Omi-Miyagawa Domain (近江宮川藩)

The Omi-Miyagawa Domain existed in Miyagawa, Sakata County, Omi Province (present-day Miyashi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture). The seat of the domain was Miyagawa-jinya (regional government office).

The history of the domain

The Hotta clan was the lord family of the domain. Promoted to roju (member of shogun's council of elders) by the third Shogun Iemitsu TOKUGAWA, Masamori HOTTA was a highly trusted man who was eventually promoted to a daimyo with as much as 120,000 koku of the Sakura Domain in Shimosa Province. After Masamori had followed his master Iemitsu to grave, Masanobu HOTTA, a son of Masamori, fell heir to his father's post. In 1660, however, as a result of taking an opposing position towards roju Nobutsuna MATSUDAIRA, also known as "Chie-Izu" (wisdom of Izu), Masanobu was sanctioned with a kaieki (dismissal and deprivation of position, privileges and properties) and his territory was forfeit. Masanobu's heir, Masayasu HOTTA was excused in April 1682, regaining a status of daimyo appointed to lord of the Yoshii Domain in Kozuke Province with 10,000 koku. The Miyagawa Domain was established following Masayasu's relocation from Yoshii to Miyagawa, Sakata County, Omi Province in April 17, 1698.

On November 5, 1748, the third lord Masanobu HOTTA was promoted to wakadoshiyori (a managerial position in the Edo bakufu [Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun]) together with an increase of 3,000 koku, with which the Miyagawa Domain's territory was expanded to a total of 13,000 koku. During the rule of the fifth lord Masazane HOTTA, ownership of some lands totaling a nominal value of 3,600 koku, including parts of Gamo County and others, was transferred from the Omi-Miyagawa Domain to Harima Province. These lands yielded higher output compared to their nominal value, and at a higher rate than other parts of the domain, leaving the Omi-Miyagawa Domain the burden to fulfill its tax duty with the lower yield lands left with them. The ownership of those lands were returned on March 15, 1807 to rectify this issue. The sixth lord of the domain Masatami HOTTA was known as a man of culture, deeply versed in painting. Initially joining forces with the Sabaku-ha (supporters of the Shogun) during the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, as more domains of Omi Province took sides with the new government, the Miyagawa Domain was left with no other choice than to follow them. The Meiji Restoration took place during the rule of the ninth lord Masayasu HOTTA, who by returning its lands and people to the emperor became the governor of the domain which was eventually replaced with Miyagawa Prefecture on August 29, 1871, with the Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures) enforced. Miyagawa Prefecture was merged into Nagahama Prefecture and further into Inugami Prefecture, and finally became a part of Shiga Prefecture.

Many of the domain lords from the lineage were appointed important posts such as Oban gashira (captain of the great guards), sojaban (official in charge of the ceremonies) or wakadoshiyori, although the domain itself was too minor for the lords to be remembered for any notable record of lordship under their rule.