Date Clan

Date Clan

The Date clan (伊達氏) is a line of daimyos in Japan that controlled part of northern Japan in the late 16th century and during the Edo period. The most famous member of this clan was Masamune Date who established the family's power by avenging the death of his brother.

The family is descended from Fujiwara.

At the beginning of Kamakura period, Tomomune Isa, who descended from Fujiwara no Uona (721-783) in the 16th generation, came from Isa in Hitachi province.

He settled in Date District in 1189 and the family took the name of this district (which is in the present Fukushima Prefecture). This district was given as a reward to the family by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of Kamakura period, land given because of their participation in the Gempei war.

During the Nanboku-cho war which opposed two imperial courts, the clan supported the emperor Go-Daigo of the southern court against Kitabake Akiie of the northern imperial court.

During the Sengoku period, the clan tried like all the others to unify the country. It succeeded in resisting the invasions of great warlords like Nobunaga Oda, Kenshin Uesugi or Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

This resistance succeeded partly thanks to Masamune Date who wove alliances with the other clans of the north of Japan. Finally, the Date clan chose to support Ieyasu Tokugawa, especially at the battle of Sekigahara.

However, after this battle, Ieyasu Tokugawa realized that the clan was a possible threat and tried as much as possible to prevent it from becoming too important.

In 1600, after Masamune Date defeated the Uesugi clan, the Date's took control of the Uesugi islands in Mutsu province and settled in the castle of the city of Iwatezawa, renamed as "Sendai".

Date Clan Members

14th century 

  • Date Muneto (1324-1385)
  • Date Masamune (14th century) (1353-1405)
  • Date Ujimune (1371-1412)
  • Date Mochimune (1393-1469)

15th century

  • Date Narimune (1435-1487?)
  • Date Hisamune (1453-1514)
  • Date Tanemune (1488-1565)

16th century

  • Date Harumune (1519-1577)
  • Date Terumune (1544-1584 or 1585)
  • Date Masamune (1567-1636)
  • Date Masamichi (1578-1590)
  • Date Hidemune (1591-1658)
  • Date Tadamune (1599-1658)
  • Date Shuyu (15?-1642)
  • Date Munesane (??-??)
  • Date Munekatsu

17th century

  • Date Munetomo : son of Date Munekatsu
  • Date Munetsuna (1603-1618)
  • Date Munenobu (1603-1627)
  • Date Munehiro (1612-1644)
  • Date Munetoki (1615-1653)
  • Date Torachiyomaru (1624-1630)
  • Date Muneyoshi (1625-1678) : son of Date Tadamune, guardian of Tsunamura
  • Date Mitsumune (1627-1645) : son of Date Tadamune1
  • Date Munetoshi (1634-1708)
  • Date Munezumi (1636-1708)
  • Date Sourin (1640-1670)
  • Date Tsunamune (1640-1711) : son of Date Tadamune, daimyo for a short period, excluded from the succession in favor of his son Tsunamura
  • Date Munefusa (1646-1686)
  • Date Tsunamura (1659-1719) : son of Date Tsunamune, daimyo whose succession leads to the dispute Date
  • Date Munenori (1673-1694)
  • Date Yoshimura (1680-1751)
  • Date Muratoyo (1682-1737)
  • Date Muraoki (1683-1767)
  • Date Muranari (1686-1726)
  • Date Murasen (1698-1744)

18th century

  • Date Murasumi (1717-1735)
  • Date Muranobu (1720-1765)
  • Date Murakata (1745-1790)
  • Date Murayoshi (1778-1820)

19th century

  • Date Yoshitaka (1812-1862)
  • Date Muneki (1817-1882)
  • Date Munenari (1818-1892)
  • Date Yoshikuni (1825-1874)
  • Date Kunninei (1830-1874)
  • Date Kuninao (1834-1891)
  • Date Kuninari (1841-1904)
  • Date Munemoto (1866-1917)
  • Date Takeshiro (1868-1908)
  • Date Kunimune (1870-1923)

20th century

  • Date Okimune (1906-1947)
  • Date Munehide (1908-1964)
  • Date Munemi (1918-1982)
  • Date Sadamune (1937-1981)
  • Date Yasumune (1959-)