Kaechi (替地)

Kaechi is a term used for the switching or transfer of control over any two or more plots of land. Kaechi was a political matter that essentially mere paperwork for the shogunate or feudal lord enacting the transfer. But for the people making their living on that plot of land, kaechi was a major event that often rode roughshod over their time-honored traditions.

Kaechi involving the Ozu and Matsuyama dominions of Ehime
Seven years after Yoshiaki KATO, domainal lord of Iyo-Matsuyama domain, had his fief relocated, Tadatomo GAMO, who succeeded him as lord of the domain, died suddenly in Kyoto while on the way to Edo under the system of alternate attendance. As Tadatomo had died heirless, on the eleventh day of the eighth month of 1634 the Edo bakufu (shogunate) confiscated Matsuyama castle (in Iyo Province) and the surrounding territory. Yasuoki KATO became the castellan of the castle, and while serving as the castellan, Kato, who also was the governor of Dewa province, Kato requested a kaechi (exchange of land) between scattered landholdings of Ozu domain in the Kazehaya and Kuwamura districts and a portion of the Iyo-Matsuyama territory, to which the bakufu granted official permission in the eighth month of 1636. As a result of this kaechi, seventeen villages from the Iyo district and twenty from the Ukena district of the Matsuyama territory were transferred into the Ozu domain.

On the occasion of the kaechi, the shogunal envoys Katsutaka MATSUDAIRA and Genzaemon Kichiji SONE passed a verbal message to the residents of the transferred territory, saying "As for any issues concerning the terrain (literally "mountains and rivers"), they shall be the same as before." Nevertheless, the kaechi left a host of problems in its wake that the denizens of the territory found very difficult to endure. Chief among such problems were, for farmers, disputes over common farming areas on hills and the Tobe Disturbance, while problems for fishermen included the Ajiro (wickerwork) Disturbance over ocean fishing rights.

[Original Japanese]