After He Was Fired as Lord of Akashi, Ukon Found Refuge in Lord Maeda’s Domains – Where He Served as Guest-General (“Kyakusho”)

►This is a photo of the Takayama Ukon Memorial Park at Shika (志賀町, Shikamachi), a town located in Hakui District, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan – 12 hours by bus from Tokyo. During the lifetime of Dom Justo Ukon Takayama (1552 Osaka-1615 Manila), Ishikawa was part of the feudal domains ruled by the Great Daimyo Toshiie Maeda (前田 利家, 1538 – April 27, 1599) who was granted the Kaga Domain in 1583 – that is, 5 years before he invited the dispossessed ex-Lord Takayama to be a guest-general (“Kyakusho”) in his army.

The celebrated Samurai of Christ, Ukon Takayama, spent 26 years (1588-1614) in domestic exile in Kanazawa and in Noto Peninsula (where Ukon was given a large estate) – before finally being deported with his family — and 350 other Christians — to the Philippines in 1614.

►The Kaga Domain (加賀藩 Kaga han) — also known as Kanazawa Domain (金沢藩 Kanazawa han) — was a feudal domain in Edo period Japan, covering most of Kaga Province and Etchū Provinces and all of Noto Province (modern-day Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures), in the Hokuriku region of Japan. It was centered on Kanazawa Castle in what is now the city of Kanazawa. Throughout its history, it was ruled by the Maeda clan. Kaga Domain had an assessed “kokudaka of over one million “koku” — as a rule of thumb, one “koku” was considered sufficient quantity of rice to feed one person for one year — making it by far the largest of the feudal domains in Japan.

►I’ve been looking for Shika-machi (志賀町) as well as Shio-machi (志雄町) where Ukon built two chapels for his ecclesial community of 600 Kirishitan Samurai and their families – who were allowed to practice their Christian religion by a tolerant Lord Maeda, whose daughter was herself a baptized Catholic.

From Toyama to Shika is a 1-hr drive; 3 hrs by bus. The photo shows there’s a statue standing in Shika that looks like the Takayama statue at Plaza Dilao.

They have NOT forgotten Ukon!#

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

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