Tokugawa Ieharu

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Tokugawa Ieharu
Tokugawa Ieharu.jpg
In office
Preceded byTokugawa Ieshige
Succeeded byTokugawa Ienari
Personal details
Born(1737-06-20)June 20, 1737
Edo, Tokugawa shogunate
(now Tokyo, Japan)
DiedSeptember 17, 1786(1786-09-17) (aged 49)
Sunpu Castle, Shizuoka, Tokugawa shogunate

Tokugawa Ieharu (徳川家治) (June 20, 1737 – September 17, 1786) was the tenth shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, who held office from 1760 to 1786.

His childhood name was Takechiyo (竹千代).

Ieharu died in 1786 and given the Buddhist name Shunmyoin and buried at Kan'ei-ji.


  • Father: Tokugawa Ieshige
  • Mother: Oko no Kata (d. 1728) later Shinshin'in
  • Wife: Iso no Miya Tomoko (1738–1771)
  • Concubines:
    • Omiyo no Kata
    • Ochiho no Kata (1737–1791) later Renkoin
    • Oshina no Kata (d. 1778) later Yoren-in
  • Child:
    • Chiyohime (1756–1757) by Tomoko
    • Manjuhime (1761–1773) (born by Tomoko but after she died adopted by Ieharu's concubine, Omaki no Kata)
    • Tokugawa Takechiyo later Tokugawa Iemoto (1762–1779) born by Ochiho no Kata
    • Tokugawa Teijiro (1762–1763) born by Oshina no Kata
  • Adopted:

Events of the Ieharu's bakufu[edit]

  • Tenmei gannen (天明元年) or Tenmei 1 (1781): The new era name of Tenmei (meaning "Dawn") was created to mark the enthronement of Emperor Kōkaku. The previous era ended and the new one commenced in An'ei 11, on the 2nd day of the 4th month. According to Nihon Ōdai Ichiran, Ieharu was appointed Udaijin (Minister of the Right) of the Emperor's Kugyō, which was quite rare and considered a great favour.
  • Tenmei 2 (1782): Great Tenmei Famine begins.
  • Tenmei 2 (1782): An analysis of silver currency in China and Japan "Sin sen sen pou (Sin tchuan phou)" was presented to the emperor by Kutsuki Masatsuna (1750–1802), also known as Kutsuki Oki-no kami Minamoto-no Masatsuna, hereditary daimyō of Oki and Ōmi with holdings in Tanba and Fukuchiyama -- related note at Tenmei 7 below.[1]
  • Tenmei 3 (1783): Mount Asama (浅間山, Asama-yama) erupted in Shinano, one of the old provinces of Japan (Tenmei eruption). Japanologist Isaac Titsingh's published account of the Asama-yama eruption was the first of its kind in the West (1820).[2] The volcano's devastation makes the Great Tenmei Famine even worse.
  • Tenmei 4 (1784): Country-wide celebrations in honor of Kūkai (also known as Kōbō-Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism) who died 950 years earlier.[1]
  • Tenmei 4 (1784): The son of the shōgun's chief counselor was assassinated inside Edo Castle. The comparatively young wakadoshiyori, Tanuma Yamashiro-no-kami Okitomo [ja], was the son of the senior wakadoshiyori Tanuma Tonomo-no-kami Okitsugu. The younger Tanuma was killed in front of his father as both were returning to their norimono after a meeting of the Counselors of State had broken up. The involvement of senior figures in the bakufu was suspected; however, none but the lone assassin himself, Sano Masakoto, was punished. The result was that Tanuma-initiated, liberalizing reforms within the bakufu and relaxation the strictures of sakoku were blocked.[3]
  • Tenmei 6, on the 8th day of the 9th month (September 17, 1786): Death of Tokugawa Ieharu. He is buried in Edo.[1]
  • Tenmei 7 (1787): Kutsuki Masatsuna published Seiyō senpu (Notes on Western Coinage), with plates showing European and colonial currency – related note at Tenmei 2 above.[4] – see online image of 2 adjacent pages from library collection of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Languages

Eras of Ieharu's bakufu[edit]

The years in which Ieharu was shōgun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 420
  2. ^ Screech, T. (2006), Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822, pp. 146–148.
  3. ^ Screech, pp. 148–151, 163–170, 248.
  4. ^ Screech, T. (2000). Shogun's Painted Culture: Fear and Creativity in the Japanese States, 1760–1829, pp. 123, 125.
  5. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 July 2018.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Shōgun:
Tokugawa Ieharu

Succeeded by