Date Kunishige (伊達邦成)

Kunishige DATE (December 10, 1841 - November 29, 1904) was a peerage in Japan. His main name was the Fujiwara clan. He was the 15th head in the Watari Date family in the Sendai Domain which was a branch family of the Date clan deriving from Tomomune DATE. His peerage was Baron. He was decorated with the Fourth Class of Order of Merit. Kunishige's earliest ancestor was Sanemoto DATE, a brother of Harumune DATE, who was the grandfather of Masamune DATE (grand-uncle of Masamune), so his family lineage was distantly-related to the lord of the domain. The first head of the Watari Date family was Shigezane DATE, who was a senior vassal of Masamune.

Kunishige had a great achievement in reclaiming Hokkaido. Kunishige was the second son of Gikan DATE of the Iwadeyama Date family (a family in the Sendai Domain), and was adopted by Kunizane DATE, the fourteenth head of the Watari Date family. The word 'Kuni' in Kunishige was given by the lord of the Sendai Domain, Yoshikuni DATE. His common name was Yugei, Togoro and Abo.

Kunishige was the feudal lord of Watari in Sendai Domain (now Watari Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture), and dispatched troops to the coastal route in Boshin War. Considering that chances are against victory, he quickly shifted to the policy of peace, paving the way for peace. When the Meiji period started, it became impossible to provide for his many vassals and therefore, accepting the opinion of the chief retainer Shinkuro TOKIWA (Kenin TAMURA), Kunishige moved to Hokkaido leading his vassals and others from 1870, and reclaimed Usu County, Iburi Province (present-day Date City in Hokkaido).

Because of his achievement of the reclamation, he received a decoration of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, and was raised to baron. Later on he was deitied in Hokkaido-jingu Shrine.

Kuninao DATE, who was a head of the Iwadeyama Date family and laid foundation of Tobetsu Town, was his real brother.

[Original Japanese]