Gamo Tadatomo (蒲生忠知)

Tadatomo GAMO was the lord of Kaminoyama Domain in Dewa Province. He later became the lord of the Iyo-Matsuyama Domain in Iyo Province.

Succession to the position of family head

In 1626, he was given 40,000 koku of the Kaminoyama Domain. It is unknown whether he became independent as a branch domain or he was just given a territory as a vassal.

His older brother Tadasato died young in 1627 without having an heir, which meant that the Gamo clan was supposed to die out. However, as his mother was a daughter of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Tadasato's younger brother Tadatomo was allowed to succeed the head through the good offices of bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). However, he was transferred and diminished from 600,000 koku of the Aizu Domain to 240,000 koku of the Iyo-Matsuyama Domain. Might be influenced by his religious lawful wife, he reigned peaceful times and left achievements such as construction and relocation of temples (some hypothesis says he was a tyrant, but they are all stereotypical and not convincing). In addition, it is said that he particularly focused on completing the construction of Matsuyama-jo Castle (Iyo Province) where he resided and thus built Ninomaru (outer citadel).

Discord within the domain that led to extinction

In 1630, he judged the conflicts that arose between senior vassals again. The legal efforts did not reach a decision for as long as three years and Tadatomo in trouble thus sought a decision from bakufu, attempting to settle the matter. In the end, he could finally solve the problem. Consequently, his old retainers such as Fukunishi, Seki, Oka, and Shiga were expelled and banished, and further, Satoie GAMO, the younger brother of the chief retainer Satoyoshi GAMO, was given free time and was deprived of his official rank.

Although it seemed that the domain finally reached stability and security, Tadatomo died suddenly at the hantei (residence maintained by a daimyo) in Kyoto during Sankinkotai (a system under which feudal lords in the Edo period were required to spend every other year in residence in Edo) in 1634. Died at the age of 31. He supposedly died of overwork due to changing territory and working hard to settle the internal troubles. Since he did not have an heir, the Gamo clan became extinct.

His portrait is handed down at Enpuku-ji Temple in Iyo Province. He resembled his grandfather Ujisato GAMO, while growing up as a worry-free second son, which may be a reason why his face gives an impression of broad-minded person.

Mysterious story about Tadatomo GAMO

Tadatomo's death resulted in the end of the line of the Omi-Gamo clan, which is said to be caused by a curse. While remaining to have no male heir after succeeding the position of the lord of the domain, Tadatomo began to have hatred against pregnant women in the domain and caused appalling tragedies, repeatedly killing fetuses and mothers by cutting open mother's abdomen. It is said that the Gamo family died out because of the deep-seated grudge of pregnant women who died by violence. As its evidence, a thing called the 'chopping board stone' remains in Matsuyama-jo Castle and even after a park was built at the castle site, it is said that even now the sound of sobbing can be heard (note that this kind of story exists for every castle, including the story called 'Okiku's well' as to Himeji-jo Castle).