Family crest (kamon) of main Inoue line
|Home province||Mino Province|
|Parent house||Minamoto clan (Seiwa Genji)|
|Final ruler||Inoue Masanao|
|Ruled until||1873 (Abolition of the han system)|
The Inoue clan (井上氏 Inoue-shi) was a samurai clan which came to prominence from the late Kamakura through Edo periods in Japanese history. Mention of an Inoue surname is found in Nara period records; however, the Inoue clan which later became prominent in the Edo period traces its antecedents to the Seiwa Genji line founded by Minamoto Mitsunaka in the late Heian period. A son of Minamoto Mitsunaka, Minamoto Mitsusane, settled in Takai District, Mino Province in a place called “Inoue”. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, the Inoue, as hereditary vassels of the Tokugawa clan, were classified as one of the fudai daimyō clans.
The main branch of the Inoue clan was transferred numerous times throughout the Edo period. Inoue Masanari (1577-1628), the 3rd son of Inoue Kiyohide, was made daimyō of Yokosuka Domain (53,000 koku) in Tōtōmi Province in 1623. His descendents resided at Kasama Domain, Hitachi Province in 1645, Gujo Domain in Mino Province in 1692, Kameyama Domain in Tamba Province in 1697, Shimodate Domain in Hitachi Province in 1702, back to Kasama Domain in Hitachi in 1703, and then to Iwakidaira Domain in Mutsu Province in 1747. Subsequently, they were transferred to Hamamatsu Domain in Tōtōmi Province in 1758, Tanakura Domain in Mutsu Province in 1817, Tatebayashi Domain in Kōzuke Province in 1836, back to Hamamatsu in 1845 and finally to Tsurumai Domain in Kazusa Province in 1868. The final daimyō of the main branch, Inoue Masanao (1837-1904), was made a viscount (shishaku) under the kazoku peerage system.
A cadet branch of the Inoue clan was established in 1712 at Shimotsuma Domain, Hitachi Province by Inoue Masanaga (1654-1721), the 3rd son of Inoue Masato, daimyō of Gujo Domain in Mino Province. A minor 10,000 koku domain, it remained in the hands of the Inoue clan until the Meiji Restoration. Its final daimyō, Inoue Masaoto (1856-1921) was subsequently made a viscount.
A cadet branch of the Inoue clan was established in 1649 at Takaoka Domain, Shimosa Province by Inoue Masashige (1585-1661), a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu and fourth son of Inoue Kiyohide. Takaoka Domain (10,000 koku) remained in the Inoue clan until the Meiji Restoration. Its final daimyō, Inoue Masayori (1854-1904) served in the early police forces of the Meiji government and was made a viscount.
- Appert, Georges. (1888). Ancien Japon, p. 75
- Appert, Georges and H. Kinoshita. (1888). Ancien Japon. Tokyo: Imprimerie Kokubunsha.
- Papinot, Edmund. (1906) Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie du japon. Tokyo: Librarie Sansaisha...Click link for digitized 1906 Nobiliaire du japon (2003)
- (Japanese) Inoue clan on Harimaya's "Buke-kaden"