Tokugawa Ienari

Last updated
Tokugawa Ienari
Tokugawa Ienari.jpg
In office
Preceded by Tokugawa Ieharu
Succeeded by Tokugawa Ieyoshi
Personal details
Born(1773-11-18)November 18, 1773
Edo, Tokugawa shogunate
(now Tokyo, Japan)
DiedMarch 22, 1841(1841-03-22) (aged 67)
Tokugawa shogunate
Signature Tokugawa Ienari kao.jpg

Tokugawa Ienari (Japanese : 徳川 家斉, November 18, 1773 – March 22, 1841) was the eleventh and longest-serving shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan who held office from 1787 to 1837. [1] He was a great-grandson of the eighth shōgun Tokugawa Yoshimune through his son Munetada (1721–1764), head of the Hitotsubashi branch of the family, and his grandson Harusada (1751–1827).


Ienari died in 1841 and was given the Buddhist name Bunkyouin and buried at Kan'ei-ji.

Events of Ienari's bakufu

Ienari's 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.

Family life

Tokugawa Harusada, Ienari's father Harusada Tokugawa.jpg
Tokugawa Harusada, Ienari's father

First wife

Ienari's wife, Shigehime, later Kodaiin Guang Da Yuan Xiao Xiang .jpg
Ienari's wife, Shigehime, later Kodaiin

In 1778, the four-year-old Hitotsubashi Toyochiyo (豊千代), a minor figure in the Tokugawa clan hierarchy, was betrothed to Shimazu Shigehime [5] or Tadakohime, the four-year-old daughter of Shimazu Shigehide, the tozama daimyō of Satsuma Domain on the island of Kyūshū. The significance of this alliance was dramatically enhanced when, in 1781, the young Toyochiyo was adopted by the childless shōgun, Tokugawa Ieharu. This meant that when Toyochiyo became Shōgun Ienari in 1786, Shigehide was set to become the father-in-law of the shōgun. [6] 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 family agreed to take her in but this was a mere formality. [7]

Other relationships

Ienari kept a harem of 900 women and fathered over 75 children. [8]

Many of Ienari's children were adopted into various daimyō 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:

Parents and siblings

Wife and concubines


Notable descendants

Tokugawa Nariyuki (1801–1846)

Asahime (1803–1843) married Matsudaira Naritsugu

Tokugawa Naritaka

Yo-hime (1813–1868) married Maeda Nariyasu

Matsudaira Naritami



Tokugawa Narikatsu (1820–1850)

Hachisuka Narihiro

Tokugawa Ieyoshi

Eras of Ienari's bakufu

The years in which Ienari was shōgun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō . [9]


See also


  1. 1 2 3 Hall, John Whitney et al. (1991). Early Modern Japan, p. 21.
  2. Screech, pp. 152–154, 249–250
  3. 1 2 3 Screech, p.154.
  4. Screech, p. 155.
  5. Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822, p. 234 n12.
  6. Screech, p. 11.
  7. Screech, p. 221 n35.
  8. Samson, George. (1963). A History of Japan, 1615–1867, p. 207.
  9. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 420.
  10. "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

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Military offices
Preceded by Shōgun :
Tokugawa Ienari

Succeeded by