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Yasukage Amano retired from Kokokuji Castle, and Tadayuki Oguri retired to Gonda Village.

Kokokuji Castle is famous as the castle where Soun Hojo came to front. I'm sure there are many castle enthusiasts who have visited Japan's 100 Famous Castles, and I am one of them.

Here we will focus on another lord of Kokokuji Castle, Yasukage Amano. Yasukage consistently served Ieyasu from an early age, and even supported Ieyasu during the Mikawa Ikko Ikki(the uprising of Buddihist zealots), but in his later years he abandoned his position as lord of the Kokokuji domain, which was worth 10,000 koku, and ran away to be punished by expropriating his territories. During the Battle of Sekigahara, he became the lord of the domain due to his success in staying in Edo, but I believe that he was a man who did not mind behind-the-scenes work and did his best. Organizations with people like this are strong, but as the Tokugawa family grew larger, perhaps they were no longer able to properly assess his value.

The Tenryo(Shogun's direct territory) magistrates appealed to Ieyasu after Yasukage's vassals executed bamboo stealers, who invaded the Kokokuji territory from the people of the Tenryo territory. Ieyasu ordered Masazumi Honda to take action, and Masazumi asked Yasukage to extract his vassals, but Yasukage refused and ran away with his son. Why did a man who followed Ieyasu during the Ikko Ikki uprising, even though he changed his religion, reach old age and abandon his master? I imagine that there was a sense of righteous indignation, wondering how he could blame his subordinates for cutting off bandits who had invaded his territory, and dissatisfaction with Ieyasu, who had Masazumi in charge and did not ask him directly about the situation. We can imagine that what Yasukage, who supported the Tokugawa's takeover of the country behind the scenes, was seeking for the trust of his boss.

Yasukage's daughter married Tadamasa (忠政)Oguri, a member of the Fudaishu(hereditary vassals) from the same Mikawa period, and Tadamasa(忠順) Oguri was a descendant at the end of the Edo period.

It is not enough to write about Tadayuki's great achievements in a short essay, but he served as Foreign Magistrate and Accounting Magistrate, negotiated the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Commerce and Amity, and worked on severe financial restructuring, while building a Western-style military and steel manufacturing. He is the man who made Shigenobu Okuma say, ``The Meiji government's modernization policy is nothing more than an imitation of Tadamasa Oguri,'' and Heihachiro Togo, who said, ``We owed the victory in the Battle of the Sea of Japan to Tadamasa Oguri.'' I would like to see this featured in a drama.

Although Oguri advocated a thoroughgoing war against the Satsuma and Choshu forces, he was not accepted into the Shogunate and was dismissed from his position as the Accounting Magistrate, and returned to his own territory in Gonda Village (present-day Takasaki City) where he opened a cram school and lived. Three months later, he was attacked and beheaded by the government's army, but apparently he passed away calmly and gracefully, letting his mother and pregnant wife escape.

During the long period of peace and peace, it was proved that even a loose organization that had been passed down through generations could be changed so much if a genius took the helm in times of national crisis. This was also due to the presence of a person with good understanding (14th Shogun Iemochi). "A samurai dies for those who know him" - I feel a strong blood connection between Yasukage and Tadamasa.

Yasukage's son Yasumune was later pardoned and appointed as a hatamoto(Shogun's vassal). Kuniko, who was born after Tadamasa's death, was taken in by Shigenobu Okuma, who adopted her as a son-in-law and rebuilt the Oguri family.

”The good and bad of people and cigarettes will be known to future generations through smoke”

Actually, I would like to see him play an active role before it becomes a smoke.



Thank you for coming!

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