Japan: Forgotten Royalty

November 23, 2019

My ancestors are the Shimadzu clan people, and they were the daimyos that ruled over Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. Daimyos are the lords of each domain of Japan that ruled until the end of the Edo Period, until the highest power (shogun) and the shogunate (the empire) was reformed into the Imperial Government, with all power returned to the Emperor. The Shimadzu clan originated from the Minamoto Clan, and was considered an outsider clan because they were not hereditary vassals and allies of the Tokugawa clan. The Shimadzu clan became one of the wealthiest clans in Japan, and their income exceeded 700,000 koku, which is $5.2 million in the US. The Shimadzu clan is known for the loyalty of their allies and troops as well as their military tactics. But, this all changed when the power the clans held were forced to be yielded to the emperor and the newly restored Imperial Government. The abolition changed everything for the descendants of the Shimadzu family because we are no longer considered “royal bloodline” and we do not hold any kind of power. The abolition enabled the descendants like my family to pursue different professions, and be able to have more freedom than we would have held if the abolition did not happen. I am happy that the abolition happened, because then I would have never experienced my life as the way it is now. I believe that even though being royalty sounds awesome, actually experiencing it would be more difficult and tiresome.  But, that does not mean that I am not grateful that I am part of the bloodline. There are so many interesting details and components of my family history, and I am blessed to be able to be a part of it.

 

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