Tosa Domain (1/2)Produced many great figures who were active at the end of the Edo period

Tosa domain

Yamauchi family crest “Tosa oak”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Tosa Domain (1600-1871)
Kochi Prefecture
Related castles
Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle

Existing castle tower
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The Tosa domain is a domain that has been ruled for generations by the Yamauchi family, whose founder was Kazutoyo Yamauchi. The end of the Edo period saw the birth of many great figures who are still popular today, such as Taisuke Itagaki and Ryoma Sakamoto. Let's unravel the history of the Tosa domain.

About Tosa before Kazutoyo Yamauchi ruled

During the Azuchi-Momoyama period, Tosa was the preserve of the Chosokabe clan, who rose from a countryman to a feudal lord. A famous Sengoku daimyo is Motochika Chosokabe, the 21st head of the clan. Motochika Chosokabe built the castle where Kochi Castle is located and began developing the castle town, laying the foundations for the Tosa domain.
However, Morichika Chosokabe, the legitimate son of Motochika Chosokabe, was exiled because he sided with the Western army at the Battle of Sekigahara. Furthermore, Chosokabe Morichika later participated in the Osaka Campaign, was defeated and was beheaded at Rokujo Kawahara in Kyoto, and the Chosokabe family was destroyed.

Kazutoyo Yamauchi joins Tosa

Kazutoyo Yamauchi, the lord of Kakegawa Castle, was given 202,600 koku of Tosa Province on behalf of the Chosokabe family. Since entering Japan, the Yamauchi family has consistently ruled Tosa. Such an example is rare among Tozama daimyo.
When Kazutoyo Yamauchi was granted Tosa, he welcomed the Momodotsuna family, who were masters of castle construction, as his vassals and built a castle on Mt. Otakasaka. This is the current Kochi Castle.

Furthermore, when the Chosokabe family ruled Tosa, there was a group of half-farmers and half-people called ``Ichiryo Gusoku'' in this area, and even after Kazutoyo Yamauchi entered Tosa, he did not follow them and rebelled. I repeated. For this reason, Kazutoyo Yamauchi prepared for rebellion by stationing senior retainers at important points within the domain.
The second lord of the domain, Tadayoshi Yamauchi, inherited the castle and castle town built by Kazutoyo Yamauchi. Tadayoshi Yamauchi inherited the aspirations of Kazutoyo Yamauchi and established the foundations of the domain's government.

Afterwards, he promoted the development of new rice fields and the promotion of industries such as sericulture, using a vassal named Kaneyama Nonaka, but Kaneyama Nonaka used forceful methods, which aroused the resentment of the feudal retainers, and after his downfall, the entire family was imprisoned. There were also incidents such as.
However, the foundation of the domain administration built by Kazutoyo Yamauchi and Tadayoshi Yamauchi was solid, and the domain's finances remained stable until the time of the 8th lord, Toyoshiki Yamauchi.

The fourth lord of the domain, Toyomasa Yamauchi, had a hedonistic personality and wasted the domain's assets, and during the time of the sixth lord, Toyomasa Yamauchi, the Hoei Earthquake occurred and more than 1,000 people died, but the domain's finances were However, it did not reach the point of causing great damage. This was very fortunate.

Tosa domain from the middle of the Edo period onwards

During the time of Toyoshiki Yamauchi, the 8th lord of the Tosa domain, disasters struck the Tosa domain one after another, including the burning down of Kochi Castle in 1727 and a bad harvest due to pests in 1732. In particular, poor harvests led to famine the following year, and the domain's finances were greatly shaken. Yamauchi Toyoshiki borrowed 15,000 ryo from the shogunate to overcome the crisis and embarked on reforming the domain's administration, including organizing the administration, thoroughly regulating customs, and encouraging the iron industry. In particular, efforts were made to focus on the paper industry, which was a major industry, and a domestic production government office was established in an attempt to make it specialized, but as those who opposed this specialization staged a revolt, the reform was only halfway done. Ta.

During the time of the ninth lord, Toyohisa Yamauchi, the Great Tenmei Famine occurred, and the domain's finances became increasingly dire. Yamauchi Toyohisa tries to defuse the situation by borrowing the services of feudal retainers, but it doesn't work. Eventually, the peasants abandoned their land and fled, and finally embarked on a bold reform of the feudal government. The Tosa domain had 200,000 koku, but they reduced the formality to 100,000 koku to save money, strengthened the five-member group, and dismantled the wholesaler system. As a result, there are records that the domain's finances finally began to recover.

However, in 1797, during the era of the 10th feudal lord, Toyosaku Yamauchi, the Goshi riot broke out due to the murder of Goshi Tōgo Takamura. As a result, the Tosa clan's social status system of upper clan and lower clan began to be shaken.
Some say that this laid the groundwork for Tosa clan warriors who were active at the end of the Edo period, including Sakamoto Ryoma.

The 11th lord, Toyooki Yamauchi, died young, and his successor, Toyosuke Yamauchi, the 12th lord, expanded the domain's school and teaching hall and encouraged advances in literature and medicine, despite suffering great damage to the domain's finances due to the Great Tenpo Famine. Did. Additionally, during this period, incidents were occurring that further undermined the social status system in Tosa, such as village headmen in Tosa's hometowns forming a secret alliance and competing with the headmen to demand better treatment. It is also said that this secret alliance had a great influence on the son-no-joi movement at the end of the Edo period.

The 13th feudal lord, Toyoshi Yamauchi, introduced Western artillery and encouraged literary and martial arts. In addition, he continued to rebuild the domain's finances through the Edict of Thrift, and put effort into hiring talented people regardless of their social status, including Kahei Mabuchi. However, unfortunately, he passed away at the young age of 34. As a result, the feudal government reform essentially ended in failure.

Tosa domain at the end of the Edo period

The 15th lord of the domain, Toyonobu Yamauchi, was a classy man who called himself the ``Marquis of the Sea of Whales,'' and he carried out bold reforms in the domain's administration, and was later called one of the ``Four Wise Marquis of the End of the Edo Period.'' Ta.
Because he was from a branch family with only 1,500 koku, he disliked the previous feudal government that heavily relied on clansmen and former vassals, and appointed Toyo Yoshida, a central figure in the reformist group ``Shin-Okoze-gumi.''

The article on Tosa Clan continues.

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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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