Tokugawa Akitake

Last updated
Tokugawa Akitake
徳川 昭武
Tokugawa Akitake.jpg
11th Daimyō of Mito
In office
1868–1871
The Japanese delegation to the Exposition Universelle with young Tokugawa Akitake on an armchair (c. 1867) Japanese Delegation Tokugawa Akitake in Marseille France 1867.png
The Japanese delegation to the Exposition Universelle with young Tokugawa Akitake on an armchair (c. 1867)
Tokugawa Akitake (center left) in Belgium (c. 1868) TokugawaAkitakeInBelgium.gif
Tokugawa Akitake (center left) in Belgium (c. 1868)

Tokugawa Akitake (徳川 昭武, October 26, 1853 – July 3, 1910) was a younger half-brother of the Japanese Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu and final daimyō of Mito Domain. He represented the Tokugawa shogunate at the courts of several European powers during the final days of Bakumatsu period Japan.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Tokugawa Akitake was born as Matsudaira Yohachimaro (松平 余八麿), the 18th son of Tokugawa Nariaki, at the Mito Domain's secondary Edo residence in Komagome  [ ja ] in 1853, the same year of the Perry Expedition to Japan. Due to concerns of safety, he was moved to Mito Domain at the age of six months, and returned to Edo in 1863. The same year, he was sent to Kyoto as a figurehead representative of Mito Domain, due to the illness (and death in 1864) of his elder half brother Matsudaira Akikuni. Kyoto was in a very disturbed situation at the time, with pro-shogunate forces battling pro- Sonnō jōi rōnin and samurai from anti-shogunate western domains in the streets and at the Kinmon Incident, and he was forced to change residences frequently for safety. On the death of the 14th shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi in 1866, he was recalled to Edo, and his name was changed from Matsudaira Akinori (松平 昭徳) to Tokugawa Akitake. In 1867, he was proclaimed head of the Shimizu-Tokugawa clan, one of the Gosankyō branches of the Tokugawa who were permitted to rise to the position of shōgun .

Diplomatic career

In late 1866, aged only 14 years, Tokugawa Akitake was designated as special emissary to France and led the Japanese delegation to the 1867 World Fair in Paris, where Japan had a pavilion [1] Shibusawa Eiichi was appointed to accountant and secretary for Tokugawa Akitake in 1866 and assigned to join the delegation to Paris. He kept concise diary during the mission. [2] The mission left Yokohama on January 11, 1867, and reached Paris two months later. [3] [4] The fair aroused considerable interest in Europe, and allowed many visitors to come in contact with Japanese art and techniques for the first time. [5]

His mission to meet Napoleon III was successful, and when the fair was ended, Tokugawa Akitake met with William III of the Netherlands, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, and Queen Victoria during the travel to several European countries. [6] [7] With Leopold II of Belgium, he inspected troops wearing a traditional Japanese battle surcoat which was photographed at that occasion. [8] He came back to France and pursued studies. [9] On hearing of the start of the Boshin War, he made emergency plans to return to Japan but Tokugawa Akitake was ordered to remain in France by shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, and it was not until August 1868 that he received word from the new Meiji government authorizing his return to Japan. He made a final tour of France, visiting Normandy, the Loire river valley and Nantes, and on his return to Paris, received another letter from the Meiji government advising of the death of his half-brother Tokugawa Yoshiatsu and ordering him to assume the post of daimyō to assure the stability of Mito Domain. He departed from Marseille in December 1868.

Meiji period

Tokugawa Akitake succeeded Tokugawa Yoshiatsu to become the 11th head of the Mito Tokugawa clan on his return to Japan. [10] However, the title of daimyō was officially abolished in 1869, and he continued at Mito as domain governor. His request for land development in Hokkaido to resettle ex-samurai from the domain was granted on August 17, 1869, and he was assigned lands in Tomamae-gun, Teshio-gun, Kamikawa-gun, Nakagawa-gun in Teshio no kuni along with Rishiri-gun in Kitami no kuni. With the abolition of the han system in 1871, he was required by the government to leave in Mito and to live in Tokyo. He relocated to the former shimoyashiki secondary residence of the Mito Clan located in Mukōjima.

Tokugawa Akitake was appointed a second lieutenant in Imperial Japanese Army in 1875, and served as an instructor during the early days of the Imperial Japanese Army Toyama School. He was married to Nakanoin Eiko the same year. In 1876, he was sent to the United States, as the emissary in charge of the Japanese exhibition at the 1876 World Fair in Philadelphia. He then returned to France again for studies accompanied with his brother Tsuchiya Shigenao and half-brother Matsudaira Nobunori. [10] During his eight-year absence from France, the Second French Empire had been replaced by the French Third Republic. From 1881, he ended his studies at the École Polytechnique, but before returning to Japan, he made a tour of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium together with his half-nephew Tokugawa Atsuyoshi, the son of the ex-shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

Heirs

In 1883, his wife Eiko died soon after giving birth to a daughter. Tokugawa Akitake retired and moved to the clan's Tojōtei villa in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, in 1884. Lacking an heir, he adopted Tokugawa Atsuyoshi as his successor to the Mito Tokugawa line. Atsuyoshi died at the age of 44 in 1898. Atsuyoshi's son Tokugawa Kuniyuki was 11 years old at that time, and became the 13th head of the Mito Tokugawa under Akitake's tutelage.

However, Akitake subsequently had a son, Tokugawa Takesada, who was born to a concubine in 1888. Takesada was made a viscount (shishaku) under the kazoku peerage system in 1892 and founded the separate Matsudo Tokugawa line.

In 1903, Tokugawa Akitake was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, 2nd class. He died at Koumetei mansion in 1910. [11]

Family

Honours

From the Japanese Wikipedia

Honours

Order of precedence

See also

Notes

  1. Marcouin 1990, p. 36.
  2. Shibusawa 1944, pp. 436–450.
  3. Totman 1980, p. 280.
  4. Shibusawa 1944, pp. 450–485.
  5. Polak 2001, p. 35.
  6. Shibusawa 1944, pp. 497–502.
  7. Including a gold pocket watch with enameled portrait of Tokugawa Akitake inside, objects related to the 1867 delegation are in the collection of Tokugawa Akitake artifacts at his villa in Matsudo, Chiba, now a public history museum called Tojōkan. The residential building as well as gardens are restored.
  8. For the 1867 World Fair, attire including formal kimono and accessories were tailored. "Hi-rashaji Mitsuba-aoi-mon jin-baori", or a traditional battle surcoat made with red wool and brocade, embroidered hollyhock family crest on the back, was among those for formal conference, lined with gilt thread brocade.
  9. Shibusawa 1944, pp. 612–696.
  10. 1 2 Japan National Diet Library
  11. Shibusawa 1944, p. 487.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa Yoshinobu</span> 15th and final shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate from 1866–67

Prince Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the 15th and last shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging shogunate, but was ultimately unsuccessful. He resigned his position as shogun in late 1867, while aiming at keeping some political influence. After these efforts failed following the defeat at the Battle of Toba–Fushimi in early 1868, he went into retirement, and largely avoided the public eye for the rest of his life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa Nariaki</span> Japanese daimyo

Tokugawa Nariaki was a prominent Japanese daimyō who ruled the Mito Domain and contributed to the rise of nationalism and the Meiji Restoration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa Mitsukuni</span>

Tokugawa Mitsukuni, also known as Mito Kōmon (水戸黄門), was a Japanese daimyo who was known for his influence in the politics of the early Edo period. He was the third son of Tokugawa Yorifusa and succeeded him, becoming the second daimyo of the Mito Domain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matsudo</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Matsudo is a city in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of 30 November 2020, the city had an estimated population of 498,575 in 242,981 households and a population density of 8100 persons per km². The total area of the city is 61.38 square kilometres (23.70 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa Iemochi</span> 14th shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan

Tokugawa Iemochi was the 14th shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, who held office from 1858 to 1866. During his reign there was much internal turmoil as a result of the "re-opening" of Japan to western nations. Iemochi's reign also saw a weakening of the shogunate.

<i>Fudai daimyō</i> Class of daimyō (warlords) during the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Fudai daimyō (譜代大名) was a class of daimyō (大名) in the Tokugawa Shogunate (徳川幕府) of Japan who were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa before the Battle of Sekigahara. Fudai daimyō and their descendants filled the ranks of the Tokugawa administration in opposition to the tozama daimyō and held most of the power in Japan during the Edo period.

The Gosankyō were three branches of the Tokugawa clan of Japan. They were descended from the eighth of the fifteen Tokugawa shōguns, Yoshimune (1684–1751). Yoshimune established the Gosankyo to augment the Gosanke, the heads of the powerful han (fiefs) of Owari, Kishū, and Mito. Two of his sons, together with the second son of his successor Ieshige, established the Tayasu, Hitotsubashi, and Shimizu branches of the Tokugawa. Unlike the Gosanke, they did not rule a han. Still, they remained prominent until the end of Tokugawa rule, and some later shōguns were chosen from the Hitotsubashi line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa clan</span> Japanese noble family which ruled as a shogunate from 1603 to 1867

The Tokugawa clan is a Japanese dynasty which produced the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867 during the Edo period. It was formerly a powerful daimyō family. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa (850–880) and were a branch of the Minamoto clan through the Matsudaira clan. The early history of the clan remains a mystery.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shibusawa Eiichi</span> Japanese politician

Shibusawa Eiichi, 1st Viscount Shibusawa was a Japanese industrialist widely known today as the "father of Japanese capitalism", having introduced Western capitalism to Japan after the Meiji Restoration. He introduced many economic reforms including use of double-entry accounting, joint-stock corporations and modern note-issuing banks.

<i>Gosanke</i> Direct descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasus three sons

The TokugawaGosanke, also called simply Gosanke, or even Sanke, were the most noble three branches of the Tokugawa clan of Japan: Owari, Kii, and Mito, all of which were descended from clan founder Tokugawa Ieyasu's three youngest sons, Yoshinao, Yorinobu, and Yorifusa, and were allowed to provide a shōgun in case of need. In the Edo period the term gosanke could also refer to various other combinations of Tokugawa houses, including (1) the shogunal, Owari and Kii houses and (2) the Owari, Kii, and Suruga houses.

Tsunenari Tokugawa is the head of the main Tokugawa house. He is the son of Ichirō Matsudaira and Toyoko Tokugawa. His great-grandfather was the famed Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu and his paternal great-grandfather was Tokugawa Iesato. As a great-grandson of Shimazu Tadayoshi, the last lord of Satsuma Domain, he is also a second cousin of the former Emperor, Akihito.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aizu Domain</span>

Aizu Domain was a domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1601 to 1871.

Matsudaira Yorinori was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period. He was the ninth feudal lord of the Shishido han and the Daimyō of 10,000 koku. His father, Matsudaira Yoritaka, was the eighth feudal lord of the Shishido han.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matsudaira Nobunori</span>

ViscountMatsudaira Nobunori was a Japanese samurai of the Bakumatsu period and the 10th daimyō of Aizu Domain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Owari Tokugawa family</span> Branch of the Tokugawa family

The Owari Tokugawa family is a branch of the Tokugawa clan, and it is the seniormost house of the Gosanke.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokugawa Yoshikatsu</span>

Tokugawa Yoshikatsu was a Japanese daimyō of the late Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain as its 14th (1849–1858) and 17th daimyō (1870–1880). He was the brother of Matsudaira Katamori. His childhood name was Hidenosuke (秀之助).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yanaka Cemetery</span>

Yanaka Cemetery is a large cemetery located north of Ueno in Yanaka 7-chome, Taito, Tokyo, Japan. The Yanaka sector of Taito is one of the few Tokyo neighborhoods in which the old Shitamachi atmosphere can still be felt. The cemetery is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms that in April completely cover its paths, and for that reason that its central street is often called Cherry-blossom Avenue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mito Tokugawa family</span>

The Mito Tokugawa family is a branch of the Tokugawa clan based in Mito, Ibaraki.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Princess Yoshiko (Arisugawa-no-miya)</span> Japanese princess (1804–1893)

Princess Yoshiko was the younger sister of Prince Tsunahito of the Arisugawa-no-miya cadet branch of the Imperial House of Japan. Yoshiko was married to Tokugawa Nariaki, and was mother to the 10th Lord Yoshiatsu, and the 15th and final Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

<i>Reach Beyond the Blue Sky</i> 2021 taiga drama about Shibusawa Eiichi

Reach Beyond the Blue Sky is a Japanese historical drama television series starring Ryo Yoshizawa as Shibusawa Eiichi, a Japanese industrialist widely known today as the "father of Japanese capitalism". The series is the 60th NHK taiga drama, premiered on February 14, 2021.

References