Inaba Masakuni (稲葉正邦)

Masakuni INABA (July 2, 1834 - July 15, 1898) was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord), roju (senior councillor of the Tokugawa shogunate) and Kyoto shoshidai (The Kyoto deputy) in the Edo period as well as the twelfth and last lord of Yodo domain of the Yamashiro Province. He was the sixteenth soke (the head family) of the Inaba clan of Masanari INABA lineage.


He was the seventh son of Nagatomi NIWA, the lord of Nihonmatsu domain of the Mutsu Province. Later he was adopted as a child of Masayoshi INABA. His lawful wife was a daughter of Tadaaki SAKAI.

It was the custom in the Yodo Domain that hereditary Jodaigaro (deputy of a feudal lord) the Tanabe family managed the affairs and, in the generation of Masakuni, Ukyo TANABE (later Ukyo) managed domain duties. The Tanabe clan and Masakuni seemed often to differ with one another. It seemed that the Tanabe family was moderate while Masakuni advocated radical behavior and reform. According to the historical materials of the period, it was described that the Tanabe clan did not sometimes accompany their lord for its daily work.

Because the Inaba family was the most powerful domain in Kinai region (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara) having great influence over Saigoku (western part of Japan (especially Kyushu, but ranging as far east as Kinki)), Masakuni was also quickly promoted in the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) from the beginning. When the Aizu Domain and the Kuwana Domain formed an alliance with the Satsuma Domain, he became Kyoto shoshidai (The Kyoto deputy) and government affairs in Kyoto were left to his discretion. Later, he focused entirely on his activities in edohantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo) as roju and even president of political affairs.

There was an event that he decided to dispatch troops of feudal retainers of Yodo Domain to the First and Second Conquests of Choshu because it would allow to improve his position in the bakufu, but he gave it up due to strong opposition from Gon no daibu TANABE. It seemed that a conflict between the lord of the domain as radicals supporting Tokugawa shogunate and the chief executives of the domain as moderates started to become obvious. As the domain with roju, troops were dispatched from the Yodo-jo Castle to the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and several persons were recorded as being killed in action, but the domain gave obedience to the Imperial Court due to the conclusion of a secret agreement between the chief executives of the domain and the Imperial Court in Kyoto. At that time, Masakuni, who has been working in Edo as the leader of government where the Shogun was absent, faced a situation where his domain rebelled against the bakufu without his decision and finally he left to Yodo. Thereafter, the Inaba family continued to maintain their allegiance to new government, and radicals supporting Tokugawa shogunate including Masakuni did not split up.

He became the governor of Yodo Domain due to Hanseki-hokan (the return of the land and people from the feudal lords to the Emperor) and retired from the post due to Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures). His graveyard was in Aoyama Cemetery at Minami Aoyama, Minato Ward, Tokyo. He was succeeded by his adopted son Masanawa INABA.

* Date = in the lunar calendar
In December 1848, he took over as the head of the family. Year and date unknown, he was appointed to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) Nagato no kami (deputy minister in charge of regional administration in Nagato).

On October 9, 1854, he assumed the post of sojaban (an official in charge of the ceremonies). His previous post was Karinomatsume (feudal lord that Karino-ma room in Edo-jo castle was set as his station).

On June 11, 1863, he was moved to work as Kyoto shoshidai (The Kyoto deputy). Year and date unknown, he was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and also served as jiju (chamberlain).

On April 11, 1864, he was moved to work as roju (senior councillor of the Tokugawa shogunate). Date unknown, he was transferred to Mino no kami (governor of Mino Province). He remained in the position of jiju (chamberlain). On October 13, he was transferred to Minbu no taifu (Commissioner of Civil Affairs, the second-ranking officer, fifth rank, lower grade in the Bureau of Civil Affairs). He remained in the position of jiju (chamberlain).

On April 11, 1865, he resigned as roju. He became Karinomatsume.

On April 13, 1866, he was reappointed to his former position as roju. Date unknown, he was transferred to Mino no kami (governor of Mino Province). He remained in the position of jiju (chamberlain). On October 11, as an additional post, he was in charge of diplomacy.

On May 6, 1867, he stopped working for diplomacy and doubled as naikoku jimu sosai (the director general of Domestic Affairs Office).

On January 23, 1868, he retired from the position of naikoku jimu sosai. On February 21, he retired from roju.

In November 1874, he assumed the post of priest of Shiba-daijingu Shrine enshrined at Shiba-Daimon, Minato ward, Tokyo.

In January 1876, he doubled as chief abbot of third section in Shinto Daikyoin (Great Teaching Institute of Shinto) Jimukyoku (bureau).

In May 1878, he resigned as priest of Shiba-daijingu Shrine.

On July 8, 1884, he was created viscount.

In 1885, he assumed the post of the first chief abbot of Shinto Jimukyoku (secretariat of Shinto).

In 1886, Shinto Jimukyoku was reorganized into Shinto Honkyoku (home office) and he continued to serve as the chief abbot.

[Original Japanese]