Itakura Katsushige (板倉勝重)

Katsushige ITAKURA was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the Edo period, and served as Kyoto Shoshidai (deputy of Kyoto). His father was Yoshishige ITAKURA, and his mother was a daughter of Mitsushige HONDA. His sons include Shigemune ITAKURA and Shigemasa ITAKURA. There are many historical sources in which his name, Itakura Iga no kami (Governor of Iga Province) occurs prefixed by his official rank.

He was born in Oimura, Nukata district, Mikawa Province(present day Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture). When he was a child, he renounced the world and became a Buddhist priest in the Jodo Shinshu sect (an offshoot of the Jodoshu sect), attached to Yoan-ji Temple. However, his father, Yoshishige, was killed in the battle of Zemmyo tsutsumi in 1561, and his brother, Sadashige ITAKURA, who had succeeded their father as head of the family, was also subsequently killed in 1581 in the fighting at the battle of Takatenjin-jo Castle in Totomi Province, where the army of the Takeda clan had hidden themselves, which resulted in Katsushige becoming the next head of the family, under orders from Ieyasu TOKUGAWA.

Thereafter he was engaged primarily in implementing administrative policy, and in 1586 when Ieyasu moved from Hamamatsu-jo Castle to Sunpu-jo Castle, he became the Sunpu machi-bugyo (town magistrate of Sunpu); in 1590, when Ieyasu's territory was moved to the Kanto region, he became the Kanto daikan (governor of Kanto) and the Edo machi-bugyo (town magistrate of Sunpu), receiving fiefs amounting to 1,000 koku in the districts of Niikura and Toyoshima, Musashi Province. In 1601, after the Battle of Sekigahara during the Keicho era, he was given fiefs amounting to 6,600 koku in three districts of Mikawa Province, and at the same time he was appointed as the Kyoto machi-bugyo (town magistrate of Kyoto) (and later the Kyoto Shoshidai); he assumed responsibility for maintaining security in the city of Kyoto, reporting on developments at the Imperial Court, and monitoring the Toyotomi family of Osaka-jo Castle. In 1603, when Ieyasu TOKUGAWA assumed the title of Seii taishogun (literally, "Great general who subdues the barbarians") and established the Edo bakufu (feudal government headed by a shogun), he was awarded the court rank of Jugoinoge, (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), appointed as Iga no kuni no Kami (officer in charge of regional administration in Iga), and in 1609 he was given more territory in the provinces of Omi and Yamashiro, whereupon he was raised in status to Daimyo, with fiefs amounting to more than 16,600 koku. He made a decision as the Kyoto Shoshidai on the Inokuma incident that occurred the same year, harmonizing views among Emperor Goyozei and Ieyasu, and strengthened the control of the Imperial Court. At the Incident of Hoko-ji Temple Bell, which triggered the Siege of Osaka in 1615, along with Masazumi HONDA and others, he proposed hard-line measures against the Court. When the Edo bakufu implemented Kinchu narabi ni kuge shohatto (Acts Governing the Imperial Court and Nobility) following the Siege of Osaka, Katsushige directed and monitored implementation of the ordinances by the Imperial Court to ensure that the laws were not being ignored. In 1620, he resigned from the post of Kyoto Shoshidai and passed it to his son, Shigemune. In 1624 he died at the age of 79.

[Original Japanese]