Tokugawa clan

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Maruni-mitsuba-aoi ("Circle Around Three Hollyhock Leaves"), the Tokugawa clan mon (crest).

The Tokugawa clan (徳川氏 Tokugawa-shi or Tokugawa-uji?) was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa (850–880) and were a branch of the Minamoto clan (Seiwa Genji) by the Nitta clan. The early history of this clan remains a mystery.[1] Members of the clan ruled Japan as Shoguns from 1603 to 1867.

History[edit]

Minamoto no Yoshishige (+1202), grandson of Minamoto no Yoshiie (1041–1108), was the first to take the name of Nitta. He sided with his cousin Minamoto no Yoritomo against the Taira clan (1180) and accompanied him to Kamakura. Nitta Yoshisue, 4th son of Yoshishige, settled at Tokugawa (Kozuke province) and took the name of that place. Their provincial history book did not mention Minamoto clan or Nitta clan.[2]

The nominal originator of the Matsudaira clan was reportedly Matsudaira Chikauji, who was originally a poor Buddhist monk.[1][3] He reportedly descended from Nitta Yoshisue in the 8th generation and witnessed the ruin of the Nitta in their war against the Ashikaga. He settled at Matsudaira (Mikawa province) and was adopted by his wife's family. Their provincial history book claimed that this original clan was Ariwara clan.[2] Because this place is said to have been reclaimed by Nobumori Ariwara, one theory holds that Matsudaira clan was related to Ariwara no Narihira.[4]

Matsudaira Nobumitsu (15th century), son of Chikauji, was in charge of Okazaki Castle, and strengthened the authority of his family in the Mikawa province. Nobumitsu's great-great-grandson Matsudaira Kiyoyasu made his clan strong, but was assassinated. In 1567, his grandson Ieyasu (1542–1616) obtained from the Emperor permission to revive the name Tokugawa. In so doing, he claimed descent from the Minamoto clan.

The clan rose to power at the end of the Sengoku period, and to the end of the Edo period they ruled Japan as shoguns. All in all, there were fifteen Tokugawa shoguns. Their dominance was so strong that some history books use the term "Tokugawa era" instead of "Edo period".

In addition, the heads of the gosanke (the three branches with fiefs in Owari, Kishū, and Mito) bore the Tokugawa surname. Additional branches became the gosankyō: the Tayasu, Hitotsubashi, and Shimizu Tokugawa clans. Many daimyo with the Matsudaira surname were descended from the Tokugawa. Examples include the Matsudaira of Fukui and Aizu. Members of the Tokugawa clan intermarried with prominent daimyo and the Imperial family.

Their principal family shrine is the Tōshō-gū in Nikkō, and principal temple is at Kan'ei-ji in Tokyo. Heirlooms of the clan are partly administered by the Tokugawa Memorial Foundation.

Family tree (simplified)[edit]

Simplified genealogy, showing complete lines of descent[edit]

  • I. Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1st Tokugawa Shōgun (1543-1616; r. 1603-1605). He had issue, including four sons:
    • II. Tokugawa Hidetada, 2nd Tokugawa Shōgun (1579-1632; r. 1605-1623). He had issue, including:
    • Tokugawa Yoshinao, 1st Lord of Owari (1601-1650)
    • Tokugawa Yorinobu, 1st Lord of Kishū (1602-1671). He had issue, including:
      • Tokugawa Mitsusada, 2nd Lord of Kishū (1627-1705). He had issue, including:
        • VIII. Tokugawa Yoshimune, 8th Tokugawa Shōgun (1684-1751; 5th Lord of Kishū: 1705-1716; 8th Tokugawa Shōgun: 1716-1745). He had issue, including two sons:
          • IX. Tokugawa Ieshige, 9th Tokugawa Shōgun (1712-1761; r. 1745-1760). He had issue, including a son:
          • Tokugawa Munetada, 1st Hitotsubashi-Tokugawa family head (1721-1765; Hitotsubashi family head: 1735-1764). He had issue, including:
            • Tokugawa Harusada, 2nd Hitotsubashi-Tokugawa family head (1751-1827; Hitotsubashi family head: 1764-1799). He had issue, including two sons:
              • XI. Tokugawa Ienari, 11th Tokugawa Shōgun (1773-1841; r. 1786-1837). He had numerous sons, including:
              • Tokugawa Narimasa, 3rd Tayasu-Tokugawa family head (1779-1848). He had issue, including:
                • Tokugawa Yoshiyori, 5th Tayasu-Tokugawa family head (1828-1876). He had issue, including:
                  • XVI. Tokugawa Iesato, 1st Prince Tokugawa, 16th Tokugawa family head, 6th Tayasu-Tokugawa family head (1863-1940; 6th Tayasu-Tokugawa head: 1865-1868, 16th Tokugawa family head: 1868-1940, 1st Prince Tokugawa: cr. 1884). He had issue, including:
                    • XVII. Tokugawa Iemasa, 2nd Prince Tokugawa, 17th Tokugawa family head (1884-1963; 17th Tokugawa family head: 1940-1963, 2nd Prince Tokugawa: 1940-1947)
    • Tokugawa Yorifusa, 1st Lord of Miand 8th Tayasu-Tokugawa family head (1828-1876). He had issue, including:to (1603-1661). He had issue, including:
      • Matsudaira Yorishige, 1st Lord of Takamatsu (1622-1695). He had issue, including:
        • Matsudaira Yoriyuki (1661-1687). He had a son:
          • Matsudaira Yoritoyo, 3rd Lord of Takamatsu (1680-1735). He had issue, including:
            • Tokugawa Munetaka, 4th Lord of Mito (1705-1730). He had issue, including:
              • Tokugawa Munemoto, 5th Lord of Mito (1728-1766). He had issue, including:
                • Tokugawa Harumori, 6th Lord of Mito (1751-1805). He had issue, including two sons:
                  • Tokugawa Harutoshi, 7th Lord of Mito (1773-1816). He had issue, including:
                    • Tokugawa Nariaki, 9th Lord of Mito (1800-1860). He had numerous sons, including:
                      • XV. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, 15th Tokugawa Shōgun, 1st Head and 1st Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line (1837-1913; Shōgun: 1866-1867, 1st Head of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1868-1913, 1st Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1902-1913). He had issue, including a son:
                        • Tokugawa Yoshihisa, 2nd Head and 2nd Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line (1884-1922; 2nd head and 2nd Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1913-1922). He had issue, including a son:
                          • Tokugawa Yoshimitsu, 3rd Head and 3rd Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line (1913-1993; 3rd Head of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1922-1993, 3rd Prince of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1922-1947). He had issue, including a son:
                            • Tokugawa Yoshitomo, 4th Head of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line (1950-present; 4th Head of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu line: 1993-present). He has issue, including a son:
                  • Matsudaira Yoshinari, 9th Lord of Takasu (1776-1832). He had issue, including:

[5]

Crest[edit]

The Tokugawa's clan crest, known in Japanese as a "mon", the "triple hollyhock" (although commonly, but mistakenly identified as "hollyhock", the "aoi" actually belongs to the birthwort family and translates as "wild ginger"—Asarum), has been a readily recognized icon in Japan, symbolizing in equal parts the Tokugawa clan and the last shogunate.

The crest derives from a mythical clan, the Kamo clan, which legendarily descended from Yatagarasu.[6] Matsudaira village was located in Higashikamo District, Aichi Prefecture. Although Emperor Go-Yōzei offered a new crest, Ieyasu continued to use the crest, which was not related to Minamoto clan.[7]

In jidaigeki, the crest is often shown to locate the story in the Edo period. And in works set in during the Meiji Restoration movement, the crest is used to show the bearer's allegiance to the shogunate—as opposed to the royalists, whose cause is symbolized by the Imperial throne's chrysanthemum crest. Compare with the red and white rose iconography of English Wars of the Roses, as imagined by Walter Scott earlier in the 19th century, in Anne of Geierstein (1829).

Family members[edit]

Retainers[edit]

Clans[edit]

Important retainers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Japanese) "徳川家康展". Aichi Prefectural Library. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  2. ^ a b (Japanese) "十四松平の城・寺・墓を訪ねて". Okazaki. 2000. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  3. ^ (Japanese) Ryotaro Shiba (1962). "Ieyasu Tokugawa". Shinchosha. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  4. ^ (Japanese) Kazue Tanaka. 古代史の謎を解き明かす「モード・タ」. Google Books. via Bungeisha. 2000. 101.
  5. ^ Tokugawa-Matsudaira Genealogy (jp)
  6. ^ (Japanese) "賀茂別雷神社". Kyoto sightseeing taxi. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  7. ^ (Japanese) Ryu Miura. 戦国武将・闇に消されたミステリー. Google Books. via PHP Kenkyusho. 2005. 283.

External links[edit]