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The   was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japanmarker and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size. They became daimyo during the Edo period.

The Maeda clan ruled the Kaga Domain from their headquarters in Kanazawa from 1583 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Kanazawa Castlemarker and Kenroku-enmarker are cultural relics of the Maeda clan.

Perhaps the most famous member of this clan was Maeda Toshiie (1538-1599), son of Toshimasa. Toshiie was one of the leading generals under Oda Nobunaga, and later fought against the late Hōjō clan under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Oyama Shrinemarker, dedicated in his honor, can be seen in Kanazawa.

Toshiie divided his fief among his sons. His eldest son Toshinaga participated in the Battle of Sekigahara and built Kanazawa Castle; he was noted for being the wealthiest daimyo in Tokugawa Japan with over 1.2 million koku (Turnbull, 1998). Other sons included Toshimasa and an adopted brother named Toshitsune, both of whom both fought in the Siege of Osaka.

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