Shichikyo-ochi (Seven nobles rustication) (七卿落ち)

"Shichikyo-ochi" was an incident where seven nobles were banished from Kyoto in the political turmoil of August 18, 1863, at the end of Edo period.


During the political turmoil of August 18, which was a coup occurring in 1863, whereby seven nobles, namely Sanetomi SANJO (Seiga family), Suetomo SANJONISHI (Daijin family), Takauta SHIJO, Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE, Motoosa MIBU, Yorinori NISHIKINOKOJI, and Nobuyoshi SAWA, who supported the doctrine of restoring the emperor to power and expelling the barbarians, fell from power when defeated by supporters of the noble-samurai coalition from the Satsuma clan, Aizu clan, etc., and were banished from Kyoto and fled to Choshu Domain. Accompanied by Choshu clan soldiers, the seven court nobles gathered at the Rakuto Myoho-in Temple, and set out for Mitajiri-ko port (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture, Hofu City) in Choshu Domain via Hyogo by boat. They departed with three boats, but due to a storm, two landed in Tokuyama-ko port (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture, Shunan City) in Tokuyama Domain, and headed to Mitajiri over land. At Tokuyama-ko port, there is a monument dedicated to the place where the 'Five Nobles Landed' (at the water park at Harumi-futo wharf in Shunan City, Tokuyama) that was built in 1913.

Later, Yorinori NISHIKINOKOJI died from a disease in 1864, Nobuyoshi SAWA raised an army during the Ikuno Incident and then escaped to hide in Choshu, and the remaining five nobles were transferred to Dazaifu Tenmangu in Chikuzen Province after the first conquest of Choshu clan. In December 1867, on the eve of the restoration of imperial rule (Japan), they were pardoned by court council.

Later, Nobuyoshi SAWA became the foreign affairs minister, Sanetomi SANJO became the grand minister and the inner minister, Suetomo SANJONISHI became the councilor and the lord custodian of the shrine, Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE became the vice president of the privy council and the vice president of the house of lords, appointed to important positions in the Meiji government.

In the Mitarai district of Osakishimo-jima Island, a mansion where the five nobles are said to have stopped remains as a monument to the seven nobles' rustication.

[Original Japanese]