Above:   Backyard of Gyoda City Museum






Gyoda City Museum




World history1:

Pax Romana is a peace of two hundred years by the Roman Empire. The other hand, the Peace of Edo is longer than the Pax Romana and it continued two centuries and fifty years.

No other nation shows such a long peace in the world history. So, we are proud of it. The Lords of this Oshi han contributed to keep peace of Edo period as member of executives  in the Tokugawa Shogunate. 

1. Four Kamons (Japanese Emblem of the four families)

 You can see four Kamons over there. Kamon is Japanese emblem used to decorate and identify a family. There were four powerful clans that had ruled this castle and district as the Lord.

The first Kamon from right is the emblem of the Narita clan that ruled this castle for almost 100 years since 15th century.

 The second Kamon is it of the OkochiMatsudaira and Matudaira Nobutsuna, he governed the Oshi han as the lord from 1633 to 1639.

The third Kamon from right is it of the Abe clan. The Abe clan controlled this Oshi han for 184 years and had been at Rojyu (high ranking position) for consecutive five family generations at the position of Tokugawa Shogunate. 


 The left red Kamon was used by the TojyoMatsudaira and the OkudairaMatsudaira. Matsudaira Tadayoshi was the 4th son of 

Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the first Lord of the Oshi han since Ieyasu ruled Kanto district.

 The ancestor of the OudairaraMatsudaira was Kamehime, the first daughter of Ieyasu.



 Two of clans with red Kamon were family Lords of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The clans with 2nd and 3rd Kamon were called Shinpan and close relation with Tokugawa Shogunate. 



2. Gyoda in Middle Ages


 This Museum stands at the site that Honmaru of the Oshi castle had been there. So, the Oshi castle related themes are displayed at the first position and finally Gyoda’s history in Ancient ages is introduced here.

(1) An emergence of the Narita clan:

 The Narita clan ruled the area since the 12th century ( around 1156). This area lies between the Tonegawa- river and the Arakawa-river and is rich soil.

(2) Building the Oshi castle:

Narita Akiyasu built it before 1479.

Living tactics of the Narita clan:

 They lived on cleverly between the Hojo and the Uesugi.

(3) The Stone Plate ( Itabi):

This is to pray for repose of a dead person’s soul.

The oldest one: Dainichishuji Stone plate (Kamakura period)

The newest one: Was found at the Oshi castle site in 1571

(4) Ishida Mitsunari’s Flood Attack:

  He led the project to attack the Oshi castle by flooding, but it didn’t work well. The retainers led by Narita Nagachika and Princess Kaihime persevered in fight until the surrender of the Odawara-jo castle. Finally they surrendered by the order of the Lord of the Oshi castle in 1590. 







3. Gyoda in Early Modern Ages

 (1) Change of the Oshi castle

 Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered Matsudaira Ietada to repair the castle that was damaged by the flood attack.

 Matsudaira Tadayoshi( Ieyasu’s the fourth son) entered the castle as the first Lord of the Oshi castle.

 Ieyasu visited Oshi area seven times as hunting with falcons.

 Matsudaira Masatake enlarged the castle and the town of Oshi. 


(2) The Lords and their period

 Matsudaira Tadayoshi:

 He fought against the West Army ( Ishida Mitsunari etc.) at Sekigahara as his the first battle in his life. After the battle, he was promoted to the Lord of Kiyosu castle. Tadayoshi’s the first son (grandson of both Ieyasu and Ii Naomasa) died soon after his birth and buried at Shokakuji-temple in Gyoda.

Acting the Lord:

 He ruled the castle and town for about 30 years.

Matsudaira Nobutuna:

  He supported the 3rd Shogun, Iemitsu with Abe Tadaaki and suppressed the Revolt of AmakusaShimabara.

The Abe clan:

When Abe Tadaaki was 9 years old, he started working for Tokugawa Iemitsu, 7 years old ( later the 3rd Shogun). The Abe had been an executive ( Rojyu) of Tokugawa Shogunate consecutive for five family generations since Tadaaki got the position. His family had kept the position for the longest terms in Edo period.

 Also the clan had been at Oshi castle for 184 years. The 3rd Lord

 Masatake modified and enlarged the Oshi castle.

 Masatake welcomed the new Chief of the Dutch Factory in Nagasaki and Josen mission to Japan at his residence in Edo as Rojyu.

  The (Okudaira) Matsudaira clan:

 Matsudaira Tadaakira was born between Kamehime (Ieyasu’s the first daughter) and Okudaira Nobumasa.

 The Lord Tadakuni had duty of coast guard in Boso Peninsula and Edo-gulf.

 The executive of the Matsudaira, Torii Tsuneemon offered the obedience to the Army of the Meiji New Government.


  The Matsudaira clan is family Lord of Tokugawa Shogun. 

(3) The life in the castle town

The town was formed with the buildings that faced to a street and stood at narrow, deep rectangular ground. The tax was applied for the front width of the building.

The town was surrounded by river and streams.

The logistic system that carried mails and other materials from this town to famous towns, such as Edo and etc already existed.

The system to carry rice and others from town to riverside and from riverside to Edo was ready.

 Sakamaki Riverside to Edo: Two days

 Edo to Sakamaki riverside: Five days  



4. Production process of Gyoda Tabi-socks 

Period of Manual Industry: 

   The household industrial production by side job occupied most share of it. 

  From Manual Production to Factory Production: 

   Sewing machines were introduced instead of manual sewing. 

   Japan-China War: 

   Gyoda Tabi industry received exclusive order of Tabi from the Imperial Japanese Navy. 

  Japan-Russo War: 

   Gyoda Tabi groups received a lot of orders of Tabi from the Imperial Japanese Army. 


  Bank and electric company were established in Gyoda and they supported the Tabi industry

  Sewing process of Tabi: 

    Thirteen processes were introduced to keep division of labor.  






5. Gyoda in Ancient Ages 






 (1) The ruins of Gyoda 

   This area was blessed with enough water by two big rivers, Tonegawa-river and Arakawa-river. 

   It is obvious that in the Old Stone Ages, people started their living, in the Jomon Ages( Japanese Prehistoric Ages) Mura( old village) developed and in the Yayoi Ages(an Iron Ages) big village existed here. 


   In Kofun period, population grew in large and number of village also increased.

 (2) Building of the Ancient Burial Mounds 

Building the Kofun started in the 1st half of the 3rd century mainly in western Japan. However, the Kofun cluster in Gyoda started a development in late 5th century and continued till the first half in 7th century. 

There are Kofun clusters such as the Sakitama Kofun cluster( 9 Kofuns remain now), Sakamaki Kofun cluster( 23 Kofuns were found as of today) and etc. National treasure, Gold-inlaid Iron Sword was excavated at Inariyama Kofun and national designated important cultural property, Haniwa of horse with flag was found at Sakamaki Kofun   




 (3) From Ancient ages to the Middle ages 


  This is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry that was compiled from the second half in 7th century to 8th century and four poems that related to Gyoda were included in it. Two of four poems were made by a man and his wife who lived in Sakitama area. Other two poem that names of poets were not known, showed the name of an area in Gyoda, such as “Sakitama port” and “Kosakinuma”.  


NaraHeian period: 

 The influence of Buddhism penetrated into the whole country in Nara period.   The old Jotokuji-temple in Gyoda is supposed to be built around 810 and the oldest temple in Gyoda. The current Jotokuji-temple remains the twenty five foundation stones of the old Jotokuji-temple. 


6. On the way to the top floor of third story castle 

(1) Uniforms of fire-fighter 

 Firefighters wore very unique clothes (uniforms). Surface of the uniform is formal, not allowed to decorate, but rear side is quite different. It was distinctive and attractive design that reflects the spirit of fire- fighters. 


(2) A picture diary by samurai    

 This picture diary was written by samurai in Oshi han on long rolled paper. 

Daily life of samurai in Edo period was written well. Eating and drinking scenes were often displayed. We can know what kind of cooking they ate from this picture and it suggested that the writer liked drinking very much. 


(3) Tabis for Sumo wrestlers 

  Gyoda Tabis were used by Sumo wrestlers. The grand champion in Sumo world, Takanohana, Wakanohana, and Akebonno put on their Gyoda Tabis in daily life. Their Tabis are displayed in showcase. 


(4) At the third flower 

 We can enjoy panoramic view surrounding mountains, such as Mt.Fuji, Mt.Tsukuba, Mt. Akagi and Mt.Haruna etc at the third flower.