Tokugawa Ienari

Tokugawa Ienari

Tokugawa Ienari; 徳川 家斉 (November 18, 1773–March 22, 1841) was the eleventh shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan who held office from 1786 to 1837.

Family life

First wife

In 1776, the four-year-old Hitosubash Toyochiyo, a minor figure in the Tokugawa clan hierarchy, was betrothed to Shimazu no Shige-hime [Screech, Timon. (2006). "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822," p. 234 n.12.] or Tadako-hime, the four-year-old daughter of Shimazu Shigehide, the "tozama" daimyo of Satsuma Domain on the island of Kyushu. The significance of this alliance was dramatically enhanced when, in 1781, the young Toyochiyo was adopted by the childless shogun, Tokugawa Ieharu. This meant that when Toyochiyo became Shogun Iehari in 1786, Shigehide was set to become the father-in-law of the shogun. [Screech, p. 11.] The marriage was completed in 1789, after which Tadako became formally known as "Midaidokoro" Sadako, or "first wife" Sadako. Protocol required that she be adopted into a court family, and the Konoe clan agreed to take her in but this was a mere formality. [Screech, p. 221 n35.]

Other relationships

Ienari was known as a degenerate who kept a harem of 900 women and fathered over 55 children (in the Nemuri Kyoshiro film series starring Ichikawa Raizo, many of these adult offspring, both male and female, are the villains of the stories).

Many of Ienari's myriad children were adopted into various daimyo houses throughout Japan, and some played important roles in the history of the Bakumatsu and Boshin War. Some of the more famous among them included: Hachisuka Narihiro (Tokushima han), Matsudaira Naritami (Tsuyama han), Tokugawa Narikatsu (first to the Shimizu-Tokugawa, then to the Wakayama domain), Matsudaira Narisawa (Fukui han), and others.

Events of Ienari's "bakufu"

* "Tenmei 7" (1788): Riots in rice shops in Edo and Osaka.
* "Tenmei 8" (1788): Great Fire of Kyoto. A fire in the city, which began at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 29th day of the 1st month of "Tenmei" 8 (March 6, 1788), continued to burn uncontrolled until the 1st day of the second month (March 8th); and embers smoldered until they were extinguished by heavy rain on the 4th day of the second month (March 11th). The emperor and his court fled the fire, and the Imperial Palace was destroyed. No other re-construction was permitted until a new palace was completed. This fire was considered a major event. The Dutch "VOC" "Opperhoofd" in Dejima noted in his official record book that "people are considering it to be a great and extraordinary heavenly portent." [Screech, pp. 152-154, 249-250]

* "Kansei 5", on the 18th day of the 1st month (1793): Collapse of the peak of Mt. Unzen.Screech, p.154.]
* "Kansei 5", on the 6th day of the 2nd month (1793): Eruption of Mt. Biwas-no-kubi [see above] ]
* "Kansei 5", on the 1st day of the 3rd month (1793): The Shimabara earthquake.Screech, p. 155.]
* "Kansei 5", on the 1st day of the 4th month (1793): Eruption of Mt. Miyama. [see above] ]

His time in office was marked by an era of pleasure, excess, and corruption, which ended in the disastrous "Tenpō" Famine of 1832-1837, in which thousands are known to have perished.

Eras of Ienari's "bakufu"

The years in which Ienari was shogun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du japon," p. 420.]
* "Tenmei" (1781-1789)
* "Kansei" (1789-1801)
* "Kyōwa" (1801-1804)
* "Bunka" (1804-1818)
* "Bunsei" (1818-1830)
* "Tenpō" (1830-1844)

Notes

References

* Screech, Timon. (2006). "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822." London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1720-X
* Titsingh, Isaac. (1822). "Illustrations of Japan." London: Ackerman.
* 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. [http://books.google.com/books?id=18oNAAAAIAAJ&dq=nipon+o+dai+itsi+ran ...Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book (in French)]
*Totman, Conrad. (1967). "Politics in the Tokugawa bakufu, 1600-1843". Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

ee also

* Matsudaira Sadanobu

External links

* [http://www.pbs.org/empires/japan/timeline_1700.html PBS timeline of Japanese History]



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