Date Muneatsu (伊達宗敦)

Muneatsu DATE (June 20, 1852 – January 6, 1907) was the governor of the Sendai Domain (although Munemoto DATE, the 30th head of the Date clan and the 14th lord of the Sendai Domain, still remained the head of the Date clan when Muneatsu was in office), a legitimate child (disinherited later) of the 13th lord of the Sendai Domain, Yoshikuni DATE, and a baron. He was the second son (or the fifth son) of Munenari DATE, the lord of the Uwajima Domain in Iyo Province. His legal wife was a daughter of Mototoyo HIROHATA, and his second wife was a daughter of Sanraku MATSUNE. His official court ranks were Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices), Jiju (Chamberlain) and Shoshii (Senior Fourth Rank).

Muneatsu was adopted by the 13th lord of the domain, Yoshikuni, and was originally supposed to succeed him as the 14th lord of the domain. However, his foster father became the leader of the Ouetsu-reppan alliance in 1868, and as a result, the father was ordered by the new government army to be placed under house arrest, when even Muneatsu was disinherited. For this reason, he was not able to succeed Yoshikuni, and Munemoto, his fourth son, succeeded him as the 14th lord of the domain. However, Munemoto, only a child, was not able to attend to government affairs although appointed the governor of the domain after Hanseki-hokan (return of the land and people from the feudal lords to the emperor) in 1869. Therefore, the new government released Muneatsu from house arrest in 1870 and appointed him new governor of the domain in place of Munemoto.

Although Muneatsu was actually active in government affairs as the governor of the Sendai Domain, he is counted out of the successive heads of the Date clan because Munemoto was still the head of the clan.

After Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures) in 1871, Muneatsu went to Britain to study. He started a new family of DATE in 1884, and was awarded the title of baron in 1888. He served as a member of Kizokuin (Japan's House of Peers) since 1890. In 1907, he died at the age of 56. Munetsune DATE, his first son, took over as the head of the Date baron family.

Family Tree
Natural father: Munenari Date
Foster father: Yoshikuni DATE
Legal wife: daughter of Mototoyo HIROHATA
Second wife: Makiko, oldest daughter of Sanraku MATSUNE
Munetsune DATE
Yoshiharu DATE
Yukiko (wife of Enkichi OKI)
Teiichiro DATE
Takatomo DATE
Shigetoshi DATE
Masako (wife of Bunzo INOUE)
Junnosuke DATE (Chinese name: Soen CHO)

[Original Japanese]