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Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (Japanese: 柳沢 吉保, December 31, 1658 – December 8, 1714) was a Japanese samurai of the Edo period. He was an official in the Tokugawa shogunate and he was a favorite of the fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.
He served Tsunayoshi from an early age, becoming his wakashū and eventually rose to the position of soba yōnin. He was the daimyō of the Kawagoe han, and later of the Kōfu han; he retired in 1709. Having previously been named Yasuakira, he received a kanji from the name of the shogun, and came to call himself Yoshiyasu. He built Rikugien Garden, a traditional Japanese garden, in 1695. He had an adopted son named Yanagisawa Yoshisato by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi with Yoshiyasu's concubune, Sumeko.[clarification needed]
Yanagisawa appears as a character in most of the novels by American mystery writer Laura Joh Rowland set in Genroku-era Japan as the antagonist to the books' main character Sano Ichiro. Rowland's chronology differs from history by having Yanagisawa exiled in disgrace in 1694 and being replaced by Sano as Tsunayoshi's chief advisor, only to return from exile later in the series. Other details of Yanagisawa's life, however, are portrayed fairly accurately, including his relationship to the shogun.
- Bodart-Bailey, Beatrice. (1980). Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu: a Reappraisal. Canberra: Australian National University. OCLC 222149819
- Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
| 1st Lord of Kawagoe
| 1st Lord of Kōfu