- Japanese: 相良家 (Sagara-ke)
The Sagara were originally descended from the Fujiwara clan, and are believed to have taken their name from the manor (shoen) they held in Sagara, Haibara district, Tôtômi province during the Kamakura period. In 1198, the year before his death, Minamoto no Yoritomo granted the territory of Hitoyoshi (on Kyushu, in modern-day Kumamoto prefecture) to the Sagara.
Hitoyoshi is surrounded on all sides by mountains, making it quite easily defensible, and allowing the Sagara to relatively easily survive their neighbors' attacks during the Sengoku period.
Sagara Nagatsune initially fought alongside the Western Army (against Tokugawa Ieyasu) at the Battle of Sekigahara, but secretly sent an envoy to Ieyasu declaring his allegiance. When Ieyasu's forces laid siege to Nagatsune's Ôgaki castle, he granted the attackers entry, thus earning him some relief from Tokugawa enmity. After contributing as well to Tokugawa efforts during the Siege of Osaka, he earned a high reputation for his clan.
Lords of the Sagara clan
- Edo daimyô hyakke 江戸大名百家. Bessatsu Taiyô 別冊太陽. Spring 1978. pp11, 40.