Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu

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Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu
Yotsu-hanabishi or
Yanagisawa's Hanabishi,
the emblem of the Yanagisawa clan

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.[1]


He served Tsunayoshi from an early age, becoming his wakashū and eventually rose to the position of soba yōnin.[citation needed] He was the daimyō of the Kawagoe han, and later of the Kōfu han; he retired in 1709.[citation needed] Having previously been named Yasuakira, he received a kanji from the name of the shogun, and came to call himself Yoshiyasu.[citation needed] He built Rikugien Garden, a traditional Japanese garden, in 1695. He had an adopted son named Yanagisawa Yoshisato by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi with Yoshiyasu's concibune, Sumeko.[clarification needed]

Yanagisawa played a pivotal role in the matter of the forty-seven rōnin.[citation needed]

Cultural references[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Other details of Yanagisawa's life, however, are portrayed fairly accurately, including his relationship to the shogun.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1048, p. 1048, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.


Preceded by
Matsudaira Nobuteru
1st Lord of Kawagoe

Succeeded by
Akimoto Takatomo
Preceded by
Tokugawa Tsunatoyo
1st Lord of Kōfu

Succeeded by
Yanagisawa Yoshisato