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(Part5)

The 10th generation head of the Okikamuro Tomozawa Family, Isuke

Masato Katsuyama    received Aug. 14th, 2017


 This is a story of my great grandfather, Isuke.

 Hikoshichi VIII died in Meiji 6th and his son Kyuhachi inherited the family property as the 9th generation head of the Okikamuro Tomozawa Family. However, Kyuhachi and his son Tadasaku were adopted into the Ninomiya Family in Meiji 11th. The Tomozawa Family without successors seems to have been kept by Moto, the wife of Hikoshichi VIII. Moto died in Meiji 13th, and Isuke, the second son of Heihachi Noguchi, was adopted as Moto’s son on her deathbed. Isuke, born in Meiji 6th, was 7 years old at that time, and therefore it seems that he was raised by Kyuhachi as the younger brother of Tadasaku.


 Heihachi Noguchi, the real father of Isuke, was a resident of Tononyu. According to Towa Town History Book, the Noguchi Family were descendants of samurai moved from Harima (present Hyogo Prefecture), and the head family had been Shoya (village chief) of Tononyu. Although Kako-cho demonstrates that the Noguchi Family was surely related by marriage to the Tomozawa Family, I could not clarify from available material whether Heihachi was a descendant of the Tomozawa Family. In addition, there is no information about Isuke’s real mother. Therefore, it is uncertain at present whether my great grandfather Isuke was related by birth to the Tomozawa Family.

 Isuke’s wife (my great grandmother), Yoshi, was an adopted daughter of Yasuke Sadasue, but there is no information about her real parents. Isuke and Yoshi had five sons and five daughters. Their first son Masaaki was named after the 2nd generation head of the Tomozawa Family, Soemon-Masaaki, suggesting that Isuke was very conscious of his adoption into the Okikamuro Tomozawa Family.

 Isuke moved from Okikamuro to Kobe when Yoshi was expecting their first son Masaaki. It seems to have been soon after Isuke’s substantial adoptive father Kyuhachi Ninomiya died in Meiji 33rd, corresponding to “sometime in Meiji era” described in Towa Town History Book. It is unclear why Isuke moved to Kobe from Okikamuro, the hometown of the Tomozawa Family, but I think it was related to the death of Kyuhachi. Until then, they may have been acting as a fish broker, but may have found it difficult to keep going with changes in the times. It seems that soon after Kyuhachi died, Isuke, talking with his substantial elder brother Tadasaku Ninomiya, sold the huge residence.


 Isuke died on the Island Sea by a marine accident soon after the World War II. According to Kako-cho, the day of his death was October 12, 1945 (Showa 20th). I heard that he got aboard on a ship from Kobe, where he lived, toward Matsuyama, but did not appear on Matsuyama.

 Among articles on newspapers reporting marine accidents in the Island Sea at that time, I could not find an article of a ship left from Kobe toward Matsuyama. It may be because there were a lot of unreported cases of capsize or hitting a mine of overloaded ships. In addition, it was reported that Akune-Typhoon hit and passed through the Chugoku District to Japan Sea in the early morning of October 11th, and stayed off the coast of Akita Prefecture from the 12th to 14th. Flood damages in Ehime Prefecture was reported to be devastating. Although the typhoon had already passed through the Island Sea, it was very possible that the surface of the sea was still rough. Therefore, a capsize or hitting a mine of a small ship left from Kobe on the 12th toward Ehime may not have been reported by any newspapers. In addition, landing of the occupation forces on Mitsuhama, Matsuyama, was on the 11th, which may have had any relation to Isuke’s shipwreck.

 Isuke was not buried in Okikamuro because he was not discovered after the marine accident. A few years ago, I found a photo in an album left by my grandfather Seiji, which was a conversation piece in his youth. This is the only photo showing my great grandparents Isuke and Yoshi. When I visited Okikamuro, I took this photo to the Tomozawa Family's graveyard in Kannondo Cemetery and prayed for the repose of ancestral soul.


 Isuke’s family. The photo may be taken in Showa 4th or 5th.

 My grandfather Seiji (the back row, left).

 Isuke and Yoshi (in front of Seiji).

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