Date Shigemura

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Date Shigemura
Date Shigemura.jpg
Portrait of Date Shigemura
Native name 伊達重村
Born (1742-03-27)March 27, 1742
Died May 27, 1796(1796-05-27) (aged 54)
Edo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Predecessor Date Munemura
Successor Date Narimura
Spouse(s) Toshiko, adopted daughter of Konoe Uchisaki
Parent(s)
Daimyō of Sendai Domain
In office
1759–1790

Date Shigemura (伊達重村, 23 May 1742 – 27 May 1796) was an mid-Edo period Japanese samurai, and the 7th daimyō of Sendai Domain in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan, and the 23rd hereditary chieftain of the Date clan.

Biography[edit]

Shigemura was the second son of Date Munemura. His infant name was Gihachirō (儀八郎), and he was renamed Date Kunimura on the death of his elder brother in 1745. At the time of his genpuku ceremony in 1755, he received a kanji from shōgun Tokugawa Ieshige and thus became Date Shigemura. He became daimyō at the age of 15 the following year, on the death of his father. Due to his youth, the shogunate appointed his uncle, Tamura Murataka of Ichinoseki Domain as his guardian. He inherited a dire situation, in which the domain was suffering from a great famine, finances were in arrears, and there was bitter in-fighting between the various senior retainers.

In 1760, Shigemura married his second cousin, Toshiko, the daughter of the kuge, Hirohata Nakatada, and adopted daughter of the Kampaku Konoe Uchisaki. This year also marked the end of his guardianship, and he was free to start to reform the situation within the domain on his own. However, he was severely sidetracked by an issue over his courtesy title and Court rank. Nominally, Sendai Domain was considered to have the same status in the Shogun’s court as Kagoshima Domain. In 1764, Shimazu Shigehide, daimyō of Kagoshima, received promotion to Junior Fourth Rank, Senior grade and Sakonoe-gon-chūjō (Lieutenant General of the Left Guards). Unable to abide by being surpassed by Shigehide, who was three years younger, Shigemura was forced to make a tremendous outlay in presents and bribes to shogunal officials to have his courtesy titles and position raised as well. To pay for these expenses, he demanded that his senior retainers accept cuts in their stipends, and those who protested were placed under house arrest. In 1767, he finally achieved promotion, but at the cost of 220,000 ryō.

In 1768, Sendai Domain received an order from the Shogunate to mint iron coins for a seven-year period. Normally, minting was considered a very lucrative task; however, the sudden influx of vast amounts of coinage from Sendai Domain created inflation nationwide, which drove the value of the coinage down. Also, as the traditional copper coinage was considered more valuable than Sendai iron coins despite having the same face value, this caused much confusion in the market. The shogunate intervened in 1772 to cut the contract short; but then relented in 1776 to permit another two years of production, as long as the coins remained within the borders of Sendai.

These antics did nothing to improve on the even worsening financial situation and political in-fighting within the domain. In 1790, Shigemura resigned in favor of his son, and died six years later at the domain's shimoyashiki in Edo.

Family[edit]

  • Father: Date Munemura
  • Mother: Osei no Kata (1719–1763)
  • Wife: Toshiko (1745–1808)
  • Concubines:
    • Osega no Kata
    • Okoto no Kata
    • Ohisa no Kata
    • Osada no Kata
    • Osode no Kata
    • Odai no Kata
    • Oai no Kata
  • Children:
    • daughter by Toshiko
    • Manhime married Ii Naotomi by Toshiko
    • Sosaburo (d. 1787) by Ohisa no Kata
    • Junhime married Date Muranaga by Okoto no Kata
    • Sachihime married Tsuchiya Hidenao by Osega no Kata
    • Sensaburo by Osega no Kata
    • daughter by Osega no Kata
    • Namahime married Ikeda Harumichi by Osega no Kata
    • Date Narimura by Ojo no Kata
    • daughter by Ojo no Kata
    • Meguhime by Osode no Kata
    • Kazuhime by Odai no Kata
    • Utsuhime married Date Murayuki by Oai no Kata

In popular culture[edit]

  • The 2016 Japanese jidaigeki samurai comedy film The Magnificent Nine (殿、利息でござる!, Tono, Risoku de Gozaru!) is set in Sendai Domain at the time of Date Shigemura, and refers to the issue of Shigemura's rivalry with Shimazu Shigehide over courtesy titles. Date Shigemura is played by the figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "殿、利息でござる!". eiga.com (in Japanese). Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  • Papinot, Edmond. (1948). Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan. New York: Overbeck Co.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Date Munemura
Take ni Suzume.svg 7th (Date) Daimyō of Sendai
1756–1790
Succeeded by
Date Narimura