Gamo Sodo (The Feud of the Gamo Family) (蒲生騒動)

Gamo Sodo was a family dispute occurred to the Gamo clan, which headed the estate of Aizu-wakamatsu with 920,000 koku of rice (165,959 cubic meters of rice-crop yield), which occurred between 1595 and 1598.

The family dispute, which led to extinction of a family line after the death of Tadatomo GAMO, who was the grandson of Ujisato GAMO, is also called as Gamo Sodo.


Ujisato GAMO, the lord of the castle of Aizu-wakamatsu, passed away at age 40 in March 1595. As a result, Hideyuki GAMO (a chamberlain), who was the legal son of Ujisato, succeeded as the family head at 13 years of age. Thus there was a need for a guardian who would carry out the political duties of the Gamo family in place of the young Hideyuki. Satoyasu GAMO was chosen as the guardian for him.

Satoyasu had originally been a vassal of the Rokkaku clan, but became a vassal of Ujisato when the Rokkaku clan fell. Ujisato favored Satoyasu and granted him the estate of Naganumajo Castle in Iwase District (Mutsu Province) with 35,000 koku (6,314 cubic meters of rice-crop yield). He was such a competent person. On the other hand, Satoyasu befriended Mitsunari ISHIDA, who had been the close servant of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, when Ujisato was alive.
(For this reason, there was a view that Satoyasu had received the will of Mitsunari and assassinated Ujisato by poisoning.)
(But the assassination view is largely denied today.)

Satoyasu worked as the head of a police magistrate in the Gamo family, which held the position of chief retainer to perform political duties from the time when Ujisasato received additional estates after the Kunohe War, but there were many who antagonistic to each other within the family as he came into the hair-trigger situation with the chief retainers Satoyoshi and Satonari GAMO in Aizu, while Ujisato raised the army and traveled to Nagoya during the Bunroku War.

As he had dictated the political duties since Ujisato died, he found himself in the direct confrontation with Satoyoshi and Satonari GAMO and Hachiemon WATARI, who was the top of the koshogumi (page corps).

But Satoyasu attracted Hachiemon to Aizu Wakamatsujo Castle (according to an opinion, it was the palace of the Gamo clan in Kyoto) and assassinated him on the pretext of 'kill of offender.'
The group of Shigeyorio MACHINO, who had for generations been vassals of the Gamo family, became infuriated and mobilized an army to kill Satoyasu, whereupon the two sides came into the hair-trigger situation.

Trial and outcome

In 1598 the series of family disputes became known to Hideyoshi, who was residing in Fushimi. Hideyoshi immediately summoned Satoyasu GAMO to interrogate him. But he determined that Satoyasu had committed merely a petty crime and placed him in the custody of Kiyomasa KATO.
In contrast, the Aizu Wakamatsu estate of Hideyuki GAMO, with a size of 920,000 koku (approximately 160,000,000 liters of rice-crop yield) was largely limited to the Utsunomiya domain, Shimotsuke Province, with W120,000 koku (approximately 21,600,000 liters of rice-crop yield) as 'incapable of ruling the lower-ranking vassals.'

Kagekatsu UESUGI of the Kasugayama, Echigo Province, received the estate of Aizu and thereby obtained 1,200,000 koku (a rice-crop yield of approximately 216,000,000 liters).


There was a view that the disturbances of Gamo-sodo were manipulated by Mitsunari, who had received the command of Hideyoshi, or Mitsunari, as the head conspirator.

Because Satoyasu was the very person who triggered the family dispute, it was unusual for him to receive a punishment; however, he was given hardly any punishment because Mitsunari spoke to Hideyoshi on his behalf. Satoyasu was immediately given a pardon and became the vassal of Yukinaga KONISHI, who had a close relationship with Mitsunari. This was considered to have been due to a recommendation from Mitsunari. Satoyasu was late for the Battle of Sekigahara against the army of Kiyomasa KATO in 1600, so he committed suicide by disembowelment.

Besides, there are various doubts about the severe punishment of the Gamo family and Kagekatsu UESUGI's move to a new domain.
Given that Hideyuki was young, he would have had his limitation even if he had managed to unite the chief vassals, but his estate was reduced due to his 'poor leadership.'
Kagekatsu UESUGI had a close relationship with Mitsunari ISHIDA through his vassal, Kanetsugu NAOE. It is considered to have been a conspiracy to assign Kagekatsu UESUGI, who had a close relationship with Hideyoshi and Mitsunari, to Aizu, the estate that was crucial for the suppression of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, the great feudal lord in the Kanto region.

This severe punishment became an indirect reason for the Gamo family's switching to the side of the Eastern Army during the Battle of Sekigahara.

[Original Japanese]