Nihonmatsu Domain

Nihonmatsu castle, administrative center of Nihonmatsu Domain

Nihonmatsu Domain (二本松藩 Nihonmatsu-han) was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in southern Mutsu Province. It was centered on Nihonmatsu Castle in what is now the city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. For the majority of its history it was ruled by the Niwa clan. The Nihonmatsu Domain was also the scene of one of the battles of the Boshin War of the Meiji restoration.


Niwa Nagahiro, last daimyo of Nihonmatsu

The area around Nihonmatsu was territory of the Hatakeyama clan during the late Kamakura and Muromachi periods. In 1586, Date Masamune destroyed the Hatakeyama and annexed the area to his territories. However, following the Siege of Odawara (1590), Toyotomi Hideyoshi re-assigned the area to Aizu Domain under the rule of the Gamo clan. Hideyoshi later reduced the holdings of the Gamo clan, giving Nihonmatsu and surrounding areas to Asano Nagamasa. This change was very short-lived, as Aizu domain was then reassigned to the Uesugi clan, and their holdings were expanded to encompass Nihonmatsu. The Uesugi were then shifted to Yonezawa Domain following the Battle of Sekigahara by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Gamo then recovered Nihonmatsu, but the domain was soon beset by a variety of natural disasters, including a massive earthquake, bad weather and flooding, leading to crop failure and widespread famine. This in turn led to a peasant revolt, and the Gamo clan was eventually dispossessed by the Tokugawa shogunate and sent to Iyo Province in Shikoku.

In 1627, Matsushita Shigetsuna, daimyō of Karasuyama Domain and the son-in-law of Katō Yoshiaki was transferred to the re-established Nihonmatsu Domain, with revenues of 50,000 koku. He died a few months later, and his son was transferred to the much smaller Miharu Domain in 1628.

The Matsushita were replaced by Katō Akitoshi, the third son of Katō Yoshaki, who had formerly held Miharu Domain. The Katō clan took steps to increase their revenues by development of new rice lands and development of non-rice based sources of income. However, their efforts were complicated by increasing demands for military support from the Shogunate in policing the northern frontier areas of Ezo. The situation became critical in 1642-1643, after a crop failure. Many peasants were forced to sell themselves into servitude to pay for the high taxation, leading to unrest and even a revolt by senior retainers. As a result, the Kato were replaced by the Niwa clan, formerly of Shirakawa Domain, with an increase in the nominal kokudaka of the domain to 100,700 koku.

The Niwa rebuilt Nihonmatsu Castle and reformed the domain’s financial situation and remained in control of Nihonmatsu until the Meiji restoration. The Niwa had sided with the western armies against the Tokugawa at the Battle of Sekigahara, but were allowed a large domain due to their family ties with Tokugawa Hidetada. They were assigned repair work on the Nikko Tosho-gu]], Zōjō-ji and various tasks within the Tokugawa shogunate which proved a severe drain on their resources. Despite efforts at fiscal and land reform, the domain was deeply in debt, which was complicated during the time of the 7th daimyō, Niwa Nagayoshi, when the Great Tenmei famine struck. The 9th daimyō, Niwa Nagatomi, built a han school, but also suffered a problem when some of his senior retainers absconded with 3400 ryō of domain funds shortly before the domain was hit by the Tenpo famine. During the Bakumatsu period, the 10th daimyō, Niwa Nagakuni, was assigned to the defense of Edo Bay, and with the start of the Boshin War, joined the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei. The domain’s forces were defeated in battle by the Satchō Alliance, Nihonmatsu Castle was burned, and he was forced to flee to Yonezawa Domain. His successor, Niwa Nagahiro made peace with the imperial forces and was reduced in status by 50,000 koku.

After the abolition of the han system in July 1871, Nihonmatsu became part of “Nihonmatsu Prefecture”, which later became part of Fukushima Prefecture.

Holdings at the end of the Edo period

As with most domains in the han system, Nihonmatsu Domain consisted of several discontinuous territories calculated to provide the assigned kokudaka, based on periodic cadastral surveys and projected agricultural yields.[1][2]

List of daimyō

#Name Tenure Courtesy title Court Rank kokudakaNotes
Matsushita clan (tozama) 1627-1628
1Matsushita Shigetsuna (松下重綱)1627-1627Iwami-no-kami (石見守) Lower 5th (従五位下) 30,000 kokuTransfer from Karasuyama Domain
2Matsushita Nagastsuna (松下長綱)1627-1628Iwami-no-kami (石見守) Lower 5th (従五位下) 30,000 kokuTransfer to Miharu Domain
Katō clan (tozama) 1628-1641
1Katō Akitoshi (加藤明利)1628-1641Minbu-daiyu (民部大輔) Lower 5th (従五位下) 30,000 kokuTransfer from Miharu Domain
Niwa clan (tozama) 1641-1871
1Niwa Mitsushige (丹羽光重)1643-1679Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Jiju(侍従) Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 kokuTransfer from Shirakawa Domain
2Niwa Nagatsugu (丹羽長次)1679-1698Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
3Niwa Nagayuki (丹羽長之)1698-1700Echizen-no-kami (越前守) Lower 5th (従五位下) 100,700 koku
4Niwa Hidenobu (丹羽秀延)1701-1728Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
5Niwa Takahiro (丹羽高寛)1728-1745Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
6Niwa Takayasu (丹羽高庸)1745-1765Wakasa-no-kami (若狭守); Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
7Niwa Nagayoshi (丹羽長貴)1766-1796Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Jiju(侍従) Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
8Niwa Nagaakira (丹羽長祥)1796-1813Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
9Niwa Nagatomi (丹羽長富)1813-1858Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Jiju(侍従) Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
10Niwa Nagakuni (丹羽長国)1858-1868Sakyo-no-daifu (左京大夫); Jiju(侍従) Lower 4th (従四位下) 100,700 koku
11Niwa Nagahiro (丹羽長裕)1868-1871-none- 5th (五位下) 100,700 ->50,700 koku


Further reading

External links

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