Otsu Domain (大津藩)

The Otsu Domain refers to a domain which existed in Omi Province (present-day Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture).


In 1595, Takatsugu KYOGOKU who was a vassal of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI entered the domain for the first time with properties bearing 60,000 koku (1 koku was about 180 liter; an old unit showing volume), and as a result, the Otsu Domain was established. Takatsugu served Nagamasa AZAI, but became a vassal of Nobunaga ODA because the Azai clan was ruined by Nobunaga in 1573. In 1582, Takatsugu was expelled after Mitsuhide AKECHI was defeated and killed because he provoked Hideyoshi's wrath by reason that he was on the side of Mitsuhide in the Honnoji Incident. However, when Tatsuko KYOGOKU who used to be a wife of Motoaki TAKEDA and was a younger sister of Takatsugu became a concubine of Hideyoshi, Takatsugu was absolved of his sins and became a vassal of Hideyoshi. In the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Takatsugu participated in the Western Camp at first and turned informer on movements of Western Camp such as Mitsunari ISHIDA and so on to the Eastern Camp. However, Takatsugu participated in the Eastern Camp and held up in the Otsu-jo Castle right before the final battle on October 21. There was originally a relationship that a lawful wife of Takatsugu was Jokoin (Ohatsu) and was an older sister of Ogo, lawful wife of Hidetada TOKUGAWA. And this Jokoin was more friendly with Ogo than Yodo-dono who became a concubine of Hideyoshi. This is why the Otsu-jo Castle was blasted with Muneshige TACHIBANA and Motoyasu SUETSUGU (the eighth son of Motonari MORI) and was forced to surrender. However, due to an offensive and defensive battle of Otsu-jo Castle, an army of Muneshige TACHIBANA which was a valuable military power for the Western Camp could not participate in the final battle on October 21. If Muneshige who was called the bravest general in Chinzei (nickname of Kyushu) and terrified Ieyasu TOKUGAWA had participated in the final battle at this time, the trend of the Battle of Sekigahara might have been different. In addition, after Otsu-jo Castle fell, Takatsugu who was ashamed of defeat went up to Mt. Koya, but Ieyasu ordered him to serve Ieyasu newly because Ieyasu highly evaluated Takatsugu's distinguished service sticking Muneshige, and transferred him to the Obama Domain in Wakasa Province with properties bearing 85,000 koku upon granting additional properties.

In the next year of the Battle of Sekigahara, Kazuaki TODA (Samon), a retainer of the daimyo in hereditary vassalage to Ieyasu, entered Otsu with properties bearing 30,000 koku. However in the following year, Zeze-jo Castle was constructed by order of Ieyasu under Tenkabushin (construction order by the Tokugawa shogunate) by reason that Otsu-jo Castle was not suitable as a castle, and Kazuaki moved to the Zeze Domain. The Otsu Domain was abolished due to this event.

[Original Japanese]