Tokugawa shogunate

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 1600 and 1868.[3] The head of government was the shogun,[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]

Tokugawa Shogunate

Edo Bakufu
Location of Tokugawa Shogunate
CapitalEdo, Musashi Province
(Shōgun's residence)
(Emperor's palace)
Common languagesEarly Modern Japanese
Japanese Buddhism
GovernmentMonarchic feudal stratocracy
• 1600–1611
• 1867–1868
• 1600–1605
Tokugawa Ieyasu
• 1866–1868
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
• 1600–1614
Ōkubo Tadachika
• 1868
Tachibana Taneyuki
Historical eraEdo period
21 October 1600
8 November 1614
31 March 1854
29 July 1858
3 January 1868
CurrencyThe tri-metallic Tokugawa coinage system based on copper Mon, silver Bu and Shu, as well as gold Ryō.
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Azuchi–Momoyama period
Tokugawa clan
Empire of Japan
Today part ofJapan


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]

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.

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 shogun, 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.


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.

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 P2
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

Edo social structure
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

Grote partij bij het opperhoofd van Dejima
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
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 (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

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 (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)

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

# Picture Name
Shōgun From Shōgun Until
1 Tokugawa Ieyasu2 full Tokugawa Ieyasu
1603 1605
2 Hidetada2 Tokugawa Hidetada
1605 1623
3 Iemitu Tokugawa Iemitsu
1623 1651
4 Tokugawa Ietsuna Tokugawa Ietsuna
1651 1680
5 Tsunyaoshi Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
1680 1709
6 Tokugawa Ienobu Tokugawa Ienobu
1709 1712
7 Tokugawa ietsugu Tokugawa Ietsugu
1713 1716
8 Tokugawa Yoshimune Tokugawa Yoshimune
1716 1745
9 Tokugawa Ieshige Tokugawa Ieshige
1745 1760
10 Tokugawa Ieharu Tokugawa Ieharu
1760 1786
11 Tokugawa Ienari Tokugawa Ienari
1787 1837
12 Tokugawa Ieyoshi Tokugawa Ieyoshi
1837 1853
13 Tokugawa Iesada Tokugawa Iesada
1853 1858
14 Tokugawa Iemochi by Kawamura Kiyoo (Tokugawa Memorial Foundation) Tokugawa Iemochi
1858 1866
15 Tokugawa Yoshinobu by Kawamura Kiyoo Tokugawa Yoshinobu
1866 1867

Family Tree

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. ^ a b c 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" (PDF). 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. ^ 徳川(德川)氏(将軍家). Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  20. ^ Nussbaum, "Tokugawa Mitsukuni" at p. 979.
  21. ^ Nussbaum, "Tokugawa Nariaki" at p. 979.
  22. ^ Nussbaum, "Tayasu" at p. 954.
  23. ^ Nussbaum, "Matsudaira Katamori" at p. 616.
  24. ^ Nussbaum, "Matsudaira Sadanobu" at p. 617.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website

Further reading

  • Bolitho, Harold. (1974). Treasures Among Men: The Fudai Daimyo in Tokugawa Japan. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-01655-0; OCLC 185685588
  • Totman, Conrad. The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1980.
  • Totman, Conrad. Politics in the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1600–1843. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967.
  • Waswo, Ann Modern Japanese Society 1868–1994
  • The Center for East Asian Cultural Studies Meiji Japan Through Contemporary Sources, Volume Two 1844–1882

External links


Bakumatsu (幕末, bakumatsu, a compound word, translatable as "the end" or matsu of the military government or baku, which abbreviates bakufu, in turn literally meaning "tent-government") 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 pre-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.

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

Battle of Sekigahara

The Battle of Sekigahara (Shinjitai: 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai: 關ヶ原の戰い, Hepburn romanization: Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 (Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month), that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Tokugawa Ieyasu took three more years to consolidate his position of power over the Toyotomi clan and the various daimyō, but Sekigahara is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, the last shogunate to control Japan.

Convention of Kanagawa

On March 31, 1854, the Convention of Kanagawa (Japanese: 日米和親条約, Hepburn: Nichibei Washin Jōyaku, "Japan and US Treaty of Peace and Amity") or Kanagawa Treaty (神奈川条約, Kanagawa Jōyaku) was the first treaty between the United States and the Tokugawa shogunate.

Signed under threat of force, it effectively meant the end of Japan's 220-year-old policy of national seclusion (sakoku) by opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American vessels. It also ensured the safety of American castaways and established the position of an American consul in Japan. The treaty also precipitated the signing of similar treaties establishing diplomatic relations with other Western powers.

Gaikoku bugyō

Gaikoku bugyō (外国奉行) were the commissioners or "magistrates of foreign affairs" appointed at the end of the Edo era by the Tokugawa shogunate to oversee trade and diplomatic relations with foreign countries. In essence this was the beginning of the creation of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Japan's long period of isolationist policy.

Ginza (agency)

Ginza (銀座) was the Tokugawa shogunate's officially sanctioned silver monopoly or silver guild (za) which was created in 1598.Initially, the Tokugawa shogunate was interested in assuring a consistent value in minted silver coins; and this led to the perceived need for attending to the supply of silver.

This bakufu title identifies a regulatory agency with responsibility for supervising the minting of silver coins and for superintending all silver mines, silver mining and silver-extraction activities in Japan.

Hakodate bugyō

Hakodate bugyō (箱館奉行) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period Japan. Appointments to this prominent office were usually fudai daimyō, but this was amongst the senior administrative posts open to those who were not daimyō. Conventional interpretations have construed these Japanese titles as "commissioner" or "overseer" or "governor."

Hakodate is a port city on the southern coast of Hokkaidō island, separated from northern Honshū by the Tsugaru Strait. In 1779, the Tokugawa shogunate exerted direct control over Hakodate, and rapid development in the area soon followed.This bakufu title identifies an official responsible for administration of the port city of Hakodate and neighboring territory of Ezo. The bugyō were also directly responsible for the conduct of relations with foreigners in this region. The office was created in 1802. There were two men holding the title concurrently, one being at any given time in Hadodate and his counterpart would be in Edo; and periodically, the two would exchange places.


Jisha-bugyō (寺社奉行) was a "commissioner" or an "overseer" of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period Japan. Appointments to this prominent office were always fudai daimyōs, the lowest-ranking of the shogunate offices to be so restricted. Conventional interpretations have construed these Japanese titles as "commissioner" or "overseer".

This bakufu title identifies an official with responsibility for supervision of shrines and temples. This was considered a high-ranking office, in status ranked only slightly below that of wakadoshiyori but above all other bugyō.

Kanagawa bugyō

Kanagawa bugyō (神奈川奉行) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period Japan. This office was created on July 3, 1859, when five fudai daimyō were appointed. Conventional interpretations have construed these Japanese titles as "commissioner" or "overseer" or "governor."

This bakufu title identifies an official responsible for administration of the port of Kanagawa (modern Yokohama. The numbers of men holding the title concurrently would vary over time, fluctuating from as few as five in number in 1859 to as many as nine at one time.This office was often held concurrently with the office of gaikoku-bugyō.


Kinzan-bugyō (金山奉行) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period Japan.

This bakufu title identifies an official with responsibility for superintending all mines, mining and metals-extraction activities in Japan.

Kyoto Shugoshoku

The Military Commissioner of Kyoto, (京都守護職 Kyōto Shugoshoku) was a Japanese bureaucratic office of the Tokugawa shogunate from 1862 through 1868. The officeholder was responsible for keeping the peace in the city of Kyoto and its environs, and in this role, largely supplanted the extant office of Kyoto Shoshidai, though the two offices existed side by side until 1867, when both were abolished.

Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu held the office for much of its existence, with the exception of a brief period in 1864, when the office was held by Matsudaira Yoshinaga of the Fukui Domain.

Lady Tsukiyama

Lady Tsukiyama or Tsukiyama-dono (築山殿) (d. 1579) was the wife and chief consort of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate. She was the mother of Ieyasu's first child, Kamehime, and gave birth to Ieyasu's heir apparent, Matsudaira Nobuyasu. As principal consort, Tsukiyama led many of the political achievements of the former Matsudaira clan. She was an important figure at the beginning of Ieyasu's career, who later led to the beginning of Tokugawa Shogunate.


Machi-bugyō (町奉行, machi-bugyō) were samurai officials of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period Japan, this was amongst the senior administrative posts open to those who were not daimyō. Conventional interpretations have construed these Japanese titles as "commissioner" or "overseer" or "governor".

This bakufu title identifies a magistrate or municipal administrator with responsibility for governing and maintaining order in what were perceived to be important cities.The machi-bugyō were the central public authority in the Japanese urban centers of this period. These bakufu-appointed officers served in a unique role, which was an amalgam of chief of police, judge, and mayor. The machi-bugyō were expected to manage a full range of administrative and judicial responsibilities.The machi-bugyō was expected to be involved in tax collection, policing, and firefighting; and at the same time, the machi-bugyō needed to play a number of judicial roles – hearing and deciding both ordinary civil cases and criminal cases.Only high-ranking hatamoto were appointed to the position of machi-bugyō because of the critical importance of what they were expected to do. The machi-bugyō were considered equal in rank to the minor daimyō. There were as many as 16 machi-bugyō located throughout Japan.

Matsudaira Tadachika

Matsudaira Tadachika (松平 忠周, 19 April 1661 – 1 May 1728) was a Japanese fudai daimyō of the Edo period. He was highly influential in the Tokugawa shogunate under Shōgun Ieshige.Tadachika served as Kyoto shoshidai from 1717 through 1724. He was promoted to rōjū in 1724 when he moved from Kyoto to Edo.

Rōya bugyō

The Rōya bugyō (牢屋奉行) was a government office under Japan's Tokugawa shogunate, concerned with the management of prisons. The position was hereditary in the Ishide clan, with the head of each generation taking the name Ishide Tatewaki (石出帯刀). The duties of the Rōya bugyō included witnessing executions, summoning witnesses for court cases, and listening to hearings, as well as general oversight of the Tokugawa prison system (particularly the main prison at Kodenma-chō).The Rōya bugyō's official residence was immediately adjoining the same prison, in Kodenma-chō 1-chōme.

Sado bugyō

Sado bugyō (佐渡奉行) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate responsible for administration of the mining operations at Sado.Sado island is the sixth largest in the Japanese archipelago. It is located in the Sea of Japan off the west coast of Echigo Province in northwest Honshu. For much of its pre-modern history, exiles were banished to the island. The island was noted for its deposits of gold and silver since at least the 12th century; however, intensive mining operations did not begin until the opening of the Aikawa Mine in 1601.This same year, Sado was placed during the direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate, and in 1603 Ōkubo Nagayasu was appointed the first "commissioner". The title was officially Sado daikan until 1618, and bugyō afterwards. The post was occupied by hatamoto assisted by a staff of up to a hundred yoriki and dōshin constables. The mines at Sado were worked vigorously; and were a major source of revenue for the early Tokugawa shogunate, producing approximately 100 tons of gold and silver from 1616 to 1627; however, by the 1730s the deposits were largely exhausted and production was less than a ton of silver until the mid-18th century. The post of Sado bugyō was abolished with the Meiji restoration.

Shimabara Rebellion

The Shimabara Rebellion (島原の乱, Shimabara no ran), also known as the Shimabara-Amakusa Rebellion (島原・天草一揆 Shimabara-Amakusa Ikki), was an uprising that occurred in the Shimabara Domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan from 17 December 1637 to 15 April 1638.

Matsukura Katsuie, the daimyō of the Shimabara Domain, enforced unpopular policies set by his father Matsukura Shigemasa that drastically raised taxes to construct the new Shimabara Castle and violently prohibited Christianity. In December 1637, an alliance of local rōnin and mostly Catholic peasants led by Amakusa Shirō rebelled against the Tokugawa shogunate due to discontent over Katsuie's policies. The Tokugawa Shogunate sent a force of over 125,000 troops supported by the Dutch to suppress the rebels and defeated them after a lengthy siege against their stronghold at Hara Castle in Minamishimabara.

Following the successful suppression of the rebellion, Shirō and an estimated 37,000 rebels and sympathizers were executed by beheading, and the Portuguese traders suspected of helping them were expelled from Japan. Katsuie was beheaded for misruling, becoming the only daimyō to be executed during the Edo period, and the Shimabara Domain was given to Kōriki Tadafusa. Japan's policies of national seclusion and persecution of Christianity were tightened until the Bakumatsu in the 1850s.

The Shimabara Rebellion was the largest civil conflict in Japan during the Edo period, and was one of only a handful of instances of serious unrest during the relatively peaceful period of the Tokugawa shogunate's rule.

Sunpu jōdai

Sunpu jōdai (駿府城代) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate with responsibility for holding and defending Sunpu Castle (Sunpu-jō), also called Shizuoka Castle.Appointments to the prominent office of castle warden at Sunpu Domain were exclusively fudai daimyōs. Conventional interpretations have construed this Japanese titles as "commissioner" or "overseer" or "governor".


Tairō (大老, "great elder") was a high-ranking official position in the Tokugawa shogunate government of Japan, roughly comparable to the office of prime minister. The tairō presided over the governing rōjū council in the event of an emergency. A tairō was nominated from among the fudai daimyōs, who worked closely with the Tokugawa traditionally. Generally, the office holder was the shogunate's chief policy maker, and provided Japan with a capable temporary leader in the absence of a shōgun, or in the event that the shōgun was incapacitated.

Yamada bugyō

Yamada bugyō (山田奉行) were officials of the Tokugawa shogunate with responsibilities as an official representatives of the shogunate in Ise.Conventional interpretations have construed these Japanese titles as "commissioner", "overseer" or "governor".

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See also
Tokugawa family crest Timeline and paternities of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Tokugawa bureaucracy organization chart
Officials of the Tokugawa shogunate
Kyoto shoshidai
Kyoto Shugoshoku


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