Kutsuki Domain (朽木藩)

The Kutsuki clan was a clan located in Takashima County, Omi Province (current Kutsuki, Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture). Its government building was Kutsukidani-jo Castle (Kutsuki Jinya (regional government office)).

The History of the Domain

The Kutsuki clan was based in Kutsukidani-jo Castle, which served as hokoshu (a military post in the Muromachi Shogunate) for the Muromachi bakufu (a Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) for generations. Mototsuna KUTSUKI, who served both Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA and Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA, was from a venerable family: his maternal grandfather was Masatsuna ASUKAI, who was a kugyo (top court official).

He helped Nobunaga ODA escape to Kyoto when ODA faced a crisis due to Nagamasa AZAI's betrayal, and then he served Nobunaga ODA and Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and was granted 20,000 Goku crop yields.

In the Battle of Sekigahara, he initially fought for the Western Camp, but later, on the main battle field, he followed Hideaki KOBAYAKAWA's example and defected to the Eastern Camp. However, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA remained suspicious of him, so that while Ieyasu acknowledged Kutsuki's main domain of Omi Kutsuki, he left the clan's total crop yield 9550 goku, being taken away their status as daimyo (Japanese feudal lord). At this point, the Kutsuki Domain of the Toyotomi government disappeared.

Later, the Kutsuki clan was treated as kotaiyoriai (alternate yoriai, a family status of samurai warriors in the Edo period), which was similar to daimyo, and was granted the right to own their own jinya. After the death of Mototsuna, his first son, Nobutsuna KUTSUKI was granted 6470 goku crop yields and the rest was subdivided between his other two sons.

Branch Domain

The youngest son, Tanetsuna KUTSUKI (the lord of the domain of Tsuchiura), was favored by Iemitsu TOKUGAWA and promoted to daimyo of 10,000 goku with an increase of crop yields on September 12, 1636. Subsequently, on January 18, 1648, he was granted Kanuma City in Shimotsuke Province and others, and established the Kanuma Domain by choosing Kanuma-jo Castle as his residence. However, as the family's base had been in Kutsuki from the time of hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), it is thought that the Kutsuki Domain of the Edo bakufu existed during the eleven-year period after Tanetsuna became daimyo and before he gained Kanuma.

The word 'Kutsuki Domain' is sometimes used in the following cases: when people refer to the territory which was controlled by the soke (the head family or house), or to the Tosa Domain and Fukuchiyama Domain, which were governed by Tanetsuna's descendents.