Monday, November 12, 2012

Tatebayashi Han

I went to Tatebayashi yesterday.  It took me six hours, and it started to rain.   But I was lucky to get to their library around four p.m. and found it was the last day of their special exhibit titled "The Tatebayashi han and the territories that supported it."

I looked around the gallery and went straight to see an old and  large map.  I could not read each name on the map through a glass case.  I was alone.  Soon, a young attendant came and helped me read it, but in the middle of it, she said a pamphlet was available, and its cover was a copy of the map.

"Oh, that's perfect!  I'd like to buy one."

Sure enough, Yamada Makinosuke who lived in Edo period was on the map.  It was exactly the way I would write his name, 山田牧之助.  His family lived next to the family of Kawakata Yajuro, 河方八十朗.  They are both my ancestors.  Yamada Makinosuke was a chief treasurer, and Kawakata Yajuro was a doctor.  I also received a list of all the samurai that belonged to the Hamada han.    

They lived on the Urajuku 裏宿 street where high ranking samurai lived.  I also see the name Yamamoto on the same street.  I haven't confirmed, but I think they were also related to both families by marriages. 

Now, maybe I don't need to go to Hamada in Shimane prefecture, but I'll be heading there tomorrow.  It will rain tomorrow, but because I'm already in Yamaguchi, I'll at least travel to Hamada to see the remain of the Hamada castle or something.
In 1836, the lord Matsudaira Nariatsu and his vassals moved from Tatebayashi to Hamada.
The Hamada Han was empty then because of their scandal called the Takeshima incident that happened in previous year.  They had been trading with foreign countries which was then forbidden.  Their chief councilor  committed harakiri.  It's unfortunate and sad.  The chief councilor was also a scholar.

Now I'd like to know the real reason for the Tatebayashi han moved to Hamada.  I copied the following from the English Wikipedia site.

Matsudaira (Ochi) clan (Fudai; 54,000->61,000 koku)

  1. Takechika
  2. Takehiro
  3. Nariatsu


ZACL said...

How does it feel to see your family names in print, or on show in a library? I cannot conceive of it, but I think I would be like a peacock fanning out its feathers, strutting around with pride. :)

keiko amano said...


Although I was very sure of our roots, those documents were probably forbidden to see for a long time, so I wish I could show it to my mother and grandfather. It's more surprise than anything else.

But now, I'm faced with more mystery. I want to know what happened even before that. Several libraries own their old original documents such as the collection of their resumes. I'd like to see it, plus some documents written by Makinosuke. I'd like to see his brushstrokes.

Because I'm not a scholar, maybe I'm not allowed to see the documents. This is unfortunate.