Tagaya family

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  • Japanese: 多賀谷家 (Tagaya ke)

The Tagaya house was a group or lineage of sea-lords or pirates based in Kamagari and the surrounding islands in the Inland Sea.

In the Muromachi period, they were one of the most prominent groups offering protection services in the Inland Sea under the patronage of the Ôuchi clan. Tagaya leaders regularly extorted travelers in the Inland Sea, demanding payment for protection services or otherwise attacking and robbing the travelers. These protection services sometimes included "riding along," i.e. having Tagaya men ride aboard the travelers' ships with them. The Tagaya also managed their own shipping operations, shipping goods both locally within their local section of the Inland Sea as well as to the Kyoto/Osaka region.

By the Edo period, the Tagaya became honjin operators, overseeing the chief elite lodgings at Kamagari.[1]


  • Peter Shapinsky, “Envoys and Escorts: Representation and Performance among Koxinga’s Japanese Pirate Ancestors,” in Sea Rovers, Silver, and Samurai, ed. by Tonio Andrade and Xing Hang. UH Press (2016), 44-46.
  1. Shimo-Kamagari chôshi: zusetsu tsûshi hen, Kure, Hiroshima: Kure shiyakusho (2007), 72.