Matsunaga clan

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Matsunaga clan
Tsuta-mon (Ivy crest) is a family crest for the Matsunaga clan
Matsunaga clan mon
Home provinceMikawa
Parent houseFujiwara clan
FounderMatsunaga Hisahide - Yamato Matsunaga clan
Founding year16th century
Dissolutionstill extant
Fujiwara Seika's younger sister married into the Matsunaga clan

The Matsunaga clan (松永氏 Matsunaga-shi) is a Japanese samurai clan who are descended from the Fujiwara clan.[1] [2]

The lineage of Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide strengthen the Matsunaga clan's claim to Fujiwara lineage through Hisahide's nephew, Tadatoshi Naito (also known as Naito Joan and Fujiwara John). Tadatoshi Naito's mother was Naito Sadafusa who was from the Naito clan. The Naito clan are descended from Fujiwara no Hidesato (Hokke (Fujiwara)). Tadatoshi Naito would serve as lord of Yagi castle. [3]

Hisahide's granddaughter, Matsunaga Teitoku (松永貞徳} also strengthened the Matsunaga clan's link to the Fujiwara clan. Her mother was the older sister of Fujiwara Seika (藤原惺窩). Teitoku's cousin was Tadatoshi Naito.[4]

Other sources suggest that the Matsunaga clan may have descended from the Minamoto clan and may be the descendants of Takenouchi no Sukune.

Mikawa Matsunaga clan[edit]

It was a powerful clan in the Mikawa Province. Matsunaga Heiza'emon (松平平左衛門) served Matsudaira Kiyoyasu (松平清康), who was the 7th head of the Matsudaira clan and grandfather of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Heiza'emon's son, Genzo (源藏) served Ieyasu which can be seen in Kansei Choshu Shokafu (genealogies of vassals in Edo Bakufu).[1] The Matsunagas in this clan used the tsuta mon (ivy) as their family crest.

Descendants of this clan continued to serve the Tokugawa Bakufu. Other Japanese people, who used the Matsunaga name, originated from this area. Some emigrated to Hawaii, United States and Brazil in the late 1800s.

Spark Matsunaga may be a descendant of this clan.

Yamato Matsunaga clan[edit]

Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide, one of the few portraits where he is not shown as an old shrewd man.

The Matsunaga clan that follows the lineage of Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide (松永弾正久秀) is the most famous in Japan. Hisahida was the daimyō of the Yamato Province during the Sengoku period. He was born in the year of 1508[5] and shares the same roots with the Fujiwara clan as the Matsunaga clan in the Mikawa Province. They both used the same tsuta-mon (ivy) as their family crest. In Japan, when people think of the Matsunaga clan, it is usually Hisahide they are referring to.

Hisahide served as the main retainer for Miyoshi Nagayoshi of the Miyoshi clan in the Yamato Province.[6] He also served as retainer briefly for the Oda clan.

Hisahide’s actual title was Danjo Shohitsu (弾正少弼) which was positioned under the vice minister of Danjo with the Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade.[1] He would become the daimyō of the Yamato Province.

Hisahide later committed seppuku after Oda Nobunaga besieged him at Shigisan Castle in 1577. Both of his sons, Kojiro and Hisamichi (松永久通), also committed seppuku during the siege.

Hizen and Higo Matsunaga Clans[edit]

Hisamichi, the heir of Hisahide, had a son named Hikobe’e Ichimaru or Kazumaru (彦兵衛一丸). He moved down to Hakata, Chikuzen Province, opened a pawnshop and became a wealthy merchant. Hikobe's descendant became retainers of the Saga Domain. They include Matsunaga Munetomo (松永宗伴) as a retainer of the Saga Domain and Matsunaga Shouemon (松永所右衛門) as a retainer of Kashima Domain which was a branched domain of the Saga Domain.[1]

There was also another Matsunaga clan that was started by Kuen (松永空圓), a Buddhist monk who claimed himself as a younger brother of Matsunaga Hisahide. Their family crest is the pattern based on Japanese ginger and similar patterns but not the ivy ones (tsuta-mon) which had given from the Ryuzoji clan (龍造寺氏) which was one of the warlords that dominated the area.[1]

Descendants of Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide[edit]

The following are descendants of Hisahide:[7]

Other Danjo Hisahide descendants are spread across Saga, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka Prefectures. Some descendants moved from Kyushu to the Saitama Prefecture with others immigrating to the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


  1. ^ a b c d e The Origin, History, and Crest of the Family Name Matsunaga from Saga
  2. ^ "Matsunaga Hisahide: Daimyo, Infamous Schemer, and Tea Enthusiast".
  3. ^ "Naito Joan - SamuraiWiki".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Writers, YABAI. "The Villainous Matsunaga Hisahide - YABAI - The Modern, Vibrant Face of Japan". YABAI.
  6. ^ "武家家伝_三好氏".
  7. ^ "Patternz helps Japanese families find their family crests (kamon)". 16 July 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^

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