The Ayabe Domain (綾部藩)

The Ayabe Domain existed in Tanba Province (Aono cho or Hongu cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture in the present day). The seat of the domain in Ayabe-jinya.

The history of the domain

Becoming independent on March 5, 1633, the Ayabe Domain had a yield of 20,000 koku in rice and was ruled by a tozama daimyo (the allied daimyo of the Tokugawa shogun). The founder of the domain was Takasue KUKI, the grandson of Yoshitaka KUKI who was a general in the navy under Nobunaga ODA and achieved prominence in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). After the death of Yoshitaka, his son Moritaka KUKI took over the Kuki clan, but when Moritaka died in 1632, Takasue the third son and Hisataka KUKI the fifth son fought each other to become head of the family. The dispute took place because Moritaka had doted on Hisataka, the fifth son and chosen him as his heir, and the result was the transfer of Hisataka to the Sanda Domain in Settsu Province and of Takasue to the Ayabe Domain, leading to the loss of the Toba Domain in Shima Province, which had been the hometown of the Kuki clan since the era of Yoshitaka. Takasue allocated 500 koku to his younger brother Takashige KUKI on March 28, 1661 and founded a branch family. Takasue also created a castle town and implemented a land survey to strengthen the administrative base of the domain.

However, in the period of Takatsune KUKI, the second lord, the domain administration had already started to decline after various natural disasters, such as heavy flooding and rain storms which killed 3,729 people. Thereafter, the domain was repeatedly assailed by flooding, droughts, and famine, and its finances collapsed in the era of Takanao KUKI, the third lord of the domain, who pursued reforms as the issue of a domain currency, reduction in spending on weapons, and a reduction in the amount of rice distributed to vassals, but this was followed by more flooding and even a peasant's revolt, and the administration was severely weakened. Takanao did, however, manage to establish Shintokukan, a clan school.

With the domain administration in this weakened state, Takahiro KUKI, the ninth lord of the domain, invited Nobuhiro SATO and Hirohira OKUYAMA to work on reforming the domain administration, focusing on agricultural policies, and invited Sosui YAMAGA to reform military affairs. In 1847 Takahiro established a cotton syndicate and introduced a system of monopoly, and was successful in reviving the finances of the domain to some extent. In the turbulent times at the end of Edo period, Takahiro relinquished the position of the head of the family to his son Takamoto KUKI, retiring on June 10, 1861. Takamoto initially supported the shogun, but began to lean towards the government army side after serving as a guard of the old imperial palace during the Hamaguri Rebellion, and, in January 1868, he quickly took the side of the new government with the help of Kinmochi SAIONJI. Under the rules of the return of lands to the emperor, Takamoto then became the governor of the domain before it was abolished in the abolition of domains and establishment of prefectures in 1871. After becoming Ayabe Prefecture, it then became part of Kyoto Prefecture.

Takamoto was just as capable as his father, and committed himself to the education of the people, changing the name of Shintokukan, the clan school, to Tokushinkan and founding six local schools in the following year. This was a precursor to the modern educational system introduced by the Meiji Government.

The Kuki family

The tozama daimyo (the allied daimyo of the Tokugawa shogun)
20,000 koku to 19,500 koku.

Takasue KUKI (became the lord of the domain on March 5, 1633, retired on November 16, 1674)
Takatsune KUKI (became the lord of the domain on November 16, 1674, died on April 1, 1698)
Takanao KUKI (became the lord of the domain in May, 1698, retired at the end of January, 1713)
Takanobu KUKI (became the lord of the domain at the end of January, 1713, retired on March 8, 1766)
Takasada KUKI (became the lord of the domain on March 8, 1766, died on December 12, 1780)
Takayoshi KUKI (became the lord of the domain on March 12, 1781, died at the end of January, 1787)
Takasato KUKI (became the lord of the domain on April 7, 1787, died at the end of May, 1808)
Takanori KUKI (became the lord of the domain on July 5, 1808, retired on January 24, 1822)
Takahiro KUKI (became the lord of the domain on January 24, 1822 and retired on June 10, 1861)
Takatomo KUKI (became the lord of the domain on June 10, 1861, discharged the governor of the domain in 1871)

Takaharu KUKI - Established and led Kodosenyokai, a martial arts association, from 1919, died aged 96 in March 25, 1980
Munetaka KUKI - the first son of Takaharu, the former chief priest of Kumanohongu-taisha Shrine, died aged 90 in June 27, 2003
Ietaka KUKI The first son of Munetaka and the current chief priest of Kumanohongu-taisha Shrine

[Original Japanese]