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Shimazu-sho

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  • Japanese: 島津(Shimazu shou)

The Shimazu-shô estate after which the Shimazu clan takes its name was the largest shôen (estate) in all of Japan.

It was established in the 1020s, when Taira no Suemoto, an official at the Dazaifu, was granted the land by Kanpaku Fujiwara no Yorimichi. The estate's center was at a place called Shimazu, within Morokata district, in Hyûga province (today, the Moromoto area in Miyakonojô city, Miyazaki prefecture), and so the whole estate came to be called "Shimazu." Over time, the estate grew to include parts of the neighboring provinces of Satsuma and Ôsumi.

In 1185, Minamoto no Yoritomo and the Konoe family named Koremune Tadahisa geshi (or gesu, 下司職) for that territory. Tadahisa was later named jitô, and at some point took on the name "Shimazu," from the name of the estate. He lost his position as jitô in 1203 in an incident concerning the Hiki clan, eventually regaining it, but over only the portion of the territory lying within Satsuma province. Until the fall of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333, the remainder of the territory was administered by relatives of the Hôjô.

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