Kutsuki Clan (朽木氏)

Kutsuki clan was one of the clans of Japan. It was an influential branch family of the Takashima clan, which was a branch of the Omi Genji Sasaki clan. Kutsuki clan controlled Kutsuki-dani, which lay in the upper reaches of Ado-gawa River (the northern part of Takashima County) in Takashima County. The Kutsuki clan was active from the Kamakura period to the Edo period.

The ancestor of the Kutsuki clan was Yoritsuna KUTSUKI, the second son of Takanobu TAKASHIMA, the son of Nobutsuna SASAKI. The clan adopted the name Kutsuki because it controlled Kutsuki sho in Omi Province (the Takashima clan, the head family, was succeeded by Yasunobu, the eldest son of Takanobu). Yokoyama and Tanaka clans were its branch families. Tsuneuji KUTSUKI became the heir of Akimori IKE from the Ike clan, the main branch of Kanmu-Heishi (Taira clan), and inherited the territory of the Ike clan. In the Muromachi period, the Kutsuki clan served for the Ashikaga Shogunate family as a close retainer of Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). After the fall of Ashikaga Shogun, Mototsuna KUTSUKI served for Nobunaga ODA and Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, kept possessing his territory, and maintained the family name as a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord). In the Battle of Sekigahara, the Kutsuki clan originally supported Western Camp but later engaged in secret communication with Eastern Camp, so that the clan was permitted to survive as a daimyo even after the establishment of Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). Since the territory was divided into pieces for the descendants after the death of Mototsuna, the main branch family survived as hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) of kotaiyoriai (alternate yoriai, a family status of samurai warriors in the Edo period). In addition, Tanetsuna KUTSUKI (the lord of the Tsuchiura Domain), the third son of Mototsuna, was appointed as wakadoshiyori (a managerial position in Edo bakufu) as a Shogun's retainer. Thanks to his achievements there, Tanetsuna became a daimyo in the Kanuma Domain in Shimotsuke Province (after that, the Tanetsuna family line moved to the Tsuchiura Domain in Hitachi Province, and lastly moved and stayed in the Fukuchiyama Domain in Tanba Province until the Meiji Restoration). Takamichi, a son of Nobutsuna, identified himself as Kyogoku, the name of his maternal family, and became the daimyo of the Tango Mineyama Domain.