Sendai Domain

Sendai Domain

Nihongo|Sendai han|仙台藩|"Sendai-han" was a Japanese domain of the Edo period. Most of its holdings were contiguous, covering all of modern-day Miyagi Prefecture, small portions of southern Iwate Prefecture, and a portion of northeastern Fukushima Prefecture. The domain's capital, and the ruling family's castle, were located in what became the modern city of Sendai. Ruled for the entirety of its history by the Date clan, it constituted the largest domain in northern Japan, with its official income rating at 625,000 "koku", and one of the largest domains in the entire country, after the Satsuma Domain and Kaga Domain. Its "jitsudaka", or true income level, is said to have been somewhere between one and two million "koku". Sendai was the focal point of the Ouetsu Reppan Domei during the Boshin War. Unlike the nearby Aizu domain, Sendai survived the war largely intact, though with a severely reduced income rating. It was disbanded with the other domains in 1873.


The Sendai domain was founded in the closing years of the 16th century. When Date Masamune presented himself to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was undertaking the Odawara Campaign, he was granted the former fiefs of the Kasai 葛西 and Ōsaki 大崎 families, in return for his hereditary lands of Yonezawa 米沢, Aizu 会津, and Sendō 仙道. [ [ 仙台藩 ] ] Upon entry into his new fief, Masamune took up residence in Iwadeyama Castle, and then started construction on Sendai Castle. [ [ 仙台藩 ] ] The name of Sendai at this time was written 千代, however, Masamune changed it to 仙台 ("hermit's platform," presumably alluding to Chinese mysticism). [ [ 仙台藩 ] ] During the Sekigahara Campaign, the Date clan had been promised an increase in formal domain income to one million koku; however, as they were fighting with the Uesugi clan for their old lands in the Date district, this did not come to pass. [ [ 仙台藩 ] ]

A relief sculpture on the base of Masamune's equestrian statue in Sendai Castle commemorates his entry into the city, which was then a small village.

Lords of Sendai

A list of the lords of Sendai follows below, in chronological order [ [ 仙台藩 ] ] :

#Date Masamune (1567-1636), r. 1600-1636
#Date Tadamune (1600-1658), r. 1636-1658
#Date Tsunamune (1640-1711), r. 1658-1660
#Date Tsunamura (1659-1719), r. 1660-1703
#Date Yoshimura (1680-1752), r. 1703-1743
#Date Munemura (1718-1756), r. 1743-1756
#Date Shigemura (1742-1796), r. 1756-1790
#Date Narimura (1775-1796), r. 1790-1796
#Date Chikamune (1796-1809), r. 1796-1809(1812)
#Date Narimune (1796-1819), r. 1809(1812)-1819
#Date Nariyoshi (1798-1828), r. 1819-1827
#Date Narikuni (1817-1841), r. 1827-1841
#Date Yoshikuni (1825-1874), r. 1841-1868
#Date Munemoto (1866-1917), r. 1868-1870
#Date Muneatsu (1852-1907), r. 1870-1871

Political Structure

The Sendai domain, like many other domains across the country, had its political center in its castle town (what became the modern city of Sendai). However, some retainers had their personal landholdings scattered throughout the domain's territory, as it was largely contiguous. Their presence provided a secondary, more local level of supervision. Certain of the higher-ranked retainers of Sendai even separated from the main domain and founded their own territories. Mizusawa Domain was one such short-lived subdomain. The Ichinoseki Domain, ruled by the Tamura family, was another subdomain, and survived to the end of the Edo period.

Retainer Ranks and Military Structure

There were eleven main ranks into which the retainers of the Sendai domain were divided [ja icon [ 仙台藩家臣団 ] ] .

# "Ichimon" 一門: blood relations of the Date clan. Held prestige but no actual political or administrative role. [ja icon [ 仙台藩家臣団 ] ]
# "Ikka" 一家: The families who ran much of the high-level day to day affairs of the Date clan.
# "Jun ikka" 準一家: Families who had lost their heads or had been incapacitated due to internal strife in the Date clan.
# "Ichizoku" 一族: Fudai (long-standing) retainers of the Date clan.
# "Shukurō" 宿労: Hereditary bugyō (magistrates). [ja icon [ 仙台藩家臣団 ] ]
# "Chakuza" 着 座: Retainers who had the right to report to the castle and present the lord with a sword and stirrups for new year's celebrations, and in return receive a cup of "sake" from the lord. This rank was founded after Date Masamune's tenure as lord.
# "Tachi-jō" 太刀上: Retainers who had the right to present the lord with a sword at new year's festivities, and in return received a cup of "sake" from the lord. This was a rank founded after Masamune's tenure.
# "Meshidashi" 召出: Retainers who had the right to appear at the domainal new year's festivities. As with "chakuza" and "tachi-jō", this rank was founded after Masamune's time. [ja icon [ 仙台藩家臣団 ] ]
# "Heishi" 平士 and "Ōbanshi" 大番士: The main body of Sendai's fighting force, the rank was organized in Date Masamune's time and revived during the tenure of the fourth daimyo Tsunamura. One "kumi" 組 (unit) consisted of 360 men, and the domain had 10 such units, setting their number at 3600.
# "Kumi-shi" 組士: The men under the "heishi" and "ōbanshi". Footmen, tea instructors, hawking assistants, entourage members, among others, all came from this category. [ja icon [ 仙台藩家臣団 ] ]
# "Sotsu" 卒: Foot soldiers, coolies, lesser menials, and so on.


The domain's school was known as the "Yōkendō" 養賢堂. [ A picture of the still extant main gate can be seen here]


Boshin War

In 1868, Sendai did not have forces active in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi; however, it did have a liaison office in Kyoto which kept track of the developing situation. It was approached several times by the nascent imperial government with requests to assist in subduing Aizu. Sendai did provide some cooperation to the new government, and accepted its envoys, under Kujō Michitaka, that spring. However, Date Yoshikuni, the daimyo of Sendai, opposed the harshness shown against Aizu, saying that it was like "a sentence being passed on one who never had a trial." [Samuel Pellman Boyer, M.D. "Naval Surgeon: Revolt in Japan, 1868-1869". Edited by James A. Barnes and Elinor Barnes. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963, p. 48ff.] Despite its efforts at negotiating on behalf of Aizu, Sendai was largely cooperative with the Kyoto government for much of the spring of 1868. This came to an end in May of 1868, when Sendai men discovered that the Chōshū officer Sera Shūzō (who had accompanied the imperial delegation) had written a slanderous letter indicating a desire to describe "all in the north to be enemies," and to ask for reinforcements to subdue the entire region by armed force. [See this page (in Japanese) for a transcription of Sera's letter:] :Naturally, the Sendai men were outraged that they too were to be punished despite their cooperation. A group of these men killed Sera, and pushed ahead with Sendai sponsorship of a northern coalition of domains. This became the Ouetsu Reppan Domei.

After Boshin

The Sendai domain was punished for its actions against the imperial army in the Boshin War, though not as severely as Aizu. Sendai's holdings were reduced; it was also made the center of the new government's operations in the north. Shiroishi Castle was also taken from Sendai, and given to the Nanbu clan which had been newly moved from Morioka Castle.

As with all others, the Sendai domain was abolished in 1873, by the "haihan chiken" order.


External links

* [ Data on the Sendai domain and its lords' succession order] (in Japanese)
* [ The history of astronomy in the Sendai domain] (in Japanese)
* [ Homepage of the Sendai domain's Shiraoi-jinya in Hokkaido] (in Japanese)
* [ Ranking system of the Sendai domain's retainers] (in Japanese)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kubota Domain — The nihongo|Kubota Domain|久保田藩|Kubota han was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Dewa Province (modern day Akita Prefecture). Its main castle was in modern day Akita, Akita. The Kubota Domain was also known as the nihongo|Akita… …   Wikipedia

  • Mizusawa Domain — The Mizusawa Domain (水沢藩, Mizusawa han?) was a feudal domain in Mutsu Province of Japan (present day Mizusawa ward, Ōshū, Iwate) during the Edo period. It was a subdomain (支藩) of the Sendai Domain. Sometimes it was suggested that the domain be… …   Wikipedia

  • Ichinoseki Domain — was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Mutsu Province. It was a branch domain of the Date clan of Sendai, ruled by the Tamura clan. Ichinoseki took part in the Ouetsu Reppan Domei in 1868, before surrendering to the Satsuma Chōshū… …   Wikipedia

  • Morioka Domain — Park in Morioka with the ruins of Morioka Castle, seat of the domain The Morioka Domain (盛岡藩, Morioka han? …   Wikipedia

  • Nihonmatsu Domain — Niwa Nagahiro, last daimyo of Nihonmatsu The Nihonmatsu Domain (二本松藩, Nihonmatsu han?) wa …   Wikipedia

  • Moriyama Domain — Moriyama (守山藩, Moriyama han?) was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Mutsu Province. It was established by a branch of the Tokugawa clan of Mito. A relatively small domain, it had an income rating of 20,000 koku. It was renamed… …   Wikipedia

  • Mineyama Domain — The Mineyama Domain (峯山藩, Mineyama han?) was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Tango Province (today s northern Kyoto Prefecture). It was ruled for the entirety of its history by the Kyōgoku clan, until the Meiji Restoration. Lords… …   Wikipedia

  • Nagaoka Domain — A statue of Kobayashi Torasaburō, senior Nagaoka official during the late Edo period The Nagaoka Domain (長岡藩, Nagaoka han …   Wikipedia

  • Murakami Domain — The Murakami Domain (村上藩, Murakami han?) was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Echigo Province (modern day Murakami, Niigata). List of lords Murakami clan (Tozama; 90,000 koku) Yorikatsu Tadakatsu Hori clan (Tozama; 100,000 koku) …   Wikipedia

  • Miharu Domain — Miharu han (三春藩) was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Mutsu Province. It was ruled by three different families over the course of its history: the Katō (one generation, with the family headed by Katō Akitoshi), the Matsushita (one… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”