Obi DomainAs a result of a long dispute with the Shimazu clan, the land belonged to the Ito clan.

Obi Domain

Ito family crest “Iori Mokkou”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Obi Domain (1617-1871)
Miyazaki prefecture
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Obi Castle

Obi Castle

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The Obi domain was ruled by the Hyuga Ito clan for 14 generations throughout the Edo period. Obi Castle, the domain office, was the subject of a battle over ownership between the Shimazu and Ito clans for nearly 100 years from the end of the Muromachi period until Toyotomi Hideyoshi's conquest of Kyushu.
Never before in Japanese history has a single territory (castle) been fought over for such a long period of time between two clans.
Let's unravel the history of the Obi clan.

History of the Ito clan from the late Muromachi period to the Edo period

The Ito clan began when Ito Yutoki, the son of Kudo Suketsune, who was a retainer in Izu, was given the position of landowner in Hyuga by the Kamakura shogunate and moved down.

In the Muromachi period, the Ito clan began to expand its power and expand its territory.
From the end of the Muromachi period to the Sengoku period, the Ito clan repeatedly clashed with the Shimazu clan of Satsuma, which was aiming to conquer Kyushu as the protector of Satsuma.
In particular, Yoshisuke Ito, the 11th head of the Hyuga Ito clan, waged a long campaign called the Obi War, which included Obi Castle, which later became the domain office.

This war becomes a huge commotion that involves the shogunate, with the 13th Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga issuing orders for peace and attempts to bring territories under his direct control.
Neither Mr. Shimazu nor Mr. Ito took a step back.

After a good fight, the Ito clan finally gained possession of the land of Obi and strengthened its defense by building many forts and castles called the Ito 48 Castles, but it was defeated again in a battle called the ``Battle of Kizakihara.'' The territory was regained by the Shimazu clan.

Yuhei Ito, the third son of Yoshisuke Ito, became the first lord of the Obi domain, and after being defeated by the Shimazu clan, he was chased out of Hyuga and served the Oda clan.
After that, Ito Yuhei became a supporter of Hideyoshi Hashiba and was given back the territory he had lost due to his efforts to pacify Kyushu.
Later, during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he secretly sided with the eastern army, which was unusual among the daimyo in Kyushu, and he was given control of his territory after the war.

In 1617, the Obi Domain was officially established when the second shogun, Hidetada Tokugawa, granted him a red stamp granting him 57,000 koku of land.

Furthermore, the first lord of the domain, Yuhei Ito, was already old and sickly at the time of the Battle of Sekigahara, and the second lord, Yuki Ito, was the de facto first lord of the domain.
Yuhei Ito started a cedar (Obi cedar) plantation project within his territory.
This became the foundation that supported the Obi clan's finances until the end of the Edo period.

Obi domain in the Edo period

Forestry became popular in the Obi domain from the early Edo period, when the second lord, Ito Yuhei, began planting cedar trees.
During the reign of the fifth lord, Yumi Ito, in 1662, a major earthquake and tsunami struck the domain, and the finances, which had been in the dark, suddenly deteriorated.

Even so, Yumi Ito tried to rebuild the domain's government by encouraging tree-planting, making sweet potatoes self-sufficient, and establishing a goshi system.

Furthermore, during this period, a dispute broke out over the boundaries of the territory with the Satsuma domain, which was owned by the Shimazu clan, but he won the Ushi-no-toge boundary dispute and worked hard to stabilize and develop the domain by determining the boundaries of the domain. did.
However, natural disasters continued to occur one after another, including large-scale fires in the castle town.

After that, the 9th lord of the domain, Yusuke Ito, established a forestry and afforestation system called ``Sugigatabe Ippō.''
Also, during the Great Tenmei Famine, large-scale tree planting was carried out to help the common people, and the profits were used to help the people suffering from starvation.
This tree-planting project was successful, and the domain's finances, which had been in a critical state during the era of the 11th feudal lord, Suketami Ito, were able to recover.

During the era of the 13th Ito Yuso, the world reached the end of the Edo period. While the Satsuma domain became the center of the Meiji Restoration, the Obi domain did not play a significant role. However, within the domain, he implemented policies to promote industry, reform the military system, build artillery forts for coastal defense, encourage sericulture, and establish the Obi domain's teachings, thereby enriching the lives of the people of the domain and striving to discover human resources.

After that, in the Meiji period, they followed the new government army and served as defenders of Nijo Castle and Kofu Castle during the Boshin War.

The last lord of the domain, the 14th generation Yuki Ito, whose second wife was Tomomi Iwakura's sister-in-law.
Therefore, when he moved to Tokyo after serving as the governor of the domain due to the abolition of domains and establishment of prefectures, at the request of Tomomi Iwakura, he sent a letter to the samurai class in Obi asking them not to follow Takamori Saigo.
After receiving the title of viscount, he died in Tokyo in 1894 at the age of 40.

Summary: A domain ruled by a family that protected the territory they acquired after fighting for nearly 100 years.

The Obi clan is one of the few clans in Kyushu that was ruled by a single family from its establishment until the Meiji Restoration.
The Ito family moved to Hyuga during the Kamakura period, and since the end of the Muromachi period they have been fighting with the Shimazu clan over ownership of Hyuga land, including Obi.

In order to protect the territory that he had finally obtained after fighting for nearly 100 years, the Ito clan started planting Obi cedar trees and cultivating sweet potatoes from an early stage, and worked hard to develop the territory.
None of the 14 feudal lords held important positions in the shogunate, and did not play an active role at the end of the Edo period.
To that extent, he ruled for the development of his territory, which had been prone to natural disasters, and for the happiness of his people.
Although many feudal lords died young, their lineage continues uninterrupted to the present day.

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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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