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Date
Date-mon
Historical Information
Located at: Minamitōhoku, Tōhoku region
Served:
Crest(s)/Banner(s): Two sparrows surrounded by bamboo (pictured)
Sixteen petal chrysanthemum
Go-shichi (five-seven) paulownia
Nine rays of sunlight
A shepherd's-purse
Snow on maiden grass
Talent(s): Bountiful wealth
Prized horses and cavalry
Expert swordsmiths
Early foreign trade
Major Figure(s): Masamune (1st), Narimune, Tanemune, Terumune, Masamune (2nd), Munenari

The Date clan (伊達氏, Date uji), or the Idate clan according to seventeenth century Roman and Edo period records, is one of the few samurai families from ancient times to remain active in Japan today.

They originated from the Fujiwara Hokke, founded by Fujiwara no Fusasaki and one of the families four main branches. According to the Azuma Kagami, the clan's origin began with a servant of Minamoto no Yoritomo originally named Hitatchi Ninyoudosai. Settling for a time in Isa Province, a branch of his descendants named themselves Date. The family broke off into several places of the land by the Kamakura period. The clan's seventh head destroyed the Nagai family and took their territory. He eventually surrendered to the Ashikaga shogunate.

However, the first Masamune opposed his family's lands being cut and made a quiet rebellion during his later years, supposedly going against some of his clanmen's wishes. He allied with the Ōsaki clan and fought Yūko Mitsutomo and Uesugi Zenshū. His family's reputation was given a significant boost and praised. A mere feudal lord with little land became a great lord of Mutsu Province when he subjugated Kamakura and other parts of the land for the shogunate. By the late 1400s, the Date were recognized as a powerful clan.

During the Warring States Period, Masamune heavily pushed for an expansion of his land's borders. Skilled with warfare and politics, he took advantage of the weakened Ashikaga shogunate and chose to subjugate several of the shogunate's retainer families. By 1589, Oshu was largely expanded to its maximum potential. After Hideyoshi subdued the Hojo, he set his sights on the Date. Due to Ieyasu's negotiations, an all out war was avoided and the Date submitted. Hideyoshi relieved them 72,000 koku. Allying with Ieyasu for the rest of his campaigns, the Date received rewards for the majority of the time era as a tozama daimyo. Eventually, Masamune established Sendai and the clan kept a relatively high reputation ever since. Today, current leaders of the Date clan continue to be influential figures in Sendai.

The March 11, 2011 earthquake damaged Masamune's gravesite, breaking a stone lattern and stone wall hanging nearby. A tōshō-gū in Aoba-ku, Yokohama had one of its torii gates and over 34 stone latterns collapse from the quake.

Clan HeadsEdit

  1. Tomomune
  2. Munemura (1173~?)
  3. Yoshihiro
  4. Masayori
  5. Munetsune
  6. Motomune
  7. Yukitomo
  8. Munetō
  9. Masamune (1353~1405)
  10. Ujimune
  11. Mochimune
  12. Narimune
  13. Hisamune
  14. Tanemune
  15. Harumune
  16. Terumune
  17. Masamune
  18. Tadamune
  19. Tsunamune
  20. Tsunamura
  21. Yoshimura
  22. Munemura
  23. Shigemura
  24. Narimura
  25. Chikamune
  26. Narimune
  27. Nariyoshi
  28. Narikuni
  29. Yoshikuni
  30. Munemoto
  31. Kunimune
  32. Okimune
  33. Sadamune
  34. Yasumune (February 9, 1959~present)

Yasumune was born in Tokyo and succeeded his family estate in Sendai after his father's passing. He supervised the 1987 NHK Taiga drama, Dokuganryu Masamune; his name can be seen in the opening credits. He leads the Sendai Aouba Festival parade each year in May, dressed in traditional samurai armor.

Other FiguresEdit

  • Masamichi
  • Hideo
  • Hidemune
  • Munekiyo
  • Sanemoto
  • Muneshige
  • Munefusa
  • Munenari
  • Kuninao
  • Kunishige

LadiesEdit

  • Yoshihime - Masamune's mother
  • Megohime (Yoshihime) - Masamune's wife
  • Shinzo no Kata - Masamune's concubine
  • Iisaka no Tsubone - Masamune's concubine
  • Hanawashi - Ban Naoyuki's daughter, Masamune's concubine
  • Ayama no Kata - Shibata Muneyoshi's daughter, Masamune's concubine
  • Hirokohime - Shibata Tsunehiro's daughter, Masamune's concubine
  • Shoujohime - Tada Yoshihiro's daughter, Masamune's concubine
  • Taetomo - Muragami Masashige's daughter, Masamune's concubine
  • Okaji no Kata - Masamune's favorite mistress
  • Irohahime - Masamune's eldest daughter, Matsudaira Tadateru's wife
  • Kitako (Katakura Kita) - Katakura Kagetsuna's older sister, Masamune's wet nurse
  • Senshihime - Terumune's daughter, Masamune's sister

Deviated FamiliesEdit

The following families are among the many whom originated from the same roots as the Date family.

  • Funao
  • Kinu
  • Tsukanome
  • Iizaka
  • Yabei
  • Ishida
  • Tate
  • Noyama
  • Teramoto
  • Tokue
  • Kōri
  • Yahada
  • Handa
  • Awano
  • Shiomori
  • Furuta
  • Hienuki
  • Koyanagawa
  • Segami
  • Isaoka
  • Ooeshi
  • Okamura
  • Sukime
  • Yanagawa
  • Kamiyama
  • Sugawara
  • Nakamura
  • Mutsu

Major VassalsEdit

Three Heroes of DateEdit

The Three Heroes of Date (伊達三傑) were three reputable retainers who served under Masamune. Each were greatly distinguished and equally earned high honors during their lifetime.

  1. Katakura Kagetsuna/Katakura Kojuro
  2. Date Shigezane
  3. Oniniwa Tsunamoto

Other VassalsEdit

  • Rusu Masakage
  • Nakano Munetoki
  • Oniniwa Yoshinao
  • Endō Munenobu
  • Katakura Shigenaga
  • Koori Sadanaga
  • Yashiro Kageyori
  • Shiroishi Munezane
  • Hasekura Tsunenaga
  • Harada Munetoki
  • Sakurada Motochika
  • Goto Nobuyasu
  • Kakeda Toshimune
  • Koyanagawa Munetomo
  • Koyanagawa Munehide
  • Koyanagawa Morimune
  • Makino Hisanaka
  • Ishikawa Akimitsu
  • Rusu Munetoshi/Date Munetoshi
  • Misawa Munenao
  • Ishikawa Munehiro
  • Harada Munesuke
  • Shibata Tomooki
  • Furuuchi Yoshiyuki
  • Ishida Takajun/Ishida Shougen
  • Izumida Shigemitsu
  • Tsuda Tageyasu
  • Suzuki Motonobu
  • Watari Tomomune
  • Watari Shigemune
  • Yamaoka Shigenaga
  • Gokubun Morishige
  • Inawa Shirokuni
  • Ōuchi Sadatsuna
  • Hamada Kagetaka
  • Kawamura Shigeyoshi

Family CreedEdit

According to the Tokugawa Ieyasu Kyuin, Masamune created these ideals for his clan to follow. The legitimacy of these articles are debated, but they are used in fiction to build a contrast between the Date and Uesugi during the Keicho-Dewa Conflict. Here are rough translations of the mentioned articles.

  1. First, permitting generosity allows weakness. Passing on duty hardens one. Giving into gratitude promotes flattery. Indulging in intelligence makes one spout nonsense. Trusting too much in others will only injure one.
  2. First, an abundance in gold and silver certainly has promise to create a calm and patient mind. Indeed, the wait for such an amount requires a straining endurance, but inviting guests without reservation erases the suffering.
  3. First, if the food one eats in the morning is delicious, praise solely by devouring it. Previous visitors have already shared their opinions of the food's taste by eating it.
  4. First, if one is going out today, paying respects to past brothers is a good way to use one's spare time in this world.

Major CastlesEdit

This list is limited for the duration of Masamune's lifetime.

  • Iwateyama Castle
  • Sendai Castle
  • Ryozen Castle
  • Ishimoda Castle
  • Ōeda Castle
  • Kakeda Castle
  • Marumori Castle
  • Obama Castle
  • Tateyama Castle
  • Wakabayashi Castle
  • Shiroishi Castle
  • Kurogawa Castle
  • Yonezawa Castle

GalleryEdit

External linksEdit

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