Tokugawa Yoshinobu as shōgun
August 29, 1866 –November 19, 1867
|Preceded by||Tokugawa Iemochi|
|Succeeded by|| Position abolished |
Itō Hirobumi (prime minister)
|Member of the House of Peers|
|Born||October 28, 1837|
|Died||November 22, 1913 76) (aged|
|Resting place||Yanaka Cemetery|
Prince Tokugawa Yoshinobu (徳川 慶喜, also known as Keiki; October 28, 1837 – November 22, 1913) 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. After resigning in late 1867, he went into retirement, and largely avoided the public eye for the rest of his life.
Tokugawa Yoshinobu was born in Edo as the seventh son of Tokugawa Nariaki, daimyō of Mito. Mito was one of the gosanke , the three branch families of the Tokugawa clan which were eligible to be chosen as shōgun . His birth name was Matsudaira Shichirōmaro (七郎麻呂)His mother, Princess Arisugawa Yoshiko, was a member of the Arisugawa-no-miya, a cadet branch of the imperial family; through her, he was a third cousin (once removed) of the then-Emperor Ninkō. Shichirōmaro was brought up under strict, spartan supervision and tutelage. While his father Nariaki respected the second Mito Tokugawa Mitsukuni who had sent off the second and younger sons from Edo to Mito to raise them, Shichirōmaro was seven months old when he arrived in Mito in 1838. He was taught in the literary and martial arts, as well as receiving a solid education in the principles of politics and government at Kōdōkan.
At the instigation of his father, Shichirōmaro was adopted by the Hitotsubashi-Tokugawa family in order to have a better chance of succeeding to the shogunateand changed his first name to Akimune(昭致). He became family head in 1847, coming of age that year, receiving court rank and title, and taking the name Yoshinobu. Upon the death of the 13th shōgun, Iesada, in 1858, Yoshinobu was nominated as a potential successor. His supporters touted his skill and efficiency in managing family affairs. However, the opposing faction, led by Ii Naosuke, won out. Their candidate, the young Tokugawa Yoshitomi, was chosen, and became the 14th shōgun Iemochi. Soon after, during the Ansei Purge, Yoshinobu and others who supported him were placed under house arrest. Yoshinobu himself was made to retire from Hitotsubashi headship.
The period of Ii's domination of the Tokugawa government was marked by mismanagement and political infighting. Upon Ii's assassination in 1860, Yoshinobu was reinstated as Hitotsubashi family head, and was nominated in 1862 to be the shōgun's guardian (将軍後見職, shōgun kōken-shoku), receiving the position soon afterwards. At the same time, his two closest allies, Matsudaira Yoshinaga and Matsudaira Katamori, were appointed to other high positions: Yoshinaga as chief of political affairs (政治総裁職, seiji sōsai shoku), Katamori as Guardian of Kyoto (京都守護職, Kyoto Shugoshoku ). The three men then took numerous steps to quell political unrest in the Kyoto area, and gathered allies to counter the activities of the rebellious Chōshū Domain. They were instrumental figures in the kōbu gattai political party, which sought a reconciliation between the shogunate and the imperial court.
In 1864, Yoshinobu, as commander of the imperial palace's defense, defeated the Chōshū forces in their attempt to capture the imperial palace's Hamaguri Gate (蛤御門, Hamaguri-Gomon) in what is called the Kinmon Incident. This was achieved by use of the forces of the Aizu–Satsuma coalition.
After the death of Tokugawa Iemochi in 1866, Yoshinobu was chosen to succeed him, and became the 15th shōgun .He was the only Tokugawa shōgun to spend his entire tenure outside of Edo: he never set foot in Edo Castle as shōgun. Immediately upon Yoshinobu's ascension as shōgun, major changes were initiated. A massive government overhaul was undertaken to initiate reforms that would strengthen the Tokugawa government. In particular, assistance from the Second French Empire was organized, with the construction of the Yokosuka arsenal under Léonce Verny, and the dispatch of a French military mission to modernize the armies of the bakufu .
The national army and navy, which had already been formed under Tokugawa command, were strengthened by the assistance of the Russians, and the Tracey Mission provided by the British Royal Navy. Equipment was also purchased from the United States.The outlook among many was that the Tokugawa shogunate was gaining ground towards renewed strength and power; however, it fell in less than a year.
Fearing the renewed strengthening of the Tokugawa shogunate under a strong and wise ruler, samurai from Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa formed an alliance to counter it. Under the banner of sonnō jōi ("revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians!") coupled with a fear of the new shōgun as the "Rebirth of Ieyasu" (家康の再来) who would continue to usurp the power of the Emperor, they worked to bring about an end to the shogunate, though they varied in their approaches. In particular, Tosa was more moderate; it proposed a compromise whereby Yoshinobu would resign as shōgun, but preside over a new national governing council composed of various daimyōs . To this end, Yamanouchi Toyonori, the lord of Tosa, together with his advisor, Gotō Shōjirō, petitioned Yoshinobu to resign in order to make this possible.
On November 9, 1867, Yoshinobu tendered his resignation to the Emperor and formally stepped down ten days later, returning governing power to the Emperor.He then withdrew from Kyoto to Osaka. However, Satsuma and Chōshū, while supportive of a governing council of daimyōs, were opposed to Yoshinobu leading it. They secretly obtained an imperial edict calling for the use of force against Yoshinobu (later shown to be a forgery) and moved a massive number of Satsuma and Chōshū troops into Kyoto. There was a meeting called at the imperial court, where Yoshinobu was stripped of all titles and land, despite having taken no action that could be construed as aggressive or criminal. Any who would have opposed this were not included in the meeting. Yoshinobu opposed this action, and composed a message of protest, to be delivered to the imperial court; at the urging of the leaders of Aizu, Kuwana, and other domains, and in light of the immense number of Satsuma and Chōshū troops in Kyoto, he dispatched a large body of troops to convey this message to the court.
When the Tokugawa forces arrived outside Kyoto, they were refused entry, and were attacked by Satsuma and Chōshū troops, starting the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, the first clash of the Boshin War.Though the Tokugawa forces had a distinct advantage in numbers, Yoshinobu abandoned his army in the midst of the fight once he realized the Satsuma and Chōshū forces raised the Imperial banner, and escaped to Edo. He placed himself under voluntary confinement, and indicated his submission to the imperial court. However, a peace agreement was reached wherein Tayasu Kamenosuke, the young head of a branch of the Tokugawa family, was adopted and made Tokugawa family head; On April 11, Edo Castle was handed over to the imperial army, and the city spared from all-out war.
Together with Kamenosuke (who took the name Tokugawa Iesato), Yoshinobu moved to Shizuoka. Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, had also retired to Shizuoka, centuries earlier. Iesato was made the daimyō of the new Shizuoka Domain, but lost this title a few years later, when the domains were abolished.
Many of the hatamoto also relocated to Shizuoka; a large proportion of them did not find adequate means to support themselves. As a result, many of them resented Yoshinobu, some of them to the point of wanting him dead.Yoshinobu was aware of this, and was so afraid of assassination that he redesigned his sleeping arrangement to confuse any potential assassin.
Living a life in quiet retirement, Yoshinobu indulged in many hobbies, including oil painting, archery, hunting, photography, and cycling.Some of Yoshinobu's photographs have been published in recent years by his great-grandson, Yoshitomo.
In 1902, the Meiji Emperor allowed him to reëstablish his own house as a Tokugawa branch (bekke) with the highest rank in the peerage, that of prince (kōshaku), for his loyal service to Japan.He took a seat in the House of Peers, resigning in 1910. Tokugawa Yoshinobu died on 21 November 1913, at 16:10 and is buried in Yanaka Cemetery, Tokyo.
On 9 January 1896, his ninth daughter Tsuneko Tokugawa (1882–1939) married Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, a second cousin to both Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun and nephew of Prince Kan'in Kotohito.
On 26 December 1911, his granddaughter Kikuko Tokugawa was born. She married Prince Takamatsu, the brother of Emperor Shōwa, to become Princess Takamatsu.
With information from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
The years in which Yoshinobu was shōgun are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō .
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|Ancestors of Tokugawa Yoshinobu|
Yoshinobu's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.
The existence of a verifiable link between the Nitta clan and the Tokugawa/Matsudaira clan remains somewhat in dispute.
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known, especially in Japanese, as the Edo shogunate, was the feudal military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1868.
Bakumatsu refers to the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended. Between 1853 and 1867, Japan ended its isolationist foreign policy known as sakoku and changed from a feudal Tokugawa shogunate to the modern empire of the Meiji government. The major ideological-political divide during this period was between the pro-imperial nationalists called ishin shishi and the shogunate forces, which included the elite shinsengumi swordsmen.
Tokugawa Nariaki was a prominent Japanese daimyō who ruled the Mito Domain and contributed to the rise of nationalism and the Meiji Restoration.
The Boshin War, sometimes known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war in Japan, fought from 1868 to 1869 between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and those seeking to return political power to the Imperial Court.
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.
The Shinsengumi was a special police force organized by the Bakufu during Japan's Bakumatsu period in 1863. It was active until 1869. It was founded to protect the shogunate representatives in Kyoto at a time when a controversial imperial edict to exclude foreign trade from Japan had been made and the Chōshū clan had been forced from the imperial court. The men were drawn from the sword schools of Edo.
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 tozamadaimyō and held most of the power in Japan during the Edo period.
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The Matsudaira clan was a Japanese samurai clan that descended from the Minamoto clan. It originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province. During the Sengoku period, the chieftain of the main line of the Matsudaira clan, Matsudaira Motoyasu became a powerful regional daimyo under Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi and changed his name to Tokugawa Ieyasu. He subsequently seized power as the first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan during the Edo period until the Meiji restoration of 1868. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, many cadet branches of the clan retained the Matsudaira surname, and numerous new branches were formed in the decades after Ieyasu. Some of those branches were also of daimyō status.
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The Battle of Toba–Fushimi occurred between pro-Imperial and Tokugawa shogunate forces during the Boshin War in Japan. The battle started on 27 January 1868, when the forces of the shogunate and the allied forces of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa Domains clashed near Fushimi, Kyoto. The battle lasted for four days, ending in a decisive defeat for the shogunate.
The Battle of Utsunomiya Castle was a battle between pro-imperial and Tokugawa shogunate forces during the Boshin War in Japan in May 1868. It occurred as the troops of the Tokugawa shogunate were retreating north towards Nikkō and Aizu.
Matsumoto Jun was a Japanese physician who served as the personal physician to the last shōgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. He also studied photography with J. L. C. Pompe van Meerdervoort (1829–1908), though he was somewhat unimpressed with his instructor's skills, once describing the result of one of Pompe van Meerdervoort's photographic experiments as "a meagre black shadow". Foreign Minister Hayashi Tadasu was his brother.
Yoshitomo Tokugawa was the 4th-generation head of the Tokugawa Yoshinobu-ke, the branch of the Tokugawa line started by the last Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
Aizu Domain was a domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1601 to 1871.
Matsudaira Yoshinaga, also known as Matsudaira Keiei, or better known as Matsudaira Shungaku (春嶽) was a Japanese daimyō of the Edo period. He was head of the Fukui Domain in Echizen Province. He is counted as one of the "Four Wise Lords of the Bakumatsu period", along with Date Munenari, Yamauchi Yōdō and Shimazu Nariakira. "Yoshinaga" is his imina and "Shungaku" is his gō.
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).
Tokugawa Akitake 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.
Princess Yoshiko was the younger sister of His Imperial Highness Prince Tsunahito of Arisugawa-no-miya. Yoshiko married to Tokugawa Nariaki, the 9th feudal lord of Mito Domain. She was the mother to the 10th lord Yoshiatsu as well as the 15th and the last Chief of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
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| Shōgun :|
August 29, 1866 – November 19, 1867