Sanda Domain (三田藩)
Sanda Domain was the ruler of Sanda, Arima County, Settsu Province and the area around it (modern days Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture). Their government building was initially Sanda-jo Castle but was later chanted to Sanda jinya (regional government office).
The course of Sanda Domain's establishment
Before the Kamakura period, many shoens (manors in medieval Japan) were developed in Sanda centering around the monzen-machi (a temple town) of Konshin-ji Temple and Miwa-jinja Shrine. The gozoku (a local ruling family) who worked as jito (manager and lord of manor) governed Sanda by constructing small Yamashiros (castles built on the top of mountains or halfway up the mountains for defensive reasons) such as Kuwabara-jo Castle, Kishi-jo Castle and Ohara-jo Castle. After shoen koryo sei (the system of public lands and private estates) disappeared in the Muromachi period, Sanda Domain was formed as a castle town.
In 1361 Ujinori AKAMATSU, the forth son of Norimura AKAMATSU (Enshin) who was the Governor of Harima Province, became the ruler of Arima County and constructed Sanda-jo Castle.
In 1386 in the disturbance of Northern and Southern Courts, although Akamatsu family took the side of Ashikaga army, only Ujinori was on the side of Southern Court. Ujinori committed suicide after having been attacked by a punitive force dispatched from the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).
In 1409 Yoshisuke ARIMA, the fifth son of Norisuke AKAMATSU who was Ujinori's older brother, became the ruler of Arima County and started calling himself the Settsu Arima clan.
In 1575 Murashige ARAKI who had suppressed Settsu Province under the banner of Nobunaga ODA's 'Tenka-fubu' (a slogan that means that the samurai governs the whole world) had his vassal change his name from Yaichiro ATOBE to Shigekata ARAKI as the pivot of Oda camp in conquering Tanba Province. Murashige ARAKI had Shigekata ARAKI move into Sanda-jo Castle and build a castle town of 10,000 koku (an unit of assessed crop yields of the land [1 koku: about 180 liter], which was also used to express the size of the land).
In 1582 with Murashige ARAKI killed by Nobunaga ODA due to the rebellion he rose, Shigekata surrendered Sanda-jo Castle to the Oda side; subsequently, Kataie YAMAZAKI, a vassal of Nobunaga who was from Yamazaki-jo Castle in Omi Province, entered Sanda to be the feudal lord with 23,000 koku.
In 1601 Iemori YAMAZAKI was forced to change his territory to Wakasa Domain in Inaba Province due to the defeat at the Battle of Sekigahara having taken the side of the West camp. To take the place of Iemori YAMAZAKI, Noriyori ARIMA of Yokosuka Domain in Totomi Province who was originally from Settsu Arima clan and was also a busho (Japanese military commander) of the East camp entered into Sanda-jo Castle as a feudal lord with 20,000 koku.
In 1602 after the death of Noriyori ARIMA, Toyouji ARIMA, the eldest legitimate son and also the ruler of Fukuchiyama Domain in Tango Province with 60,000 koku, became the successor and annexed Sanda Domain of 20,000 koku to Fukuchiyama Domain, making the total crop yield of Fukuchiyama Domain 80,000 koku. As a result, Sanda Domain was once abolished and at the same time Sanda-jo Castle (Kurumase-jo Castle) was destroyed.
In 1620 with highly evaluated and distinguished service at the Siege of Osaka, Toyouji ARIMA, the lord of Fukuchiyama Domain, became a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) with 200,000 koku and was transferred to Kurume Domain in Chikugo Province.
In 1626, after Shigenao MATSUDAIRA entered into Sanda from Kaminoyama Domain in Dewa Province receiving 30,000 koku, Sanda Domain was restored.
In 1633, the bakufu divided Kuki clan's territory of 56,000 koku into two for the reason of succession dispute, in which Hisataka KUKI's territory was changed to Sanda Domain with 36,000 koku and Takasue KUKI's territory was transferred to Ayabe Domain in Tanba Province with 20,000 koku. As a result of this, Shigenao MATSUDAIRA's territory was relocated to Takada Domain (Ryuo Province) in Bungo Province.
Kuki clan of Sanda Domain
The Kuki clan was a daimyo descended from Kumano betto (title of an official who administered the shrines at Kumano) of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan originating in Muro County, Kii Province (modern day Owase City, Mie Prefecture), and was the leader of Kuki Suigun navy whose strategic point was located in Toba Domain in Shima Province (present-day Toba City, Mie Prefecture) acting as the general leader of Suigun navy in Hideyoshi's invasion of Kyushu and the dispatch of troops to Korea. After Moritaka KUKI's death, Hisataka KUKI, the fifth son, and Takasue KUKI, the third son, had a succession dispute within the family. Iemitsu TOKUGAWA, who had a fear of Kuki's Suigun navy power, divided the Kuki family's total yield of 56,000 koku and relocated their territories to Sanda and Ayabe, both of which were inland areas, for the reason of the succession dispute. As a result of this, Kuki clan lost the territory in Toba and Suigun navy. After moving their head family to Sanda, the Kuki family ruled Sanda Domain for approximately 240 years until Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures).
The residence of the lord was Sanda-jo Castle with ninomaru (second bailey), ochaya (rest house), arms store house and ammunition storage built in premises of today's Arima High School campus (the site of Sanda-jo Castle) and mitachi (feudal lord's office) built in the premises of existing Sanda Elementary School. Mitachi was composed of onhiroma (a hall), gokoshoin (small study), godaishoin (large study), ima (a living room), daidokoro (a kitchen), mitsubone (room for dignified lady) and goshuden (room for legal wife) and so on. Mizubori (water-filled moat) still remains in the site of jinya (regional government office). Some components of the front gate (kuro-mon gate) of shimo-yashiki (one of the residences granted to daimyo) are used for the gate of Konshin-ji Temple.
Soon after Kuki clan entered Sanda, they began to face financial difficulty due to an excess number of vassals over their crop yields.
In the era of Takamasa KUKI, the second of head of the family, the domain's organization was arranged. In 1742, Takayori KUKI the seventh founded a hanko (a domain school) named 'Kokkokan' (国光館). In 1780 in the era of Takamura KUKI the eighth, an uprising broke out due to a tax increase, and several mercantile houses in the castle town were torn down by Uchikowashi (an act where people destroyed residences of privileged merchants or officials who were involved in misgovernment).
Takakuni KUKI, the tenth lord of the domain, was worthy of mention. In 1839 he was promoted to Joshu daimyo (daimyo who is allowed to live in a castle) by his distinguished service as a gatekeeper at Kanda-bashi Bridge and Tokiwa-bashi Bridge of Edo-jo Castle during the Bunka era (1894 to 1817).
He was a wise ruler who loved learning, and in 1818 he developed the hanko 'Kokkokan' further into a new school named 'Zoshikan.'
He also showed interest in Western studies, and was a restorer who established groundwork for promoting westernization of Sanda Domain as preparation for the end of Edo period.
Takayoshi KUKI, the 13th and the last head, changed the system of their army to western style by conducting reformation of domain duties. In 1867 after the opinion of people in the domain was integrated into that of overthrowing the bakufu, Takayoshi KUKI took the side of Imperial army commanding western style army at the Battle of Toba and Fushimi.
Furthermore, after the Meiji Restoration and upon receiving the information that the Kobe Port would be improved as one of the modern ports, he founded the first import business in Kobe named 'Shima San Shokai' with domain's retainers Taizo SHIRASU (grandfather of Jiro SHIRASU) and Taijiro KODERA to save the domain's finance crisis caused by the confusion from the end of Edo period to the Meiji Restoration and to help the feudal retainers of Sanda Domain who had been reduced to poverty due to Haihan-chiken. After this success, he expanded his business into real estate, financial business and at the same time was involved in urban development around Kobe Port such as Moto-machi (Kobe City) and Sannomiya, and foundation of Kobe Home, the boarding school for female students which was a predecessor of Kobe College (Kobe Jogakuin), exercising a major influence on Kobe's development.
In 1871, Sanda Domain was changed its name to Sanda Prefecture due to Haihan-chiken. It was then incorporated into Hyogo Prefecture.
In 1884 the family of lord of Sanda Domain was raised to the peerage as viscount.