Sakakibara clan

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Sakakibara clan
Home province Ise
Parent house Nikki clan (Seiwa Genji)
Titles Daimyō
Founder Sakakibara Toshinaga
Founding year 16th century
Dissolution still exant

The Sakakibara clan (Japanese: 榊原氏, Hepburn: Sakakibara-shi) was a daimyō branch of the samurai Minamoto clan in Edo-period Japan.[1]

In the Edo period, the Sakakibara were identified as one of the fudai or insider daimyō clans which were hereditary vassals or allies of the Tokugawa clan, in contrast with the tozama or outsider clans.[1] The Sakakibara were one of the four families who enjoyed the privilege of providing a regent during the minority of a Shogun.[2]

Sakakibara clan branches[edit]

The fudai Sakakibara clan originated in the 16th century. Their elevation in status dates from 1586.[1]

The family was descended from Nikki Sadanaga of the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan. The first to take the name Sakakibara was Sadanaga's son, who resided in Sakakibara in Ise Province. He took the name Sakakibara Toshinaga.[3]

Sakakibara Yasumasa (1548–1606) was an ally of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Sengoku period. After the Battle of Sekigahara, he was granted a special honor; and the name by which he is known today dates from that time. He was granted the right to use one of Ieyasu's name characters – Yasumasa.[4] Along with Sakai Tadatsugu, Ii Naomasa and Honda Tadakatsu, he was known as one of the "four heavenly kings of the Tokugawa" (Tokugawa shi-tennō). The sobriquet described four men who were each famously known for their loyal support for the Tokugawa clan.[5]

Yasumasa was granted the han (fief) of Tatebayashi (100,000 koku) in Kōzuke Province.[3] Yasumasa's sons would fight with the Tokugawa in the Siege of Osaka.

The Sakakibara daimyōs were moved several times by the shogunate. In 1643, Sakakibara Tadatsugu and his clan was re-established at Shirakawa Domain (140,000 koku) in Mutsu Province.[6]

In 1649, the seat of the Sakakibara was moved to Himeji Domain in Harima Province.[3]

In a last move of the shogunate, the clan was settled in 1741 at Takada Domain (150,000 koku)[3] in Echigo Province.[7] Takada became a Tokugawa power center during the Boshin War; and afterwards, Takada became a detention center for defeated samurai of the Aizu domain.

In the Meiji era, the head of the Sakakibara was ennobled with the title of Viscount in the kazoku system of peerage.[3]

Notable members of the clan[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Alpert, Georges. (1888). Ancien Japon, p. 77, at Google Books
  2. ^ Rein, Johannes Justus. (1884). Japan: Travels and Researches Undertaken at the Cost of the Prussian Government, p. 322, at Google Books
  3. ^ a b c d e Papinot, Jacques. (2003) Nobiliare du Japon – Sakakibara, p. 55; Papinot, Jacques Edmond Joseph. (1906). Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie du Japon. (in French/German).
  4. ^ a b Plutschow, Herbert. (1995). Japan's Name Culture: The Significance of Names in a Religious, Political and Social Context, p. 53, at Google Books – Ieyasu gave him the "Yasu-" in his name.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). "Sakakibara Yasumasa" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 811, at Google Books
  6. ^ a b Iwao, Seiichi. (2002). "Shirakawa-han" in Dictionnaire historique du Japon, Vol. II, p. 2477, at Google Books
  7. ^ Nussbaum, "Takada" at Japan Encyclopedia, p. 931, at Google Books