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ベイカー寮221B/Baker House 221B TOP  >  Taiga Drama  >  Sego-don >  TOKUGAWA (HITOTSUBASHI) Yoshinobu


He was the 15th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. He was born in 1837 as the 7th son of TOKUGAWA Nariaki, lord of Mito domain. His mother was Princess Yoshiko and he was called Shichirō-maro in his childhood. Following to the policy of Nariaki, he was educated in Mito and lived there for nine years. He was a wise boy so Nariaki decided to keep his son close to him. But in 1847, he was adopted by the Hitotsubashi clan and called himself TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu.

When Commodore Perry's Squadron visited Japan in 1853, the 12th shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi died suddenly. As his heir Iesada was too weak to have a child, some daimyos includes SHIMAZU Nariakira recommended him for the post of next shogun. But his father was unpopular among the women in Ō-oku so II Naosuke who became Tairō made Tokugawa Yoshitomo (Iemochi) assume the 14th shogun. Many of those who supported him were punished or executed in the Ansei Purge and he was forced to confine himself in his house though it is thought to be a false charge. After Naosuke was killed in March 1860, he was pardoned and came back to politics and was appointed to the position of looking after young Iemochi in 1862. Then the reform of the administration of the shogunate was carried out.

Then Iemochi visited Kyoto as shogun for the first time in 230 years and he also visited there in advance of him. But he was troubled by the order of the Imperial court to adopt a policy of jō-i, expelling foreigners from Japan. When he returned to Edo, he persuaded the ministers to block Yokohama Port and opposed MATSUDAIRA Yoshinaga and SHIMAZU Hisamitsu who were against his decision in Sanyo Kaigi, the meeting of major daimyos. He got dead drunken on purpose at the banquet held by Prince Asahiko and abused other daimyos to destroy the system of Sanyo Kaigi.

Tokugawa (Hitotsubashi) Yoshinobu (Shōta Matsuda) disguised himself as libertine and is called "Hî-sama“ by prostitutes

In 1864, he resigned his position of looking after Iemochi and became Kinri Goshuei Soutoku (*). He formed his own power base in Kyoto but it became waver because of the dispute in the shogunate how to deal with the rebellion of Tengu-tō, radical royalists party composed of former Mito samurais. At the same time, the Kinmon Incident occurred. After that, he changed his policy and became to be strict towards royalists. He tied up with the domains of Aizu and Kuwana (Ichikaisō Seiken) and abandoned the Tengo-tō who formerly supported him. After the first subjugation of Chōshū, he negotiated with the court directly and threateningly. Then he obtained the Imperial sanction to sign the treaties with Western countries formally. Besides, he stuck tenaciously to get the sanction of the second subjugation of Chōshū.

However Iemochi, general of the army of the shogunate that was detached by Emperor Kōmei died in Osaka Castle during the subjugation. And in it, the Chōshū Army defeated the  troops of the army of the shogunate. He then bulled through to make a piece and worked on the aristocrats to have the sanction of stopping the war. And he took over as head of the Tokugawa clan. However he refused to be appointed as next shogun consistently and was appointed to the 15th shogun at last in December, 1866. It is said that he tried to gain his gratitude by becoming shogun but there is nothing that proves it. Besides he was said to have shown no eagerness to become a shogun from the first.

He insists opening the country and governed Japan not in Edo Castle but in Kyoto. On the other hand, he reformed the shogunate with OGURI Tadamasa. He asked  Leon Roshes, French ambassador to Japan for financial help and build iron mill and shipyard in Yokosuka. And he established new positions related to foreign affairs in the shogunate and promoted sending the children of shogunal vassals (hatamoto) to study in Europe. He established  Shikō-Kaigi (**) but other members blamed him so he dissolved it. As he realised that both the domains of Satsuma and Chōshū tried to attack the shogunate by arms, he announced Taisei Hōkan and restored the government to the crown on the 14th October, 1867. However, he planned to be one of the members of the constitution of major daimyos (***). He was afraid of that civil war will occur soon.

Against his will, Satsuma domain attempted to provoke him because they didn't want to make him take charge of politics any more. In December 1867, the Declaration of Imperial Rule was announced so he was required to return his official rank and his fief but he tried to suppress it with the domains of Tosa and Echizen. He stayed in Osaka Castle and gather foreign ambassadors to make them understand his justice. But in January 1868, an armed conflict between the shogunate army and the alliance of Satsuma and Chōshū occurred. This is called the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. He and his close advisers, concubines, some daimyos includes MATSUDAIRA Katamori returned to Edo by a warship. There are some opinions why he escaped from Osaka.

The Boshin War began and he was regarded as emperor's enemy. He confined himself in Kaneiji Temple in Ueno, Edo. In April of the year, Edo Castle was opened peacefully and he moved to Mito to avoid the attack of his former vassals. In February 1869, he confined himself in Shizuoka, former Sunpu. He was given a big amount of retirement allowance and indulged himself in pleasure (****) but took no care of former vassals of his clan or the Tokugawa shogunate. So he was said that a nobleman cannot understand how the common people feel.

He met Emperor Meiji in 1897 and received the title of duke in 1902. Later he became a member of the House of the peers. In 1910, he retired from the position and indulged himself on pleasure again.

He died of pneumonia in 1913. he was the last shogun in Japanese history and lived much longer that other shoguns of the Tokugawa shogunate.

He was sarcastically called "Buta-ichi sama" (Lord Hitotsubashi who loves pork*****) as he loved pork dishes. SHIBUSAWA Eiichi, a businessman was one of his vassals and edited his legend.

In this series, he meets SAIGŌ Kichinosuke at Isodaya, a red-light district in Edo. He disguised as libertine and is called Hî-sama. Then he gets acquainted with Kichinosuke and is saved by him when he is attacked by NAGANO Shuzen's man. But after the first subjugation of Chōshū, he breaks off relations with Kichinosuke. Later they become to oppose each other.

(*) One of the position that guards the Imperial Palace. He was a court official rahter that a vassal of the shogunate at that time.
(**) The meeting of major daimyos that was like Sanyo kaigi. Shimazu Hisamitsu who joined it thought that the power of the constitution of major daimyos was limited and then decided to overthrow the shogunate by arms.
(***) In short, he hoped to continue governing Japan even after Taisei Hōkan.
(****) Taking a photo, fishing, cycling, painting, embroidery and seeing something under a microscope.
(*****) At that time, eating pork was not so popular so his meat-eating seemed to be regarded as strange.

Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate

The images are from the official website of "Segodon".


[ 2018/09/09 00:45 ] Taiga Drama Sego-don | TB(-) | CM(0)