Date Yoshimura (伊達吉村)

Yoshimura DATE (July 23, 1680-February 8, 1752) was the fifth feudal lord of the Sendai Domain in Mutsu Province, and 21st family head of the Date clan. His father was Munefusa DATE, the eighth son of Tadamune DATE who was the second lord of the domain (Yoshimura was the oldest son of Munefusa). His mother was the daughter of Kagenaga KATAKURA. His lawful wife was Fuyuhime, the adopted daughter of Michitomo KOGA. His children included Muramasa DATE (the oldest son), Murakaze DATE (the third son), Munemura DATE (the fourth son and the sixth lord of domain), Murataka TAMURA (the fifth son, adopted by the vassal Muranori DATE, and later by Muraaki TAMURA), Murayoshi DATE (the eighth son, adopted by the vassal Munenori DATE), Murahime (a daughter, the lawful wife of Tsugumasa IKEDA), Tokuhime (a daughter, also known as Tomiko or Tamadaiin, the lawful wife of Muratoshi DATE), Konhime (琨姫, a daughter, the lawful wife of Masayoshi INABA), a daughter (the lawful wife of Kagehiro KATAKURA).

Personal Profile
His childhood name was Sukesaburo. He was first named Murafusa. Since Senchiyomaru, the oldest son of Tsunamura DATE who was the fourth lord of domain, died young, Yoshimura became an adopted heir and took over as the head of the family in 1703 at the same time as the retirement of Tsunamura, his foster father. His official court rank was Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade), Sakone gon no chujo (Provisional Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards), Mutsu no kami (Governor of Mutsu Province). Due to the reform conducted by Tsunamura, the former lord of domain, the finance of the Sendai Domain at that time was very tight. Therefore, Yoshimura conducted reformation of domain duties with the aim of financial reconstruction. First of all, he obtained approval from the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) to make 'Kanei Tsuho' (coins) in Ishinomaki and make profit by distributing them within the territory in 1727. Also, he reorganized and reinforced the kaimai shiho (rice trading system) that he forced farmers to provide the domain with surplus rice which was shipped to Edo to gain more profit. In this way, he improved the domain's financial status. Because of this, it is even said that most of the rice which went into circulation in Edo came from the Sendai Domain from the early to the middle of 18th century.

In addition, because Yoshimura himself was good in art including calligraphy, painting, and waka (a traditional Japanese poem), he encouraged people to learn art by opening academic temples in the domain. Especially he was very good in making waka and had a lot of exchanges with court nobles in Kyoto. In 1743, he had his fourth son Munemura DATE to take over as the head of the domain (the Sendai Domain) and retired. He died in 1751 at the age of 72. His homyo (posthumous Buddhist name) was Zokutoinden Shishigenkatsu Daikoji (続燈院殿獅山元活大居士).

Because Yoshimura reorganized the finance of the Sendai Domain, he was called 'Chuko no Meikun' (the Wise Lord of a renaissance) along with Tsunamura. In 1928, he was additionally granted the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). The Aone-onsen Hot spring has a bathing diary since Yoshimura's era (currently, it is displayed in the building of Fubokaku, Yumoto [source of hot spring] of the Aone-onsen Hot spring).

[Original Japanese]