Yamagata domainRuled by many fudai daimyo

Yamagata domain

Mogami family crest “Hikiryo”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Yamagata Domain (1600-1871)
Yamagata Prefecture
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Yamagata Castle

Yamagata Castle

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The Yamagata domain was founded by Yoshimitsu Mogami, who fought with Date Masamune for supremacy in Oshu.
However, after Yoshimitsu Mogami's death, the Mogami family caused a number of disturbances and was abolished, and after that, many feudal lords and relatives, including the Torii clan, ruled the domain. Let's unravel the history of the Yamagata domain.

Founder Mogami family era

The founder of the Yamagata domain was Yoshimitsu Mogami, the 11th generation of the Mogami family, which had ruled Dewa Province since the Nanbokucho period. Yoshimitsu Mogami was the uncle of Date Masamune, the ruler of Oshu, and there was a time when the Date and Mogami families fought fiercely for supremacy over Oshu. Yoshimitsu Mogami is a military commander who always appears in historical dramas, novels, and movies that are set in Oshu or in which Date Masamune is the main character, and he remains very popular even today.

Yoshimitsu Mogami was close in age to Ieyasu Tokugawa, and there are records that they got along well. At the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he sided with the eastern army and won the Battle of Keicho Dewa, which was called the Sekigahara of the North. He was relieved of 570,000 koku and became a great daimyo in Tohoku and ruled the Yamagata domain. Becomes the first lord of the domain.

From 1611 to the following year, Yoshimitsu Mogami conducted land surveys in Shonai and Yuri and expanded the walls of Yamagata Castle, establishing himself as a great daimyo and at the same time solidifying the financial foundations of his domain.
The largest castle in Tohoku is thought to have been built at this time. In addition, he worked hard to make Yamagata the largest city in the Tohoku region by developing castle towns and highways, and developing water transportation.

However, the Mogami family was not a monolith, and there was a fierce feud between the ``anti-mainstream faction'' who admired the Toyotomi clan and the ``mainstream faction'' who pledged allegiance to the Tokugawa family. Yoshiyasu Mogami, the eldest son of Yoshimitsu Mogami, was admired by the anti-mainstream factions, but he was assassinated at a young age. Therefore, after Yoshimitsu Mogami's death, his second son, Iechika Mogami, became the second lord of the domain, but the anti-mainstream factions rebelled and took military action. Iechika Mogami silenced the anti-mainstream factions that had raised a rebellion, but at that time he executed his younger brother, Yoshichika Shimizu, who was carried by the anti-mainstream factions.

Later, due to the sudden death of Iechika Mogami, his son Yoshitoshi Mogami became the third lord of the domain at the age of 13. The feudal lord, who was only 13 years old, faced severe interference in his internal affairs from the shogunate, as well as fierce opposition from anti-mainstream factions. Therefore, Yoshitoshi Mogami complained to the shogunate that his father, Iechika Mogami, had been poisoned. As a result, the antagonism between the Mogami family and its vassals became even stronger, and the shogunate determined that Iechika Mogami had died of natural causes, and the Mogami family was censured for violating various samurai laws. This is the end of the ``Mogami Incident'' that is still being passed down to this day. Yoshitoshi Mogami had his koku reduced to 10,000 koku and was transferred to the Omi Omori domain.

Yamagata domain after the Mogami family

As a result of the Mogami family's reform, the Yamagata domain was divided into Dewa-Shinjo domain, Kamiyama domain, Honjo domain, Tsuruoka domain, etc., and the value of koku dropped to around 200,000 to 240,000 koku. After that, Tadamasa Torii, who had been transferred from the Iwaki-daira domain with 120,000 koku, was transferred to the Yamagata domain. It is speculated that the Torii family entrusted the Yamagata domain to the Torii family in order to control eastern Japan. The Torii family ruled the Yamagata domain for two generations, Tadamasa Torii and Tadatsune Torii, but Tadatsune Torii was unable to leave any descendants due to his poor health and died at the young age of 33. Due to the prohibition on adopting children at the end of his life, the Torii family was forced to retire. It has been done.

After that, Masayuki Hoshina, Tokugawa Iemitsu's half-brother, was transferred to the Yamagata domain. Masayuki Hoshina also interviewed and hired retainers of the Torii family, and established a magistrate system to establish civil administration. Furthermore, he established 18 articles of ``Ienaka Shioki'' and 13 articles of ``Dochu Hodo'' as rules for vassals, demonstrating his great status, but seven years later he transferred his domain to the Mutsu Aizu domain for an additional 30,000 koku (230,000 koku). have become.

After that, the feudal lords of the Yamagata domain changed for a short period of time, Naoki Matsudaira and Tadahiro Matsudaira, and then Masanori Okudaira was transferred to the Yamagata domain, where his koku was reduced to 90,000 koku. Masanori Okudaira was effectively demoted and came to the Yamagata domain due to the ``Utsunomiya Kozenji stabbing incident'' that occurred after his father's death. It is said that from this Okuhira Masano, the custom of the Yamagata domain being the place where Fudai daimyo who caused trouble were demoted was born. The Yamagata domain was unable to maintain its vassals due to repeated decreases in stone height, and the maintenance of Yamagata Castle was causing financial strain and was in dire straits. After Masanori's death, his nephew Masaaki succeeded him at the age of only five years old, but there were no talented people in his vassals, and the domain fell into disrepair, and the Okudaira family was once again transferred.

After that, the Yamagata domain had seven feudal lords from three families: the Hotta family, the Echizen Matsudaira family, and the Okuda Matsudaira family, but all of the feudal lords were replaced within a short period of time, and the domain was in dire straits. When Norisuke Matsudaira, a member of the Matsudaira family with a large salary, was transferred, the amount of koku was reduced to just 60,000 koku.

Norisuke Matsudaira's father was Matsudaira Norimura, who worked as a close aide to Tokugawa Yoshimune, but he favored Tokugawa Munetake, his younger brother, over the 9th shogun Tokugawa Ieshige, so when Yoshimune retired, he joined his father in the Yamagata domain. I was demoted. There was no way he could enter the domain's government under such circumstances, and he actually entered Yamagata for only about a year, during which time the castle fell into disrepair, the castle town was destroyed, and the domain's administration was in turmoil.

After that, the Yamagata domain was ruled by Tenryo for three years, and the Akimoto family became the lord of the domain. The Akimoto family ruled the Yamagata domain for the longest time, producing four generations of feudal lords. He ruled the Yamagata domain for a long period of 78 years, although he did not play a particularly active role as the lord of the domain.

The last feudal lords of the Mizuno family were the eldest son and grandson of Tadakuni Mizuno, who failed in the Tenpo Reforms. Although they were demoted to take responsibility for the failure of reform, the two ruled the domain safely until the end, ushering in the Meiji Restoration.
The Yamagata domain was the largest city in the Tohoku region when the first generation Mogami family ruled, but it gradually became the destination of the feudal lords who were dethroned by the shogunate. Therefore, the domain government remained in a difficult state without any active reforms being carried out. However, the Yamagata Castle ruins are now a place of relaxation for citizens.

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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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