The Itō clan (伊東氏, Itō-shi?) were a Japanese clan that claimed descent from the medieval warrior Itō Suketoki (son of Kudō Suketsune), who was famous for his involvement in the incident involving the Soga brothers. The family became a moderate power both in influence and ability by the latter Sengoku Period of Feudal Japan. During the Heian Period of the 12th century, the Ito's mutual fortunes with the Kamakura Bakufu had become relatively nonexistent after a period of certain treachery instigated by Ito no Sukechika, who was put to death by Minamoto no Yoritomo upon the treason of seizing land and ultimately acting against the will of both his father and elder brother.
The Itō family survived through the Muromachi Period, and remained a powerful clan well into the Sengoku period. The Itō family's most serious rivals in this period were the Shimazu. The Shimazu clan, which had unified Satsuma Province and Ōsumi Province under their control, began to clash with the Itō in 1570. The Itō were finally defeated by the Shimazu in 1578. Yoshisuke, the family head, went to Kyoto by way of Iyo Province, and sught help from Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The family's old lands were restored in 1587, following Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion of Kyushu and subjugation of the Shimazu clan. By the Edo period, the Itō retained their holdings, which came to be known as the Obi Domain.
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