Kumamoto Domain (1/2)Ruled by the Kato family and the Hosokawa family.

Kumamoto domain

Hosokawa family crest “Kuyou”

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

Kumamoto Castle

Yatsushiro Castle

Yatsushiro Castle

related castles

The Kumamoto Domain, also known as the Higo Domain, was a domain that ruled over the area excluding Kuma and Amakusa counties and part of Bungo Province. The domain office was Kumamoto Castle, which was ruled by the Kato family and the Hosokawa family, whose ancestors were Kiyomasa Kato, who was known as a ``master castle builder.''
Let's unravel the history of the Kumamoto clan.

Rule of the Kato family

Higo was ruled by the shugo Kikuchi clan during the Muromachi period, and by the Otomo clan of Bungo Province in the Sengoku period, but in 1587, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered Kyushu, the territory became the property of the Toyotomi family. I did.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi initially appointed Sassa Narimasa, the lord of Toyama Castle, as the lord of Higo, but in his haste to establish Higo, Sassa Narimasa forcefully carried out a land survey, angering the people of Higo, A revolt breaks out.
Sassa Narimasa was unable to control the uprising on his own and asked Hideyoshi for reinforcements.

At that moment, Kiyomasa Kato and Yukinaga Konishi rushed to the scene. Thanks to the efforts of these two, the uprising was suppressed, but Narimasa Sasa was held responsible for starting the uprising and was forced to commit seppuku.
The land in Higo was given to Kiyomasa Kato in the north and Yukinaga Konishi in the middle and south.

However, when the Battle of Sekigahara occurred in 1600, Yukinaga Konishi sided with the western army, and Kiyomasa Kato sided with the eastern army.
As a result, Yukinaga Konishi was beheaded and his land was also given to Kiyomasa Kato.
As a result, Kiyomasa Kato became a daimyo with a wealth of 520,000 koku and the Kumamoto clan was established.

Kato Kiyomasa built Kumamoto Castle on the Chausuyama hill and made it the domain office.
In addition, to commemorate the completion of the castle tower, Kumamoto was renamed ``Kumamoto''.

In addition, Kiyomasa laid the foundations of the area by improving the castle town and road network, developing new rice fields, and controlling floods by improving irrigation water.

Even today, Kiyomasa Kato is highly admired in Kumamoto and is known as Lord Kiyomasa.
However, Kato Kiyomasa's rule also had negative aspects, such as imposing heavy taxes on the peasants of his domain in order to raise the cost of Hideyoshi's dispatch of troops to Korea.

Kato Kiyomasa died in 1611, and was succeeded by his third son, Kato Tadahiro. At this time, he was only 11 years old, so the Edo shogunate issued nine conditions to the Kato family, and Todo Takatora made a contribution and succeeded him.

Some of these conditions include ``the abolition of Minamata Castle, Uto Castle, and Yabe Castle'' and ``the personnel affairs of branch castle lords and the division of senior vassals by the shogunate,'' so the shogunate could check the senior vassals of the Kumamoto domain. I understand what you wanted.
However, the second lord of the domain, Tadahiro Kato, was unable to control his vassals, and conflict between senior vassals, including the Ushikata Ubakata Riot, broke out, and the domain government fell into chaos.

Then, in 1632, when he visited Edo, he was asked to change his name.
There are various theories about the official reason for Kato Tadahiro's change, including that it was related to the Suruga Dainagon incident caused by Tokugawa Tadanaga, the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, but the exact reason is not known.

Tadahiro Kato was then exiled to Shonai, Dewa Province, and the Kato family became extinct.

Rule of the Hosokawa family

After the Kato family became extinct, Tadatoshi Hosokawa came from the Kokura domain of Buzen Province as the lord. At that time, the stone value was 540,000 koku. The Hosokawa family ruled the Kumamoto domain until the Meiji era.

It is said that Tadatoshi Hosokawa respected Prince Kiyomasa, who was admired by many people even after his death, and when he entered Kumamoto, he held up the Prince Kiyomasa's throne tablet at the head of the procession, and after that he had many vassals of the Kato family. I am.

After entering Japan, Tadatoshi Hosokawa divided his territory into administrative divisions called ``Tenaga'' and introduced a system of uniting villages and placing a soshoya in charge, which continued until the Meiji era.

Tadatoshi is also famous for inviting Miyamoto Musashi, known as a great swordsman, to the Kumamoto domain in 1640. Tadatoshi employed Miyamoto Musashi with seven people, 18 koku, and a total of 300 koku of rice, and treated him as a guest. It is said that it was because of the protection of the Hosokawa family that Miyamoto Musashi was able to pursue painting and crafts, and even write the Book of Five Rings.

Although Tadatoshi Hosokawa was a Tozama daimyo, he was highly trusted by the shogunate, and there is a story that when he suddenly died at the age of 55, the third shogun, Iemitsu Tokugawa, lamented that it was ``too soon.''

Mitsunao Hosokawa, the second lord of the domain, made some achievements, including suppressing the Shimabara Rebellion, but he died at the young age of 31. The successor, Tsunatoshi Hosokawa, was only 6 years old at the time, and the family was in danger of being wiped out, but due to the strong trust of the shogunate and the efforts of the Hosokawa vassals, they managed to keep the family name alive. is completed.

Hosokawa Tsunatoshi is known as the daimyo who took charge of 17 Ako samurai, including Yoshio Oishi, who defeated Yoshio Kira in 1702.

It is said that Hosokawa Tsunatoshi met Yoshio Oishi face-to-face and listened to his story, and that he treated the roni samurai with feasts, alcohol, and cigarettes, and that he was greatly appreciated.

He also begs the shogunate to spare his life, and if that is granted, he even hopes that all the Ako samurai will be kept as servants in the Hosokawa family.

Unfortunately, that wish did not come true, but Tsunatoshi Hosokawa made a funeral fee of 30 ryo of gold and a donation of 50 ryo of gold to Sengakuji Temple, where the Ako samurai were buried.

There is also a story that ronin samurai did not purify the garden where they committed seppuku during their lifetime and made it a famous spot in their mansion.

During the era of Nobunori Hosokawa, the fourth lord of the domain, the Kumamoto domain suffered from a series of natural disasters such as drought, famine, insect damage, and locust outbreaks, resulting in poor harvests and thousands of deaths from starvation.

Furthermore, the third lord of the domain, Tsunatoshi Hosokawa, was rather wasteful with his finances, and the domain's finances quickly became strained.
In addition, the shogunate made the Hosokawa family bear the burden of spending 150,000 ryo on the Tone River. As a result, the domain's finances were on the verge of collapse.

The article on Kumamoto Domain continues.

related castles
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.
Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03