Tendō castle was built in 1360 by Shiba Yorinao. In the 16th century, it was part of the territory controlled by the Satomi clan. From 1830-1868, its daimyo was from a branch of the Oda clan, direct descendants of the famed Oda Nobunaga.
From 1767, the Oda clan has been based in nearby Takabatake, in Dewa province with revenues of 20,000 koku. However, the Temmei Great Famine of 1782-1783 hit the region very hard, and reduced many of the peasants and even samurai of the domain to starvation. The domain went bankrupt, and the Oda were shifted to the smaller domain of Tendō in 1830. Although Tendō also had nominal revenues of 20,000 koku, it was located in a mountainous area with limited farming prospects, and actual revenue was smaller. To make ends meet, the Tendō samurai were forced to raise and process safflower, used in the Edo period primarily as a pigment in foods and cosmetics.
During the Boshin War of the Meiji restoration, the forces loyal to Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu were defeated in the Battle of Ueno, and fled north. However, representatives of the former shogunate peacefully surrendered Edo to the new Meiji government. The new government then ordered the daimyo of the northern domains to report and pledge their allegiance to the new government in early 1868.
Oda Nobumichi declared himself too ill to travel, and sent his son Oda Nobutoshi in his place. Oda Nobutoshi and his senior retainer Yoshida Daihachi were ordered to act as guide and escort to the imperial army being sent to the Tohoku region against the northern domains, especially centered on nearby Shōnai domain. Oda Nobutoshi participated in the attack on Shōnai, and in retaliation, Shōnai forces burned Tendō Jin'ya and town in April. The Tokugawa shogunate provided a relief fund of 5000 ryō to help with the rebuilding. With the formation of the Ouetsu Reppan Domei of northern domains against the new Meiji government, Tendō initially attempted to remain neutral, but joined the alliance in May 1868. Following the defeat of the northern forces in the Boshin War, Nobutoshi was placed under house arrest, replaced as daimyo by his infant son Suemaru, and the domain revenues were decreased to 18,000 koku. Tendō domain was abolished with the Abolition of the han system in 1871.
List of daimyo
- Oda clan 1830-1871
|1||Oda Nobukazu (織田 信美?)||1830–1836|
|2||Oda Nobumichi (織田 信学?)||1836–1868|
|3||Oda Nobutoshi (織田 信敏?)||1868-1868|
|4||Oda Suemaru (織田 寿重丸?)||1868–1869|
|5||Oda Nobutoshi (織田 信敏?)||1869–1871|
- Ōishi, Boshin sensō, p. 56
- Ōishi, pp. 121-122.
- Ōishi, p. 210.
- Keane, Donald (2005). Emperor Of Japan: Meiji And His World, 1852-1912. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12341-8.
- Hoshi, Ryoichi (1995). Ouetsu Reppan Domei: Higashi Nihon seifu juritsu no yume (Japanese). Chuo Koronsha. ISBN 4-12-101235-6.
- Ōishi, Manabu (2002). Boshin sensō: haisha no Meiji ishin (Japanese). Chūōkōron-shinsha. ISBN 4-12-100455-8.