Himeji Domain (2/2)Ruled by prestigious families such as Terumasa Ikeda and the Sakai family.

himeji domain

Ikeda family crest “Bizen butterfly”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Himeji Domain (1749-1871)
Hyogo prefecture
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Himeji castle

Himeji castle

National treasure tower
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The reason why the ruling family changed so rapidly was that Harima Province was a key location for the shogunate, and that successive feudal lords often died when their successors were young.

Therefore, the Himeji domain became a domain ruled by the parent domain with 150,000 koku, and it became customary for the domain lord to switch countries if he died while his successor was young.

Therefore, the family ruled changes every 1st to 3rd generation.
Among the successive feudal lords was Tadahiro Matsudaira, who was the trigger for the Shirakawa Riots.
With so many changes of country, many of the feudal lords were replaced without making much progress.
However, there were some daimyo who left their name behind and became famous through unexpected circumstances.
I am Naonori Matsudaira, the second generation head of the Echizen Matsudaira family. He was the unlucky man who had the most experience of changing countries among the daimyo, and was nicknamed the ``moving daimyo.''

In 2019, a movie called "Moving Daimyo" was released, which depicts the story of when Naonori Matsudaira was ordered to transfer from the Himeji domain to the Hita domain.

Mitsuhiro Oikawa played the role of Naonori Matsudaira, and Gen Hoshino played the moving magistrate Harunosuke Katagiri, making it a hit. Furthermore, this heirloom spear that had been passed down to the Matsudaira family, the ``Mitegi'', suddenly gained popularity when it appeared in the browser game ``Touken Ranbu,'' which started service in 2015, and now a replica is preserved in Mishima City. It has become a tourist resource.

Reign of the Sakai family

Now, after a period of rapid changes in the ruling family, Tadayasu Sakai became the lord of the Himeji domain. Tadayasu Sakai held power as Nishinomaru Roju even before the 9th Shogun Tokugawa Ieshige became Shogun. After Tokugawa Ieshige became the 9th Shogun, he became the head of the Roju. Tadayasu Sakai was both an elder statesman and the 9th lord of the Ueno-Maebashi domain, but the Ueno-Maebashi domain was a land where the Tone River was flooded one after another, making his reign difficult. Considering that the income from the annual tax was too low to maintain the status of the Sakai family, he moved to Himeji in order to rebuild the Sakai family's finances.

Sadatsune Kawai, the chief retainer of the Sakai family, opposed this change of country until the very end, but the change of country was carried out by force. As a result, Sadatsune Kawai invited the chief retainer Honda Mitsakaki and servant Inuzuka Matauchi, who were active in changing Himeji provinces, into his house, killed them, and later committed suicide.

Furthermore, the Himeji domain, which had changed its country to this point, experienced a major drought in the summer and many uprisings occurred, leading to a large-scale uprising called the ``Kan'en Great Uprising.''

Furthermore, in July, just before Tadayasu Sakai entered Himeji, a typhoon hit, and the aforementioned Sadatsune Kawai opened Himeji Castle on his own initiative and accepted the refugees. There is a record that he gave away stockpiled rice.

Moreover, another typhoon struck in August, and Sakai Tadayasu's plans were thwarted, and the Himeji domain fell into disrepair to the point where it was no longer possible to collect the annual tax, and the Sakai family's finances became even tighter.

However, the Sakai family overcame this difficult situation and continued to rule the Himeji domain until the end of the Edo period. Finances improved during the time of the third lord, Tadamichi Sakai. Tadamichi Sakai appointed a person named Michiomi Kawai as a chief retainer, and ensured that the peasants in his territory had a storehouse (food stockpiling system) and meikakin (emergency savings in case of disaster).
After that, the government rebuilt its finances by encouraging the cultivation of cotton, putting sericulture under its direct control, and focusing on commercial crops such as sugarcane cultivation.

In addition, merchants in Osaka had the right to sell cotton at this time, but because the legal wife of Tadamichi Sakai's eighth son, Tadanaka, was the daughter of the 11th shogun, Ienari Tokugawa, they had the right to buy and sell cotton with the backing of the shogun family. This means that it was placed under the direct control of the domain.

The Himeji domain, which had rebuilt its finances, had a succession of short-lived feudal lords, but the domain's government remained stable.
The Sakai family once again appeared on the center stage of history during the era of the 8th feudal lord, Tadayuki Sakai. Tadayuki Sakai became the last elder statesman of the Edo shogunate, and worked hard to take measures against the Imperial Court regarding matters such as the opening of Hyogo Port.
He is a character whose name often appears in historical novels set at the end of the Edo period.

Furthermore, Tadayuki Sakai and his son, Tadayoshi Sakai, were accused of being responsible for the Battle of Toba-Fushimi during the Boshin War, and were ordered to remain in captivity by the Meiji government. He was also stripped of the titles of dairo and roju, and was prohibited from getting involved in politics. Furthermore, in the Meiji period, he was ordered to purge the Sabaku faction vassals of the Himeji domain.

However, Sakai Tadayuki and Sakai Tadayatsu were later pardoned and both were appointed to the peerage. The last feudal lord, Tadakuni Sakai, enrolled in Keio University and went on to study in the United States, but died at the young age of 25.

Summary: Later Sakai family

The Sakai family, the lords of Himeji, ended when they were in their teens, but the bloodline continues to be passed down.
Tadamasa Sakai, a prewar politician, married Tadakuni Sakai's grandson, Akiko, and adopted her as her son-in-law. After serving as the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, he served as the first chairman of the Yokozuna deliberation committee for sumo wrestling and the first chairman of the Japan Pro Wrestling Association. .
The current head of the Sakai family, Tadateru Sakai, is a businessman who runs a ranch in Australia and is active as an equestrian.

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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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