- Japanese: 長氏 (Chou-shi)
The Chô were one of the Eight Families (hakka) of prominent Maeda clan retainers in Edo period Kanazawa. The family's name derived from an abbreviation, taking just the first kanji from the name of the Hasebe clan, from whom the Chô were descended.
Chô Hisatsura, head of the family in 1600, was counted among the high-ranking retainers to Maeda Toshiie. He was granted a residence within the castle walls sometime around that year, though the Chô, along with a number of other prized retainers, were moved outside the castle walls shortly afterwards, in the 1610s. At this time, the new Chô residence was established just outside the outer moat, to the west of the castle, guarding the northwest approach.
As one of the so-called Eight Families, the Chô enjoyed the second highest stipend of Kaga han retainers, at 33,000 koku. They bore their own vassal families, low-ranking samurai who pursued by-employments, such as growing apples and producing motoyui paper cords for styling hair, in order to supplement their income and support themselves.
The neighborhood where the Chô residence was once located along those of other samurai families is today called Nagamachi, and remains famous for those residences (buke yashiki) which have been restored or maintained and can still be seen today.
- McClain, James. Kanazawa: A Seventeenth-Century Japanese Castle Town. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.
- "Chô Tsuratatsu." Asahi Nippon rekishi jinbutsu jiten 朝日日本歴史人物事典 ("Asahi Encyclopedia of Japanese Historical Figures"). Accessed via Kotobank.jp, 4 January 2010.
- McClain. p35.
- McClain states the amount as only 10,000 koku, with a final net income of 3,500 koku. (p107)