"Yokoso" Welcome to Osaka, Japan!

Lady Gracia ( Garashia ) Hosokawa and the Ages
in which she lived.
The House of Hosokawa

Statue of Gracia Hosokawa
at the Grand Cathedral of St.Mary
of Osaka ( Tamatsukuri Catholic
Church ) made by a Catholic
sculptor Abe Masayoshi

Lady Gracia ( Garashia )
( 1563-1600)

Hosokawa Tadaoki and Lady
Gracia in their happy honey moon

" The well of lord Ecchu
The remains of the palace of
lord Hosokawa Ecchu-no-kami
Tadaoki where lady Gracia died
as a faithful wife of a warlord.

The farewell poem of Lady
"Flowers are flowers,
Men are men,
vanishing at their proper times "

Shoryuji Castle
( Nagaoka-kyo City, Kyoto pref. )
Gracia spent in this castle a
couple of years of her honey
moon days.
Those were the happiest days she
spent with her husband lord
Tadaoki Hosokawa
in her tragic short life.

In Chinese


若 知 適 時

消 散 世 間

花 既 是 花

辜秀玲(  こ  しゅうれい )
Gu Xiu Ling in Singapore

Flowers are flowers,
persons are persons
when they know the proper time
to vanish from the world

By Hiroaki Sasaki

Tombstone of Gracia Hosokawa
She was buried here under a
Buddhist posthumous name.
Sôzen-ji Temple of Sôto-shu
Zen Buddhist sect
5-chome Higashi-Nakajima,
Higashi-Yodogawa-ku, Osaka


In 1563, in the turbulent Ages of the Civil Wars called " Sengoku Jidai ",
Tamako( called later lady Gracia ), the third daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide,
one of the most important generals of Oda Nobunaga who was unifying 
Japan, was born. It was only 14 years since the spanish missionary Franxis
Xavier had landed on the southenrnost province of Kyushu, Satsuma ( Now
Kagoshima pref. )

Tamako lived in the Castle of Sakamoto, overlooking the beautiful Lake Biwa
in the province of Ohmi ,( Now, the capital city of Shiga Prefecture, Ohtsu )
until she was 16 years old.

The portuguese missionary Luis Frois wrote in his book " History of Japan "
that the Sakamoto Castle was so splendid and second only to the Azuchi
Castle of Oda Nobunaga in Japan.

Now, we can not know how the Castle was like, as there are no picture of the
Castle nor its sketches and we can see only the remains of it.

The remains of the
Sakamoto Castle
Ohtsu city, Shiga Pref.

She was very intelligent, inquiring, active and, moreover, extremely beautiful.
She must have inherited brilliant characters from her father Akechi Mitsuhide
who was an intelligent and educated warlord.

In 1578, when she was 16 years old, she married a warlord named Tadaoki
Hosokawa, the eldest son of Hosokawa Fujitaka, later named as Hosokawa
Yuusai. Tadaoki was a very talented and learned warlord like his father Yuusai.
He learned to compose poems and to paint. He was well-versed in literature,
in traditional customs and of etiquettes and their history.

He learned Tea ceremony from the great master Sen Rikyu and was called
" one of the the seven wisest desciples of Sen Rikyu ". After Sen Rikyu was
forced to commit Seppuku at the order of Hideyoshi, he helped Rikyu's eldest
son Dooan to continue the school of tea cermony,  founded by his father Rikyu
and gave him a territory capable of producing 300 koku of rice in the province
of Buzen ( Now, Oita prefecture and the eastern part of Fukuoka prefecture ).

After  having been maried, lady Gracia spent a few years of her happiest days
in her short tragic life in the Syôryûji Castle ( now in the Nagaoka-kyo City,
Kyoto prefecture ) with her husband Hosokawa Tadaoki. They loved each

In 1579, lord Tadaoki, with his father Fujitaka and his father-in-law, Akechi
Mitsuhide, father of Lady Gracia, , were ordered by Oda Nobunaga to fight
against the Isshiki clan and destroyed it. As his father retired, he became the
lord of Miyazu in the province of Tango with its 120,000 koku of rice production.

His castle in Miyazu was located near one of the most famous scenic beauty
spot  called Ama-no-Hashidate," the Bridge to Heaven. "

Amano Hashidate
(  The Bridge suspended
from Heaven )
Miyazu city , Kyoto pref.
( Two hours from Osaka,
1 hour and 40 minutes ffrom Kyoto by train.

Considered as one of the
three beautiful sights
of Japan.

At this point, the toursists bend themselves
downward to look at it between
their legs, because it is believed that its beauty
is best seen when you look at it upside down between

your legs.

In 1582, one of the most tragic incident in her life happened.The father of
Tamako, Akechi Mitsuhide, betrayed his master Oda Nobunaga. He attacked
Oda Nobunaga who was at the Honnñ-ji Temple with a small troop and
forced him to commit seppuku in the burnig temple.

At that time, Toyotomi Hideyoshi was in the Chugoku region at war with the
Mori clan. He heard about the tragic death of his master Nobunaga. He
settled a cease-fire agreement with the Moris and hurried back to Kyoto to
take revenge on Akechi Mitsuhide. He returned back a distance of 150
kilometers in four days. This marching was called " The great return from
Chugoku of Hideyoshi ".

Akechi Mitsuhide expected that the family of the husband of her daughter
would take sides with him. But, the husband of Lady Gracia, Hosokawa
Tadaoki, and her father -in-law Yusai declined to take sides with Akechi
Mitsuhide. Other warlords whom he thought would cooperate with him did
not do so.

One of his closest friend Takayama Ukon, Christian warlord, also declined to
cooperate with him.

On 12th June 1582, troops of Hideyoshi numbering 36,000 men clashed
against 16,000 Akechi Mitsuhide's warriors in the Mount Tennozan.
Akechi Mitsuhide was defeated on the same day. He tried to return to his
castle in Sakamoto. But, on his way back, in Yamashina, Kyoto, he was killed
by a local peasant with a lance of bambu. This battle paved the way for the
dominance of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Japan.

Mt. Tennôzan
( 270.4 meters aboe the sea level
The site of the battle which made Yoyotoi Hideyoshi
become dominant in Japan.

( Oyamazaki-cho, Kioto Prefecture)

Lady Garashia ( Gracia ) now became the daughter of the traitor to his master
who was also the master of his husband.

Hosokawa Tadaoki pretended to divorce Tamako and kept her at Midono, a
small village in the mountains, where she spent two years separated from
her husband and children. She was allowed to return to the Hosokawa's
palace in Tamatsuri, Osaka. You can see the " Ecchû i ", the well which
existed in the palace of Hosokawa Echû-no -kami Tadaoki, the only remains
of his palace at some 200 meter's distance from the Grand Cathedral of
St.Mary of Osaka ( Tamatsukuri Catholic Church ), where the statue of lady
Garashia (Gracia ) is found.

Tamako, at first, was interested in Zen Buddhism. He used to visit the
Kennin-ji temple in Kyoto.

Kenninji Buddhist Zen Temple

The oldest Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto

She began to be interested in Christianity little by little, as his husband talked
to her often about his close christian friend Takayama Ukon. She was also
influenced by her lady-in-waiting Maria who was Christian.

In 1587, when she was 25 years old, while his husband was absent beiing
sent to Kyushu at the order of Hideyoshi to fight against  the Shimazu clan,
she visited the jesuit church in Osaka. The church was decorated beautifully,
as it was the day of Easter. Tamako made some questions about Christian
belief to the Spanish missionary Father Cesvedes who was surprised at her

Her husband did not want her to go out frequently. She did not go to church
again, but he exchanged letters with the Spanish missionary, and increased
her understanding of christianity. She was baptized at home . Her Christian
name was Gracia, Grace of God. "Gracia" was pronounced "Garashia".

Hideyoshi, after having conquered Kyushu, changed suddenly his attitude
toward Christians. He was alarmed that  some of his warlords donated some
parts of the sacred land of the Sun Rising Country of the gods to foreign
churches. He came to know that some poor peasants had been sold to
the portuguese merchants.

In July 1587, Hideyoshi ordered his faithful warlord Takayama Ukon to abandon
his christian belief, but he didn't want to abandon them. He was expelled from
Japan to the Phillipines.

In August 1587, Hideyoshi issued the Law of Porhibition of Christianity.
Back In 1582, the three Christian warlords in Kusyu, Arima Harunobu,
Omura Sumitada, Otomo Yoshishige, had sent to Europe an embassy of
four clever juveniles. They came back in 1590 accompanied by Alexander
Valignano. Hideyoshi received them well, as they had been sent before his
law to prohibit Christianity and he wanted to have commerce with European

The members of the delegation to Europe were 12 - 13 years old when they
left Japan.They were away from Japan during 8 years. The embassy brought
to Japan a printing machine. About 50 books, such as catechism, biographies
of the saints and desciples, and others were printed.

Hara Martino translated many books and his last translation into Japanese
was " Conte Mutu Sumundi " ( Learn from Christ ) . When the persecution
to the Christians became intense, the printing machine was moved to Macao.
Hara Martino was sent into exile to Macao in 1614 and died there in 1629.

In September 1596, the deplorable incident for Christians happened. The
Spanish galleon " San Felipe ", on his way back to Mexico from the Phillipines
shipwrecked and went adrift to the shore of Urado in the province of Tosa,
Shikoku Island. The merchandise was confiscated by the local ruler. The
Spanish captain went to Kyoto to meet Hideyoshi to negotiate on their return
of the merchandise and to ask for the cooperation to repair the shipwrecked
gelleon. Meanwhile, one Spanish navigator said to the local officer that
Spain is the largest and the most powerful country where the sun
never sets and could conquer easily Japan, showing the Spanish territories
on the map.

The local officer said that usually, there were a small number of soldiers on
board the Spanish ships and it was impossible to conquer Japan. The Spanish
navigator replied : " My lord ! , first missionaries will come to cristianize a
land and once cristianized people, a large army would be sent conquer the
land by  military force easily. You should treat us better. "

Hideyoshi was informed of this inappropiate remark of a Spanish sailor
and got extremely indignant. Moreover, in December of the same 1596,
missionaries were prohibited to remain in Japan, but in 1587 some of them
were found in Kyoto. The Christians were arrested in Sakai, Osaka and Kyoto.
Their ears were torn off cruelly and were bleeding.

They were showed around in each city.  In January 10th 1597, they were
gathered in Osaka and with their arms tied up behind their shoulders started
1,000 kilometers of journey on foot to Nagasaki. When they arrived at Karatsu,
the deputy governor of Nagasaki, Terazawa Hanzaburo, told to the youngest
boy among them, 12 year old Ludovico Ibaragi to abandon Christian faith and
then he could adopt him as his son and would make him samurai. He wanted
to save the little boy from the persecution. But, he declined the kind offer of
Terazawa saying that he would prefer to die as a Christian for christian belief..

On February 5th 1597, 6 foreign missionaries and 20 Japanese Christians
were crucified on the Nishizaka Hill in Nagasaki. In 1862, Pope Pius IX  
santified the 26 martyrs as saints. In 1950, Pope Pius XII sanctified the
Nishizaka Hill as a holy place of pilgrimage, " the Hill of Martyrdom. " 
Toyotomi Hideyoshi died in 1598.

In 1600, as a prelude to the overall Battle of Sekigahara, he went to
Notheast Japan to fight against the Uesugi clan. While he was absent from
Osaka, Ishida Mitsunari wanted to take her as a hostage and surrounded
the Hosokawa's palace with some hundred warriors. She ordered one of
the vassals of Hosokawa Tdaoki to stab her. She burned the Palace and died
at the age of 37.

Organtino picked up the remains of her and of other victims in the burned
down Palace and buried them in the Sôzen-ji Temple of Sôto-shu Zen
Buddhist sect.

Tadaoki was moved in 1602 to Nakatsu in the Province of Buzen with 395,000
koku of rice production as an award for his brilliant exploits in the Battle of
Sekigahara. He built a church in Nakatsu and performed the Christian
funeral service for her. Later. he was moved to the Kokura domains with
400.000 koku of rice production.

In 1620, he retired from ruling the domains which he relinquishi to his
third son Tadatoshi. In 1632, the Hosokawa family was moved to the
Kumamoto domain in the province of Higo with 540,000 koku of rice production.
He built a castle in Yatsushiro and moved there to spend his retired life.

He passed away in 1645 at the age of 83.

The new leader of Japan, who succeeded Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu,
began persecuting Christians in 1612. Hosokawa Tadaoki destroyed
churches and encouraged his retainers and his subjects to abandon
Christianity. Even if lady Garashia had died at the age of 37 lived
12 years longer, her life could not have been less tragic, because her
husband was forced to persecute Christians at the order of the new leader
of Japan

Some people wrote about her as Christian martyr but actually he died as a
faithful wife of warlord and she din't die to defend her Christian faith. She could
not be allowed to kill herself according to her Christian belief. But, it was
actually a suicide, as she ordered his husbands' retainer to kill her. Anyway,
she was respected and beloved by manhy Christians and non-christians.

In 1934, people in Ecchu-cho erected the stone monument  for her at the
side of the " Echu i " , well which was the only remains of the Honsokawa's
palace. At the near-by place, at the left side of the entrance to the Grand
Cathedral of St.Mary of Osaka ( Tamatsukuri Catholic Church ), you can see
the statue of Lady Garashia.

The Shimabara Christian Rebellion led by 15 year-old Amakusa Shiro
happened in 1937 in the Shimabara and Amakusa regions. The rebellion
was not only a religious war to defend Christianity. People in these regions
suffered heavy taxs and famine. The local warlord could not suprress
the troop of 37,000 rebels trenched in the site of the ruins of the former
Hara Castle which had been built by the Christian warlord Arima Takazumi.

The sgogunate sent a troop to Shimabara and ordered a dozen of the warlords
in Kyushu to participate in the battle to crush the Christian rebels in Shimabara.

The Christians became
" hided Christians", or " Kakure Kirishitan ". Every Japanese were registered at the
buddhist temples as buddhists. They handed down christian faith, however, from
generation to generation in secret, until the ages of freedom of religions.

The House of Hosokawa had lasted until the end of the Edo Period. The 11th daimyo
of Kumamoto, the last feudal lord of Kumamoto, Hosokawa Yoshikuni bacame
governor of Kumamo. The hereditory treasures of the house of  Hosokawa are
housed in the Eisei Bunko Museum established by Marquis Hosokawa Moritatsu
in 1950.

Morihiro Hosokawa







Click to see an enlarged picture
Click to see an enlarged picture
Click to see an enlarged picture

Morihiro HosokaThe Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition

Morihiro Hosokawa , 1938-, Japanese politician, a member of a noble family and grandson of Fumimaro Konoye . A journalist and member of the Liberal Democratic party (LDP), he entered politics in 1971 when he was elected to the upper house of the Japanese parliament. After two terms in parliament, he served (1983-91) as governor of Kumamoto prefecture on Kyushu. Dismayed by federal corruption, he bolted from the LDP in 1992 and founded the reformist Japan New party. When the splintered opposition groups triumphed in the 1993 election, ending 38 years of LDP rule, Hosokawa helped fashion an eight-party...

Hosokawa is famous for being the politician who broke the Liberal Democratic Party's age-old monopoly on rule in Japan.

He was born in 1938 in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, to a family of the Japanese nobility descended from an ancient line of samurai: Konoe Fumimaro was his grandfather. In 1963, Hosokawa finished law school at Sophia University, and moved to Kagoshima as a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun.

Six years later, in 1969, he made his first run for the House of Representatives, and lost. Undaunted, he ran for one of the LDP's national seats in 1971, and was elected, joining the powerful faction of Tanaka Kakuei. Despite being arrested in connection with Tanaka's corruption charges in 1976, Hosokawa remained in the Diet until 1983, when he moved back to Kumamoto and won the election for governorship of the prefecture.

When Hosokawa's second term ended in 1991, he returned to the capital to head an extraordinary session of the Diet that had been called in the wake of the bubble economy Nikkei's fall. Frustrated by the LDP's typically slow response, Hosokawa left the party in 1992 and founded the Japan New Party, which gained four seats in the lower house during that year's election.

Then, in 1993, with Japan's first recession in years beginning to show, Hosokawa's JNP formed a coalition with the New Party Sakigake, Shinseito, Komeito, Socialist Party, Democratic Party, Democratic Socialist Party, and Social Democratic Party. Hosokawa became prime minister of Japan on August 6, and the LDP was cast into the opposition for the first time in its history.

At the beginning of his term, Hosokawa was incredibly popular, with 70% approval ratings. His cabinet included an unprecedented three women, and he set himself apart from the LDP by publicly apologizing for Japan's wartime atrocities on three separate occasions shortly after entering office. In his inaugural speech to the Diet, he said, "I believe it is important at this juncture that we state clearly before all the world our remorse at our past history and our renewed determination to do better."

Hosokawa's main policy shift from the LDP was electoral reform: he wanted to abolish the Diet's old electoral system, based partly on proportional representation, and assign each member to a specific district as is done in the United States Congress. This threatened the livelihood of many of the smaller parties in his coalition, the Socialists among them, and so it was defeated.

His other major policy shift was in liberalizing the Japanese rice market, which had long protected the interests of Japan's rice farmers (the LDP's biggest constituency) by keeping prices on imported rice artificially high.

In April of 1994, he resigned his position amid accusations of corruption. He was frustrated at being unable to pass his reform bills, and even more frustrated at the monolithic Japanese bureaucracy's aversion to change. His foreign minister, Hata Tsutomu, succeeded him.

Hosokawa stayed in the Diet until 1998, and now lives in retirement in Atami, on the Izu Peninsula.

<< Miyazawa Kiichi - Prime ministers of Japan - Hata Tsutomu >>

Monument commemorating
the landing in Kagoshima of Francis
Xavier on August 15th, 1549 and the
statue of Francis Xavier

Higashi Sengoku-cho, Kagoshima city
Kagoshima Prefecture.

Castle of Shimabara
Shimabara City, Nagasaki pref.
The castle reminds us of the hard labor
and heavy taxes suffered by the people
of Shimabara

The monument and statue commemorating
the landing of Francis Xavier in Kagoshima,
overlooking Kinkou-wan Bay
Gion-no-su park in Kagoshima
city,Kagoshima prefecture

 Kumamoto Castle

( Kumamoto city, Kumamoto Pref. ) This
castle is considered as one of the most
beautiful castles in Japan together with
the Himeji Castle, Osaka Castle and
Nagoya Castle.

The famous swordsman, writer, philosopher,
calligrapher, painter, sculptor and craftsman,
and author of Gorin no Sho - The Book of the
5 wheels known under its erroniously
translated title " Book of 5 rings " in the
English speaking countires and " El Libro de
los Cinco Anillos " in the spanish speaking
Miyamoto Musashi ( 1584 - 1645 ) was
invited in 1640 by the first lord of Higo
Kumamoto, lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi as
his guest adviser, after having wandered
through many provinces and having fought
ome sixty sword fights undefeated.( He used
two swords).

In 1641, at the order of Lord Tadatoshi, he
wrote " the Thirty Five Chapters of the Martial
Arts ". In this year, Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi

In 1643, he entered " Reigan-do " cave and
wrote the famous book " The Book of Five
Wheels ".

In 1645, he wrote " Dokkoudo " - The Solitary
Ways - and died. He was 62 years old.

In 1935, Yoshikawa Eiji began to write a long
series of the novel " Miyamoto Musashi " for
the daily newspaper " Asahi Shinbun " and
Miyamoto Musashi became well-known
among Japanese people because of that
book. Thereafter, many writers have written
about Miyamoto Musashi.

At the end of the Taisho era ( 1912 - 1925),
the circulation of four daily newspapers,
Osaka Asahi Shinbun, Tokyo Asahi Shinbun,
Osaka Mainichi Shinbun and Tokyo Nichi
Nichi Shinbun had surpassed 1 million. Now,
the mornig edition of  the Aasahi Shinbun
has a circulation of  8,360,000 and the
evening edition 4,330,000. Now, there are
five biggest quality newspaper companies
of the world in Japan.

The New York Times has a circulation of
1,070,000 and Le Monde 370,000, because
they don' have a nation-wide distribution
net work. The big Japanese newspapers
have a nation-wide circulation.

Miyamoto Musashi by Yoshikawa Eiji was
read every day by more than 2 or 3 millions of
the subscribers to the Osaka and Tokyo Asahi
Shinbun daily newspapers at the end of the
Taisho era and being compiled in book form,
it was read by millions more. It has been
printed in many editions during 80 years
up to now.

Musashi should have been born a few decades
earlier. When he was 19 years old, Tokugawa
Ieyasu founded the Shogunate after having
unified Japan. His profound knowledge of
swordsmanship and military strategy which
could have been of great value a few decades
ago were not appreciated much by most of
the established warlords of Japan.

Otherswise,  he should have been born a
few decades later, when a large number of
people began to buy pictures and go to the
theater during more opulant times within
the Edo Period. Then, his multi-talents would
have appreciated properly.

The life of Musashi was tragic, like that of
Lady Gracia, who was born in the wrong

But, actually his knowledge of military
strategy was highly appreciated one time for
having been very useful.

In 1637 when he was staying in Kokura as
a guest adviser to lord Ogasahara Tadazane,
Musashi was recommended as a military
adviser to lord Ogasahara Nagatsugu of
Nakatsu, a relative of lord of Kokura.

His nephew and adopted son Miyamoto
Iori was the chief minister to lord of Kokura,
Ogasahara Tadazane. Iori, being advised by
his father Miyamoto Musashi, fought
brilliantly to suppress the revolts. Iori was
awarded with a terrotory capable of producing
4,000 koku of rice.

Matsui Okinaga, chief minister to lord
Hosokawa Tadatoshi must have heard of
Muashi's strategy. He invited him to
Kumamato as a guest adviser to his
master. Tadatoshi received him with much
respect and courtesy.

The local rulers of Shimabara and Amakusa
could not put down the Christian rebellion.The
shogunate sent Itakura Shigemasa with
some troops. He ordered, in the name of the
Shogunate, Hosokawa and Nabeshima,
two powerful warlords in Kyushu, to
participate in the war to put down
the revolts. Musashi was asked to work
as a military adviser.

Postal stamps of
Yoshikawa Eiji -
author of
"Miyamoto Musashi "
( 1892 - 1962 )

n spite of his good advice, and with the troops of Hosokawa and Nabeshima taking
part in the battles, it was difficult to put down 37,000 rebels led by 15-year-old leader
Amakusa Shiro Tokisada. The third Shogun Iemitsu decided to send the chief minister
of his cabinet Matsudaira Izu-no-kami Nobutsuna with troops of 120,000 men. He was
called " Izu the wise " for being very clever.

At the news that the large troops of the Shogunate were coming, all rebel troops entered
the grounds of the abandoned Hara Castle.

Itakura Shigemasa felt so ashamed as he could not put down the rebels. He decided to
die in a combat before the reinforcement troops from Edo could arrive.

On January 1st 1638, He made a reckless raid on the Hara Castle and 4,000 men of the
shogunate troops died and only 100 rebels died.

Three days later, on January 4th, 1638, the troops of Matsudaira Izu-no-kami Nobutsuna

Matsudaira Nobutsuna wanted to take enough time to put down the christian rebels once
and for all. He sent the Iga Ninjas to enter the Hara Castle and made them investigate foods
in stock and how they were fed. The ninjas also stole foods and overheard a meeting of
thier leaders. But, the Ninjas from Iga could not understand what was spoken in a Kyushu

In July 1637, some strange natural phenomena happened in the Shimabara region.
The sky in the West turned fiery red.

Cherry blossoms were in bloom during the wrong season. Frogs killed and ate each
other. Crops were poor and many people were beginning to starve.

Some missionaries tried to persuade people to return to christian beliefs which they had
once abandoned. The missionaries attributed strange natural phenomena and poor crops
to the punishment  of God as predicted for having abandoned christian beliefs. Some
peasants were caught preaching to people to become Christians or return to christian
beliefs after abandoning it and were arrested.

In October 1637, some local government officials who got into the Christian meetings were
killed by the angry Christians and they began to burn many buddhist temples and Shinto

The Christians in the Amakusa region, being informed of the revolts in the Shimabara
region, started also their uprising againt  the local ruler. In October 1937, the news of
the Christian revolts reached the Edo Castle. The shogunate decided to send
Iwakura Shigemasa  with some troops. The shogunate ordered lord Matsukura
Katsuie stationed at that time in Edo, to return to his domain in the Shimabara region
to suppress the revolts in his own domain.

In November, Iwakura Shigemasa, in the name of the shogunate, asked the Hosokawas
to participate in the battles to suppress the revolts. In February 1638, the shogunate
troops and the troops of the important lords in Kyushu made over-all raids on the Hara

37,000 persons were massacred cruelly, except one to inquire of him of all what the
revolts did to write down the records of the battles. The great rebellions in Amakusa
and Shimabara thus ended.

We will go back some years to study the situations which provoked the great uprisings
in the north-west of Kyushu.

The Shimabara region was a domain of the famous Christian warlord Arima Harunobu.
( His christian name was Don Protasio.). He was an important warlord who ruled
Hizen Hinoe capable of producing 140,000 koku of rice. He was trusted by Tokugawa
Ieyasu and christianity in his territory was permitted exceptionally. Lord Harunobu, however,
got involved in a scandal. He was accused of having bribed a retainer of  the minister to
Shogun, lord Honda Masazumi. His house should have been abolished. But, it could
survive, because his son Arima Naosumi was serving to the retired shogun Ieyasu in
the castle of Sunpu. He began to serve to Ieyasu when he was only 15 years old and his
wife Lady Kunihime was a great grand-daughter of Ieyasu, the first shogun of Tokugawa.

His domain, however, was reduced and moved to Nobeoka in the province of Hyuga.
In 1616, lord Matsukura Shigemasa came to the Shimabara region of 40,000 koku
from Gojyo in Yamato province( Now, Nara ). In 1618, he started building a gorgeous
and splendid castle in the  Azuchi Momoyama-style which took him 7 years to complete.
The castle was too large for a ruler of the land capable of producing only 40,000 koku.
The huge castle reminds us of hard labour and heavy tax burden which people
in Shimabara suffered.

Many people say that under the Tokugawa feudal regime, people could not be happy
in any way. But, in the domains directly under the shogunate, the tax was lower.
There were also good rulers who led a frugal life and promoted industries for their
people. Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi said : " How can we collect taxes based exactly on
the tax law, when people are starving to death ? " His land also suffered poor crops
and some natural disasters. A typhoon destroyed 36,000 houses in his domain. Lord
Hosokawa didn't have any revolts in his domain. After the revolts were crushed in 1638,
lord Matsukura was punished and expelled from Shimabara. He was sent to the province
of Mimasaka and was ordered to commit seppuku being accused of his bad ruling.
It was an usual incident for a daimyo.

The provinces of Uto, Masushiro, Yashiro and Amakusa of 240,000 koku had belonged
to the christian lord Konishi Yukinaga until the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. The father of
Amakusa Shiro, the leader of the rebellion, was a retainer of lord Konishi Yukinaga.
Yukinaga took sides with the West Camp in the Battle of Sekigahara. He was, therefore,
punished and slain in Kyoto. The domain of Amakusa was given to lord of Karatsu,
Terasawa Hirotaka. His son Terasawa Katataka was punished as being responsible
for bad ruling having provoked the revolts in Amakusa and was taken off the land of

Some years later, Amakusa was put under the direct rule of the shogunate. Lord
Terasawa Katataka became alcoholic and went insane, killing himself 10 years later.

In both Amakusa and Shimabara, people were starving and many of them were
christians. The lord collect heavy taxes and people can not be consoled from
suffrings as they were persecuted for being christians. After the revolts suppressed,
they would become underground christians or hided christians - kakure Kirishitan.
They kept christian faith more than 200 years until the ages of freedom of religions
would come.

  The Official web.page of Kumamoto City

In 1563, in the turbulent Ages of the Civil Wars called " Sengoku Jidai ", Tamako( called
later lady Gracia ), the third daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide, one of the most important generals
of Oda Nobunaga who was unifying Japan, was born. It was only 14 years since the spanish
missionary Franxis Xavier had landed on the southenrnost province of Kyushu, Satsuma
( Now Kagoshima pref. )

The remains of the
Sakamoto Castle
Ohtsu city, Shiga Pref.

Hosokawa Morihiro, eighteenth heir to the House of  Hosokawa served 2 terms ( 8
years) as governor of Kumamoto prefecture which his ancestors once had ruled as
warlords. He founded the new political party " Nihon Shinto - The New Party of Japan "
and became primer minister in 1993-1994. When he was 60 years old, he decided to
retire completely from political career and started making ceramics at Yugahawa. He
must have inherited his artistic inclinations from their ancestors. In the modern ages,
since the Meiji era, the house of Hosokawa became related to the eminent houses of
the imperial court aristocrats like Ichijo and Konoe through marriges. His grand-father
on her mother's side, duke Konoe Fumimaro served as prime minister in 1940-1941.

Duke Konoe wanted to evade the war againt U.S.A. but he could not control the army .
He could not have the peace treaty with America and resigned. His successor
general Tojo Hideki started the war againt the United States and its allies. After the
Second World War, he was declared as "A " class prisoner of war in the Tokyo Far East
Military Court Trial. He committed suicide on 16th December 1945 taking potassium

The House of Hosokawa has a long history of 700 years. In Europe, only the House of
Hapsburg can match the House of Hosokawa in its aristocratic history.

April 10th 2004 - Hiroaki Sasaki

  Official Web.page of Oyama-zaki cho, Kyoto Prefecture                  

     Shimabara City , Nagasaki City.

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