Tokugawa Iemochi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Tokugawa".
Tokugawa Iemochi
Toku14-2.jpg
14th Edo Shogun
In office
August 14, 1858 – August 29, 1866
Monarch Emperor Kōmei
Preceded by Tokugawa Iesada
Succeeded by Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Personal details
Born (1846-07-17)July 17, 1846
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Died August 29, 1866(1866-08-29) (aged 20)
Osaka Castle, Japan
Spouse(s) Princess Kazu

Tokugawa Iemochi (徳川 家茂?) (July 17, 1846 – August 29, 1866) was the 14th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, who held office from 1858 to 1866.[1] During his reign there was much internal turmoil as a result of Japan's first major contact with the United States, which occurred under Commodore Perry in 1853 and 1854, and of the subsequent "re-opening" of Japan to western nations. Iemochi's reign also saw a weakening of the shogunate.[1]

Biography[edit]

Iemochi, known in his childhood as Kikuchiyo, was the eldest son of the 11th generation Wakayama domain lord Tokugawa Nariyuki (1801-1846) and was born in the domain's residence in Edo (modern-day Minato-ku in Tokyo). Nariyuki was a younger son of the 11th shogun, Tokugawa Ienari.

In 1847, at age 1, he was adopted as the heir of the 12th generation daimyo Tokugawa Narikatsu, and succeeded him in 1850, taking the name Tokugawa Yoshitomi following his coming of age in 1851. However, in 1858 he was named as the successor to the main Tokugawa house due to his cousin the 13th shogun, Iesada, being heirless. The choice of Yoshitomi was not without conflict; there were other factions in the government who supported Tokugawa Yoshinobu or Matsudaira Naritami for shogun; it must be said that both of them, as opposed to Iemochi, were adults. It was upon assuming the office of shogun that Yoshitomi changed his name to Iemochi.

On April 22, 1863 (Bunkyū 3, 5th day of the 3rd month), Shogun Iemochi travelled in a great procession to the capital. He had been summoned by the emperor, and had 3,000 retainers as escort. This was the first time since the visit of Iemitsu in the Kan'ei era, 230 years before, that a shogun had visited Kyoto.[2]

Kazu-no-miya, Iemochi's wife

As part of the Kōbu Gattai ("Union of Court and Bakufu") movement, Iemochi was married to Imperial Princess Kazu-no-Miya Chikako daughter of Emperor Ninkō, and younger sister of Emperor Kōmei, but his early death, at the age of 20, put an end to the short marriage. The cause of death is widely reported as heart failure due to beriberi, a disease caused by thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency.

His successor, Yoshinobu, was the last Tokugawa shogun and witnessed the end of the shogunate, which gave way to the Meiji Restoration.

Eras of Iemochi's bakufu[edit]

Letter of Abraham Lincoln to Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi announcing the departure of Townsend Harris. 14 November 1861.
Letter of Napoleon III to "Taikun" Tokugawa Iemochi nominating Léon Roches, in replacement of Duchesne de Bellecourt, 23 October 1863. Diplomatic Record Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan).

The years in which Iemochi was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.

In fiction[edit]

Tokugawa Iemochi is featured in the 2008 NHK Taiga drama, Atsuhime. He is portrayed by Matsuda Shota.

His child self is featured in the novel 'Kazunomiya, Prisoner of Heaven', by Kathryn Lasky, a fictional diary written by Iemochi's wife.

Iemochi is also mentioned in 'The Last Concubine' by Lesley Downer.

He is parodied in the manga and anime series Gintama as 'Tokugawa Shige-Shige' (徳川 茂茂).

Lord Tokugawa appears in James Clavell's novel Gai-Jin as Nobusada Toranaga.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Japan:Memoirs of a Secret Empire". PBS. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  2. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 325.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Tokugawa Iesada
Edo Shogun:
Tokugawa Iemochi

1858-1866
Succeeded by
Tokugawa Yoshinobu