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Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康, January 30, 1543 – June 1, 1616) was the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which effectively ruled Japan from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shōgun in 1603, and abdicated from office in 1605, but remained in power until his death in 1616. His given name is sometimes spelled Iyeyasu,[1][2] according to the historical pronunciation of the kana character he. Ieyasu was posthumously enshrined at Nikkō Tōshō-gū with the name Tōshō Daigongen (東照大権現). He was one of the three unifiers of Japan, along with his former lord Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu2 full.JPG
In office
Preceded bySengoku period
Succeeded byTokugawa Hidetada
Personal details
Matsudaira Takechiyo
(松平 竹千代)

January 31, 1543
Okazaki Castle, Mikawa
(now Okazaki, Japan)
DiedJune 1, 1616(1616-06-01) (aged 73)
Sunpu, Tokugawa shogunate
(now Shizuoka, Japan)
FatherMatsudaira Hirotada
Military service
AllegianceJapanese crest Imagawa Akadori.svg Imagawa clan
Mon-Oda.png Oda clan
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg Imperial House of Japan
Flag of the Tokugawa Shogunate.svg Tokugawa shogunate
UnitTokugawa family crest.svg Tokugawa clan
Battles/warssee below
The Tokugawa clan crest



During the Muromachi period,the Matsudaira clan controlled a portion of Mikawa Province (the eastern half of modern Aichi Prefecture). Ieyasu's father, Matsudaira Hirotada, was a minor local warlord based at Okazaki Castle who controlled a portion of the Tōkaidō highway linking Kyoto with the eastern provinces. His territory was sandwiched between stronger and predatory neighbors, including the Imagawa clan based in Suruga Province to the east and the Oda clan to the west. Hirotada's main enemy was Oda Nobuhide, the father of Oda Nobunaga.[3]

Early life (1542–1556)Edit

Tokugawa Ieyasu was born in Okazaki Castle on the 26th day of the twelfth month of the eleventh year of Tenbun, according to the Japanese calendar. Originally named Matsudaira Takechiyo (松平 竹千代), he was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada (松平 広忠), the daimyō of Mikawa of the Matsudaira clan, and Odai-no-kata (於大の方, Lady Odai), the daughter of a neighbouring samurai lord, Mizuno Tadamasa (水野 忠政). His mother and father were step-siblings. They were just 17 and 15 years old, respectively, when Ieyasu was born.

In the year of Ieyasu's birth, the Matsudaira clan was split. In 1543, Hirotada's uncle, Matsudaira Nobutaka defected to the Oda clan. This gave Oda Nobuhide the confidence to attack Okazaki. Soon afterwards, Hirotada's father-in-law died, and his son Mizuno Nobumoto revived the clan's traditional enmity against the Matsudaira and declared for Oda Nobuhide as well. As a result, Hirotada divorced Odai-no-kata and sent her back to her family.[3] As both husband and wife remarried and both went on to have further children, Ieyasu eventually had 11 half-brothers and sisters.

As Oda Nobuhide continued to attack Okazaki, in 1548 Hirotada turned to his powerful eastern neighbor, Imagawa Yoshimoto for assistance. Yoshimoto agreed to an alliance under the condition that Hirotada send his young heir to Sunpu Domain as a hostage.[3]

Oda Nobuhide, learned of this arrangement and had Ieyasu abducted from his entourage en route to Sunpu.[4] Ieyasu was just five years old at the time.[5]

Nobuhide threatened to execute Ieyasu unless his father severed all ties with the Imagawa clan; however, Hirotada refused, stating that sacrificing his own son would show his seriousness in his pact with the Imagawa. Despite this refusal, Nobuhide chose not to kill Ieyasu, but instead held him as a hostage for the next three years at the Mansho-ji Temple in Nagoya.

In 1549, when Ieyasu was 6,[5] his father Hirotada was murdered by his own vassals, who had been bribed by the Oda clan. At about the same time, Oda Nobuhide died during an epidemic. Nobuhide's death dealt a heavy blow to the Oda clan. An army under the command of Imagawa Sessai laid siege to the castle where Oda Nobuhiro, Nobuhide's eldest son and the new head of the Oda, was living. With the castle about to fall, Sessai offered a deal to Oda Nobunaga, Nobuhide's second son. Sessai offered to give up the siege if Ieyasu was handed over to the Imagawa. Nobunaga agreed, and so Ieyasu (now nine) was taken as a hostage to Sumpu. At Sumpu, he remained a hostage, but was treated fairly well as a potentially useful future ally of the Imagawa clan until 1556 when he was 15 years old.[5]

Rise to power (1556–1584)Edit

In 1556 Ieyasu officially came of age, with Imagawa Yoshimoto presiding over his genpuku ceremony. Following tradition, he changed his name from Matsudaira Takechiyo to Matsudaira Jirōsaburō Motonobu (松平 次郎三郎 元信). He was also briefly allowed to visit Okazaki to pay his respects to the tomb of his father, and receive the homage of his nominal retainers, led by the karō Torii Tadayoshi.[3]

One year later, at the age of 13 (according to East Asian age reckoning), he married his first wife, Lady Tsukiyama, a relative of Imagawa Yoshitmoto, and changed his name again to Matsudaira Kurandonosuke Motoyasu (松平 蔵人佐 元康). Allowed to return to his native Mikawa, the Imagawa then ordered him to fight the Oda clan in a series of battles.

Motoyasu fought his first battle in 1558 at the Siege of Terabe. The castellan of Terabe in western Mikawa, Suzuki Shigeteru, betrayed the Imagawa by defecting to Oda Nobunaga. This was nominally within Matsudaira territory, so Imagawa Yoshimoto entrusted the campaign to Ieyasu and his retainers from Okazaki. Ieyasu led the attack in person, but after taking the outer defences, grew fearful of a counterattack to the rear, so he burned the main castle and withdrew. As anticipated, the Oda forces attacked his rear lines, but Motoyasu was prepared and drove off the Oda army.[6]

He then succeeded in delivering supplies in the 1559 Siege of Odaka. Odaka was the only one of five disputed frontier forts under attack by the Oda which remained in Imagawa hands. Motoyasu launched diversionary attacks against the two neighboring forts, and when the garrisons of the other forts went to their assistance, Ieyasu’s supply column was able to reach Odaka.[7]

By 1560 the leadership of the Oda clan had passed to the brilliant leader Oda Nobunaga. Imagawa Yoshimoto, leading a large army (perhaps 25,000 strong) invaded Oda clan territory. Motoyasu was assigned a separate mission to capture the stronghold of Marune. As a result, he and his men were not present at the Battle of Okehazama where Yoshimoto was killed in Nobunaga's surprise assault.[4]:37

Alliance with OdaEdit

With Yoshimoto dead, and the Imagawa clan in a state of confusion, Motoyasu used the opportunity to assert his independence and marched his men back into the abandoned Okazaki Castle and reclaimed his ancestral seat.[6]

Motoyasu then decided to ally with the Oda clan.[8] A secret deal was needed because Motoyasu's wife, Lady Tsukiyama, and infant son, Nobuyasu, were held hostage in Sumpu by Imagawa Ujizane, Yoshimoto’s heir.

In 1561, Motoyasu openly broke with the Imagawa and captured the fortress of Kaminogō. Kaminogō was held by Udono Nagamochi. Resorting to stealth, Motoyasu attacked under cover of darkness, setting fire to the castle, and capturing two of Udono’s sons, whom he used as hostages to exchange for his wife and son.[7]:216

In 1563 Nobuyasu was married to Nobunaga's daughter Tokuhime.

For the next few years Motoyasu was occupied with reforming the Matsudaira clan and pacifying Mikawa. He also strengthened his key vassals by awarding them land and castles. These vassals included: Honda Tadakatsu, Ishikawa Kazumasa, Kōriki Kiyonaga, Hattori Hanzō, Sakai Tadatsugu, and Sakakibara Yasumasa.

An ukiyo-e print depicting the Battle of Azukizaka. In his early days as daimyō of Mikawa Ieyasu had difficult relations with the Jōdō temples which escalated in 1563–64.

During this period, the Matsudaira clan also faced a threat from a different source. Mikawa was a major center for the Ikkō-ikki movement, where peasants banded together with militant monks under the Jōdo Shinshū sect, and rejected the traditional feudal social order. Motoyasu undertook several battles to suppress this movement in his territories, including the Battle of Azukizaka.[7]:216 Ts. In one engagement, he was nearly killed when struck by two bullets which did not penetrate his armour. Both sides were using the new gunpowder weapons which the Portuguese had introduced to Japan just 20 years earlier.

Growing Political InfluenceEdit

In 1567, he changed his name yet again, this time to Tokugawa Ieyasu. By so doing, he claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. No proof has actually been found for this alleged descent from Emperor Seiwa.[9] Yet, his family name was changed with the permission of the Imperial Court, after writing a petition, and he was bestowed the courtesy title Mikawa-no-kami and the court rank of Junior 5th Rank, Lower Grade (従五位下). Ieyasu remained an ally of Nobunaga and his Mikawa soldiers were part of Nobunaga's army which captured Kyoto in 1568. At the same time Ieyasu was expanding his own territory. Ieyasu and Takeda Shingen, the head of the Takeda clan in Kai Province made an alliance for the purpose of conquering all the Imagawa territory.[10]:279 In 1570, Ieyasu's troops captured Yoshida Castle (modern Toyohashi), which made him master of all of Mikawa Province, and he penetrated into Tōtōmi Province. Meanwhile, Shingen's troops captured Suruga Province (including the Imagawa capital of Sunpu). Imagawa Ujizane fled to Kakegawa Castle, which Ieyasu placed under siege. Ieyasu then negotiated with Ujizane, promising that if he should surrender himself and the remainder of Tōtōmi, he would assist Ujizane in regaining Suruga. Ujizane had nothing left to lose, and Ieyasu immediately ended his alliance with Takeda, instead making a new alliance with Takeda’s enemy to the north, Uesugi Kenshin of the Uesugi clan. Through these political manipulations, Ieyasu gained the support of the samurai of Tōtōmi Province.[6]

In 1570, Ieyasu established Hamamatsu as the capital of his territory, placing his son Nobuyasu in charge of Okazaki.[11]

The same year, he led 5,000 of his men to support Nobunaga at the Battle of Anegawa against the Azai and Asakura clans.[4]:62

Conflict with TakedaEdit

In October 1571, Takeda Shingen, now allied with the Odawara Hōjō clan, attacked the Tokugawa lands in Tōtōmi. Ieyasu asked for help from Nobunaga, who sent him some 3,000 troops. Early in 1572 the two armies met at the Battle of Mikatagahara. The considerably larger Takeda army, under the expert direction of Shingen, overwhelmed Ieyasu's troops and caused heavy casualties. Despite his initial reticence, Ieyasu was convinced by one of his generals to retreat.[12][11] The battle was a major defeat, but in the interests of maintaining the appearance of dignified withdrawal, Ieyasu brazenly ordered the men at his castle to light torches, sound drums, and leave the gates open, to properly receive the returning warriors. To the surprise and relief of the Tokugawa army, this spectacle made the Takeda generals suspicious of being led into a trap, so they did not besiege the castle and instead made camp for the night.[12] This error would allow a band of Tokugawa ninja to raid the camp in the ensuing hours, further upsetting the already disoriented Takeda army, and ultimately resulting in Shingen's decision to call off the offensive altogether. Incidentally, Takeda Shingen would not get another chance to advance on Hamamatsu, much less Kyoto, since he would perish shortly after the Siege of Noda Castle a year later in 1573.[8]:153–156

Shingen was succeeded by his less capable son Takeda Katsuyori. In 1575, the Takeda attacked Nagashino Castle in Mikawa Province. Ieyasu appealed to Nobunaga for help and the result was that Nobunaga personally came at the head of a very large army (about 30,000 strong). The Oda-Tokugawa force of 38,000 won a great victory on June 28, 1575, at the Battle of Nagashino, though Takeda Katsuyori survived the battle and retreated back to Kai Province.

For the next seven years, Ieyasu and Katsuyori fought a series of small battles, as the result of which Ieyasu's troops managed to wrest control of Suruga Province away from the Takeda clan.

In 1579, Ieyasu's wife, and his heir Nobuyasu, were accused by Nobunaga of conspiring with Takeda Katsuyori to assassinate Nobunaga, whose daughter Tokuhime (1559–1636) was married to Nobuyasu. For this Ieyasu ordered his wife to be executed and forced his oldest son by her, Nobuyasu, to commit seppuku. Ieyasu then named his third son, Tokugawa Hidetada, as heir, since his second son was adopted by another rising power: the trusted Oda clan general Toyotomi Hideyoshi, soon to be the most powerful daimyō in Japan.

The end of the war with Takeda came in 1582 when a combined Oda-Tokugawa force attacked and conquered Kai Province. Takeda Katsuyori was defeated at the Battle of Tenmokuzan and then committed seppuku.[7]:231

Death of NobunagaEdit

In late June 1582, Ieyasu was near Osaka and far from his own territory when he learned that Nobunaga had been assassinated by Akechi Mitsuhide. Ieyasu managed the dangerous journey back to Mikawa. Ieyasu was mobilizing his army when he learned Hideyoshi had defeated Akechi Mitsuhide at the Battle of Yamazaki.[10]:314–315

The death of Nobunaga meant that some provinces, ruled by Nobunaga's vassals, were ripe for conquest. The leader of Kai province made the mistake of killing one of Ieyasu's aides. Ieyasu promptly invaded Kai and took control. Hōjō Ujimasa, leader of the Hōjō clan responded by sending his much larger army into Shinano and then into Kai Province. No battles were fought between Ieyasu's forces and the large Hōjō army and, after some negotiation, Ieyasu and the Hōjō agreed to a settlement which left Ieyasu in control of both Kai and Shinano Provinces, while the Hōjō took control of Kazusa Province (as well as bits of both Kai and Shinano Provinces).

At the same time (1583) a war for rule over Japan was fought between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Shibata Katsuie. Ieyasu did not take a side in this conflict, building on his reputation for both caution and wisdom. Hideyoshi defeated Katsuie at Battle of Shizugatake. With this victory, Hideyoshi became the single most powerful daimyō in Japan.[10]:314

Ieyasu and Hideyoshi (1584–1598)Edit

Hideyoshi and Ieyasu played Go on this board.

In 1584, Ieyasu decided to support Oda Nobukatsu, the eldest surviving son and heir of Oda Nobunaga, against Hideyoshi. This was a dangerous act and could have resulted in the annihilation of the Tokugawa.

Tokugawa troops took the traditional Oda stronghold of Owari; Hideyoshi responded by sending an army into Owari. The Komaki Campaign was the only time any of the great unifiers of Japan fought each other. The campaign proved indecisive and after months of fruitless marches and feints, Hideyoshi settled the war through negotiation. First he made peace with Oda Nobukatsu, and then he offered a truce to Ieyasu. The deal was made at the end of the year; as part of the terms Ieyasu's second son, Ogimaru (also known as Yuki Hideyasu) became an adopted son of Hideyoshi.

Ieyasu's aide, Ishikawa Kazumasa, chose to join the pre-eminent daimyō and so he moved to Osaka to be with Hideyoshi. However, few other Tokugawa retainers followed this example.

Hideyoshi was understandably distrustful of Ieyasu, and five years passed before they fought as allies. The Tokugawa did not participate in Hideyoshi's successful invasions of Shikoku and Kyūshū.

In 1590, Hideyoshi attacked the last independent daimyō in Japan, Hōjō Ujimasa. The Hōjō clan ruled the eight provinces of the Kantō region in eastern Japan. Hideyoshi ordered them to submit to his authority and they refused. Ieyasu, though a friend and occasional ally of Ujimasa, joined his large force of 30,000 samurai with Hideyoshi's enormous army of some 160,000. Hideyoshi attacked several castles on the borders of the Hōjō clan with most of his army laying siege to the castle at Odawara. Hideyoshi's army captured Odawara after six months (oddly for the time period, deaths on both sides were few). During this siege, Hideyoshi offered Ieyasu a radical deal. He offered Ieyasu the eight Kantō provinces which they were about to take from the Hōjō in return for the five provinces that Ieyasu currently controlled (including Ieyasu's home province of Mikawa). Ieyasu accepted this proposal. Bowing to the overwhelming power of the Toyotomi army, the Hōjō accepted defeat, the top Hōjō leaders killed themselves and Ieyasu marched in and took control of their provinces, so ending the clan's reign of over 100 years.

Ieyasu now gave up control of his five provinces (Mikawa, Tōtōmi, Suruga, Shinano, and Kai) and moved all his soldiers and vassals to the Kantō region. He himself occupied the castle town of Edo in Kantō. This was possibly the riskiest move Ieyasu ever made—to leave his home province and rely on the uncertain loyalty of the formerly Hōjō samurai in Kantō. In the end, it worked out brilliantly for Ieyasu. He reformed the Kantō provinces, controlled and pacified the Hōjō samurai and improved the underlying economic infrastructure of the lands. Also, because Kantō was somewhat isolated from the rest of Japan, Ieyasu was able to maintain a unique level of autonomy from Hideyoshi's rule. Within a few years, Ieyasu had become the second most powerful daimyō in Japan. There is a Japanese proverb which likely refers to this event: "Ieyasu won the Empire by retreating."[13]

In 1592, Hideyoshi invaded Korea as a prelude to his plan to attack China. The Tokugawa samurai never actually took part in this campaign, though in early 1593, Ieyasu himself was summoned to Hideyoshi's court in Nagoya (in Kyūshū, different from the similarly spelled city in Owari Province) as a military advisor and given command of a body of troops meant as reserves for the Korean campaign. He stayed in Nagoya off and on for the next five years.[10] Despite his frequent absences, Ieyasu's sons, loyal retainers and vassals were able to control and improve Edo and the other new Tokugawa lands.

In 1593, Hideyoshi fathered a son and heir, Toyotomi Hideyori.

In 1598, with his health clearly failing, Hideyoshi called a meeting that would determine the Council of Five Elders, who would be responsible for ruling on behalf of his son after his death. The five that were chosen as regents (tairō) for Hideyori were Maeda Toshiie, Mōri Terumoto, Ukita Hideie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, and Ieyasu himself, who was the most powerful of the five. This change in the pre-Sekigahara power structure became pivotal as Ieyasu turned his attention towards Kansai; and at the same time, other ambitious (albeit ultimately unrealized) plans, such as the Tokugawa initiative establishing official relations with Mexico (New Spain at the time), continued to unfold and advance.[14][15]

The Sekigahara Campaign (1598–1603)Edit

The kabuto (helmet) of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Hideyoshi, after three more months of increasing sickness, died on September 18, 1598. He was nominally succeeded by his young son Hideyori but as he was just five years old, real power was in the hands of the regents. Over the next two years Ieyasu made alliances with various daimyōs, especially those who had no love for Hideyoshi. Happily for Ieyasu, the oldest and most respected of the regents, Toshiie Maeda, died after just one year. With the death of Toshiie in 1599, Ieyasu led an army to Fushimi and took over Osaka Castle, the residence of Hideyori. This angered the three remaining regents and plans were made on all sides for war. It was also the last battle of one of the most loyal and powerful retainers of Ieyasu, Honda Tadakatsu.

Opposition to Ieyasu centered around Ishida Mitsunari, a powerful daimyō who was not one of the regents. Mitsunari plotted Ieyasu's death and news of this plot reached some of Ieyasu's generals. They attempted to kill Mitsunari but he fled and gained protection from none other than Ieyasu himself. It is not clear why Ieyasu protected a powerful enemy from his own men but Ieyasu was a master strategist and he may have concluded that he would be better off with Mitsunari leading the enemy army rather than one of the regents, who would have more legitimacy.[16]

Nearly all of Japan's daimyōs and samurai now split into two factions—The Western Army (Mitsunari's group) and The Eastern Army (anti-Mitsunari Group). Ieyasu supported the anti-Mitsunari Group, and formed them as his potential allies. Ieyasu's allies were the Date clan, the Mogami clan, the Satake clan and the Maeda clan. Mitsunari allied himself with the three other regents: Ukita Hideie, Mōri Terumoto, and Uesugi Kagekatsu as well as many daimyō from the eastern end of Honshū.

In June 1600, Ieyasu and his allies moved their armies to defeat the Uesugi clan, which was accused of planning to revolt against Toyotomi administration. Before arriving at Uesugi's territory, Ieyasu received information that Mitsunari and his allies had moved their army against Ieyasu. Ieyasu held a meeting with the daimyōs, and they agreed to follow Ieyasu. He then led the majority of his army west towards Kyoto. In late summer, Ishida's forces captured Fushimi.

Ieyasu and his allies marched along the Tōkaidō, while his son Hidetada went along the Nakasendō with 38,000 soldiers. A battle against Sanada Masayuki in Shinano Province delayed Hidetada's forces, and they did not arrive in time for the main battle.

This battle, fought near Sekigahara, was the biggest and one of the most important battles in Japanese feudal history. It began on October 21, 1600, with a total of 160,000 men facing each other. The Battle of Sekigahara ended with a complete Tokugawa victory.[17] The Western bloc was crushed and over the next few days Ishida Mitsunari and many other western nobles were captured and killed. Tokugawa Ieyasu was now the de facto ruler of Japan.

Immediately after the victory at Sekigahara, Ieyasu redistributed land to the vassals who had served him. Ieyasu left some western daimyōs unharmed, such as the Shimazu clan, but others were completely destroyed. Toyotomi Hideyori (the son of Hideyoshi) lost most of his territory which were under management of western daimyōs, and he was degraded to an ordinary daimyō, not a ruler of Japan. In later years the vassals who had pledged allegiance to Ieyasu before Sekigahara became known as the fudai daimyō, while those who pledged allegiance to him after the battle (in other words, after his power was unquestioned) were known as tozama daimyō. Tozama daimyō were considered inferior to fudai daimyōs.

Shōgun (1603–1605)Edit

Tokugawa Ieyasu as shōgun
Edo Castle from a 17th-century painting

On March 24, 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu received the title of shōgun from Emperor Go-Yōzei.[18] Ieyasu was 60 years old. He had outlasted all the other great men of his times: Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Shingen, Kenshin. As shōgun, he used his remaining years to create and solidify the Tokugawa shogunate, which ushered in the Edo period, and was the third shogunal government (after the Kamakura (Minamoto) and the Ashikaga). He claimed descent from the Minamoto clan, by way of the Nitta clan. His descendants would marry into the Taira clan and the Fujiwara clan. The Tokugawa shogunate would rule Japan for the next 250 years.

Following a well established Japanese pattern, Ieyasu abdicated his official position as shōgun in 1605. His successor was his son and heir, Tokugawa Hidetada. There may have been several factors that contributed to his decision, including his desire to avoid being tied up in ceremonial duties, to make it harder for his enemies to attack the real power center, and to secure a smoother succession of his son.[19] The abdication of Ieyasu had no effect on the practical extent of his powers or his rule; but Hidetada nevertheless assumed a role as formal head of the shogunal bureaucracy.

Ōgosho (1605–1616)Edit

Ieyasu, acting as the retired shōgun (大御所, ōgosho), remained the effective ruler of Japan until his death. Ieyasu retired to Sunpu Castle in Sunpu, but he also supervised the building of Edo Castle, a massive construction project which lasted for the rest of Ieyasu's life. The result was the largest castle in all of Japan, the costs for building the castle being borne by all the other daimyōs, while Ieyasu reaped all the benefits. The central donjon, or tenshu, burned in the 1657 Meireki fire. Today, the Imperial Palace stands on the site of the castle.

In 1611, Ieyasu, at the head of 50,000 men, visited Kyoto to witness the enthronement of Emperor Go-Mizunoo. In Kyoto, Ieyasu ordered the remodeling of the imperial court and buildings, and forced the remaining western daimyōs to sign an oath of fealty to him.

Letter from King James VI and I of England to Ogosho Ieyasu in 1613

In 1613, he composed the Kuge Shohatto (ja:公家諸法度), a document which put the court daimyōs under strict supervision, leaving them as mere ceremonial figureheads.

In 1615, Ieyasu prepared the Buke shohatto (武家諸法度), a document setting out the future of the Tokugawa regime.

Relations with foreign powersEdit

As Ōgosho, Ieyasu also supervised diplomatic affairs with the Netherlands, Spain and England. Ieyasu chose to distance Japan from European influence starting in 1609, although the shogunate did still grant preferential trading rights to the Dutch East India Company and permitted them to maintain a "factory" for trading purposes.

From 1605 until his death, Ieyasu consulted frequently with English shipwright and pilot, William Adams,[20] Adams, fluent in Japanese, assisted the shogunate in negotiating trading relations, but was cited by members of the competing Jesuit and Spanish-sponsored mendicant orders as an obstacle to improved relations between Ieyasu and the Roman Catholic Church.[21][22][23]

Significant attempts to curtail the influence of Christian missionaries in Japan date to 1587 during the shogunate of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. However, in 1614, Ieyasu was sufficiently concerned about Spanish territorial ambitions that he signed a Christian Expulsion Edict. The edict banned the practice of Christianity and led to the expulsion of all foreign missionaries. Although some smaller Dutch trading operations remained in Nagasaki, this edict dramatically curtailed foreign trade and marked the end of open Christian witness in Japan until the 1870s.[24] The immediate cause of the prohibition was the Okamoto Daihachi incident, a case of fraud involving Ieyasu's Catholic vavasor, but the shogunate was also concerned about a possible invasion by the Iberian colonial powers, which had previously occurred in the New World and the Philippines.

Siege of OsakaEdit

Grave of Ieyasu in Nikkō Tōshō-gū

The last remaining threat to Ieyasu's rule was Toyotomi Hideyori, the son and rightful heir to Hideyoshi. He was now a young daimyō living in Osaka Castle. Many samurai who opposed Ieyasu rallied around Hideyori, claiming that he was the rightful ruler of Japan. Ieyasu found fault with the opening ceremony of a temple built by Hideyori; it was as if he prayed for Ieyasu's death and the ruin of the Tokugawa clan.[citation needed] Ieyasu ordered Toyotomi to leave Osaka Castle, but those in the castle refused and summoned samurai to gather within the castle. Then the Tokugawa, with a huge army led by Ieyasu and shōgun Hidetada, laid siege to Osaka castle in what is now known as "the Winter Siege of Osaka". Eventually, Tokugawa was able to precipitate negotiations and an armistice after directed cannon fire threatened Hideyori's mother, Yodo-dono. However, once the treaty was agreed, Tokugawa filled the castle's outer moats with sand so his troops could walk across. Through this ploy, Tokugawa gained a huge tract of land through negotiation and deception that he could not through siege and combat. Ieyasu returned to Sunpu Castle once, but after Toyotomi refused another order to leave Osaka, he and his allied army of 155,000 soldiers attacked Osaka Castle again in "the Summer Siege of Osaka".

Finally, in late 1615, Osaka Castle fell and nearly all the defenders were killed including Hideyori, his mother (Hideyoshi's widow, Yodo-dono), and his infant son. His wife, Senhime (a granddaughter of Ieyasu), pleaded to save Hideyori and Yodo-dono's lives. Ieyasu refused and either required them to commit ritual suicide, or killed both of them. Eventually, Senhime was sent back to Tokugawa alive. After killing two people at Kamakura, who have escaped from Osaka Castle. With the Toyotomi line finally extinguished, no threats remained to the Tokugawa clan's domination of Japan.


The tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Nikkō Tōshō-gū

In 1616, Ieyasu died at age 73.[5] The cause of death is thought to have been cancer or syphilis. The first Tokugawa shōgun was posthumously deified with the name Tōshō Daigongen (東照大権現), the "Great Gongen, Light of the East". (A Gongen is believed to be a buddha who has appeared on Earth in the shape of a kami to save sentient beings). In life, Ieyasu had expressed the wish to be deified after his death to protect his descendants from evil. His remains were buried at the Gongens' mausoleum at Kunōzan, Kunōzan Tōshō-gū (久能山東照宮). As a common view, many people believe that "after the first anniversary of his death, his remains were reburied at Nikkō Shrine, Nikkō Tōshō-gū (日光東照宮). His remains are still there." Neither shrine has offered to open the graves, so the location of Ieyasu's physical remains are still a mystery. The mausoleum's architectural style became known as gongen-zukuri, that is gongen-style.[25] He was first given the Buddhist name Tosho Dai-Gongen (東照大権現), then after his death it was changed to Hogo Onkokuin (法号安国院).

Era of Ieyasu's ruleEdit

Ieyasu ruled directly as shōgun or indirectly as Ōgosho (大御所) during the Keichō era (1596–1615).

Ieyasu's characterEdit

Handprint of Ieyasu at Kunōzan Tōshō-gū
Precepts on the secret of success in life drafted by Tokugawa Ieyasu from the collection of Nikkō Tōshō-gū.

Ieyasu had a number of qualities that enabled him to rise to power. He was both careful and bold—at the right times, and in the right places. Calculating and subtle, Ieyasu switched alliances when he thought he would benefit from the change. He allied with the Late Hōjō clan; then he joined Hideyoshi's army of conquest, which destroyed the Hōjō; and he himself took over their lands. In this he was like other daimyōs of his time. This was an era of violence, sudden death, and betrayal. He was not very well liked nor personally popular, but he was feared and he was respected for his leadership and his cunning. For example, he wisely kept his soldiers out of Hideyoshi's campaign in Korea.[citation needed]

He was capable of great loyalty: once he allied with Oda Nobunaga, he never went against him, and both leaders profited from their long alliance. He was known for being loyal towards his personal friends and vassals, whom he rewarded, He was said to have a close friendship with his vassal Hattori Hanzō. However, he also remembered those who had wronged him in the past. It is said that Ieyasu executed a man who came into his power because he had insulted him when Ieyasu was young.[citation needed]

Ieyasu protected many former Takeda retainers from the wrath of Oda Nobunaga, who was known to harbor a bitter grudge towards the Takeda. He managed successfully to transform many of the retainers of the Takeda, Hōjō, and Imagawa clans—all whom he had defeated himself or helped to defeat—into loyal followers. At the same time, he could be ruthless when crossed. For example, he ordered the executions of his first wife and his eldest son—a son-in-law of Oda Nobunaga; Oda was also an uncle of Hidetada's wife Oeyo.[26]

He was cruel, relentless and merciless in the elimination of Toyotomi survivors after Osaka. For days, dozens and dozens of men and women were hunted down and executed, including an eight-year-old son of Hideyori by a concubine, who was beheaded.[27]

Unlike Hideyoshi, he did not harbor any desires to conquer outside Japan—he only wanted to bring order and an end to open warfare, and to rule Japan.[28]

While at first tolerant of Christianity,[29] his attitude changed after 1613 and the executions of Christians sharply increased.[30]

Ieyasu's favorite pastime was falconry. He regarded it as excellent training for a warrior. "When you go into the country hawking, you learn to understand the military spirit and also the hard life of the lower classes. You exercise your muscles and train your limbs. You have any amount of walking and running and become quite indifferent to heat and cold, and so you are little likely to suffer from any illness.".[31] Ieyasu swam often; even late in his life he is reported to have swum in the moat of Edo Castle.

Later in life he took to scholarship and religion, patronizing scholars like Hayashi Razan.[32]

Two of his famous quotes:

Life is like unto a long journey with a heavy burden. Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not. Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the lot of natural mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair. When ambitious desires arise in thy heart, recall the days of extremity thou hast passed through. Forbearance is the root of all quietness and assurance forever. Look upon the wrath of thy enemy. If thou only knowest what it is to conquer, and knowest not what it is to be defeated; woe unto thee, it will fare ill with thee. Find fault with thyself rather than with others.[33]

The strong manly ones in life are those who understand the meaning of the word patience. Patience means restraining one's inclinations. There are seven emotions: joy, anger, anxiety, adoration, grief, fear, and hate, and if a man does not give way to these he can be called patient. I am not as strong as I might be, but I have long known and practiced patience. And if my descendants wish to be as I am, they must study patience.[34][35]

He said that he fought, as a warrior or a general, in 90 battles.

He was interested in various kenjutsu skills, was a patron of the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū school, and also had them as his personal sword instructors.


Parents and SiblingsEdit


Status Image Name Birth Death Parents
Father Matsudaira Hirotada June 9, 1526 April 3, 1549 Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, Aoki family’s daughter
Mother   Odai no Kata 1528 October 13, 1602 Mizuno Tadamasa, Keyouin


Father SideEdit

Image Name Birth Death Mother Marriage Issue
Matsudaira Tadamasa 1544 1591 Ohisa no Kata (Daughter of Matsudaira Norimasa of Ogyu-Matsudaira clan) - Matsudaira Nagakiyo
Esai - - Ohisa no Kata (Daughter of Matsudaira Norimasa of Ogyu-Matsudaira clan) - -
Yadahime - - Hirahara clan’s daughter Matsudaira Yasutada (1546-1618) of Nagasawa-Matsudaira clan Matsudaira Yasunao (1569-1593) of Fukaya Domain
Matsudaira Iemoto 1548 September 19, 1603 Omiyu-no-Kata - -
  Naitō Nobunari of Nagahama Domain June 13, 1545 August 20, 1612 Naito clan’s daughter Aou Nagakatsu’s daughter Naito Nobumasa (1568-1626) of Nagahama Domain
Naito Nobuhiro (1592-1649)
Daughter married Sanjo clan’s man
Daughter married Ide Masanobu
Daughter married Endō Toshiharu
Daughter married Niwa Sadaaki later married Momiyama Sadamasa
Ichibahime - June 1, 1593 Makihime, Toda Yasumitsu’s daughter First: Arakawa Yoshihiro
Second: Tsutsui Sadatsugu of Iga-Ueno Domain
Matsudaira Chikayoshi - - - - -

Mother SideEdit

Image Name Birth Death Father Marriage Issue
Matsudaira Yasumoto of Sekiyado Domain 1552 September 19, 1603 Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587 - Matsudaira Tadayoshi (1582-1624) of Ōgaki Domain
Matsudaira Masayoshi
Matsudaira Yasuhisa
Matsudaira Nobusuke (d.1655)
Dōsen-in married Okabe Nagamori (1568-1632) of Ōgaki Domain
Ryuko-in married Suganuma Sadayori (1576-1605) of Nagashima Domain
Matehime (1598-1638) married Fukushima Masayuki (1858-1602) later married Tsugaru Nobuhira of Hirosaki Domain
Tsubakihime married Tanaka Tadamasa (1585-1620) of Yanagawa Domain later married Matsudaira Narishige (1594-1633) of Tamba-Kameyama Domain
Shoshitsu’in married Osuga Tadamasa (1581-1607) of Yokosuka Domain later married Suganuma Sadayoshi (1587-1643) of Tamba-Kameyama Domain
Jomyo-in married Nakamura Kazutada (1590-1609) of Yonogo Domain later married Mōri Hidemoto of Chofu Domain
Matsudaira Yasutoshi 1552 April 2, 1586 Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587 - -
  Hisamatsu Sadakatsu of Kuwana Domain 1560 May 1, 1624 Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587 Okudaira Tatsu, Okudaira Sadatomo (d.1585)’s daughter Matsudaira Sadayoshi (1585-1603)
Matsudaira Sadayuki (1587-1668) of Kuwana Domain
Matsudaira Sadatsuna (1592-1625) of Kuwana Domain
Matsudaira Sadazane (1597-1632)
Matsudaira Sadafusa (1604-1676) of Imabari Domain
Matsudaira Sadamasa (1610-1673) of Kariya Domain
Matsuohime married Hattori Masanari
Kumahime (1595-1632) married Yamauchi Tadayoshi (1592-1665) of Tosa Domain
Daughter married Nakagawa Hisanori (1594-1653) of Oka Domain
Kikuhime married Sakai Tadayuki (1599-1636) of Maebashi Domain
Shōjuin Married Abe Shigetsugu (1598-1651) of Iwatsuki Domain
Tamako married Ikeda Tsunemoto (1611-1671) of Yamasaki Domain
Take-hime 1553 July 28, 1618 Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587 First: Matsudaira Tadamasa (1543-1577) of Sakurai-Matsudaira clan
Second: Matsudaira Tadayoshi (1559-1582) of Sakurai-Matsudaira clan
Third: Hoshina Masanao
By First: Matsudaira Iehiro (1577-1601) of Musashi-Matsuyama Domain
By Second: Matsudaira Nobuyoshi (1580-1620) of Sasayama Domain
Matsudaira Tadayori of Hamamatsu Domain
By Third: Hoshina Masasada of Iino Domain
Hojo Ujishige (1595-1658) of Kakegawa Domain
Seigen’in married Anbe Nobumori (1584-1674) of Okabe Domain
Yōhime (1591-1664) married Koide Yoshihide (1587-1666) of Izushi Domain
Eihime (1585–1635) married Kuroda Nagamasa of Fukuoka Domain
Kōun-in married Kato Akinari (1592-1661) of Aizu Domain
Matsuhime - - Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587 Matsudaira Yasunaga (1562-1633) of Matsumoto Domain Matsudaira Nagakane (1580-1619)
Matsudaira Tadamitsu (1562-1633)
Matsudaira Yasunao (1617-1634) of Akashi Domain
Tenkeiin - - Hisamatsu Toshikatsu (1526-1587) Matsudaira Iekiyo of Yoshida Domain Matsudaira Tadakiyo (1585-1612) of Yoshida Domain

Wives and ConcubinesEdit

Status Image Name Birth Death Parents Issue
First Wife Tsukiyama-dono - September 19, 1579 Sekiguchi Chikanaga (1518-1562), Ii Naohira’s daughter Tokugawa Nobuyasu
Kamehime married Okudaira Nobumasa of Kano Domain
Second Wife   Asahi no kata 1543 February 18, 1590 Chikuami, Ōmandokoro -
Concubine Nishigori no Tsubone - June 19, 1606 Udono Nagamochi (1513-1557) Tokuhime (Tokugawa) married to Hojo Ujinao later married to Ikeda Terumasa of Himeji Domain
Concubine Shimoyama-dono 1564 November 21, 1591 Akiyama Torayasu Takeda Nobuyoshi of Mito Domain
Concubine   Kageyama-dono 1580 October 13, 1653 Masaki Yoritada (1551-1622), Hojo Ujitaka (d.1609)’s daughter Tokugawa Yorinobu of Kishu Domain
Tokugawa Yorifusa of Mito Domain
Concubine Kotoku-no-Tsubone 1548 January 10, 1620 Nagami Sadahide Yuki Hideyasu of Fukui Domain
Concubine   Saigō-no-Tsubone 1552 1 July 1589 Tozuka Tadaharu, Saigo Masakatsu’s daughter Tokugawa Hidetada
Matsudaira Tadayoshi of Kiyosu Domain
Concubine Otake no Kata 1555 April 7, 1637 Ichikawa Masanaga Furi-hime (1580–1617) married Gamō Hideyuki of Aizu Domain later married Asano Nagaakira of Hiroshima Domain
Concubine Chaa-no-Tsubone - July 30, 1621 - Matsudaira Tadateru of Takada Domain
Matsudaira Matsuchiyo of Fukaya Domain
Concubine Onatsu no Kata 1581 October 24, 1660 Hasegawa Fujinao -
Concubine Okaji no Kata December 7, 1578 September 17, 1642 Ota Yasusuke (1531-1581) Ichihime (1607-1610)
Concubine Oume no Kata 1586 October 8, 1647 Aoki Kazunori (d.1600) -
Concubine   Acha no Tsubone Maret 16, 1555 February 16, 1637 Ida Naomasa -
Concubine Omusu no Kata - July 26, 1692 Mitsui Yoshimasa Stillborn (1592)
Concubine   Okame no Kata 1573 October 9, 1642 Shimizu Munekiyo Matsudaira Senchiyo (1595–1600)
Tokugawa Yoshinao of Owari Domain
Concubine Osen no Kata - November 30, 1619 Miyazaki Yasukage -
Concubine Oroku no Kata 1597 May 4, 1625 Kuroda Naojin -
Concubine Ohisa no Kata - March 24, 1617 Mamiya Yasutoshi (1518-1590) Matsuhime (1595-1598)
Concubine Tomiko - August 7, 1628 from Yamada clan -
Concubine Omatsu no Kata - - - -
Concubine From Sanjo Clan - - - -
Concubine - - - Matsudaira Shigetoshi (1498-1589) -


Image Name Birth Death Mother Marriage Issue
  Matsudaira Nobuyasu 13 April 1559 5 October 1579 Tsukiyama-dono Tokuhime (Oda) Tokuhime (1576-1607) married Ogasawara Hidemasa (1569-1615) of Matsumoto domain
Kamehime (1577-1626) married Honda Tadamasa of Himeji Domain
By Concubine: Banchiyo
Kamehime 27 July 1560 1 August 1625 Tsukiyama-dono Okudaira Nobumasa of Kano Domain Okudaira Iemasa (1577-1614) of Utsunomiya Domain
Matsudaira Ieharu (1579-1592)
Matsudaira Tadaaki of Himeji Domain
Okudaira Tadamasa of Kano Domain
daughter married Okubo Tadatsune (1580-1611) of Kisai Domain
  Toku-hime 1565 March 3, 1615 Nishigori no Tsubone First: Hojo Ujinao
Second: Ikeda Terumasa of Himeji Domain
by First: Manshuin-dono (1593)
Manhime (d.1602)
Senhime (b.1596) married Kyokogu Takahiro (1599-1677) of Miyazu Domain
Ikeda Tadatsugu (1599-1615) of Okayama Domain
Ikeda Tadakatsu (1602-1632) of Okayama Domain
Ikeda Teruzumi (1604–1662) of Shikano Domain
Ikeda Masatsuna (1605–1631) Of Akō Domain
Furihime (1607–1659) married Date Tadamune of Sendai Domain
Ikeda Teruoki (1611–1647) Of Akō Domain
  Yuki Hideyasu of Fukui Domain 1 March 1574 2 June 1607 Kotoku-no-Tsubone Edo Tsuruko, Yuki Harutomo’s adopted daughter by Concubines: Matsudaira Tadanao of Fukui Domain
Matsudaira Tadamasa of Fukui Domain
Hisahime (1598–1655) married Mōri Hidenari Of Choshu Domain
Matsudaira Naomasa (1601–1666) of Matsue Domain
Matsudaira Naomoto (1604–1648) of Himeji Domain
Matsudaira Naoyoshi (1605–1678) of Ōno Domain
  2nd Shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada May 2, 1579 March 14, 1632 Saigō-no-Tsubone First: Oda O-hime(1585–1591), Oda Nobukatsu’s daughter
Second: Azai Oeyo
By second: Senhime married Toyotomi Hideyori later married Honda Tadatoki of Himeji Domain
Tama-hime (1599 – 1622) married Maeda Toshitsune of Kaga Domain
Katsu-hime (1601 – 1672) married Matsudaira Tadanao of Fukui Domain
Hatsu-hime (1602 – 1630) married Kyōgoku Tadataka of Matsue Domain
3rd Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu
Tokugawa Tadanaga of Sunpu Domain
Tokugawa Masako married Emperor Go-Mizunoo
By Concubines: Chomaru (1601–1602)
Hoshina Masayuki of Aizu Domain
  Matsudaira Tadayoshi of Kiyosu Domain 18 October 1580 1 April 1607 Saigō-no-Tsubone Ii Masako, Ii Naomasa of Hikone Domain’s daughter Umesada Daidoji (1597)
Furi-hime 1580 September 27, 1617 Otake no Kata First: Gamō Hideyuki of Aizu Domain
Second: Asano Nagaakira of Hiroshima Domain
By first: Gamō Tadasato (1602-1627) of Aizu Domain
Gamō Tadatomo (1604-1634) of Iyo-Matsuyama Domain
Yorihime (1602-1656) married Kato Tadahiro (1601-1653) of Dewa-Maruoka Domain
By Second: Asano Mitsuakira of Hiroshima Domain
Takeda Nobuyoshi of Mito Domain October 18, 1583 October 15, 1603 Shimoyama-dono Tenshoin, Kinoshita Katsutoshi’s daughter -
  Matsudaira Tadateru of Takada Domain February 16, 1592 August 24, 1683 Chaa-no-Tsubone Irohahime By Concubine: Tokumatsu (1614-1632)
Matsudaira Matsuchiyo of Fukaya Domain 1594 February 7, 1599 Chaa-no-Tsubone - -
Matsudaira Senchiyo April 22, 1595 March 21, 1600 Okame no Kata - -
Matsuhime 1595 1598 Ohisa no Kata - -
  Tokugawa Yoshinao of Owari Domain January 2, 1601 June 5, 1650 Okame no Kata Asano Haruhime (1693–1637), Asano Yoshinaga of Wakayama Domain’s daughter By Concubines: Tokugawa Mitsutomo of Owari Domain
Kyōhime (1626–1674) married Hirohata Tadayuki (1624-1669)
  Tokugawa Yorinobu of Kishu Domain April 28, 1602 February 19, 1671 Kageyama-dono Yasohime (1601-1666), Katō Kiyomasa of Kumamoto Domain’s daughter by Concubines: Tokugawa Mitsusada of Kishu Domain

Matsudaira Yorizumi (1641-1711) of Saijō Domain
Inabahime (1631-1709) married Ikeda Mitsunaka (1630-1693) of Tottori Domain
Matsuhime married Matsudaira Nobuhira (1636-1689) of Takatsukasa-Matsudaira Clan

  Tokugawa Yorifusa of Mito Domain September 15, 1603 August 23, 1661 Kageyama-dono - By Concubines: Matsudaira Yorishige of Takamatsu Domain
Tokugawa Mitsukuni of Mito Domain
Michiko (1624-1664)
Kamemaru (1625-1628)
Manhime (1627-1689) married Ota Sukemasa
Kikuhime (1628-1706) married Matsudaira Yasuhiro
Matsudaira Yoritomo (1629-1693) Of Nukada Domain
Matsudaira Yorio (1630-1697) Of Shishido Domain
Senhime (1635-1681) married Maki Kagenobu
Koyan-hime (1628-1717)
Matsudaira Yoritaka (1629-1707) Of Hitachi-Fuchū Domain
Matsudaira Yoriyuki (1631-1717)
Ritsuhime (1632-1711) married Yamanobe Yoshikata (1615-1669)
Suzuki Shigeyoshi (1634-1668)
Ohime (1627-1656) married Maeda Mitsutaka of Kaga Domain
Matsudaira Yoritoshi (1630-1674)
Matsudaira Yoriyuki (1631-1664)
Matsudaira Fusatoki (1633-1682)
Furihime (1633-1667) married Honda Masatoshi (1641-1707) of Ōkubo Domain
Takehime (1636-1637)
Umehime (1638-1697) married Utsunomiya Takatsuna (1627-1700)
Inuhime (1634-1675) married Hosokawa Tsunatoshi (1641-1721) of Kumamoto Domain
Ichihime (1639-1690) married Sakai Tadaharu
Kumahime (1649-1709) married Ito Tomotsugu (1594-1655)
Ichi-hime January 28, 1607 March 7, 1610 Okaji no Kata - -

His daughters were Kame hime (亀姫), Toku hime (督姫), Furi hime (振姫), Matsu hime (松姫) and Ichi hime (市姫). He is said to have cared for his children and grandchildren, establishing three of them, Yorinobu, Yoshinao, and Yorifusa as the daimyōs of Kii, Owari, and Mito Provinces, respectively.[36]

Adopted childrenEdit

Image Name Birth Death Parents Marriage Issue
  Matsudaira Ieharu 1579 April 15, 1592 Okudaira Nobumasa of Kano Domain, Tokugawa Kamehime - -
  Okudaira Tadamasa 1580 August 7, 1614 Okudaira Nobumasa of Kano Domain, Tokugawa Kamehime Yoshun’in-dono (Satomi Yoshiyori {1543-1587}’s daughter) Okudaira Tadataka (1608-1632) of Kano Domain
  Matsudaira Tadaaki 1583 May 1, 1644 Okudaira Nobumasa of Kano Domain, Tokugawa Kamehime first: Oda Nobukane of Kaibara Domain’s daughter
Second: Koide Yoshimasa (1565-1613) of Izushi Domain’s daughter
From Concubines: Matsudaira Tadahiro (1631-1700) of Yamagata Domain
Matsudaira Kiyomichi (1634-1645) of Himejishinden Domain
Murihime married Nabeshima Tadanao (1613-1635) later married Nabeshima Naozumi of Hasunoike Domain
daughter married Okubo Tadamoto (1604-1670) of Karatsu Domain
daughter married Kyogoku Takatomo (1623-1674) of Mineyama Domain
daughter married Shijo Takasube (1611-1647)
daughter married Sakakibara Kiyoteru
daughter married Osawa Naochika (1624-1681)
  Matehime 1589 May 5, 1638 Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain First: Fukushima Masayuki (1858-1602)
Second: Tsugaru Nobuhira of Hirosaki Domain
By First: Daidōji Naohide II (1606-1636)
By Second: Tsugaru Nobufusa (1620-1662) of Kuroishi Domain
  Ei-hime 1585 March 1, 1635 Hoshina Masanao, Hisamatsu Takehime (1553–1618, Ieyasu’s half-sister) Kuroda Nagamasa of Fukuoka Domain Kuroda Tadayuki (1602-1654) of Fukuoka Domain
Tokuko married Sakakibara Tadatsugu (1605-1665) of Himeji Domain
Kuroda Nagaoki (1610-1665) of Akizuki Domain
Kuroda Takamasa (1612-1639) of Torenji Domain
Kameko married Ikeda Teruoki (1611-1647) of Ako Domain
Kumahime 1595 April 12, 1632 Hisamatsu Sadakatsu of Kuwana Domain, Okudaira Tatsu Yamauchi Tadayoshi (1592-1665) of Tosa Domain Yamauchi Tadatoyo of Tosa Domain
Yamauchi Tadanao of Tosa-Nakamura Domain
Kiyohime married Matsushita Nagatsuna of Miharu Domain
Renhime 1582 August 24, 1652 Matsudaira Yasunao (1569-1593) of Fukaya Domain, Honda Hirotaka’s daughter Arima Toyouji (1569-1642) of Kurume Domain Arima Tadayori (1603-1655) of Kurume Domain
Arima Nobukata
Arima Yoritsugu (1611-1649)
Kunihime 1595 April 10, 1649 Honda Tadamasa of Himeji Domain, Tokugawa Kumahime (1577-1626; Tokugawa Nobuyasu’s daughter and Ieyasu’s grand-daughter) First: Hori Tadatoshi (1596-1622) of Takada Domain
Second: Arima Naozumi of Nobeaka Domain
by Second: Arima Yasuzumi (1613-1692) of Nobeaka Domain
daughter married Honda Masakatsu (1614-1671) of Koriyama Domain
Daughter adopted by Honda Masakatsu
daughter married Akimoto Tomitomo (1610-1657) of Yamura Domain
Arima Zumimasa
Kamehime 1597 November 29, 1643 Honda Tadamasa of Himeji Domain, Tokugawa Kumahime (1577-1626; Tokugawa Nobuyasu’s daughter and Ieyasu’s grand-daughter) First: Ogawara Tadanaga (1595-1615)
Second: Ogasawara Tadazane of Kokura Domain
By First: Shigehime (d.1655) married Hachisuka Tadateru of Tokushima Domain
Ogasawara Nagatsugu (1615-1666) of Nakatsu Domain
By second: Ogasawara Nagayasu (1618-1667)
Ichimatsuhime (b.1627) married Kuroda Mitsuyuki (1628-1707) of Fukuoka Domain
Ogasawara Naganobu (1631-1663)
Tomohime married Matsudaira Yorimoto (1629-1693) of Nukada Domain
Manhime 1592 February 7, 1666 Ogasawara Hidemasa (1569-1615) of Matsumoto Domain, Tokugawa Tokuhime (1576-1607; Matsudaira Nobuyasu’s daughter and Ieyasu’s grand-daughter) Hachisuka Yoshishige of Tokushima Domain Hachisuka Tadateru of Tokushima Domain
Mihohime (1603-1632) married Ikeda Tadakatsu (1602-1632) of Okayama Domain
Shotokuin (1614-1683) married Mizuno Narisada (1603-1650)
Tsubakihime - - Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain First: Tanaka Tadamasa (1585-1620) of Yanagawa Domain
Second: Matsudaira Narishige (1594-1633) of Tamba-Kameyama Domain
Jomyo-in - - Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain First: Nakamura Kazutada (1590-1609) of Yonogo Domain
Second: Mōri Hidemoto of Chofu Domain
Hanahime - August 2, 1639 Matsudaira Yasuchika (1521-1683), Ebara Masahide’s daughter Ii Naomasa of Hikone Domain Ii Naokatsu of Hikone Domain later Annaka Domain
Masako married Matsudaira Tadayoshi of Oshi Domain
Kotoko’in married Date Hidemune of Uwajima Domain
Kikuhime 1588 October 28, 1661 Abe Nagamori (1568-1632) of Ogaki Domain, Matsudaira Kiyomune (1538-1605) of Hachiman'yama Domain’s daughter Nabeshima Katsushige of Saga Domain Ichihime married Uesugi Sadakatsu (1604-1645) of Yonezawa Domain
Tsuruhime married Takeu Shigetoki (1608-1669)
Nabeshima Tadanao (1613–1635)
Nabeshima Naozumi of Hasunoike Domain
Hojoin married Isahaya Shigetoshi (1608-1652)
Nabeshima Naohiro
daughter married Kakomi Tsunatoshi
Nabeshima Naotomo (1622-1709) of Kashima Domain
Priest Kyōkō
daughter adopted by Nabeshima Motoshige of Ogi Domain later married Nabeshima Naohiro
Kakomi Naonaga
Kanahime 1582 November 3, 1656 Mizuno Tadashige Katō Kiyomasa of Kumamoto Domain Yasohime (1601-1666) married Tokugawa Yorinobu of Kishu Domain
Yōhime 1591 August 10, 1664 Hoshina Masanao, Hisamatsu Takehime (1553–1618, Ieyasu’s half-sister) Koide Yoshihide (1587-1666) of Izushi Domain Taitō (Died in Childhood)
Daughter Married Miura Katsushige (1605-1631) of Shimōsa-Miura Domain
Koide Yoshishige (1607-1674) of Izushi Domain
Hoshina Masahide (1611-1678)
Koide Hidemoto
Koide Hidenobu
Kogaku-in married Tachibana Tanenaga (1625-1711) of Miike Domain
Daughter Married Matsudaira Nobuyuki (1631-1686) of Koga Domain
Shosen'in - - Makino Yasunari (1555-1610) of Ogo Domain Fukushima Masanori of Hiroshima Domain -
- - - Matsudaira Iekiyo of Yoshida Domain Asano Nagashige (1588-1632) of Kasama Domain Asano Naganao of Ako Domain
Shoshitsu’in - - Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain First: Osuga Tadamasa (1581-1607) of Yokosuka Domain
Second: Suganuma Sadayoshi (1587-1643) of Tamba-Kameyama Domain
by First: Sakakibara (Osuga) Tadatsugu (1605-1665) of Himeji Domain
By Second: daughter married Ogasawara Naganori (1624-1678) of Yoshida Domain
Dōsen-in - - Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain Okabe Nagamori (1568-1632) of Ōgaki Domain Okabe Nobukatsu (1597-1668) of Kishiwada Domain
Ryuko-in - - Matsudaira Yasumoto (1552-1603) of Sekiyado Domain Suganuma Sadayori (1576-1605) of Nagashima Domain -
Seigen’in - - Hoshina Masanao, Hisamatsu Takehime (1553–1618, Ieyasu’s half-sister) Anbe Nobumori (1584-1674) of Okabe Domain Anbe Nobuyuki (1604-1683) of Okabe Domain
Komatsuhime 1573 March 27, 1620 Honda Tadakatsu of Kuwana Domain Sanada Nobuyuki of Matsushiro Domain Manhime married Koriki Tadafusa of Shimabara Domain
Masahime married Sakuma Katsumune (1589-1616)
Sanada Nobumasa (1597-1658) of Matsushiro Domain
Sanada Nobushige (1599-1648) of Hashina Domain
- - - Hisamatsu Sadakatsu of Kuwana Domain, Okudaira Tatsu Nakagawa Hisanori (1594-1653) of Oka Domain Nakagawa Hisakiyo (1615-1681) of Oka Domain



Ieyasu in popular cultureEdit

In James Clavell's historical-novel Shōgun, Tokugawa served as basis for the character of "Toranaga". Toranaga was portrayed by Toshiro Mifune in the 1980 TV mini-series adaptation.

Hyouge Mono (へうげもの Hepburn: Hyōge Mono, lit. "Jocular Fellow") is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Yamada. It was adapted into an anime series in 2011, and includes a fictional depiction of Tokugawa's life.

In Sengoku Basara game and anime series, he was shown with Honda Tadakatsu. In earlier games, he was armed with spears and led countless warriors, in latter ones, he discards the spear and fights with his fists and wants Japan united under the force of bonds.

Honnōji theoryEdit

Among the many conspiracies surrounding the Honnō-ji Incident is Ieyasu's role in the event. Historically, Ieyasu was away from his lord at the time and, when he heard that Nobunaga was in danger, he wanted to rush to his lord's rescue in spite of the small number of attendants with him. However, Tadakatsu advised for his lord to avoid the risk and urged for a quick retreat to Mikawa. Masanari led the way through Iga and they returned home by boat.

However, skeptics think otherwise. While they usually accept the historically known facts about Ieyasu's actions during Mitsuhide's betrayal, theorists tend to pay more attention to the events before. Ever since Ieyasu lost his wife and son due to Nobunaga's orders, they reason, he held a secret resentment against his lord. Generally, there is some belief that he privately goaded Mitsuhide to take action when the two warlords were together in Azuchi Castle. Together, they planned when to attack and went their separate ways. When the deed was done, Ieyasu turned a blind eye to Mitsuhide's schemes and fled the scene to feign innocence. A variation of the concept states that Ieyasu was well aware of Mitsuhide's feelings regarding Nobunaga and simply chose to do nothing for his own benefit.

Impostor theoryEdit

Tokugawa Ieyasu's Kagemusha Legend (徳川家康の影武者説) is a myth that has been circulating since the Edo period. It is believed to have arisen due to historical records of Ieyasu's "sudden change of behavior" with some of his closest colleagues. The idea was made more popular in modern times by the historians, Tokutomi Sohō and Yasutsugu Shigeno.

The general outline of the legend is that after the Battle of Okehazama, Motoyasu (Ieyasu) was ready to face the world as a changed man. According to Hayashi Razan, the last line was meant quite literally. Before Motoyasu could make his new face known to the world, he was replaced by a completely different man named Sarata Jiro Saburo Motonobu (Sakai Jōkei). Variations include that the switch actually occurred much earlier in Motoyasu's life when he was being a hostage. Motonobu went in Motoyasu's stead and was considered a more suitable "heir". After Motonobu replaced him, Motoyasu fled and lived a hermit's life. Another version states that Ieyasu was actually killed during the Battle of Sekigahara or the Osaka Campaign. When he was killed by Sanada Nobushige during the latter conflict, it is said that he was replaced by Ogasawara Hidemasa who became the "Ieyasu" from then on.

While prevalent in fiction, historians are unsure whether or not the myth holds any merit. His dubious personality traits during these specific time frames have been mostly blamed on stress and personal strain.

Notable descendantsEdit

Extended content

Matsudaira Nobuyasu

  • Banchiyo
  • Kumahime, married Honda Tadamasa
  • Toku-Hime (1576–1607) married Ogawara hidemasa (1569–1615)
    • Chiyohime (1597–1649) married Hososkawa Tadatoshi
      • Hosokawa Mitsunao
        • Hosokawa Tsunatoshi (1641–1721)
          • Hosokawa Yoshitoshi (1689–1706)
        • Hosokawa Toshishige (1646–1676)
          • Hosokawa Nobunori (1676–1732)
    • Manhime later Kyodaiin (1592–1666) married Hachisuka Yorishige
      • Hachisuka Tadateru (1611–1652)
        • Hachisuka Mitsutaka (1630–1666)
          • Hachisuka Tsunamichi (1656–1678)
        • Hachisuka Takamori (1642–1695)
          • Hachisuka Tsunanori (1661–1730; r. 1678–1728)
            • Hachisuka Munekazu (1709–1735)
            • Hachisuka Yoshitake (1692–1725)
              • A daughter (d. 1742), married Hachisuka Muneshige
        • Hachisuka Takayoshi (1643–1698)
          • Hachisuka Muneteru (1684–1743)
    • Ogasawara Tadanaga (1595–1615)
    • Ogasawara Tadazane
      • Ogasawara Sanekata
      • Ogasawara Nagayasu (1618–1667)
      • Ogasawara Naganobu (1631–1663)
      • Ogasawa Tadataka of Kokura Domain
      • Ichimatsuhime (b. 1627) married Kuroda Mitsuyuki of Fukuoka Domain
        • Kuroda Nagakiyo
          • Korihime
          • Kuroda Tsugutaka (1703–1775)
        • Kuroda Tsunayuki (1655–1708)
        • Kuroda Tsunamasa (1659–1711)
          • Kuroda Nobumasa (1685–1774)


  • Matsudaira Tadaaki (1583–1644)
    • Matsudaira Tadahiro (1631–1700)
      • Matsudaira Tadamasa (1683–1746)
        • Matsudaira Tadatoki (1718–1783)
          • Matsudaira Tadahira (1747–1787)
        • Ii Naoari (1719–1760)
          • Ii Naoakira (1750–1820)
            • Matsudaira Tadasuke (1780–1821)
              • Matsudaira Tadataka (1801–1864)

Toku Hime

  • Hoshuin married Ikeda Toshitaka
  • Manjuin
  • Furuhime married Date Tadamune
    • Torachiyo (1624–1630)
    • Nabehime (1623–1680) married Tachibana Tadashige
    • Date Mitsumune (1627–1645)
  • Ikeda Tadatsugu (1599–1615)
  • Ikeda Teruzumi (1604–1622)
    • Ikeda Masatake (1649–1687)
      • Ikeda Masachika (1684–1751)
        • Ikeda Masakatsu (1709–1782)
          • Ikeda Sadatsune (1767–1833)
            • Ikeda Sadayasu (1805–1847)
              • Ikeda Hiroko (1842–1872) married Tokugawa Yoshikatsu later Ikeda Yoshikatsu (1837–1877)
                • Ikeda Terutomo (1852–1890)
                  • Ikeda Kyoko (1884–1923) married Tokugawa Nakahiro later Ikeda Nakahiro (1877–1948)
                    • Ikeda Narizane (1904–1993)
  • Ikeda Tadakatsu (1602–1632)
    • Ikeda Mitsunaka (1630–1693)
      • Ikeda Nakazumi (1650–1722)
        • Ikeda Yoshiyasu (1687–1739)
          • Ikeda Muneyasu (1717–1747)
  • Ikeda Toshitaka (1584–1616)
    • Ikeda Mitsumasa
    • Ikeda Tadakatsu (1602–1632)
      • Ikeda Tsunakiyo (1648–1711)
      • Ikeda Nakasumi (1650–1722)
        • Ikeda Yoshiyasu (1687–1739)
          • Ikeda Muneyasu (1717–1747)
            • Ikeda shigenobu (1746–1783)
              • Ikeda Harumichi (1768–1798)
              • Ikeda Nakamasa (1780–1841)
                • Ikeda Nakanori (1805–1850)
                  • Ikeda Yoshiyuki (1832–1848)
                  • Ikeda Seiko (1834–1879) married Maeda Toshitaka later Ikeda Toshitaka (1834–1850)

Yūki Hideyasu

Matsudaira Tadateru

  • Tokumatsu
  • Gotakehime

Tokugawa Yoshinao


Tokugawa Yorifusa

Tokugawa Yorinobu

  • Inabahime married Ikeda Mitsunaka of Tottori Domain
  • Matsuhime married Matsudaira Nobuhira Yoshiie Domain
  • Matsudaira Yorizumi (1641–1711)
    • Matsudaira Yorirai
    • Matsudaira Yorinobi (1661–1698)
    • Matsudaira Yorikatsu (1668–1718)
    • Tokugawa Munenao
      • Tokugawa Harusada
      • Tokugawa Munemasa
        • Tokugawa Shigenori
        • Matsudaira Yorikata
          • Tokugawa Harutomi
          • Matsudaira Yoriyuki
            • Matsudaira Yorisato
              • Tokugawa Mochitsugu
    • Watanabe Kyotsuna (1658–1738)
      • Watanabe Noritsuna (1697–1724)
      • Watanabe Toyotsuna (1693–1730)
        • Watanabe Yatsuna (1727–1789)
          • Date Masahiro
          • Watanabe Notsuna (1756–1816)
            • Watanabe Nobutsuna
      • Arima Ujihisa (1699–1771)
        • Arima Ujitsune (1739–1760)
        • Arima Ujibo (1757–1773)
  • Tokugawa Mitsusada

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Iyeyasu".
  2. ^ "Iyeyasu". Merriam-Webster.
  3. ^ a b c d Turnbull, Stephen (2012). Tokugawa Ieyasu. Osprey Publishing. pp. 5–9. ISBN 9781849085748.
  4. ^ a b c Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battles of the Samurai. Arms and Armour Press. p. 35. ISBN 0853688265.
  5. ^ a b c d Screech, Timon (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1720-X, pp. 85, 234; n.b., Screech explains

    Minamoto-no-Ieyasu was born in Tenbun 11, on the 26th day of the 12th month (1542) and he died in Genna 2, on the 17th day of the 4th month (1616); and thus, his contemporaries would have said that he lived 75 years. In this period, children were considered one year old at birth and became two the following New Year's Day; and all people advanced a year that day, not on their actual birthday.

  6. ^ a b c Turnbull, Stephen (2012). Tokugawa Ieyasu. Osprey Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 9781849085748.
  7. ^ a b c d Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 215. ISBN 1854095234.
  8. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen R. (1977). The Samurai: A Military History. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. p. 144.
  9. ^ Screech, Timon (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1720-X, p. 82.
  10. ^ a b c d Sansom, Sir George Bailey (1961). A History of Japan, 1334–1615. Stanford University Press. p. 353. ISBN 0-8047-0525-9.
  11. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battle of the Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. pp. 67–78. ISBN 0853688265.
  12. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (2000). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & C0. pp. 222–223. ISBN 1854095234.
  13. ^ Sadler, p. 164.
  14. ^ Nutall, Zelia. (1906). The Earliest Historical Relations Between Mexico and Japan, p. 2
  15. ^ "Japan to Decorate King Alfonso Today; Emperor's Brother Nears Madrid With Collar of the Chrysanthemum for Spanish King". The New York Times, November 3, 1930, p. 6.
  16. ^ Sadler, p. 187
  17. ^ Titsingh, Isaac (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652], Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 405.
  18. ^ Titsingh, Isaac (1822). Illustrations of Japan. London: Ackerman, p. 409.
  19. ^ Van Wolferen, Karel (1990). The Enigma of Japanese Power: People and Politics in a Stateless Nation. New York: Vintage Books. p. 28. ISBN 0-679-72802-3.
  20. ^ Milton, Giles. Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003.
  21. ^ Nutail, Zelia (1906). The Earliest Historical Relations Between Mexico and Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 6–45.
  22. ^ Milton, Giles. Samurai William : the Englishman Who Opened Japan. p. 265. Quoting Le P. Valentin Carvalho, S.J.
  23. ^ Murdoch, James; Yamagata, Isoh (1903). A History of Japan. Kelly & Walsh. p. 500.
  24. ^ Mullins, Mark R. (1990). "Japanese Pentecostalism and the World of the Dead: a Study of Cultural Adaptation in Iesu no Mitama Kyokai". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 17 (4): 353–374.
  25. ^ JAANUS / Gongen-zukuri 権現造
  26. ^ "Jyoukouji:The silk coloured portrait of wife of Takatsugu Kyogoku". 2011-05-06. Archived from the original on 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  27. ^ Sansom, George, A History of Japan, 1615–1867, Stanford University Press. 1960, p. 9
  28. ^ Frederic, Louis, Daily Live in Japan at the Time of the Samurai, 1185–1603, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., Rutland, Vermont, 1973, p. 180
  29. ^ Leonard, Jonathan, Early Japan, Time-Life Books, New York, ç1968, p.162
  30. ^ Sansom, G. B., The Western World and Japan, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland and Tokyo, 1950, p. 132
  31. ^ Sadler, p. 344.
  32. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794–1969, p. 418.
  33. ^ Tōshō-gū Shrine; American Forum for Global Education, JapanProject Archived 2012-12-31 at the Wayback Machine.; retrieved 2012-11-1.
  34. ^ Storry, Richard. (1982). A History of Modern Japan, p. 60
  35. ^ Thomas, J. E. (1996). Modern Japan: a social history since 1868, ISBN 0582259614, p. 4.
  36. ^ On the subject, see the article Gosanke.
  37. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 17 December 2017. (in Japanese)


  • Sadler, A. L. (1937). The Maker of Modern Japan.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Sengoku period
Tokugawa Ieyasu

Succeeded by
Tokugawa Hidetada