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Kutsukike komonjo

The Kutsuki were a branch of the Sasaki family hailing from Omi Province. They served as the stewards of the Kutsuki manor in that province in the Kamakura period, and the house continued through the Warring States period and into the Edo period, when some of their members became bannermen (direct vassals of the shogun) or daimyo (provincial lords). "The archives of Kutsuki family" consist of historical documents passed down in the family through the years. The Cabinet Records Bureau purchased them from the Kutsuki in 1888. Containing more than 1,060 documents, the archives were designated an important cultural property in the first year of Heisei( 1989).

Godaigo Tenno Rinji

A "rinji" (imperial order) of Emperor Godaigo (1288 - 1339) dated 12 August in the 3rd year of Genkou(1333). Such orders were written by "Kuroudo" meaning "ryoge-no-kan" officials appointed apart from the provisions of the imperial code. This one grants the post of steward in charge of the Kutsuki manor in Omi Province to Sasaki (Kutsuki) Tokitsune, in a continuation of the traditional practice. In the manner characteristic of such orders, it is written on gray "shukushi," a special paper made by remanufacturing used paper.

Kogon Tenno Rinji

An imperial order of Emperor Kogon (1313 - 1364) dated 23 September in the first year of Syokei(1332). It was written in response to a claim by Kutsuki Tokitsune that family territory in Okanarimyo and other parts of Etchu Province was being unlawfully seized and devastated, and instructs him to take action against this behavior.

Hojo Yoshitoki Kudashi-bumi (Instructions by Hojo Yoshitoki)

This "kudashi bumi" (a letter sent from a superior to subordinates, conveying decisions) was sent under the name of Hojo Yoshitoki (1163 - 1224), in his capacity as regent in the Kamakura shogunate. Dated 25 August the 3rd year of Shokyu (1221), it is the oldest document in the archives of the Kutsuki family. The "Mutsu-no-Kami" ("Ruler of Mutsu Province") noted in the signature refers to Yoshitoki. The text is an appointment of Taira Yasunari to a position of proxy control over the Aritadosan manor in Harima Province.

Asai Hisamasa and Nagamasa Rensho Kishomon

Dated 12 December in the 11st year of Eiroku(1568), this "kishomon" (written oath) was sent by Asai Nagamasa, the lord of Odani in Omi Province, and his father Hisamasa, to Kutsuki Yagoro (Mototsuna). Such oaths consist of a preface outlining the substance and a main text stating liability to divine punishment for violation of the terms. The main text is written on the rear of an amulet slip of paper called a "goohoin." In this case, the "goohoin" is from Kumano. This oath was prepared to strengthen the ties of alliance between the Asai and the Kutsuki. In the first year of Genki( 1570), nevertheless, Mototsuna broke the alliance and sided with Oda Nobunaga in his attack on the Asai. After the Asai were defeated by the combined Oda-Tokugawa forces in the battle at the Ane River, their castle at Odani was surrounded by Nobunaga's troops, and Hisamasa and Nagamasa committed suicide within its walls in August in the first year of Tensho(1573).

Oda Nobunaga Shuinjo (Vermilion-seal Certificate by Oda Nobunaga)

Dated 5 July in the 2nd year of Genki (1571), this is a vermilion seal certificate that was sent by Oda Nobunaga (1534 - 1582) to Kutsuki Yagoro (Mototsuna). Shaped like a horse's hoof, the seal impression reads "Tenkafubu (may our forces cover the land)," and manifests Nobunaga's ambition to conquer the whole country by force. Mototsuna had sent a messenger to Nobunaga to pledge his allegiance. In the letter, Nobunaga gives his approval of Mototsuna's position as governor of Sudo manor in Oumi Province and grants him an additional domain.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Shuinjo (Bunroku sannen kugatsu nijuichinichi)

Shuinjo (red-sealed letter) of Toyotomi Hideyoshi to Kutsuki Mototsuna dated September 21 in the 3rd year of Bunroku (1594). In the letter, he was assigned as co-deputy with Shinjo Togyokusai (Naotada) to oversee the 57,878 koku terrritory directly governed by the Toyotomi family in Ano-gun of Ise Province (present day Mie Prefecture) and that he will be given 2000 koku from the territory. Letter was folded type.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Shuinjo

This letter was sent by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 - 1598) to Kutsuki Kawachi-no-kami Mototsuna (1549 - 1632). It is impressed with Hideyoshi's seal in cinnabar, and is dated July 10. It is thought to have been written no earlier than in the 18th year of Tensho(1590), when Mototsuna was appointed "Kawachi no kami" (lord) of the province of Kawachi. In it, Hideyoshi expresses his thanks for a gift of two salted mackerels with these heads skewered for the "Bon" holiday (Buddhist All-Soul's day). He also mentions the "taiko kenchi," a general land survey carried out at his behest. Natsuka Okura noted in the letter is Natsuka Masaie, who served as one of the land survey magistrates.

Toyotomi Hideyori Kokuinjo

This "kokuinjo" (letter with a black seal impression) was sent to Kutsuki Hyobu-no-sho Nobutsuna (1582 - 1662) by Toyotomi Hideyori (1593 - 1615). It is dated May 4, but the year is not noted. Nobutsuna was appointed Hyobu-no-sho in June in the 2nd year of Keicho(1597), and the letter is consequently thought to have been written in the 3rd year of Keicho(1598) or later. In the letter, Hideyori expresses his thanks to Nobutsuna for a gift of a "katabira" (unlined garment for summer wear) on the May 5th Boy's Festival. It bears the impression of Hideyori's seal in black and is inscribed "To Kutsuki Hyobu-no-sho."

Tokugawa Ieyasu Gonaisho

This "gonaisho" (letter sent directly by the shogun to a vassal) was sent to Kutsuki Nobutsuna by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 - 1616), the first shogun of the Edo period. It expresses the shogun's gratitude for his year-end gift of a "kosode" (kimono with tight sleeves). It is dated June 20, but the exact year is not known. It is impressed with the seal of Ieyasu in black.

Tokugawa-shi Bugyo toh Rensho Imban jo (Keicho jurokunen shigatsu yoka)

Document issued on April 8 in the 16th year of Keicho (1611) to Kutsuki Mototsuna, co-signed and stamped with seals by Murakoshi Mosuke, Yonekitsu Chikakatsu, Ando Naotsugu, Naruse Masanari, Itakura Katsushige, Okubo Nagayasu and Honda Masazumi, vassals of the Tokugawa family. As trafficking of women and children were illegal, it ordered Kutsuki not to allow travellers with women and children who do not possess kitte (securities) of Itakura Katsushige to pass (Kutsuki valley). Kutsuki Valley was an important point on Wakasa Highway connecting Kyoto and Wakasa. Related document is found in the draft of Itakura Katsushige's letter dated October 29 (in the 2nd year of Genna).

Ohmi Shugo (Rokkaku Sadayori) ke Toshiyori Rensho Hosho an (Tembun juninen jugatsu jurokunichi)

Hosho-an from a vassal of Rokkaku family, Shugo of Ohmi Province, to Tanaka family who owned land adjacent to that of Kutsuki land, issued on October 16 in the 12th year of Tembun (1543). Hosho is a letter issued by a stewerd of nobles upon their order. “An” means a draft. According to this hosho, when they caught people of Tanaka land who illegally cut down the trees from mountains in Kutsuki territory, Tanaka family side inprisoned the merchants of Kutsuki in retribution. Kutsuki appleaked to Rokkaku, shugo of the province, who admitted his appeal ahd orderd Tanaka family to return the stolen things and that they should not trespass into the mountain without permission.

Itakura Katsushige Shojo an (Genna ninen jugatsu niju kunichi)

Draft of a letter to Kutsuki Mototsuna written by Itakura Katsushige, Kyoto Shoshidai (local governor of Kyoto) on October 29 in the 2nd year of Genna (1616). According to the letter, abduction and trafficking of women and children have been widespread in Kyoto, and therefore Kutsuki was asked to watch for people travelling to Wakasa through his Province with women and children under 15, and investigate any suspicious persons to prevent them from passing. Related document is found in Tokugawa Bugyo toh rensho imbanjo dated April 8 in the 16th year of Keicho.

Tokugawa Hidetada Gonaisho (nen fusho junigatsu nijugonichi)

Gonaisho by Hidetada, the 2nd Shogun of Tokugawa Bakufu. It is a letter thanking Kutsuki Nobutsuna for his presentation of 20 tin bowls. The letter is in folded style and Okubo Tadachika acted as agent. Gonaisho is one of the types of Jikijo (a type of documents directly signed and issued by Shogun during the Muromachi and Edo Period). It is closer to private letter but also has a quasi-official status due to high position of the person of issue.

Tairano Akimori yuzurijo

This is a document of conveyance of territories, swords and others from Akimori Taira to Tsuneuji, the son of his adopted son Manjumaru (later Yoshiuji Kutsuki), who later succeeded the family of Kutsuki. It is dated September 22, second year of Gentoku (1330). In the conveyed territories, Amanawa, Uomachi as well as residences and lot of Kamakura were included. It is a precious evidence of the aspects of land inheritance in Kamakura, counter signed by Moritoki Hojo, the Regent of Bakufu, and Shigetoki Hoji. It is written on the margin that they have approved the content of the document. Original size: 34cm and 67cm

Goenyu tenno kuzen an

This is the documentation of the imperial edict given orally by kurodo (aide at large to the emperor). It is the document of appointment of Hidenobu Sasaki (Kutsuki) to Lord of Dewa. Original paper size 34cm wide and 46cm long

Ashikaga Takauji Sodehan Kudashibumi

A "sodehan kudashibumi" is a written order ("kudashibumi") with a signature ("han") in the righthand margin ("sode"). Dated 26 June in the year of Kannou(1351), this one was written by Ashikaga Takauji (1305 - 1358), the first shogun of the Muromachi period, to Sasaki (Kutsuki) Tsuneuji. It grants stewardship over Nodanoho in Bizen Province (present-day Okayama Prefecture) to Tsuneuji as a reward.

Ashikaga Yoshimitsu Sodehan Kudashibumi

A "sodehan kudashibumi" from Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358 - 1408), the third shogun in the Muromachi period, dated 22 August in the 3rd year of Eiwa( 1377). It authorizes Sasaki (Kutsuki) Ujihide to administer the domain of Harihata within the Kutsuki manor, in the Takashima district of Omi Province.

Ashikaga Tadayoshi saikyojo

This is a document of settlement regarding the dispute on dominium between NISHINA (the daughter of Yukitsuna Sasaki) and Yoshinobu Sasaki (Kutsuki)(1306-52, brother of Takauji Ashikaga). The date is inscribed as March 17 in the 4th year of Rekio (1341). Original size: 34cm and 94cm

Ashikaga Yoshimitsu sodehan saikyojo

Written on December 21 in the third year of Eiwa, this is a document on the dispute on dominium between Ujihide Sasaki (Kutsuki) and Sho Amidain, and Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, the 13th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, recognized the dominium of Ujihiden in this document. The flower shaped seal stamped on the margin of this old document is the seal of Yoshimitsu. Original size: 34cm and 110cm

Ashikaga Yoshiakira Gohan Mikyosho (Joji ninen rokugatsu mikka)

Mikyosho (message) of Ashikaga Yoshiakira (1330-67, the 2nd shogun of the Muromachi Bakufu and son of Ashikaga Takauji), dated June 3 in the 2nd year of Joji, giving permission to Sasaki Dewa Goro (Kutsuki Ujitsuna) to succeed the domain as written in the deed of transfer by his father Tsuneuji who passed away on intercalary October 4 in the 3rd year of Bunna(wa) (1354). Mikyosho is a document issued by a vassal of court nobles of the third rank and higher or Shogun, in a format of Hosho(a document used for informing a decision of the upper ranked personages), upon direct orders from the nobles or Shogun.

Ashikaga Yoshiki (Yoshitane) Sodehan Mikyosho (Entoku ninen kugatsu itsuka)

Sodehan Mikyosho of Ashikaga Yoshiki (Yoshitane) (1466-1523, the 10th shogun of the Muromachi Bakufu from 1490-93 and 1508-22), dated September 5 in the 2nd year of Entoku (1490) that guaranteed Sasaki (Kutsuki) Yagoro Kihide sovereignty of Kutsukinosho of Takashima-gun in Ohmi Province (present day Takashima City). Mikyosho is a document issued by a vassal of court nobles of the third rank and higher or Shogun, in a format of Hosho(a document used for informing a decision of the upper ranked personages), upon direct orders from the nobles or Shogun.

Ashikaga Yoshiaki Sodehan Mikyosho (Eiroku juichinen jugatsu juyokka)

Sodehan mikosho of Ashikaga Yoshiaki (1537-97. the 15th shogun of the Muromachi Bakufu, son of Yoshiharu) dated October 14 in the 11th year of Eiroku (1568), guaranteeing the succession of the land of family name (Kutsuki, present day Takashima City) in Takashima-gun of Ohmi Province to Kutsuki Yagoro Mototsuna, as in the case of his grandfather, Tanetsuna. Mikyosho is a document issued by a vassal of court nobles of the third rank and higher or Shogun, in a format of Hosho(a document used for informing a decision of the upper ranked personages), upon direct orders from the nobles or Shogun.

Ashikaga Yoshiharu Gonaisho (Kyoroku ninen shichigatsu jurokunichi)

Gonaisho by Ashikaga Yoshiharu (1511-50, the 12th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, Son of Yoshizumi), issued on July 16 in the 2nd year of Kyoroku (1529) giving permission to Sasaki Mimbunosho (Kutsuski Tanetsuna) to assume Daikan-shiki(deputy) of Sudonosho, one of Bakufu land in Ohmi Province. Gonaisho is one of the types of Jikijo (a type of documents directly signed and issued by Shogun during the Muromachi and Edo Period). It is closer to private letter but also has a quasi-official status due to high position of the person of issue.

Ashikaga Yoshitane Gonaisho (Eisho juyonen uruu jugatsu futsuka)

Gonaisho of Ashikaga Yoshitane (Yoshiki) (1466-1523, the 10th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu from 1490-93 and 1508-22), dated intercalary October 2 in the 14th year of Eisho (1517) praising Sasaki (Kutsuki) Yagoro (Tanehiro) on his presentation of a sword. Gonaisho is one of the types of Jikijo (a type of documents directly signed and issued by Shogun during the Muromachi and Edo Period). It is closer to private letter but also has a quasi-official status due to high position of the person of issue.

Muromachi Shogunke (Ashikaga Yoshimasa) Mikyosho (Kyotoku ninen junigatsu nijushichinichi)

Mikyosho by Muromachi shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-90, the 8th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, son of Yoshinori) dated December 27 in the 2nd year of Kyotoku (1543), recognizing the fact that the document of the territory in Kutsukinosho (present day Takashima City) in Takashima-gun in Ohmi Province, was lost in fire to Sasaki Kutsuki Shinanonokami (Takachika). It was issued by Kanrei (shogun's deputy), Ukyonodaibu (Hosokawa Katsumoto). Mikyosho is a document issued by a vassal of court nobles of the third rank and higher or Shogun, in a format of Hosho(a document used for informing a decision of the upper ranked personages), upon direct orders from the nobles or Shogun.

Muromachi Shogunke (Ashikaga Yoshikatsu) Mikyosho (Kakitsu gannen juichigatsu mikka)

Mikyosho by Muromachi Shogun Ashikaga Yoshikatsu (1434-43. the 7th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, son of Yoshinori) dated November 3 in the first year of Kakitsu (1441) ordering Sasaki Kutsuki Mitsuwaka (Sadataka) to depart for Wakasa. It is issued by Kanrei (shogun's deputy), Ukyonodaibu (Hosokawa Mochiyuki). Mikyosho is a document issued by a vassal of court nobles of the third rank and higher or Shogun, in a format of Hosho(a document used for informing a decision of the upper ranked personages), upon direct orders from the nobles or Shogun.

Ashikaga Yoshifuji (Yoshiteru) Gonaisho (Tembun nijunen nigatsu juninichi)

Gonaisho of Muromachi Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshifuji (Yoshiteru) (1536-65, the 13th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, son of Yoshiharu),dated February 12 in the 20th year of Tembun (1551), asking Sasaki Kunainodayu (Kutsuki Harutsuna) to stay loyal to hiim. It also states that Muromachi Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshifuji (Yoshiteru) has moved his headquarter to Kutsukidani (present day Takashima City). Yoshifuji often took refuge at Kutsuki during the period when he was involved in political dispute with Miyoshi Nagayoshi. Gonaisho is one of the types of Jikijo (a type of documents directly signed and issued by Shogun during the Muromachi and Edo Period). It is closer to private letter but also has a quasi-official status due to high position of the person of issue.

Ashikaga Yoshizumi Gonaisho an (Bunki ninen junigatsu nanoka)

Copy of Gonaisho of Ashikaga Yoshizumi (1480-1511, the 11th shogun of Muromachi Bakufu, son of Ashikaga Masatomo), dated December 7 in the 2nd year of Bunki (1502). Nagao Mikawa Nyudo (Aritane, Sukekage), Hikan(a vassal) of Uesugi Mimbunodayu (Fusayoshi), governor of Echigo Province, seized the land of Ise Hizen-no-kami Moritane, an official of the Bakufu, by calling himself Daikan (deputy). Shogun ordered Uesugi Fusayoshi, his master, to return the seized land in Matsuyamaho (present day Tokamachi City) in Kubiki-gun of Echigo Province. Gonaisho is one of the types of Jikijo (a type of documents directly signed and issued by Shogun during the Muromachi and Edo Period). It is closer to private letter but also has a quasi-official status due to high position of the person of issue.

Ashikaga Yoshimasa sodehan mikyosho

Sasaki Kutsuki Sadataka suppressed a riot by masterless samurais in Wakasa (presently Fukui Prefecture) in the 3rd year of Kyotoku (1454). This document shows that in the 2nd year of Choroku (1458), the Kutsuki area of the Takashima County, Omi (presently Takashima City) was awarded to him for this success, with the signature of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate government.

Ashikaga Yoshimasa sodehan mikyosho

In the 4th year of Choroku (1460), a part of the Kutsuki area of the Takashima County, Omi (presently Takashima City), which was awarded to Sasaki Sadataka in the 2nd year of Choroku (1458), was incorporated into the shogun's domain and an annual tax payment of 100 kanmon was levied on the estate.

Sealed Instruction by Ashikaga Naoyoshi

Document written by Ashikaga Naoyoshi (1306 - 1352, younger brother of Ashikaga Takauji) dated May 3 of 2nd year of Ryakuo era (1339) to Sasaki Dewashirobei (Kutsuki Yoriuji) to fight at Kanegasaki of Echizen Province (present day Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture) together with Sasaki Goro (Kyogoku Takahide) of Omi Province and estate stewards and vassals of Asai, Ika and Sakata counties as partisan of Southern Dynasty.

Tairano Munenori okibumi

This is okibumi, the document announcing the conveyance of the territory, from Munenori Taira to his son, Masuichimaru (later Akimori) on November 28 in the second year of Genko (1322). Okibumi is a document of rules that must be followed now and for generations. Munemori Taira is the descendant of Yorimori, who was called Ikeno Dainagon. Ikenozenni, the mother of Yorimori and step-mother of Kiyomori Taira, had saved the life of Yoritomo Minamoto after Heiji no ran (Riot of Heiji) and therefore Yorimori was kindly treated by Yoritomo. His descendants settled in Kamakura and served close to the shogun. Original size: 34cm and 53cm

Verdict on Kanto Land

A verdict issued in 3rd year of Kenji era (1277) by Hojo Tokimasa and Tokimune regarding disputed land at Minamigata-Ishizakago, Hiki County, Musashi Province (present day Hatoyama Town, Saitama Prefecture). Ownership by elder sister was approved as in the situation in the past in a dispute between Suruga Hikoshiro-Arimasa and elder sister Tairauji (Mitsuru) over land left by deceased father.

Letter by Lawsuit Clerk of Muromachi Government

Document written on October 28 of 4th year of Ryakuou era (1341) by Kira Sadaie, lawsuit clerk, on a dispute over land at Hachiya-no-sho, Kamo County, Mino Province (present day in vicinity of Minokamo City, Gifu Prefecture).

Deed of Transfer

Deed of transfer of land at Minamigata-Nakaogo,Hiki County, Musashi Province (present day Namerikawa Town, Saitama Prefecture), dated May 20 of 1st year of Genou era (1319).

Shogun Fujiwara Yoritsugu kaseijo kudashibumi

Tairano Mitsunori was assigned to serve as Jito, an administrative official for Yohoro-mura in the Kurahashi area of Tango (presently Maizuru City) on August 3, the 3rd year of Kencho (1251). Fujiwarano Yoritsugu was the 5th shogun of the Kamakura shogunate government, and Mutsunokami (Lord of Mutsu) Tairano Ason and Sagaminokami (Lord of Sagami) Tairano Ason in this record stand for Hojo Shigetoki and then Shikken Hojo Tokiyori respectively. "Shikken" is the highest position in this shogunate government.

Sasaki Yoritsuna yuzurijo utsushi

This document, dated on February 28, the 10th year of Koan (1287), shows that Sasaki Yoritsuna (1242-1311) gave the Kutsuki area, Takashima County, Omi (presently Takashima City) and the Motoki area, Makabe County, Hitachi (presently Sakuragawa City, Ibaraki Prefecture) to Yoshitsuna, his second son. Yoritsuna warns his son to carefully govern the estates bearing in mind that they were awarded to his grandfather and Yoritsuna himself for their distinguished services.

Kutsuki Tanehiro denchi baikenan

A contract draft dated December, the 15th year of Eisho (1518) for the sale of a part of the Kutsuki area from Kutsuki Tanehiro to Shogaiji, a Buddhist temple of theTendai sect.

Sasaki Doyo Shojo (Letter by Sasaki Doyo)

Dated the 16th of the intercalary month of July in the 5th year of Kenmu (1338), this letter was written by Sasaki (a.k.a. Kyogoku) Doyo (1296 - 1373), a military commander in the Kamakura and Nanbokucho (Southern and Northern Court) periods. It urges Dewa Shiro Hyoenojo (Kutsuki Yoriuji) to come to Kyoto for the dispatch of troops to the Yoshino area. Doyo's given name was Takauji. He took the name "Doyo" upon entering a monastery at age 31. Following service for Hojo Takatoki, he entered the service of Ashikaga Takauji, and assisted the founding of the Ashikaga shogunate. A lover of literature and art, he is also known for his taste for the free-wheeling behavior and extravagant practices collectively termed "basara."

Ama Shin'a Wayojo

Dated 11 September in the 2nd year of Rekiou(1339), this "wayojo" (letter of compromise) was written on the occasion of settlement of a fief dispute between Ama Shin'a, the daughter of Sasaki Yukitsuna, and Sasaki (Kutsuki) Yoshinobu. Such letters set forth the particulars of the dispute and terms of compromise, and were concluded between the concerned parties. The text affords a glimpse of the furious argument between the two, stating that the procedure for filing of a petition by the complainant and a rebuttal by the defendant had been performed three times.

Ama Myogo Yuzurijo

This is a deed of transfer dated 24 October in the 5th year of Shouou(1291), written by Ama Myogo, the mother of Sasaki Yukitsuna. In it, Myogo states that she is disowning her undutiful son Yukitsuna and transferring her property to her nephew Yorinobu. Together with the letter of compromise involving Ama Shin'a, it underscores the economic independence and the strong voice of women of the samurai class in the medieval period.