Hongo clan

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The Hongo kamon.
  • Other Names: 都城島津家 (Miyakonojou Shimazu-ke)
  • Japanese: 北郷(Hongou-ke)

The Hongô clan was a branch family of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma han, descended from the sixth son of Shimazu Tadamune.

Over 120 retainers of the Hongô family participated in the 1609 invasion of Ryûkyû, led by jitô Hongô Shirôemon Hisatake. Members of the Miyakonojô Shimazu later accompanied the Ryukyuan embassy to Edo on its return journey to Kagoshima, on at least one occasion (in 1710). The clan also handled cases of Satsuma ships which became shipwrecked along the eastern branch of the Satsuma kaidô (Satsuma Highway).

During the Edo period, the Miyakonojô Shimazu maintained a mansion in Kagoshima covering an area of roughly 5000 tsubo. The Ryûkyû-kan, a consulate-like institution where Ryukyuan officials and scholars lived and operated, adjoined the mansion directly to the west; beyond that lay the mansion of the Tanegashima clan. Within the mansion's grounds, the residence of the family head lay towards the west, while a nagaya (lit. "longhouse") housing Hongô retainers lay in the eastern portion of the grounds, near Kagoshima Bay.

Prominent Members


  • Initial text from Sengoku Biographical Dictionary (Samurai-Archives.com) FWSeal & CEWest, 2005
  • Miyakonojô to Ryûkyû ôkoku 都城と琉球王国, Miyakonojô Shimazu Residence (2012), 24-27, 30.