Tokugawa shogunate

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Tokugawa Shogunate

Edo Bakufu
Map of Japan in Provinces in time of Iyeyasu.jpg
Capital Edo
(Shōgun's residence)
(Emperor's palace)
Common languages Early Modern Japanese
Government Monarchic feudal stratocracy
Go-Yōzei [1]
Meiji [2]
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Ōkubo Tadachika
Tachibana Taneyuki
Historical era Edo period
21 October 1603
8 November 1614
31 March 1854
29 July 1858
3 January 1867
CurrencyThe tri-metallic Tokugawa coinage system based on copper Mon, silver Bu and Shu, as well as gold Ryō.
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Toyotomi mon.png Azuchi–Momoyama period
Tokugawa family crest.svg Tokugawa clan
Empire of Japan Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg
Today part ofFlag of Japan.svg  Japan

The Tokugawa Shogunate, also known as the Tokugawa Bakufu(徳川幕府) and the Edo Bakufu(江戸幕府), was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. [3] The head of government was the shōgun , [4] and each was a member of the Tokugawa clan. [5] The Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. [6] This time is also called the Tokugawa period [3] or pre-modern (Kinsei(近世)). [7]

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

<i>Shōgun</i> de facto military dictator of feudal Japan (1185-1868)

The Shōgun was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868. The shogunate was their administration or government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality. The shōguns held almost absolute power over territories through military means. Nevertheless, an unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period (1199–1333) upon the death of the first shōgun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken (1199–1256) and tokusō (1256–1333) dominated the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule (執権政治). The shōguns during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and were reduced to figurehead status until a coup d'état in 1333, when the shōgun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor.

Tokugawa clan noble family

The Tokugawa clan was a powerful daimyō family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa (850–880) and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. The early history of this clan remains a mystery. Members of the clan ruled Japan as shōguns from 1603 to 1867.



Following the Sengoku period ("warring states period"), the central government had been largely re-established by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu. [3]

Sengoku period Period in Imperial Japan

The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China. It was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, and came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Oda Nobunaga samurai daimyo and warlord of Japan

Oda Nobunaga was a powerful daimyō of Japan in the late 16th century who attempted to unify Japan during the late Sengoku period, and successfully gained control over most of Honshu. Nobunaga is regarded as one of three unifiers of Japan along with his retainers Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. During his later life, Nobunaga was widely known for most brutal suppression of determined opponents, eliminating those who by principle refused to cooperate or yield to his demands. His reign was noted for innovative military tactics, fostering free trade, and encouraging the start of the Momoyama historical art period. He was killed when his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled against him at Honnō-ji.

Azuchi–Momoyama period period of Japanese history

The Azuchi–Momoyama period is the final phase of the Sengoku period in Japan. These years of political unification led to the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. It spans the years from c. 1573 to 1600, during which time Oda Nobunaga and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, imposed order upon the chaos that had pervaded since the collapse of the Ashikaga shogunate.

Society in the Tokugawa period, unlike in previous shogunates, was supposedly based on the strict class hierarchy originally established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The daimyō (lords) were at the top, followed by the warrior-caste of samurai, with the farmers, artisans, and traders ranking below. In some parts of the country, particularly smaller regions, daimyō and samurai were more or less identical, since daimyō might be trained as samurai, and samurai might act as local rulers. Otherwise, the largely inflexible nature of this social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts that did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value. As a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This often led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much larger rebellions. None, however, proved compelling enough to seriously challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers.

Edo society

Society during the Edo period, also called Tokugawa period, in Japan was ruled by strict customs and regulations intended to promote stability.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Japanese daimyo, warrior, general and politician

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a preeminent daimyō, warrior, general, samurai, and politician of the Sengoku period who is regarded as Japan's second "great unifier". He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Warring Lords period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle. After his death, his young son Hideyori was displaced by Tokugawa Ieyasu.

<i>Daimyō</i> powerful territorial lord in pre-modern Japan

The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who, until their decline in the early Meiji period, ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. In the term, dai (大) means "large", and myō stands for myōden(名田), meaning private land.

A 2017 study found that peasant rebellions and collective desertion ("flight") lowered tax rates and inhibited state growth in the Tokugawa shogunate. [8]

In the mid-19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyō, along with the titular Emperor, succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration. The Tokugawa shogunate came to an official end in 1868 with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, leading to the "restoration" (王政復古, Ōsei fukko) of imperial rule. Notwithstanding its eventual overthrow in favor of the more modernized, less feudal form of governance of the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw the longest period of peace and stability in Japan's history, lasting well over 260 years.

Emperor of Japan Monarch in Japan

The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." Historically, he was also the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō (天皇), literally "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete.

Boshin War 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

The Boshin War, also known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war fought in Japan between the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court from 27 January 1868 to 27 June 1869.

Meiji Restoration restoration of imperial rule in Japan

The Meiji Restoration, also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was an event that restored practical imperial rule to the Empire of Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although there were ruling Emperors before the Meiji Restoration, the events restored practical abilities and consolidated the political system under the Emperor of Japan.


Shogunate and domains

The bakuhan taisei (幕藩体制) was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government"—that is, the shogunate. The han were the domains headed by daimyō.

Edo period period of Japanese history

The Edo period or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. The shogunate was officially established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868, after the fall of Edo.

Vassals held inherited lands and provided military service and homage to their lords. The bakuhan taisei split feudal power between the shogunate in Edo and provincial domains throughout Japan. Provinces had a degree of sovereignty and were allowed an independent administration of the han in exchange for loyalty to the shōgun, who was responsible for foreign relations and national security. The shōgun and lords were all daimyōs: feudal lords with their own bureaucracies, policies, and territories. The shōgun also administered the most powerful han, the hereditary fief of the House of Tokugawa. Each level of government administered its own system of taxation.

Edo Castle, 17th century Edo P2.jpg
Edo Castle, 17th century

The emperor, nominally a religious leader, held no real power; this was vested in the shōgun. The shogunate had the power to discard, annex, and transform domains. The sankin-kōtai system of alternative residence required each daimyō to reside in alternate years between the han and the court in Edo. During their absences from Edo, it was also required that they leave family as hostages until their return. The huge expenditure sankin-kōtai imposed on each han helped centralize aristocratic alliances and ensured loyalty to the shōgun as each representative doubled as a potential hostage.

Tokugawa's descendants further ensured loyalty by maintaining a dogmatic insistence on loyalty to the shōgun. Fudai daimyō were hereditary vassals of Ieyasu, as well as of his descendants. Tozama ("outsiders") became vassals of Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara. Shinpan ("relatives") were collaterals of Tokugawa Hidetada. Early in the Edo period, the shogunate viewed the tozama as the least likely to be loyal; over time, strategic marriages and the entrenchment of the system made the tozama less likely to rebel. In the end, it was the great tozama of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa, and to a lesser extent Hizen, that brought down the shogunate. These four states are called the Four Western Clans, or Satchotohi for short. [9]

The number of han (roughly 250) fluctuated throughout the Edo period. They were ranked by size, which was measured as the number of koku of rice that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year. The minimum number for a daimyō was ten thousand koku; the largest, apart from the shōgun, was a million.

Relations with the Emperor

Social class during the Shogunate with the Emperor as the nominal ruler Edo social structure.svg
Social class during the Shogunate with the Emperor as the nominal ruler

Regardless of the political title of the Emperor, the shōguns of the Tokugawa family controlled Japan. [10] The administration(体制,taisei) of Japan was a task given by the Imperial Court in Kyoto to the Tokugawa family, which returned to the court in the Meiji Restoration. While the Emperor officially had the prerogative of appointing the shōgun, he had virtually no say in state affairs. The shogunate appointed a liaison, the Kyoto Shoshidai (Shogun's Representative in Kyoto), to deal with the Emperor, court and nobility.

Towards the end of the shogunate, however, after centuries of the Emperor having very little say in state affairs and being secluded in his Kyoto palace, and in the wake of the reigning shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi, marrying the sister of Emperor Kōmei (r. 1846–1867), in 1862, the Imperial Court in Kyoto began to enjoy increased political influence. [11] The Emperor would occasionally be consulted on various policies and the shogun even made a visit to Kyoto to visit the Emperor.

Shogun and foreign trade

Dutch trading post in Dejima, c. 1805 Grote partij bij het opperhoofd van Dejima.jpg
Dutch trading post in Dejima, c. 1805

Foreign affairs and trade were monopolized by the shogunate, yielding a huge profit. Foreign trade was also permitted to the Satsuma and the Tsushima domains. Rice was the main trading product of Japan during this time. Isolationism was the foreign policy of Japan and trade was strictly controlled. Merchants were outsiders to the social hierarchy of Japan and were thought to be greedy.

The visits of the Nanban ships from Portugal were at first the main vector of trade exchanges, followed by the addition of Dutch, English and sometimes Spanish ships.

From 1603 onward, Japan started to participate actively in foreign trade. In 1615, an embassy and trade mission under Hasekura Tsunenaga was sent across the Pacific to Nueva España (New Spain) on the Japanese-built galleon San Juan Bautista. Until 1635, the Shogun issued numerous permits for the so-called "red seal ships" destined for the Asian trade.

After 1635 and the introduction of Seclusion laws, inbound ships were only allowed from China, Korea, and the Netherlands.

Shogun and Christianity

Christian prisoners in Edo, 17th century Christian prisoners.png
Christian prisoners in Edo, 17th century

Followers of Christianity first began appearing in Japan during the 16th century. Oda Nobunaga embraced Christianity and the Western technology that was imported with it, such as the musket. He also saw it as a tool he could use to suppress Buddhist forces. [12]

Though Christianity was allowed to grow until the 1610s, Tokugawa Ieyasu soon began to see it as a growing threat to the stability of the shogunate. As Ōgosho ("Cloistered Shōgun"), [13] he influenced the implementation of laws that banned the practice of Christianity. His successors followed suit, compounding upon Ieyasu's laws. The ban of Christianity is often linked with the creation of the Seclusion laws, or Sakoku, in the 1630s. [14]

Institutions of the shogunate

Rōjū and wakadoshiyori

The rōjū (老中) were the senior members of the shogunate. They supervised the ōmetsuke, machi-bugyō, ongokubugyō (ja:遠国奉行) and other officials, oversaw relations with the Imperial Court in Kyoto, kuge (members of the nobility), daimyō, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and attended to matters like divisions of fiefs. Normally, four or five men held the office, and one was on duty for a month at a time on a rotating basis. They conferred on especially important matters. In the administrative reforms of 1867 (Keiō Reforms), the office was eliminated in favor of a bureaucratic system with ministers for the interior, finance, foreign relations, army, and navy.

Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle where Ii Naosuke was assassinated in 1860 SakuradaGate2.jpg
Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle where Ii Naosuke was assassinated in 1860

In principle, the requirements for appointment to the office of rōjū were to be a fudai daimyō and to have a fief assessed at 50000 koku or more. However, there were exceptions to both criteria. Many appointees came from the offices close to the shōgun, such as soba yōnin (ja:側用人), Kyoto Shoshidai, and Osaka jōdai.

Irregularly, the shōguns appointed a rōjū to the position of tairō (great elder). The office was limited to members of the Ii, Sakai, Doi, and Hotta clans, but Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu was given the status of tairō as well. Among the most famous was Ii Naosuke, who was assassinated in 1860 outside the Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle (Sakuradamon incident).

The wakadoshiyori were next in status below the rōjū. An outgrowth of the early six-man rokuninshū (六人衆, 1633–1649), the office took its name and final form in 1662, but with four members. Their primary responsibility was management of the affairs of the hatamoto and gokenin, the direct vassals of the shōgun.

Some shōguns appointed a soba yōnin. This person acted as a liaison between the shōgun and the rōjū. The soba yōnin increased in importance during the time of the fifth shōgun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, when a wakadoshiyori, Inaba Masayasu, assassinated Hotta Masatoshi, the tairō. Fearing for his personal safety, Tsunayoshi moved the rōjū to a more distant part of the castle. Some of the most famous soba yōnin were Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and Tanuma Okitsugu.

Ōmetsuke and metsuke

The ōmetsuke and metsuke were officials who reported to the rōjū and wakadoshiyori. The five ōmetsuke were in charge of monitoring the affairs of the daimyōs, kuge and imperial court. They were in charge of discovering any threat of rebellion. Early in the Edo period, daimyōs such as Yagyū Munefuyu held the office. Soon, however, it fell to hatamoto with rankings of 5,000 koku or more. To give them authority in their dealings with daimyōs, they were often ranked at 10,000 koku and given the title of kami (an ancient title, typically signifying the governor of a province) such as Bizen-no-kami.

As time progressed, the function of the ōmetsuke evolved into one of passing orders from the shogunate to the daimyōs, and of administering to ceremonies within Edo Castle. They also took on additional responsibilities such as supervising religious affairs and controlling firearms. The metsuke, reporting to the wakadoshiyori, oversaw the affairs of the vassals of the shōgun. They were the police force for the thousands of hatamoto and gokenin who were concentrated in Edo. Individual han had their own metsuke who similarly policed their samurai.


The san-bugyō ("three administrators") were the jisha, kanjō, and machi-bugyō , which oversaw temples and shrines, accounting, and the cities, respectively. The jisha-bugyō had the highest status of the three. They oversaw the administration of Buddhist temples (ji) and Shinto shrines (sha), many of which held fiefs. Also, they heard lawsuits from several land holdings outside the eight Kantō provinces. The appointments normally went to daimyōs; Ōoka Tadasuke was an exception, though he later became a daimyō.

The kanjō-bugyō were next in status. The four holders of this office reported to the rōjū. They were responsible for the finances of the shogunate. [15]

The machi-bugyō were the chief city administrators of Edo and other cities. Their roles included mayor, chief of the police (and, later, also of the fire department), and judge in criminal and civil matters not involving samurai. Two (briefly, three) men, normally hatamoto, held the office, and alternated by month.

Three Edo machi bugyō have become famous through jidaigeki (period films): Ōoka Tadasuke and Tōyama Kagemoto (Kinshirō) as heroes, and Torii Yōzō (ja:鳥居耀蔵) as a villain.

Tenryō, gundai and daikan

The san-bugyō together sat on a council called the hyōjōsho . In this capacity, they were responsible for administering the tenryō, supervising the gundai (郡代), the daikan (代官) and the kura bugyō (蔵奉行), as well as hearing cases involving samurai.

The shogun directly held lands in various parts of Japan. These were known as shihaisho (支配所); since the Meiji period, the term tenryō (天領, "Emperor's land") has become synonymous. [16] In addition to the territory that Ieyasu held prior to the Battle of Sekigahara, this included lands he gained in that battle and lands gained as a result of the Summer and Winter Sieges of Osaka. By the end of the seventeenth century, the shogun's landholdings had reached four million koku. Such major cities as Nagasaki and Osaka, and mines, including the Sado gold mine, also fell into this category.

Gaikoku bugyō

The gaikoku bugyō were administrators appointed between 1858 and 1868. They were charged with overseeing trade and diplomatic relations with foreign countries, and were based in the treaty ports of Nagasaki and Kanagawa (Yokohama).

Late Tokugawa shogunate (1853–1867)

Samurai of the Shimazu clan Satsuma-samurai-during-boshin-war-period.jpg
Samurai of the Shimazu clan

The late Tokugawa shogunate (Japanese : 幕末Bakumatsu) was the period between 1853 and 1867, during which Japan ended its isolationist foreign policy called sakoku and modernized from a feudal shogunate to the Meiji government. It is at the end of the Edo period and preceded the Meiji era. The major ideological and political factions during this period were divided into the pro-imperialist Ishin Shishi (nationalist patriots) and the shogunate forces, including the elite shinsengumi ("newly selected corps") swordsmen.

Although these two groups were the most visible powers, many other factions attempted to use the chaos of the Bakumatsu era to seize personal power. [17] Furthermore, there were two other main driving forces for dissent; first, growing resentment of tozama daimyōs , and second, growing anti-Western sentiment following the arrival of Matthew C. Perry. The first related to those lords who had fought against Tokugawa forces at Sekigahara (in 1600) and had from that point on been exiled permanently from all powerful positions within the shogunate. The second was to be expressed in the phrase sonnō jōi ("revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians"). The end for the Bakumatsu was the Boshin War, notably the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, when pro-shogunate forces were defeated. [18]

List of Tokugawa shōguns

Shōgun FromShōgun Until
1 Tokugawa Ieyasu2 full.JPG Tokugawa Ieyasu
2 Hidetada2.jpg Tokugawa Hidetada
3 Iemitu.jpg Tokugawa Iemitsu
4 Tokugawa Ietsuna.jpg Tokugawa Ietsuna
5 Tsunyaoshi.jpg Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
6 Tokugawa Ienobu.jpg Tokugawa Ienobu
7 Tokugawa ietsugu.jpg Tokugawa Ietsugu
8 Tokugawa Yoshimune.jpg Tokugawa Yoshimune
9 Tokugawa Ieshige.jpg Tokugawa Ieshige
10 Tokugawa Ieharu.jpg Tokugawa Ieharu
11 Tokugawa Ienari.jpg Tokugawa Ienari
12 Tokugawa Ieyoshi.JPG Tokugawa Ieyoshi
13 Tokugawa Iesada by Kawamura Kiyoo (Tokugawa Memorial Foundation).jpeg Tokugawa Iesada
14 Tokugawa Iemochi by Kawamura Kiyoo (Tokugawa Memorial Foundation).jpg Tokugawa Iemochi
15 Tokugawa Yoshinobu by Kawamura Kiyoo.jpg Tokugawa Yoshinobu

Over the course of the Edo period, influential relatives of the shogun included:

See also


  1. Emperor Go-Yōzei started reigning in 1586, after the abdication of Emperor Ōgimachi.
  2. Emperor Meiji reigned until his death in 1912.
  3. 1 2 3 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Tokugawa-jidai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 978.
  4. Nussbaum, "Shogun" at pp. 878–879.
  5. Nussbaum, "Tokugawa" at p. 976.
  6. Nussbaum, "Edo-jidai" at p. 167.
  7. Nussbaum, "Kinsei" at p. 525.
  8. Paik, Christopher; Steele, Abbey; Tanaka, Seiki (2017). "Constraining the Samurai: Rebellion and Taxation in Early Modern Japan". International Studies Quarterly. 61 (2): 352–370. doi:10.1093/isq/sqx008.
  9. Nussbaum, "Satchotohi", pp. 826–827.
  10. Jansen 2002, pp. 144–148.
  11. Keene, Donald Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912 (2005, Columbia University Press) p. 62
  12. Chie Nakane and Shinzaburou Oishi (1990). Tokugawa Japan – The Social and Economic Antecedents of Modern Japan. University of Tokyo Press. pp.12.
  13. Nussbaum, "Ogosho" at p. 738.
  14. Chie Nakane and Shinzaburou Oishi (1990). Tokugawa Japan: The Social and Economic Antecedents of Modern Japan. University of Tokyo Press. pp.24–28.
  15. Nussbaum, "Kanjō bugyō" at p. 473.
  16. Nussbaum, "Tenryō", p. 961.
  17. Shinsengumi, The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps, Romulus, Hillsborough, Tuttle Publishing, 2005
  18. Ravina, Mark (2004).Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. John Wiley & Sons, 2004
  19. Nussbaum, "Tokugawa Mitsukuni" at p. 979.
  20. Nussbaum, "Tokugawa Nariaki" at p. 979.
  21. Nussbaum, "Tayasu" at p. 954.
  22. Nussbaum, "Matsudaira Katamori" at p. 616.
  23. Nussbaum, "Matsudaira Sadanobu" at p. 617.

Related Research Articles

<i>Fudai daimyō</i> in Edo-period Japan, a class of daimyōs who were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa, many of whom were families serving the Tokugawa clan since before its rise to shogunhood; primarily occupied the ranks of the Tokugawa administration

Fudai daimyō (譜代大名) was a class of daimyōs who were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa in Edo-period Japan. It was primarily the fudai who filled the ranks of the Tokugawa administration.

Matsudaira clan Japanese samurai clan

The Matsudaira clan was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province. Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which are also in Mikawa Province. In the 16th century, the main Matsudaira line experienced a meteoric rise to success during the direction of Matsudaira Motoyasu, who changed his name to Tokugawa Ieyasu and became the first Tokugawa shōgun. Ieyasu's line formed what became the Tokugawa clan; however, the branches retained the Matsudaira surname. Other branches were formed in the decades after Ieyasu, which bore the Matsudaira surname. Some of those branches were also of daimyō status.

Glossary of Japanese history

This is the glossary of Japanese history including the major terms, titles and events the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject.

Metsuke (目付) were the censors or the inspectors of Tokugawa Japan. They were bakufu officials ranking somewhat lower than the bugyō. The metsuke were charged with the special duty of detecting and investigating instances of maladministration, corruption or disaffection anywhere in Japan; and particularly amongst the populace having status below the daimyō.

Oshi Domain feudal domain of Japan

Oshi Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in Musashi Province, Japan. It was centered on Oshi Castle in what is now part of the city of Gyōda, Saitama.

The Hayashi clan was a Japanese samurai clan which served as important advisors to the Tokugawa shōguns. Among members of the clan in powerful positions in the shogunate was its founder Hayashi Razan, who passed on his post as hereditary rector of the neo-Confucianist Shōhei-kō school to his son, Hayashi Gahō, who also passed it on to his son, Hayashi Hōkō; this line of descent continued until the end of Hayashi Gakusai's tenure in 1867. However, elements of the school carried on until 1888, when it was folded into the newly organized Tokyo University.

Shirakawa Domain

Shirakawa Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in southern Mutsu Province. It was centered on Komine Castle in what is now the city of Shirakawa, Fukushima. Its most famous ruler was Matsudaira Sadanobu, the architect of the Kansei Reforms. It was also the scene of one of the battles of the Boshin War of the Meiji restoration.

Numazu Domain Japanese historical estate in Suruga province

Numazu Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan located in Suruga Province. It was centered on Numazu Castle in what is now the city of Numazu, in modern-day Shizuoka Prefecture.

Kyoto Shoshidai

The Kyoto Shoshidai was an important administrative and political office in the early modern government of Japan. However, the significance and effectiveness of the office is credited to the third Tokugawa shōgun, Iemitsu, who developed these initial creations as bureaucratic elements in a consistent and coherent whole.

Manabe Akikatsu daimyo

Manabe Akikatsu was the 7th daimyō of Sabae Domain in Echizen Province under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan. His courtesy title was Shimōsa-no-kami, and his Court rank was Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade, later raised to Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade. He was the 8th hereditary chieftain of the Manabe clan.

Matsushiro Domain Japanese historical estate in Shinano province

Matsushiro Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan. It is located in Shinano Province, Honshū. The domain was centered at Matsushiro Castle, located in what is now part of the city of Nagano in Nagano Prefecture.

Izumi Domain Japanese historical estate in Mutsu province

Izumi Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in southern Mutsu Province in what is now part of the modern-day city of Iwaki, Fukushima.

Ōta clan

The Ōta clan was samurai kin group which rose to prominence in Sengoku and Edo period Japan. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, the Ōta were hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa clan.

Andō Nobumasa daimyo

Andō Nobumasa was a late-Edo period Japanese samurai, and the 5th daimyō of Iwakitaira Domain in the Tōhoku region of Japan, and the 10th hereditary chieftain of the Andō clan. He was the eldest son of Andō Nobuyori and his mother was a daughter of Matsudaira Nobuakira of Yoshida Domain. His childhood names were Kinnoshin and Kinnosuke and he was known most of his life as Andō Nobuyuki, taking the name of Nobumasa only after he became a rōjū.

Sanuki Domain feudal domain of Japan, located in Kazusa Province

Sanuki Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in Kazusa Province. It was centered on Sanuki Castle in what is now the city of Futtsu, Chiba.

Ōoka clan

The Ōoka clan were a samurai kin group which rose to prominence in the Edo period. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, the Ōoka, as hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa clan, were classified as one of the fudaidaimyō clans.

Yoshii Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in Kōzuke Province, Japan. It was centered on Yoshii jin'ya in what is now part of the city of Takasaki, Gunma. Yoshii was ruled through much of its history by a branch of the Takatsukasa clan, which had adopted the patronym of Matsudaira.

Kurobane Domain

Kurobane Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in the Nasu District of Shimotsuke Province, Japan. It was centered on Kurobane jin'ya in what is now part of the city of Ōtawara, Tochigi. Kurobane was ruled through all of its history by the tozama Ōzeki clan.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website .

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