O-Ie Sodo

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  • Japanese: 御家騒動 (o ie soudou)

O-ie sôdô, or "house disturbances," were factional conflicts which took place within the leaderships of domains, within the households of lords, or amongst their retainers. Some of the most famous such disturbances, such as the Date Disturbance of 1671, revolved around disputes over the succession of the daimyô, with one faction favoring one heir and another faction favoring another. However, factional disputes could also be over policy positions, or over leadership of the daimyô's advisors or officials, without challenging the succession of the daimyô himself; Tsushima han saw a number of internal coups of both types in quick succession in the 1860s.[1]

Other prominent oie sôdô of the Edo period include the Amabe Dispute in Tokushima han, and a dispute in 1681 in Takada han which ended in the attainder of Matsudaira Mitsunaga, as well as the Oyura sôdô, a dispute in the 1840s over the choice of Shimazu Narioki's successor, between his sons Shimazu Nariakira and Shimazu Hisamitsu; Nariakira won out in the end, being named Narioki's successor, but only after shogunate intervention in the dispute. Nariakira was succeeded in turn, however, by Hisamitsu's young son Shimazu Tadayoshi, placing Hisamitsu in a position of power in the end, after all.

Oie sôdô made for the exciting seeds, or basis, for a number of kabuki and ningyo jôruri plays of the time, as well. One of the most famous and popular of these plays, Meiboku Sendai Hagi, is based loosely on the aforementioned 1671 succession dispute among the Date clan of Sendai han.[2]


  1. Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement, Harvard University Press (2009), 227-230.
  2. "Meiboku Sendai Hagi," Kabuki21.com.