okikamuro island fan club, 沖家室島ファンクラブ|Kamuro party かむろ会



Masato Katsuyama


Okikamuro island, roots

About Okikamuro Tomozawa family(Part4)

The 9th generation head of Okikamuro Tomozawa Family, Kyuhachi Ninomiya

Masato Katsuyama    received July 26th, 2017


 Hikoshichi VIII, a Shoya (Village chief) of Okikamuro, died in Meiji 6th. His eldest son Kyuhachi inherited the family property as the 9th generation head of Okikamuro Tomozawa Family. However, Kyuhachi, his son Tadasaku, and his second wife Taka were adopted into the family of Yotsugu Ninomiya in Meiji 11th. This adoption had been a longtime mystery for me.

 In Towa Town History, Ninomiya and Tomozawa were described as one of the richest families acting as fish brokers in Okikamuro around Meiji 10th. In ‘Chapter V Okikamuro’ of Towa Town History-Detailed exposition ed.-Vol. II, Villages and Houses (Showa 61st), a map of Susaki area in early Meiji era was printed, and Ninomiya Residence was found next to Tomozawa Residence. Tomozawa and Ninomiya were described as descendants of Ishizaki Family. In addition, there were descriptions as follows: “Tomozawa, who change their family name to Ninomiya later, seemed to have a huge residence of about 800-tsubo near the Gobansho (local guard station for Mohri clan) in Susaki Naka. This residence was called Ninomiya- or Tomozawa-Mansion, and their grave site was placed behind it.” “Sometime in Meiji era, Gobansho and Ninomiya-Mansion were sold, and the land was divided into small pieces for housing. In particular, Ninomiya-Mansion was divided into about 30 pieces.”


 I could not clarify the family line of Yotsugu Ninomiya, and why Kyuhachi had to be adopted as his son, from available material. However, I heard an interesting story from The Chief Priest of Hakuseiji, Shizuo Niiyama as follows: According to a tradition, The Ninomiya Family into which Kyuhachi was adopted was a descendant of an illegitimate son of a Mohri lord, and therefore kaimyos (pardon names for buddhist) of Kyuhachi and his family contain Indengo title (given to people of high rank at that time). It seemed that Kyuhachi was adopted from Tomozawa into Ninomiya Family for continuation of the family name.

 Among illegitimate children of Mohri lords, Naritoki Ninomiya has been said to be the 6th son of Motonari Mohri. According to Mohri Family History Book, Naritoki’s another name was Yoharu. However, an archive was left named “An Archive by Yotsugu-Naritoki Ninomiya”, therefore it seems that ‘Yotsugu” was the other name of Naritoki. In addition, another name of his descendant Taroemon-Tokisuke Ninomiya was also “Yotsugu”. Therefore, it is possible that “Yotsugu Ninomiya” was their descendant. Descendants of Naritoki Ninomiya were ranked as Oogumi in the domain of Hagi and had a fief of 891-koku in Kama-mura, Mine. A gate of their residence ‘Nagaya-mon’ was left in Hagi, and it is an attraction of historic interest. It is still a mystery why such a family line adopted Kyuhachi, the head of Okikamuro Tomozawa Family at that time, who seems not to have had any connections to them. It may be caused by a confusion after the Meiji Restoration.

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