Date Munetaka (伊達宗高)

Munetaka DATE (1607 - October 7, 1626) was a Japanese military commander who lived during the Edo period. He was the head of the Murata Date clan. He was the seventh son of Masamune DATE. His mother was Ayama no kata (Lady Ayama), daughter of Muneyoshi SHIBATA. He held the office of Uemon no Taijo (Senior Lieutenant of Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) as Shodaibu (fourth and fifth-rank officials) and rose to the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). His childhood name was Choshomaru.

At the age of 7, he became a lord of Murata Fort and owned Shibata and Katta Counties with a total stipend of 30,000-koku crop yield. Since it is believed that he saved people by asking the heaven with heart and soul to calm the eruption of Zao Mountain Range in 1623, he is still called legendary wise ruler in Murata Village (present-day Murata-cho, Shibata-gun, Miyagi Prefecture). After he was conferred an official rank, he suffered from smallpox and died at Yobo-ji Temple at Nijo, Kyoto, being away from home. At that time, 10 of his vassals followed to the grave. After Munetaka's death, the Murata Date family became extinct because of no inheritor.

His graveyard is located in Ryuto-in Temple in Murata-cho. In Murata-cho, 'Munetaka-ko Matsuri Hanabitaikai' (Lord Munetaka Commemorative Fireworks Display) is held on the anniversary of his death even now.

[Original Japanese]