Shimabara Domain (1/2)The stage of the largest civil war of the Edo period, the Shimabara Rebellion

Shimabara domain

Arima family crest: “Five melons and Chinese flowers”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Shimabara Domain (1616-1871)
Nagasaki Prefecture
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Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Castle

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The Shimabara domain was a domain that ruled the area around Shimabara, Hizen Province. When it was first established, it was called Hinoe Domain. Shimabara Castle was the domain office, and two Tozama daimyos and four Fudai daimyos lived there until the end of the Edo period.
The Shimabara Domain was the scene of the Shimabara Rebellion, said to be the largest civil war of the Edo period.
Let's unravel the history of the Shimabara clan.

Shimabara domain from the Sengoku period to the early Edo period

The Shimabara domain has been the domain of the Hizen Arima clan since the Sengoku period.
Harunobu Arima, who took over as head of the family in 1571, joined the Toyotomi side when Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered Kyushu in 1587, and was relieved of his territory.
Arima Harunobu was a Christian daimyo and is also famous for sending the Tensho Embassy to Europe in 1582 with Sorin Otomo and his uncle Sumitada Omura.

Arima Harunobu sided with the eastern army at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, and was relieved of his territory. At the same time as the Edo Shogunate was established, he became the Hinoe Domain and became the first lord of the domain.

At this time, Japan was not yet isolated from the rest of the world, and Arima Harunobu was actively engaged in the red seal ship trade.
In 1609, the crew of Harunobu's Shuin ship got into a fight with local citizens in Macau, resulting in an incident in which 48 crew members and vassals were killed. The man who put down this conflict was Andre Pessoa, a Dutchman who was the Captain Mor (commander-in-chief) of Macau.

While Arima Harunobu was asking Tokugawa Ieyasu to take revenge, Andre Pessoa arrived in Nagasaki as Japan's Kapitan Mor.

In the 14th year of the Keicho era, Arima Harunobu led his army to attack the Nosa Senhora da Graça on which Andre Pessoa was riding, and tried to capture him, but he lost the crew and scuttled the ship. It's gone.
After this incident, the shogunate sent a man named Daihachi Okamoto to Arima Harunobu to monitor him.
Daihachi Okamoto urged Harunobu Arima, saying, ``Please give me something in return because I will offer Ieyasu the restoration of his former territory.'' Harunobu believed him and sent him a large sum of money.
This is a suspicion case known as the ``Okamoto Daihachi Incident.''
Arima Harunobu and Okamoto Daihachi were captured, Arima Harunobu committed seppuku, and Okamoto Daihachi was beheaded.

However, the territory owned by the Arima family was relieved, and Harunobu was replaced by his eldest son Naozumi Arima, who became the second lord of the domain.
Naozumi Arima was a natural retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu from the age of 15, but he was also a Christian.
In the wake of the Okamoto Daihachi Incident, the shogunate began to ban Christianity, and in 1610, Arima Naozumi divorced his Christian wife, Marta, and made Ieyasu's adopted daughter, Kunihime, his legal wife. Masu.
Furthermore, he persecuted Christians within his territory, killing his 8-year-old and 6-year-old half-brothers who were born to his father Harunobu Arima and his later wife Justa.

Unable to bear the remorse of abandoning his faith and killing his relatives, Naozumi Arima asked the shogunate for transfer, which was accepted, and he was transferred to Hyuga Nobeoka.
This marks the end of the Arima clan's rule. Furthermore, Naozumi Arima later joined the shogunate army during the Shimabara Rebellion and confronted the people of his former territory.

The biggest civil war of the Edo period: the Shimabara Rebellion and the Matsukura family

After the Arima clan was transferred, Shigemasa Matsukura became the lord of the Shimabara domain.
He joined the Eastern Army alone at the Battle of Sekigahara and was recognized by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
It was Shigemasa Matsukura who built the reconstructed Shimabara Castle.

The Shimabara clan's koku was 43,000 koku, but since Shimabara Castle had a five-story castle tower and over 40 turrets and was the kind of castle built by a feudal lord with a total of 100,000 koku, the Shimabara clan quickly found itself in financial trouble. I fell into it.
In addition, Shigemasa Matsukura took on the responsibility of public servants for the reconstruction of Edo Castle on a scale that was not commensurate with his stone height, and the domain's finances became increasingly tight.

In an attempt to rebuild the country's finances, Shigemasa Matsukura imposed heavy taxes on farmers that made it difficult for them to survive.
Furthermore, in accordance with the Edo shogunate's policy of suppressing Christians, in 1621 they began to suppress Christians within their territory.

At first, the oppression was mild, but in 1625, when the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, pointed out the laxity of the measures, the oppression became more severe.

The brutal torture and execution of Christians is also recorded in the records of Dutch trading posts and Portuguese captains.
``Silence'', one of author Shusaku Endo's masterpieces, depicts the harsh oppression of Christians by the Shimabara clan.

This harsh rule over the people continued even after his eldest son, Katsuie Matsukura, became the lord of the domain.
The Shimabara Rebellion was the result of the Shimabara Rebellion, in which the people of Shimabara, who could no longer withstand the situation, rose up mainly among former vassals of the Arima family.
This was joined by the Amakusa rebellion led by Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, resulting in a civil war.

The Matsukura family was unable to deal with this rebellion alone, and the Shogunate finally sent over 130,000 troops to suppress it.
The rebel army hid in the ruined Hara Castle, which was the residence of the Arima clan, and resisted, but the rebellion was suppressed several months after it began.
After suppressing the Shimabara Rebellion, Shigemasa Matsukura was accused of being the cause of the Shimabara Rebellion and was beheaded. He was the only daimyo in the Edo period who was not even allowed to commit seppuku, which shows how severe the punishment was. In addition, Hirotaka Terasawa, who was in charge of Amakusa, had his territory confiscated, and later became mentally unstable and committed suicide. In this way, the Terasawa family became extinct.

In the wake of the Shimabara Rebellion, the shogunate further strengthened its ban on Christianity and moved toward national isolation.
Also, as the number of people in Shimabara decreased drastically, he ordered a large scale migration of farmers to each domain in Kyushu.

Shimabara Domain after the Shimabara Rebellion

The Shimabara Domain, which was devastated by the Shimabara Rebellion, was under the direct control of the shogunate for about four years, but was then entrusted to the Fudai daimyo, Tadafusa Takayuki. Tadafusa Takaki was a daimyo trusted by the third shogun, Iemitsu Tokugawa, and was entrusted with the restoration of Shimabara, which had been devastated.

The article about the Shimabara 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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