Arima Toyouji was a prominent figure in the late Sengoku and early Edo periods, holding the titles of Daimyo and Lord of Tamba Fukuchiyama. He also had the distinction of being the inaugural Lord of Kurume Domain. Born in Mitsuda Castle at Miki, Arima-gun, Harima Province (present-day Hyogo Prefecture), Toyouji's early years were marked by service to the daimyo Watarase Shigeaki, where he held the position of chief councilor. This allegiance remained until the Watarase clan's involvement in the Toyotomi Hidetsugu incident of 1595, which culminated in their collective seppuku. Subsequently, Toyouji realigned himself with Hideyoshi, earning him a stipend of 30,000 koku and lands in Totomi (now Shizuoka Prefecture).

During Hideyoshi’s Korean Campaign, Toyouji dispatched a contingent of 200 men to safeguard Nagoya Castle in Kyushu. Following Hideyoshi's passing, he allied with Tokugawa Ieyasu and led 900 troops in the Battle of Sekigahara. This included a pre-battle assault on Gifu Castle and active involvement in the main confrontation itself.

For his exceptional contributions, Toyouji received the newly established Tamba Fukuchiyama domain, along with an allocation of 60,000 koku. He further distinguished himself in the 1614 winter Siege of Osaka.

Earlier, in 1606, he had been called upon to contribute manpower, resources, and funds for the reconstruction of Edo Castle’s central Honmaru precincts. The following year, similar requests were made for Sunpu Castle, and in 1618, Osaka Castle also received his support. These ventures, while commendable, placed considerable strain on the domain's finances.

Due to their commendable service, the Arima clan was relocated to Kurume Domain in late 1620, receiving an endowment of 210,000 koku. Adhering to the newly enforced Tokugawa law, which permitted only one castle per domain, Arima initiated the reconstruction of Kurume Castle. Salvaging components from the now-defunct Enokizu and Fukushima Castles, he simultaneously improved economic conditions for all within his domain.

Despite his advancing age, between December 1637 and April 1638, Arima Toyouji led 6,300 men in the Shimabara Rebellion under the Tokugawa banner.

Arima Toyouji was not solely a warrior, but a man of culture, distinguished as one of the Seven Great Followers of Sen No Rikyu. He was also an adherent of Zen Buddhism and a scholar of Confucianism.

Upon his demise at the age of 74, two of his most trusted advisors followed suit, committing Junshi—a form of ritual suicide—to serve their lord in the afterlife. His son, Tadayori, assumed leadership of the clan.

See also

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