Nakamura Kazuuji (中村一氏)

Kazuuji NAKAMURA was a Daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was one of Sanchuro (arbitration office) of the Toyotomi government.

Chronological list of the main events

Year of birth unknown: He is regarded to have come from Koga in the Omi Province (present Koka County, Shiga Prefecture). He is considered to have been from the Taki clan, one of the Koga-nijyuikke (the 21 clans of Koga). He served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI from early on.

Around 1573, he was granted by Hideyoshi 200 Koku crop yields out of Nagahama, Omi Province.

1577: He overran Tenno-ji Temple and suppressed an uprising by the Monzeki sect of Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple.

1582: He rendered distinguished military service taking command of a firearms troop in the Battle of Yamazaki.

1583: He participated in the Battle of Shizugatake. He became the lord of the Kishiwada-jo Castle and was granted 30,000 koku crop yields.

1585: He became the lord of the Minakuchi-Okayama-jo Castle in Omi Province and was granted 60,000 koku crop yields. He was promoted and appointed to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) Shikibu shoyu (Junior Assistant of the Ministry of Ceremonial).

1590: He lead the van of the troop of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI in an expedition against Hojo and captured almost unassisted the main part of the Yamanaka-jo Castle defended by Yasunaga MATSUDA. He was granted 140,000 koku crop yields in Sunpu in Suruga Province in recognition of his distinguished military service.

1595: He was entrusted to rule Suruga Province as Daikan (local governor) of Suruga Jikiryo (directly-controlled land).

1598: He was appointed one of Sanchuro (arbitration office).

1600: He belonged to the Eastern Camp in the Battle of Sekigahara, but on August 25 before the battle started, died of illness. It was Kazuhide NAKAMURA who went into battle. His Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist names) was Dairyu-in den Ichigenshin Kodai Zenteimon. His tomb is located at Rinzai-ji Temple in Shizuoka City. His eldest son Icchu NAKAMURA who succeeded his father as the head of the family actively fought in Mino region.

The Nakamura family after that

After the battle, Icchu NAKAMURA was granted 175,000 koku crop yields in Yonago Domain in Hoki Province and the status of Kunimochi-daimyo (a daimyo having domain of one province or more) in recognition of his distinguished military service, however, suddenly died in 1609. Without heir, the Nakamura family died out with only two generations. The family was deprived of its status and forfeited the family territories.

Although a concubine (Bairi) of Icchu gave birth to a son (Kazukiyo NAKAMURA), he was not recognized as an heir, in view of the time when a Matsugo yoshi (adopted as a son on one's deathbed) was not accepted and also in view of the fact that he was not received in audience by Shogun and not obtained Shogun's acknowledgment. Kazukiyo later served Mitsunaka IKEDA, the lord of the Tottori Domain and became a guest of Tomoyoshi IKEDA, Karo (Chief retainer) of Tottori Domain getting Rokudaka (amount of stipend) of 150 Koku crop yields.


In 1584 when he was the lord of the Kishiwada-jo Castle where he usually resided, the castle was attacked by Saikashu and Negoroshu (a group of armed priests in Negoro-ji Temple) and driven to the brink of surrender (the Battle of Kishiwada), and there is a legend that at that time a priest riding on a large octopus and thousands of octopus came and rescued the castle from danger (Legend of Octopus Jizo).

His origin

According to several theories, his origins include a branch line of the Yamazaki clan in Sasaki family of Omi-Genji (Minamoto clan), the Yoshifumi line of the Kanmu-Heishi (Taira clan), a line of the Fujiwara clan or a line of the Tachibana clan, it is, however, unknown to be precise.

According to "History of Yonago City," several roots of the Nakamura clan (theories including descendants of the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan) contain many uncertain elements and can't be regarded as historical facts, however, the family tree from Kazuuji, Icchu's father and after is highly reliable.

The family tree owned by Yoshikazu, a descendant of the Nakamura family, clansman of Tottori Domain clearly indicated in an appraisal that it was prepared more than 350 years before. In the family tree, the father of Kazuuji is Yoshiichi, and there is no mention of Ichimasa who is regarded as the father of Kazuuji in many literatures.

"Sunkoku-zasshi" mentioned that 'Kazuuji NAKAMURA was a child of Nakamura Magoheiji Kazumasa, a resident of Nakamura, Bi-shu (Owari Province) (present Nakamura Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture).
Main name was not detailed (Main name was unknown).'

"History of Koka County, Shiga Prefecture" mentions that 'Kazuuji NAKAMURA, a child of Yaheiji Kazumasa, first called himself as Magoheiji TAKI and changed the name to Nakamura Shikibu shoyu (Junior Assistant of the Ministry of Ceremonial). He was a person of Taki Village.'

"Omi Yochishiryaku" mentioned that 'Kazuuji was on a branch line of Yamazaki clan in Sasaki family and was born in this place, Taki.'

Family and relatives
Seishitsu (legal wife): Annyoin (a daughter of Tsuneoki IKEDA)
The first lord of Yonago Domain

Son: Jinzaemon NAKAMURA. He served Yusai HOSOKAWA. At the time of a siege in the Tanabe-jo Castle (Tango Province) (the Battle of Tanabe-jo Castle) in the Battle of Sekigahara, he got a secret order to be a messenger to the Imperial Palace and escaped from the Tanabe-jo Castle (Refer to 'Jinzaemon NAKAMURA as a messenger from a siege in the Tanabe-jo Castle').

Grandchild: Yaichi NAKAMURA

He was a child of Jinzaemon. He changed his family name to 'Sawamura' by the order of Tadaoki HOSOKAWA and was given equal treatmentto the family of Daigaku SAWAMURA, Karo (chief retainer) of the Hosokawa family.

Great-grandchild: Masatatsu NAKAMURA (feudal retainer of the Kumamoto clan).

He served Tadahiro KATO, the lord of the Kumamoto Domain receiving 500 koku crop yields and after Kaieki (change of rank) served Tadatoshi HOSOKAWA, the new lord of the Domain receiving 1,000 koku crop yields.

Kanzaburo NAKAMURA

He was a grandchild of Ukon NAKAMURA (the Hachisuka family with 5,000 koku crop yields), the youngest brother of Kazuuji. There is a theory that he was the same person as Kanzaburo NAKAMURA (the First), Zamoto (leader of a theatrical company) of Nakamura-za Theater, one of the Edo Sanza of Kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors), however, it is not certain.

Brother: Kazuhide
The husband of his younger sister: Muraaki YOKOTA

[Original Japanese]