but he was late for the appointed time and, during the march to Osaka, killed two bannermen directly under Tokugawa Hidetada. In addition, despite being tasked with reporting the victory of the Summer Siege of Osaka to the Imperial Court together with Tokugawa Ieyasu, he made the blunder of being unable to attend because he was boating on the Katsura River. As a result, after the death of his father, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa Hidetada, who became the second shogun, stripped Matsudaira Tadateru of his title and exiled him to Asakuma in Ise. Matsudaira Tadateru was then entrusted to Suwa Yorimizu in Suwa, Shinano Province, and passed away at the ripe old age of 92 in Suwa Takashima Castle.

Due to this abolition, construction of Takada Castle came to a temporary halt, and it was nearly 10 years later that construction of turrets and other structures began again.

Echigo Disturbance

After Matsudaira Tadateru was demoted, Takada Domain was temporarily taken over by Sakai Ietsugu, the eldest son of Sakai Tadatsugu, the leader of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings, and ruled together with his eldest son, Sakai Tadakatsu, until Sakai Tadakatsu was transferred to the Shinano Matsushiro Domain. After that, Takada Domain was ruled by the Echizen Matsudaira clan, which began with Matsudaira Tadamasa, the second son of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Yuki Hideyasu. During the rule of the Echizen Matsudaira clan, construction of Takada Castle was finally completed, with the construction of turrets and other structures.

The first feudal lord, Matsudaira Tadamasa, had an older brother named Matsudaira Tadanao, but he was stripped of his title due to bad behavior, so Matsudaira Tadanao quickly inherited the 500,000 koku Kitanosho fief and Takada Domain was inherited by Tadanao's eldest son Matsudaira Mitsunaga. In other words, the positions of uncle and nephew were swapped.
When Matsudaira Mitsunaga was the feudal lord, the Takada domain was hit by a major earthquake, causing the tower that served as a castle tower to collapse, killing more than 100 people.

Mitsunaga was in Edo at the time, but he immediately joined the Takada Domain and worked hard to restore it. In parallel with the restoration work, he focused on industrial promotion, new rice field development, and the development of the Uonuma Silver Mine, with the help of his elder retainers. As a result, the actual kokudaka came to nearly 400,000 koku, despite the official kokudaka of 260,000 koku.

It is no exaggeration to say that Matsudaira Mitsunaga was a wise ruler, but he was not blessed with a successor, and his eldest son died young without leaving any children.
As a result, the selection of a successor was quickly carried out, led by the chief retainer Oguri Masanori, and Matsudaira Tsunakuni, who was 15 years old at the time, was ultimately selected as the successor. However, rumors spread within the domain that Oguri Masanori was plotting to have his eldest son, Oguri Dairoku, succeed him, and eventually more than 800 retainers submitted a letter of opinion to Matsudaira Mitsunaga calling for Oguri Masanori to retire. As a result, Oguri Masanori was relieved of his position as chief retainer and forced to retire, but the turmoil did not subside, and Mitsunaga finally appealed to the shogunate's chief advisor, Sakai Tadakiyo, for a ruling. Sakai Tadakiyo ordered a resolution through negotiation, but this did not settle the turmoil, and ultimately the Echizen Matsudaira family was abolished under the ruling of the fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.

This turmoil became known as the Echizen Disturbance, and Matsudaira Mitsunaga, despite being of Tokugawa blood, was forced into retirement with a stipend of 30,000 bales of rice even after his crimes were pardoned.
After this incident, the Takada Domain became a place where related domains and fudai daimyo were demoted.

The feudal lords who were demoted

After the Echizen Matsudaira clan was abolished, the Takada domain came under direct control of the shogunate for about four years, but eventually the daimyo introduced below were demoted and transferred to other territories.

  • Masamune Inaba: He was one of the members of the faction of the elder statesman Tadayuto Sakai who opposed Tsunayoshi Tokugawa's inauguration as Shogun. As a result, he was relieved of his duties as Kyoto Shoshidai and ordered to be transferred by Tsunayoshi Tokugawa.
  • Toda Tadamasa: Transferred from Sakura Domain, which was close to Edo, due to Toda's departure from the shogunate.
  • Matsudaira Sadashige: He beheaded a samurai named Nomura Masuemon for a minor mistake and also imposed severe punishment on his family, which displeased Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and led to him being transferred from the Kuwana Domain.
  • Sakakibara Masazumi: His uncle, who was the lord of Himeji Castle, ignored the thrift order of the 8th Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, and spent lavishly in Yoshiwara, which caused him to be displeased and he was transferred to the Himeji Domain when he inherited it. However, after moving to the Takada Domain, he ruled with good governance.

This is a case that is similar to the disciplinary personnel changes of today. However, some of the demoted feudal lords later returned to important positions in the shogunate or led good governance in the Takada domain.

The Boshin War and the Takada Domain

When the Boshin War broke out in 1868, the Takada Domain was headed by Sakakibara Masanori, the sixth generation lord after Sakakibara Masazumi. Sakakibara Masanori was unclear about whether to side with the Shogunate forces or the Meiji government forces, but when the war began he submitted to the Meiji government and expelled the Shogunate forces stationed within the domain. As a result, over 200 samurai who could not follow the lord's ideas escaped the domain and eventually joined the Shogitai. The Boshin War ended with the victory of the Meiji government, but the Takada Domain kept many of the surrendered Aizu samurai in its care.

After becoming the governor of the domain, the feudal lord, Sakakibara Masayoshi, was appointed viscount and lived until 1927.


Takada Domain was treated as a place for feudal lords who lost political battles to be demoted, as many feudal lords were demoted from the middle of the Edo period. Therefore, there is little impression that the feudal lords were enthusiastic about the administration of the domain, except for a few lords such as Echizen Matsudaira and Sakakibara Masazumi. Of the more than 100 domains that existed, it was rare to receive such treatment, and one can imagine the heartbreak of the feudal lords who were ordered to be transferred.

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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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