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Sengoku clan

The Sengoku Clan originated from Mino Province they served the Oda and then Tokugawa in the Sengoku Period.
In 1706, the family was moved to Izushi Domain.They remained in Tajima Province until the end of the Edo period. The head of the clan became a kazoku (vicount) in the Meiji period.

Prominent People

Sengoku Hidehisa (1552 −1614) Hidehisa started as a low ranking Samurai for his clan.his clan was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga and he was captured during the assault. He then became a member of theOda clan and was ordered to serve under Kinoshita Tōkichirō (the eventual Toyotomi Hideyoshi). Hidehisa took part in most of the Oda clan's military actions afterwards. Slowly but steadily he rose up through the ranks. He also participated in Hideyoshi's successful campaign in 1585, he was given charge to lead the campaign on Kyushu with two other daimyo: Chōsokabe Motochika and Sogō Nagayasu. However, they were crushed in theBattle of Hetsugigawa by the Shimazu. Sogo Nagayasu perished along with Chōsokabe Motochika's heir, Nobuchika. Hidehisa was accused of charging ahead too soon and then fleeing at the first sight of trouble. After he returned to Hideyoshi, he was stripped of his title, land, and sent into exile.Tokugawa Ieyasu soon arranged for him to nominally join the Tokugawa clan, and he participated in the Battle of Odawara against the Hojo clan, where his valor redeemed his name.Due to this series of events Hidehisa easily sided with Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara after Hideyoshi's death. Hidehisa was in the army of Ieyasu's heir Tokugawa Hidetada. They were unable to reach the battle in time due to the stalling tactics of Sanada Masayuki, however Hidehisa successfully persuaded the furious Ieyasu to spare both he and Hidetada after this blunder. Hidetada remained grateful to Hidehisa for the remainder of his life. Hidehisa's family remained daiymo until the Meiji restoration.

(Hidehisa is also credited with being the man who captured the infamous Ishikawa Goemon.)

Sengoku Hisatoshi (1820-????) Sengoku Hisatoshi was the last Edo period daimyô of Izushi han in Tajima province.Born in 1820, he became lord of Izushi in 1825, at the age of five. As the result of a political dispute within the Sengoku household, Izushi was stripped of nearly half its kokudaka; for the remainder of the Edo period.
Hisatoshi remained lord of Izushi through this dispute, however, up until the fall of theTokugawa shogunate in 1867. Due to having become lord at such a young age, Hisatoshi eventually became the longest-serving of the lords attached to the yanagi-no-ma of Edo castle, a distinction that brought with it a certain degree of prestige and privilege. As a result of that distinction, he was the first of the yanagi-no-ma daimyô to be granted an audience on any particular occasion, and the first to be granted leave, as well as serving as the head of the group in certain ways, in terms of speaking for all the yanagi-no-ma daimyô, or passing along instructions or directions to them.


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Sue Clan

The Sue clan were related to the Ōuchi clan, and served as shugodai of Suō Province for the Ouchi they were loyal Retainers ontil Sue Harukata rebelled and placed a puppet leader in place so he can rule the clan which brought the downfall of his clan when he and his son were lured into a trap and killed.

Prominent People

Sue Okifusa (????-1539) retainers of Ôuchi Masahiro. Okifusa was a competent soldier and administrator and became one of Ôuchi Yoshioki's senior retainers and after the latter's death served Yoshitaka, whom he assisted in his battles with the Shôni on Kyushu.

Sue Harukata (1521-1555) Harukata was the second son of Sue Okifusa He became Ôuchi Yoshitaka's chief general and led troops to lift the Amako's siege of Môri Motonari's Koriyama castle in 1540. He also commanded troops in the abortive Ôuchi attempt to bring down Gassan-Toda in 1541-42 and afterwards endeavored to restore his lord's faltering martial spirit. In addition to his military duties, Harukata also assisted Yoshitaka in a number of land surveys Suô in 1540 and Aki in 1550. After making various remonstrations to his lord, he finally rebelled in 1551 and drove Yoshitaka to commit suicide, afterwards ruling the Ôuchi lands through Ôuchi Yoshinaga. He was compelled to chastise a number of rebellious Ôuchi retainers. He came to war with Môri Motonari and in 1554 began to attack his outlying castles. He was tricked into ordering the execution of Ôuchi retainer Era Fusahide and in 1555 was lured with his army to Miyajima, where he was trapped and killed along with his son, Nagafusa.

Reason for rebellion

Despite the Ōuchi's growing prosperity, Sue Harukata's clan was dissatisfied with what they saw as indulgence on their lord's part. Not only were they denied the opportunity to prove themselves in battle, the arrival of the court members threatened their political standing within the clan itself. Thus, the group launched a revolt that lasted for several days, resulting in the deaths of many officials. Yoshitaka was forced to flee to Tainei-ji Temple in Nagato where he committed suicide alongside his six year old son Yoshihiro.

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Nishio Clan

The Nishio Clan claims descent from the Kira clan, a branch of the Seiwa Genji line. Kira Yoshitsugu, a son of Kira Mochihiro, served under Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu adopted the family name of Nishio. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, the Nishio, as hereditary vassels of the Tokugawa clan, were classified as one of the fudai daimyō clans.After the Meiji Restoration, the Nishio clan was transferred to the short-lived Hanabusa Domain in Awa Province, and was subsequently granted the (kazoku)our  title of viscount.

Prominent People

Nishio Tadateru(1613-1654) at the age of seven, he became head of the Nishio clan and daimyō of Tsuchura on his father's death. In 1621, he attended to ShogunTokugawa Hidetada during his pilgrimage to the Nikko Toshogu(a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture)for this he was permitted to expand the size of his castle and his holdings were increased in size by an additional 5,000 koku when he was transferred to Tanaka Domain in Suruga

Nishio Tadanari (1653 -1713) Son of Tadateru. When his father died in 1654 Tadanari succeeded to the Nishio clan leadership as an infant.In 1661 the young Tadanari was received by Shogun Tokugawa Ietsuna, and given the courtesy title of Oki no kami and junior 5th court rank
soon afterward, in 1679, the Nishio clan was relocated to Komoro Domain in Shinano Province. Tadanari made great efforts to fix the damage caused by the misgovernment ofSakai Tadayoshi, the previous lord of Komoro; however, he was transferred once more (after barely three years in Shinano) to Yokosuka Domain.In Yokosuka, Tadanari again made great efforts to improve the economic status of his domain, modernizing his castle town and even entertaining emissaries from the Korean courtin the same year as his move to Yokosuka (1682). He was also famed as a skilled painter and patron of the arts. However, administering the domain became a great burden, especially after the major earthquake of 1707, and he chose to retire, yielding clan headship to his son, Tadanao.

Nishio Tadayoshi (1768-1831) Tadayoshi entered the administration of the Tokugawa shogunate as a Sōshaban (Master of Ceremonies) in 1806. He encouraged learning amongst his retainers, founding the domain school, Shūdōkan in 1811. He invited noted kokugaku scholar Yagi Tomiho to lecture there. Tadayoshi also revised fishing laws and encouraged sword production for the purpose of stabilizing the domain's finances. Despite these measures, he was confronted with a peasant revolt aiming for lowered taxes, in 1816. In 1829, citing illness, Tadayoshi resigned from his position as daimyō.

Nishio Tadaatsu (1850- 1910) During the Boshin War of the Meiji Restoration, Tadaatsu's retainers were divided as to whether or not the domain should continue to support the shogunate, or join forces with the Satchō Alliance in support of the new imperial government. Thanks to the persuasion of Yaso Tomiho and Aoyama Zen'ichirō, the pro-shogunate elements in Yokosuka dropped their objections, and the Yokosuka Domain peacefully submitted to the Imperial army. As a gesture of loyalty, Yokosuka Domain contributed forces to assisted the new government in its suppression of remaining pro-Tokugawa partisans in northern Japan. In 1868, due toTokugawa Iesato's entry into the Tōkaidōregion as daimyō of the newly created Sunpu Domain, Tadaatsu was transferred to Hanabusa Domain, in Awa Province. Tadaatsu ruled Hanabusa as daimyō until 1869, when he was made han chiji (domainal governor). He finally left Hanabusa after the abolition of the domains in 1871, and relocated to Tokyo. He was later created a viscount under the kazoku peerage system.

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Nejime clan

The  Nejime clan n were descended from Taira no Koremori, whose grandson Kiyoshige took the name Nejime; members of the clan served as officials in Ôsumi province going back to ancient times. In the 14th century, they played a prominent role in fighting alongside the Shimazu clan in supporting Ashikaga Takauji and the Northern Court in the wars of the Nanboku-chô period.
From the Muromachi period onward, the Nejime focused on controlling trade. Nejime Shigehirain particular was active in trade with Ryûkyûand China.In the 16th century, members of the Itô,Kimotsuki, and Tanegashima clans became embroiled in succession disputes over the headship of the Shimazu clan. After this, the Nejime and Kimotsuki rose up against the Shimazu. They attempted an amphibious attack on Kagoshima in 1571 but were rebuffed; the Shimazu defeated the Itô in the battle of Kizakihara the following year. Realizing their situation was dire, the Nejime capitulated to the Shimazu the next year, in 1573, becoming Shimazu retainers.

Extra info

In the early modern period, one branch of the Nejime clan changed its name to Komatsu.

Prominent People

Nejime Shigenaga (1536 – 1580) Shigenaga was a retainer of the Kimotsuki clan, and the 16th generation head of his family.He joined Kimotsuki Kanetsugu in the fight against the Shimazu in Ōsumi Province. However, following the Kimotsuki clan's defeat, Shigenaga saw that the family's position was untenable, so he independently concluded a peace agreement with Shimazu Yoshihisa. This incurred the wrath of Kimotsuki Kanesuke, who attacked him; however, the Shimazu were able to save Shigenaga from death. Later, Shigenaga became a retainer under Shimazu Yoshihisa, and assisted the Shimazu clan in issues of trade. Shigenaga is said to be the first person who encouraged the cultivation of mandarin oranges in Japan.

Nejime Shigetake (????-????) Nejime Shigetake was the 16th head of his family and was at first a retainer of the Kimotsuki of Ôsumi (Shigetake's Nejime castle that he built was located in that province). He later became a retainer of Shimazu Yoshihisa and was an active in various economic development projects.

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Gotō Clan

The Gotō had different lineages in the Sengoku Period the
Gotō from Omi and Hizen were related but the Goto from Harima were not. The Gotō of Hizen were Diamyo of the Goto Islands off the western shore of Kyushu. They submitted to the Ryûzôji and then Toyotomi Hideyoshi(1587). The Gotō of Omi first served the Rokkaku, (descended from the Sasaki clan /family)
for whom they were important retainers. In 1589 Goto Takaharu was executed by the Rokkaku and this touched off a period of civil strife within the Rokkaku domain. Alienated, they willingly allied with Oda Nobunaga in 1568.
Other then being Samurai and Diamyo the Gotō were known also as sword makers and metalwork artists.
The Gotō founded the Gotō School of Sword fitting in the 1400s the The school was founded by Gotô Yûjô, who was patronized by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. The first few generations of masters did not sign or seal their works, but around 1600, members of the Gotô school began to authenticate the works of their predecessors, adding names onto the back of the works, connecting into a culture of samurai pride in the provenance of their possessions.

Prominent People

Gotō Takaharu (????-1589) Takaharu's death caused strife within the Rokkaku domain. He submitted to Oda Nobunaga in 1568 and in 1582 sided with Akechi Mitsuhide, who destroyed Oda Nobunaga. After Akechi's defeat, Takaharu found service under Gamô Ujisato. He was then Caught and exicuted by the Rokkaku they placed his head on a pike for all to see. (This then lead to civil strife within the domain because some people tought It was a unjustified exicution)

Gotō Mototsugu (1565-1615) He servedKuroda Yoshitaka but retired from the Kuroda clan after Kuroda Yoshitaku had died. Finally, he served Toyotomi Hideyori and was killed at the battle of Dōmyōji during the siege of Osaka in 1615.At the second siege of Jinju, during Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea, Gotō was the first samurai to enter Jinju castle.During the siege of Osaka, Gotō was one of the most able and fierce generals in Toyotomi Hideyori's Western Army. He was the chief commander at the battle of Dōmyōji where, severely outnumbered by Date Masamune troops, he held out for reinforcements, which were lost in the fog. Unable to maintain the position without the reinforcements, Mototsugu was harmed by a stray bullet and unable to stand, he practiced seppuku. It is said in his kaishaku memoir that he couldn't stop his tears.After his death, Mototsugu's samurai were easily defeated and his head discovered by enemy forces. History said that his display of valor this day was great enough to shock everyone, allies and enemies : leading his warriors in hit & run tactics, he killed 70 to 80 horse-men by himself. He stopped only because his horse was exhausted and he needed another to continue the fight.

Heads of the Gotô school

Gotô Yûjô ( 1440-1512)
Gotô Sôjô (1461-1538)
Gotô Jôshin ( 1513-1562)
Gotô Kôjô (1529-1620)
Gotô Tokujô (1550-1631)
Gotô Eijô (1577-1617)
Gotô Kenjô (1586-1663)
Gotô Sokujô (1600-1631)
Gotô Teijô Mitsumasa (1603-1673)
Gotô Renjô Mitsutomo (1628-1708)
Gotô Tsûjô Mitsunobu (1664-1721)
Gotô Jujô Mitsumasa (1689-1742)
Gotô Enjô Mitsutaka (1722-1784)
Gotô Keijô Mitsumori (1741-1804)
Gotô Shinjô Mitsuyoshi (1780-1843)

Extra Information

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC today holds, perhaps, the most extensive collection of works by the Gotô school, much of it obtained from the head of the Mito Tokugawa clan in 1945. The collection is regularly on display in the museum's Arms & Armor gallery, including amitokoromono, that is, a complete set of kôgai,kozuka, and menuki, by each of fifteen Gotô masters.

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Katsu Clan

The Katsu family was a samurai family of the Edo period of some distinction, being included in official samurai genealogies they are best known for Katsu
Kaishu's exploits.

Prominent People

Katsu Tokinao (????-????) Katsu Tokinao was a retainer to Tokugawa Ieyasu in Mikawa province prior to the end of the Sengoku period he was first in his family to hold land prior to this his family were only blacksmiths.

Katsu Nobumasa (???-1777), a great-grandson of Tokinao,he held the post of Captain of the Inner Guard (ohiroshikiban), and as a result of his rank enjoyed a stipend of 400 koku.

Katsu Kaishu (1823-1899) Katsu Kaishu is considered the "father" of the modern Imperial Japanese Navy. Kaishû was born in Edoin 1823, the son of low-ranking hatamoto Katsu Kokichi, and in his youth attended classes in Western studies and then studied naval science from the Dutch naval detachment in Nagasaki. Kaishû rose in rank to become commissioner of the Tokugawa navy in 1860 and captained Japan's first cross-Pacific journey to San Francisco. Kaishu believed that Japan’s future was best served to open itself to the world and this put his life in jeopardy at the hands of Japan’s pro-Imperial, anti-foreign radicals. Originally intent on cutting down Kaishû, Sakamoto Ryôma became hooked on Kaishû's vision for Japan and became his leading disciple. Kaishû protected the outlaw Ryôma and other ronin in a naval academy that Kaishû established in Kobe and installed Ryôma as its head. Kaishû also contributed to the surrender of Edo to pro-Imperial forces without resistance in order to avoid catastrophic losses of life and property. Following the battle of Toba-Fushimi, in which Katsu fought for the Tokugawa shogunate, he met with Saigô Takamori (a leader of the opposing armies) at Saigô's encampment atIkegami Honmonji. It is said that it was as a result of this meeting that the peaceful surrender of Edo castle was arranged. This spared Edo a certain degree of destruction, which might have resulted had the shogunate chosen to hold out further. In the Meiji period, Kaishû was granted the title of Hakushaku in the new Meiji peerage, and went on to serve as head of the Privy Councilfor a time, and also as naval commissioner until his retirement from public life. In 1891, via a connection through Tsuda Sen (father of Tsuda Umeko), Kaishû purchased a plot of land at Senzoku-ike (Senzoku Pond), and built his retirement home there. Following his death in1899, he was buried with his wife near the site of their home, on the shores of Senzoku Pond, in what is today Senzoku-ike kôen (Senzoku Pond Public Park) in Tokyo.


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Kamei Clan

The Kamei originated form kii Provence which is now in parts of the modern-day Wakayama prefecture. They were most Prominent in the Edo period and were based chiefly inIwami province.

Prominent People

Kamei Korenori (1557-1612) supportedToyotomi Hideyoshi against the Môri clan in1582, and in return was promised holdings inIzumo province. Since Izumo was given to the Môri as part of the truce agreements, however, Kamei was instead named “Ryūkyū no kami,” or “Lord of Ryūkyū.” According to a story which may be apocryphal, Hideyoshi granted this by inscribing a fan with the words "Ryûkyû no kami" or the like right there on the spot and tossing the fan to Kamei; this fan was then said to have been found by Korean warriors in a sinking or sunken Japanese ship during Hideyoshi's Korean Invasions. In any case, despite being known as "Lord of Ryûkyû," Korenori never actually traveled to Ryūkyū after that, however, nor wielded any effective power over the islands whatsoever.
Korenori remained lord of Shikano han, however, in Inaba province, passing it on to his son Kamei Masanori. In 1617, Masanori was transferred from Shikano to Tsuwano han, and the Kamei remained lords of Tsuwano through the remainder of the Edo period

Kamei Koremi (1824-1885) Kamei Koremi was lord of Tsuwano han and, following the Meiji Restoration, became vice-minister (jikan) of the Office of Rites. Along with Under-secretary of Rites Fukuba Bisei, he was among the chief officials responsible for the shinbutsu bunri ("separation of Shinto and Buddhism") policies.
Kamei was an adherent of the Hirata school of kokugaku (Nativism), and explicitly referred to Buddhism as a "heretical law" (jahô) from which the Japanese people needed to be freed, so they could return to "the worship and reverence of [Shinto] shrines by all people below heaven, and the preservation of the doctrine of our Imperial nation."


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Yamato Clan/Imperial Clan

Before the emperors, Japan had a system of clans, each made up of people that were related to each other by either blood or marriage, and a common ancestor.  Every clan was ruled by a few powerful nobles, who were also the religious leaders for the clan.  They were the only people who were known by both their family name, and a personal name.Shinto, was practiced by the people of Japan, and is based on love for the beauty of nature and ancestors.  The people of the clans believed that the spirit of their ancient ancestor still resided in their village, and protected them.  They also believed that their ancestor listened to their prayers, so they had many rituals and ceremonies, which the clan nobles led. The first emperors came from the Yamato clan, who, in the 300s, claimed themselves the most powerful clan in Japan, and believed themselves to be the descendants of the sun goddess.  They had amazing fighting skill and strategy, and were brave when in battle.The ancient emperors are believed to have been human, but the Japanese treated them as almost godlike, or divine.  Even so, instead of the emperor, the military leader held the real power.  Many in the Yamato clans fought over this immense power.  Japan very rarely changed emperors. Because of this, Japan seemed to be very peaceful.The clan chief became the first emperor of Japan, and his descendants have ruled Japan until today.

Extra information

It is said that all Emperors of Japan are decents of the the Five kings of Wa (Wa is the Ancient name of Japan) who sent envoys to China during the 5th century to strengthen the legitimacy of their claims to power by gaining the recognition of the Chinese emperor. 

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Daihoji Muto clan

The Daihoji Muto clan was most prominent in the Sengoku Period they ruled the Shonai district of Dewa Province for generations ontil they were taken and the clan fell into obcurity.

Prominent People

Yoshimasu Daihoji (1522-1581)Yoshimasu Daihoji was given his title by the Ashikaga shogunate when the shogunate fell he was constantly under attack by the Hojo and Mogami clans he was granted assistance by the Uesugi clan but they did not get there in time and lost there lands to the hojo and was killed in battle (the rest of the land went to the Uesugi as the Clan then served them as retainers)

Yoshiuji Daihoji (1551-1583) Son of Yoshimasu Yoshiuji Daihoji worked with Honjō Shigenaga to stop Mogami Yoshiaki expanding his territory into the Shōnai region in Dewa province Together they successfully recovered the Shōnai region as a territory of the Uesugi clan.

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Irobe Clan

The Irobe originated from Northern Echigo and were most know to be loyal Retainers of the Uesugi clan.

Prominent People

Irobe Katsunaga (1493 –1569) A high-ranking retainer of the Uesugi clan Katsunaga was considered as one of the most respected men under Uesugi Kenshin.He saw action at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima of 1561 and the Battle of Sano in the region of Kōzuke in 1563 among others. For his distinction in battle at Kawanakajima he was granted Hirabayashi Castle.Katsunaga was killed in battle when he attempted to stop the uprising of Honjō Shigenaga in 1569.

Irobe Akinaga (????-1587) Akinaga was a son of Irobe Katsunaga and succeeded his father when the latter died in 1569. He served Uesugi Kenshin with distinction and retired in 1576 due to a injery that rendered him crippled and unable to move his right arm his younger brother Irobe Nagazane took his rank and position as head of his clan after his retirement.
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