Otani clan

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The Otani clan was a low-ranking samurai family based in Edo, with a stipend of 100 koku.

Notable members include Otani Heizô (d. 1827), who was adopted into the Otani family, and who is chiefly notable because of his son by a concubine, Katsu Kokichi (1802-1850), who was adopted into the Katsu clan and was in turn the father of Katsu Kaishû.

Heizô was one of nine children of blind moneylender Yoneyama Kengyô (d. 1772). Heizô had at least two sons with his wife Chisen'in: Otani Hikoshirô (1777-1840), Otani Saburôemon, and possibly a third son named Tessaku.

Heizô's brother Kyokusai, with his wife Seiryûin, had at least one son. Otani Chûnojô, as he was known, had at least two sons in turn, named Chûjirô and Shintarô (d. 1864). The latter was born to a concubine, and was adopted by Otani Hikoshirô (mentioned above) and his wife Yû, married to their daughter Tsuru, and renamed Otani Seiichirô.

Another branch of the family included brothers Chûzô, Masanosuke, and Kurobe Tokusaburô, and Chûzô's son Juntarô.


  • Craig, Teruko (trans.). Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai. University of Arizona Press, 1988. pp169-171.