Historically Recent and Still-Existing Japanese Clans?

oshron

Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
3,690
western Terranova
hey, all. an idea occurred to me for something i'm writing but i'm having little luck finding information on it. basically, i want to look into Japanese clans--including those of ninja and samurai--which were still around after the opening of Japan, and especially which ones are still around today.

any help on this?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,817
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Ninjas eh?

....


*ahem*

Anyway, a lot of them are. For example:
Hosokawa Morihiro is a member of the Hosokawa clan, which has been prominent throughout history.
Konoe Fumamiro, the WW2 prime minister was a member of one of the traditional five clans Fujiwara branch houses that historically provided the regent to the throne.
The current head of the Tokugawa has his own brand of Tokugawa coffee, complete with the clan mon (crest) on it.
The current head of the Date clan is Date Yasumune. The head still uses the character "mune" in his name, which has been in use since at least the 14th century.
The Honda clan produces cars.*

*This is not true. The Honda car company was indeed founded by a man named Honda, but I don't believe he is related to the historical Honda clan that served Tokugawa Ieyasu. The characters in their names are different but an English reader wouldn't know that.
 
Last edited:

oshron

Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
3,690
western Terranova
thanks, this gives me a good starting point :)

anyone know anything else? books or websites on the subject would be useful, too
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,817
T'Republic of Yorkshire
thanks, this gives me a good starting point :)

anyone know anything else? books or websites on the subject would be useful, too
What exactly are you looking for? It's easy enough to find information about specific clans. When the samurai class was abolished, many of the daimyo were raised to the kazoku peerage system:
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazoku]Kazoku - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


Given the Japanese practise of considering an adopted child to be a legitimate heir, most of the clans were able to maintain an "unbroken" lineage.
 

oshron

Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
3,690
western Terranova
What exactly are you looking for? It's easy enough to find information about specific clans. When the samurai class was abolished, many of the daimyo were raised to the kazoku peerage system:
Kazoku - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Given the Japanese practise of considering an adopted child to be a legitimate heir, most of the clans were able to maintain an "unbroken" lineage.
what i'm working on is a large-scale alternate history timeline project with flexible divergences from real-world history (e.g., a difference of an election in 19th century America wouldn't directly effect events in Europe unless it was an exceptionally drastic change). as i haven't done much work on Japan in this alternate timeline except for their 20th century history (as well as getting a crazyass idea for continued "rivalry" between ninja and samurai through to the present-day) i wanted to look into clans which would be more likely to still be in existence by the time Japan modernizes in the late 19th century, partly since some of my initial research indicated that a number of clans dating further back, such as into the Sengoku period, had been wiped out for one reason or another and have no modern successors. i'm already getting some ideas from what you've already told me about :)
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,817
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The thing is, I can't give you a big list of clans and say, yep, these guys are still here or no, these guys aren't.

Which clans in particular did you find have no modern successors? Many clans had branch families, which may have changed their surnames but are still considered part of the main family.

For example, I mentioned Konoe Fumimaro. The Konoe are considered one of the branch families of the (Northern) Fujiwara, along with the Kujo, Ichijo, Nijo and the Takatsukasa.

Anyway, if there are ninjas, historical accuracy might as well go out of the window.
 

oshron

Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
3,690
western Terranova
The thing is, I can't give you a big list of clans and say, yep, these guys are still here or no, these guys aren't.

Which clans in particular did you find have no modern successors? Many clans had branch families, which may have changed their surnames but are still considered part of the main family.

For example, I mentioned Konoe Fumimaro. The Konoe are considered one of the branch families of the (Northern) Fujiwara, along with the Kujo, Ichijo, Nijo and the Takatsukasa.

Anyway, if there are ninjas, historical accuracy might as well go out of the window.
admittedly i didn't look very deeply (i have a bad habit of doing that and then asking for outside opinions :p). i looked into the Minamoto, Taira, Abe, Mononobe, Nakatomi, and Soga clans (as well as some others that i'm not so sure about), and tbh was a little discouraged from looking further because alot of the articles mentioned "was a clan" whereas the Date clan, for example, mentioned "is a clan".

maybe i'll stop by my regular bookstore and see if i can find something on all this

there were historical ninja clans as i understand it, and as far as their inclusion in the setting is concerned, i plan to treat them realistically--none of that Naruto/Ninja Gaiden/whatever stuff :p
 
Oct 2012
1,057
admittedly i didn't look very deeply (i have a bad habit of doing that and then asking for outside opinions :p). i looked into the Minamoto, Taira, Abe, Mononobe, Nakatomi, and Soga clans (as well as some others that i'm not so sure about), and tbh was a little discouraged from looking further because alot of the articles mentioned "was a clan" whereas the Date clan, for example, mentioned "is a clan".

maybe i'll stop by my regular bookstore and see if i can find something on all this

there were historical ninja clans as i understand it, and as far as their inclusion in the setting is concerned, i plan to treat them realistically--none of that Naruto/Ninja Gaiden/whatever stuff :p
they changed family names or surname.
for example surname Ishihara was a Hattori clan as ninja clan
Hattori clan was Hata clan..

many old clans moved all over japan because of as a rebel , as a lord ....
some clans were given new surname by lord ..

it also needs to investigate Kamon
Balloon flower (Kikyo) : garian kamon1
 
Last edited:
Oct 2012
1,057
admittedly i didn't look very deeply (i have a bad habit of doing that and then asking for outside opinions :p). i looked into the Minamoto, Taira, Abe, Mononobe, Nakatomi, and Soga clans (as well as some others that i'm not so sure about), and tbh was a little discouraged from looking further because alot of the articles mentioned "was a clan" whereas the Date clan, for example, mentioned "is a clan".

maybe i'll stop by my regular bookstore and see if i can find something on all this

there were historical ninja clans as i understand it, and as far as their inclusion in the setting is concerned, i plan to treat them realistically--none of that Naruto/Ninja Gaiden/whatever stuff :p
they changed family names or surname.
for example suname Ishihara was a Hattori clan
Hattori clan was Hata clan..

many old clans move all over japan because of as rebel , as a lord ....
some clans were given new surname by lord ..

it also needs to investigate Kamon
Balloon flower (Kikyo) : garian kamon1

as for Takeda clan, it was minamoto clan of kai province(kofu city)
anyway I can only say most Japanese Family belong to either Heike(taira) or Genji(minamoto).
 
Last edited: