Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康)

Died at the age of 75 (73 by modern reckoning)
Ieyasu TOKUGAWA was a busho (military commander) in Japan and the first Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who was to subdue the barbarians") in the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).

Initially, he gave his name as Fujiwara, followed by Genji. His family belonged to the Matsudaira clan, a local samurai clan in Mikawa Province.

On February 18, 1567, he was granted an Imperial sanction to change his name to Tokugawa. He was the founder of the Tokugawa clan. He was commonly called Jirosaburo. His childhood name was Takechiyo.

Immediately before his death, the Dajodaijin (Grand Minister) post was conferred on him.

After his death, he was called 'Shinkun' (literally, a god lord), 'Toshogu' (the name of the shrine where he was enshrined) by Hatamoto (direct retainers of the Tokugawa family) and Gokenin (also direct retainers of the Tokugawa family, but ranked lower than Hatamoto), and 'Gongen-sama' (an avatar) generally.

* The dates are according to the Japanese calendar, a lunar calendar. The Julian calendar is used as the western calendar for convenience.


The war state of the nation that continued for more than 100 years after Onin War was ended by Nobunaga ODA and Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, and succeeding them, Ieyasu made the national state more stable, and started the Edo bakufu and solidified its base so that the bakufu could continue for 264 years. He is enshrined as 'Tosho-daigongen' in Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko and in Tosho-gu Shrine on Mt. Kuno.

In the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (in Japan), he was born as a son of Hirotada MATSUDAIRA, the lord of Okazaki-jo Castle in Mikawa Province (Okazaki City). His childhood name was Takechiyo. As the Matsudaira clan at that time was small and weak, Hirotada decided that Takechiyo should be placed as a hostage in the custody of the Imagawa family, Hirotada's master family. Due to betrayal of a retainer of the Matsudaira family, he was temporarily placed in the custody of the Oda family as hostage, but finally he was sent to the Imagawa family as planned initially.

Then he lived a life of submission in the Imagawa family as a hostage. However, after Yoshimoto IMAGAWA was killed in the Battle of Okehazama, he became independent, taking the opportunity of the confusion in the Imagawa clan, and expanded his territory as a sworn friend of Nobunaga ODA (in fact a guest general). Before long, after Nobunaga was killed by Mitsuhide AKECHI at the Honnoji Incident, he further expanded his territory through the ensuing confusion.

Through the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute with Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, he became a vassal of Hideyoshi. Under Hideyoshi, Ieyasu occupied the largest territory, and became the chief of Gotairo (five elders) in the Toyotomi government. After the death of Hideyoshi, he won the Battle of Sekigahara, was appointed to Seii taishogun by the emperor, and opened a bakufu in Edo (called the Edo bakufu or the Tokugawa bakufu).

The era from his childhood to the first participation in a battle

He was born on December 26 (in the old calendar) (around 4 AM), 1542, in the Okazaki-jo Castle as the heir of Hirotada MATSUDAIRA, the eighth head of the Matsudaira main family in Mikawa Province. His mother was Odai no kata, a daughter of Tadamasa MIZUNO. He was named Takechiyo for his childhood name.

When he was two years old, Nobumoto MIZUNO (a brother of Odai), who had become the head of the Mizuno clan after the death of Tadamasa MIZUNO, came to belong to the Oda family in Owari Province. Therefore, Hirotada MATSUDAIRA, who was under the Imagawa clan confronting the Oda clan, divorced Odai. Therefore, at his tender age, Takechiyo parted from his mother in life.

To confront the Oda clan, Hirotada MATSUDAIRA became a vassal of the Imagawa clan in Suruga when he was six years old, and it was decided that Takechiyo should be sent to Sunpu in Suruga Province to be placed in the custody of the Imagawa clan as a hostage. However, when he called at Tahara-jo Castle (in Mikawa Province) en route to be sent to Sunpu, Yasumitsu TODA (the father of his mother-in-law) treacherously sent him to the Oda clan in Owari Province. However, Hirotada MATSUDAIRA continued being a vassal of the Imagawa clan, and therefore, being abandoned, Takechiyo was left staying in Owari Province. He became acquainted with Nobunaga ODA around this period.

In two years, Hirotada MATSUDAIRA died. Yoshimoto IMAGAWA took back Takechiyo by exchanging hostages between him and Nobuhiro ODA, the eldest son born out of wedlock of Nobuhide ODA, (who was captured alive when Ansho-jo Castle was attacked in 1549 by Sessai TAIGEN). However, Takechiyo was moved to Sunpu (Shosho no Miya Machi in "Toshogu-onjikki" and Miyarikizaki in "Butokuhennenshusei"), and Okazaki-jo Castle was controlled by the jodai officer (the officer for controlling the castle) sent by the Imagawa clan.

When visiting Okazaki-jo Castle saying that he came to pay a visit to his ancestors' graves, he could not enter the honmaru (the main compound of the castle), because the jodai officer occupied there, and entered the ninomaru (the second compound of the castle). On this occasion, he heard from Tadayoshi TORII that the gokenin of the Matsudaira clan there were used as a spearhead, or as virtually a sacrifice group. It is said that he was moved to tears when Tadayoshi TORII showed him the arms, military provisions and money that Tadayoshi had kept secret from the Imagawa clan. Elder gokenin are said to have wondered that he quite resembled Kiyoyasu MATSUDAIRA, his grandfather.

He celebrated his coming of age under the Imagawa clan in Sunpu, called himself Jiro Saburo Motonobu MATSUDAIRA, with a character (元: moto) in the name of Yoshimoto IMAGAWA (今川義元) awarded, and married Tsukiyama-dono, a niece of Yoshimoto IMAGAWA and a daughter of Chikanaga SEKIGUCHI. Later, he changed his name to Kurodonosukemotoyasu MATSUDAIRA, using a character (yasu: 康) from the name of his grandfather, Kiyoyasu MATSUDAIRA 松平清康). In 1558, he attacked Suzuki Hyuga no kami, the lord of Terabe-jo Castle, who had gone over to the Oda clan side, together with Shigeyoshi MATSUDAIRA and others. This was the first battle he participated in.

It was a general theory that placing Takechiyo, the son of Hirotada MATSUDAIRA, in the custody as a hostage was too harsh a treatment of the Matsudaira clan by the Imagawa clan. However, the theory that the treatment would have been a favor by Yoshimoto IMAGAWA (although there might have been an intention on the Yoshimoto side) has recently been proposed.
There is a theory that he was entrusted to the Imagawa clan not as a hostage but for 'learning government affairs.'
Actually, there is also a theory that he was educated especially by Sessai TAIGEN (there is a theory that this was not a fact). Having made him marry Yoshimoto's niece, Tsukiyama-dono, had a political aspect, but on the other hand, there is a viewpoint that it was a kind treatment of welcoming him into the Imagawa clan. However, the situation gave the retainers of the Matsudaira clan the impression that, as described above, they had their lord taken as a hostage and were worked hard as tools of the Imagawa clan, and Takechiyo himself lived a life of submission, for example, by being ill-treated personally by a retainer of Yoshimoto IMAGAWA (Motoyasu HARAMIISHI). As described later, he became estranged from Tsukiyama-dono as well after Yoshimoto IMAGAWA died and killed her. From these situations, the viewpoint of the Matsudaira clan was handed down to later generations, coming to constitute a common theory.

The era from making the Kiyosu alliance to suppressing Mikawa Province and Totomi Province

When Yoshimoto IMAGAWA was killed by Nobunaga ODA in May (in the old calendar) of 1560 in the Battle of Okehazama, Motoyasu, who had been detached from the main Imagawa troop and was attacking Odaka-jo Castle in Owari Province in the front line, retreated from Odaka-jo Castle. After entering Okazaki-jo Castle abandoned by the Imagawa troops, he became independent of the Imagawa clan, intending to restore the right of controlling Mikawa Province that Kiyoyasu MATSUDAIRA, his grandfather, had once established. He conquered castles in the western Mikawa area, for example, by winning the Battle of Fujinami-nawate. In 1562, he severed relations with Ujizane IMAGAWA who had succeeded Yoshimoto, and made an alliance with Nobunaga (called the Kiyosu alliance).

In the next year, he changed his name to Ieyasu (家康) from Motoyasu (元康), returning the character of 元 (moto) that was included in name of Yoshimoto (義元) and was allowed to use in his name.

When he almost conquered all of the western Mikawa area, Mikawa Ikko Ikki (an uprising of Ikko sect followers in Mikawa Province) erupted, but he suppressed it after strenuous efforts. Having removed anxious factors around Okazaki City in this way, he promoted strategies against the Imagawa clan. While taking such powerful local clans as the Toda clan and the Saigo clan in the eastern Mikawa onto his side, he moved his troops towards the east, eliminating enemy forces, such as the Udono clan. With Hoi County as the main battle field, he fought with the Imagawa clan that delayed in taking actions for Mikawa Province, and then by 1566, he conquered the eastern Mikawa area and the Oku-Mikawa area (the northern part of Mikawa Province), unifying Mikawa Province. In this year, he was awarded Jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank) and the Mikawa no kami post, and changed his family name to Tokugawa. Corresponding to this change of his name, he made it known publicly that he was in the lineage of the Nitta clan and therefore, a descendant of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan).

In 1568, he tied up with Shingen TAKEDA who drove Ujizane out of Sunpu. From towards the end of the same year, he invaded into Totomi Province which was a territory of the Imagawa clan, and attacked Hamamatsu-jo Castle and made it surrender. Making his troops stay in Totomi Province in the year end and new year period without retreating, he besieged Kakegawa-jo Castle where Ujizane, having fled from Sunpu, was sheltered. After continuing besieging the castle, he made Ujizane surrender by recommending the surrender of the castle, placing Totomi Province under his control.

When Nobunaga was en route to Kyoto in 1568, supporting Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA, the younger brother of Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA, the 13th shogun of the Muromachi bakufu, Ieyasu sent his troops to help Nobunaga. In later years, when deeply confronting Nobunaga over the real power to govern the nation and having formed an anti-Nobunaga network, Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA also asked for Ieyasu's cooperation through requesting him to assume the deputy shogun post. However, Ieyasu ignored it, and to help Nobunaga, participated in the Battle of Anegawa against the allied forces of Yoshikage ASAKURA and Nagamasa ASAI.

In 1570, he moved from Okazaki to Hikimacho in Totomi Province, changed the name of the place to Hamamatsu, and built Hamamatsu-jo Castle as his main castle.

Fights with the Takeda clan

In dividing the Imagawa territory, he and the Takeda clan concluded an agreement that Suruga Province east of the Oi-gawa River should belong to the Takeda clan and Totomi Province in the west to the Tokugawa clan, establishing a friendly relationship. However, in 1569, the agreement was nullified by Shingen unilaterally, and in addition, his Totomi Province was invaded by Nobutomo AKIYAMA from Shinano Province. The Tokugawa's troops drove back the Takeda's troops by getting cooperation from Ujiyasu HOJO, but after this, relations between Shingen and Ieyasu became hostile.

In October (in the old calendar) of 1572, Shingen at last started going to Kyoto, and invaded Totomi Province and Mikawa Province, both of which were Tokugawa's territories. For this, Ieyasu asked Nobunaga ODA, his sworn ally, to send troops. However, the Oda's troops were fighting with Yoshikage ASAKURA, with Nagamasa ASAI, and with Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple, and in addition, were being attacked by Takeda's troops in the area up to Iwamura-jo Castle in Mino Province. Therefore, Nobunaga could not send his troops to help Ieyasu, and Tokugawa's troops had to fight with Takeda's troops independently.

To fight with the main body of Takeda's troops that had invaded into Totomi Province, Ieyasu's troops crossed the Tenryu-gawa River, advancing to Mitsukejuku. To prevent Futamata-jo Castle from being taken by the Takeda side, Ieyasu conducted reconnaissance in force to know the movements of Takeda's troops, but encountered Takeda's troops and was defeated at Hitokotozaka (the Battle of Hitokotozaka).

In the Mikawa Province area where more of Takeda's troops separate from the main army had begun to invade, he could not make defensive preparations adequately either, and consequently, his inferior position was fixed after this battle. Then in December (in the old calendar), Futamata-jo Castle, the strategic place for defending the northern area of Hamamatsu in Totomi Province, was surrendered (the Battle of Futamata-jo Castle).

In such a situation, reinforcements sent by Nobunaga and headed by Nobumori SAKUMA and Hirohide HIRATE arrived at long last. Meanwhile, Takeda's troops, having merged separate groups, were coming near to Hamamatsu-jo Castle, but disliking that the battle would be protracted, Shingen changed the direction of the troops so as to invade Mikawa Province, passing through the castle without stopping. Hearing this, Ieyasu chased the Takeda's army, opposing the advice of Nobumori SAKUMA, the commander of the Oda's army, and others that they should stay in the castle. However, as a result, the allied forces of Tokugawa and Oda were defeated miserably: More than 1,000 people, including Tadahiro TORII and Masayoshi NARUSE as well as Masateru NAKANE and Sadaharu AOKI, both of whom tried to clear the humiliation of having made the Futamata-jo Castle surrendered once, and Hirohide HIRATE, a general of Oda's reinforcements, died in the fight. Being helped by people, including Yoshinobu NATSUME, who were killed instead of him, Ieyasu himself narrowly escaped back to Hamamatsu-jo Castle, and it is even said that he defecated on his horse on the occasion. On this occasion, Ieyasu, who had been chased to Hamamatsu-jo Castle, used the 'Kujokei' fighting strategy (in which the gates of the castle were left open and the castle was made to look inhabited). It is said that, becoming suspicious about the state of the castle due to this strategy, the Takeda's troops hesitated to invade the castle and decided to retreat. A portrait depicting his agonized facial expression on this occasion (called Shikamizo) remains, and it is said that he made it to admonish himself (the Battle of Mikatagahara).

Takeda's troops stayed in the year end and new year period on the northern shore of Lake Hamana and started moving towards Mikawa Province again, and in February, Noda-jo Castle in Shitara County of Mikawa Province was seized and Sadamitsu SUGANUMA, the lord of the castle, was taken into custody. However, after that, Takeda's forces retreated to Nagashino-jo Castle due to Shingen's illness and did nothing for around a month. The Takeda's forces desired to continue the strategy of going west after Shingen's health recovered. However, because his health did not seem to recover, the forces returned to Kai Province, abandoning the strategy. Shingen died in Shinano Province en route to returning to Kai Province.

The sudden retreat of the Takada's forces made Ieyasu consider that Kenshin might have died. To check whether Shingen had died or not, Ieyasu set fire in Okabe of Suruga Province, a territory of the Takeda clan, and attacked Nagashino-jo Castle in Mikawa Province. Based on the fact that Takeda's forces made no resistance to these actions, Ieyasu firmly believed that Shingen had died. Then he plotted Sadayoshi OKUDAIRA and Nobumasa OKUDAIRA, a father and his son, who were principal persons in one of the three dominant local clans in the Oku-Mikawa area (called Yamaga sanpo shu) and had been on the Takeda side, to rejoin the Ieyasu side. He placed Okudaira's forces in the regained Nagashino-jo Castle to prepare a new invasion of Takeda's forces.

In May (in the old calendar) of 1574, a large troop of 25,000 persons led by Katsuyori TAKEDA, who had succeeded Shingen, attacked Takatenjin-jo Castle in Totomi Province. For this, Ieyasu did not fight independently, and asked Nobunaga to send reinforcements, but lost Takatenjin-jo Castle before the reinforcements arrived.

In May (in the old calendar) of 1575, Nagashino-jo Castle in Mikawa Province was attacked by a large troop of 15,000 led by Katsuyori TAKEDA
For this, a troop of only 500 soldiers led by Sadamasa OKUDAIRA, the lord of Nagashino-jo Castle, fought a good fight. The troops that stayed in the castle endured the fight, and the allied forces of Oda and Tokugawa that arrived won a landslide victory against Takeda's forces in the Atozume-kessen fight (a fight between invasion forces and the reinforcements to fight with the invasion forces) at Shitaragahara. In this battle, the Tokugawa clan killed many military commanders of the Takeda's forces, including Masakage YAMAGATA and Nobuharu BABA, devastating the forces and coming to occupying a position superior to that of the Takeda clan (the Battle of Nagashino).

To reward the distinguished accomplishment of Nobumasa OKUDAIRA (his name had been changed to Nobumasa, with a character (信) in Nobunaga (信長)) in the battle, Ieyasu gave him a distinguished sword called Daihannya-nagamitsu (literally, a sword of great wisdom by Nagamitsu). In addition, Ieyasu made Kame-hime (Seitokuin), his eldest daughter, Nobumasa's legal wife in the next year.

In this year, Ieyasu regained the Futamata-jo Castle which had been taken by the Takeda clan.

In 1579, Nobunaga suspected that Ieyasu's legal wife, Tsukiyama-dono, and his heir, Nobuyasu MATSUDAIRA, might have had secret communication with the Takeda clan. Ieyasu sent to Nobunaga a messenger to refute the allegation, but the demand from Nobunaga was that Nobuyasu should commit ritual suicide by disembowelment. Giving, after serious consideration, priority to maintain the alliance with Nobunaga, Ieyasu killed his legal wife and made his heir commit ritual suicide by disembowelment. Concerning this incident, there are various theories, including the one that Nobunaga felt a sense of crisis to Nobuyasu who had abilities superior to those of his heir, Nobutada ODA. However, recently, the theory has become supported strongly as well that this incident was caused due to confrontations between Ieyasu and Nobuyasu, or a father and son, and Ieyasu only asked for Nobunaga's consent (because the legal wife of Nobuyasu was a daughter of Nobunaga).

On March 23 (in the old calendar), 1581, Ieyasu took back Takatenjin-jo Castle which had been taken by the Takeda clan.

Taking the opportunity when Yoshimasa KISO, the husband of Shingen's daughter, came to belong to the Oda clan side, Nobunaga started invading Takeda's territories in February (in the old calendar) of 1582. Cooperating with Oda's forces, Ieyasu advanced his forces into Takeda's territories through the route called Suruga-guchi. For these movements, no systematic resistance remained in the Takeda's forces, from which public mind had been alienated due to financial difficulties caused by wars continued for long years, and Oda forces, which invaded Takeda's territories through the route called Kisochiiki-guchi, made Ina-jo Castle and Matsuo-jo Castle surrendered quickly. Tokugawa's forces also invaded Suruga Province, and Tadayo OKUBO took charge of Nobushige YODA's Tanaka-jo Castle by a persuasion of Masakazu NARUSE (a military commander in the Sengoku period) and others. In addition, Ieyasu took over Suruga Province using various means, including a plot to make Nobukimi ANAYAMA, the husband of an elder sister of Katsuyori TAKEDA, to be separated from the Takeda clan. Katsuyori had no power to resist against these situations, and being at last betrayed even by Nobushige OYAMADA, killed himself with his sword at Tano on Mt. Tenmoku in the eastern part of Kai Province.

For distinguished achievement in the war, Ieyasu was given Suruga Province by Nobunaga.

Honnoji Incident

In May (in the old calendar), 1582, Ieyasu visited Azuchi-jo Castle, where Nobunaga ODA resided, to express thanks for the award of Suruga Province to him, together with Nobukimi ANAYAMA who had been surrendered.

On June 2 (in the old calendar), while he was doing sightseeing in Sakai, the Honnoji Incident occurred in Kyoto. At that time, Ieyasu's entourage was small, only with his guards and some others. Therefore, he was placed in so dangerous a state and was also so embarrassed for a while that he considered following Nobunaga. However, persuaded by Tadakatsu HONDA and advised by Hanzo HATTORI, Ieyasu walked steep mountain paths in Iga Province, and narrowly returned to Mikawa Province from Ise Province by sea, after crossing the Kabutogoe pass (Iga-goe (literally, passing the Iga area)).

After this, Ieyasu gathered his military forces to defeat Mitsuhide AKECHI and advanced them up to Owari Province, and there, he knew that Mitsuhide had already been defeated by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, who had returned from the Chugoku region.

On the other hand, an uprising occurred in the Kai Province and Shinano Province which had been Takeda's territories formerly and were Nobunaga's territories at that time. In addition, the Uesugi clan in Echigo Province and the Gohojo clan in Sagami Province showed a sign of invasion there. Therefore, Nagayoshi MORI (森) of Shinano Province and Hideyori MORI (毛利) fled, abandoning their respective territories, and Kazumasu TAKIGAWA of Kozuke Province was defeated by fighting with the Hojo clan and retreated to Owari Province. Hidetaka KAWAJIRI, the lord of Kai Province, was killed in an uprising that occurred at the opportunity of Nobunaga's death (). Therefore, the three provinces of Kai Province, Shinano Province, and Kozuke Province became blank areas with no lord. Then, with Masatsuna OKABE and Nobushige YODA, both surviving retainers of the Takeda clan, and Mukawa-shu, a group of samurai in a marginal area in Kai Province as spearheads, Ieyasu himself invaded Kai Province, leading an army of 8,000 (Tenshojingo no ran (Tenshojingo Rebellion)).

On the other hand, Ujinao HOJO of Sagami Province, who had known that both Kai Province and Shinano Province became blank areas, invaded Shinano Province across Usui-toge Pass, leading an army of 55,000, including Ujinori HOJO, his uncle, and Ujiteru HOJO. Hojo's forces confronted Uesugi's ones at Kawanakajima, but made peace with them later and advanced southwards. Tokugawa's forces encamped in Shinpu-jo Castle and at Wakamiko, facing the Hojo's ones. Here, the state came to look like a full-scale war between Tokugawa's forces and Hojo's. However, through a plot by Nobushige YODA, Masayuki SANADA changed his side so as to support Tokugawa's forces. Due to the Tokugawa forces' persistent guerrilla tactics, the Hojo forces lost the will to fight, and sent Kosetsusai ITABEOKA to Ieyasu seeking to make peace with Tokugawa's forces.
Conditions of the peace were that the Hojo clan should own Kozuke Province and the Tokugawa clan Kai Province and Shinano Province, and that Tokuhime, the second daughter of Ieyasu, should marry Ujinao
In this way, Ieyasu established a relationship by blood with and an alliance also with the Hojo clan, and at the same time, advanced to a big daimyo who owned the five provinces of Kai, Shinano, Suruga, Totomi, and Mikawa.

Fights with Hideyoshi

In 1583 after Nobunaga's death, Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI defeated Katsuie SHIBATA, who had been the chief karo (the highest officer of a family) of the Oda family, the Battle of Shizugatake, and came to gain power. Ieyasu allied with Nobukatsu ODA, the second son of Nobunaga, and confronted Hideyoshi. Then in March (in the old calendar) of 1584, the allied forces of Tokugawa and Oda faced Hashiba's ones at Komaki in Owari. On this occasion, the number of soldiers of the Hashiba's forces was 100,000, while that of the allied forces of Tokugawa and Oda was 50,000. Although Ieyasu was placed in a disadvantageous position in view of military forces, he made Tadatsugu SAKAI defeat the troop led by Nagayoshi MORI, a military commander of the Hashiba's forces, before Hideyoshi arrived at Komaki City (the Battle of Haguro).

The main body of the Hashiba's forces, led by Hideyoshi, entered Inuyama-jo Castle and faced the Tokugawa's forces, and then the battle become deadlocked. To make Nagayoshi MORI, a military commander of the Hashiba's forces, and Tsuneoki IKEDA, his father-in-law, raid Okazaki-jo Castle, a military troop separate from the main body, with Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI (Hidetsugu HASHIBA) as the supreme commander, started moving. However, Ieyasu detected the movement of Hidetsugu's military troops, and raided and annihilated the troops by himself, making Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI take to flight and killing Tsuneoki, Nagayoshi, and Motosuke IKEDA (the heir of Tsuneoki) (Battle of Komaki-Nagakute).

After this, Hideyoshi came to consider that it would be difficult to defeat Ieyasu using regular tactics for attack, and attacked Nobukatsu in Ise Province. Because Oda's forces had not the power enough to confront Hashiba's ones, Nobukatsu made peace with Hideyoshi.
Ieyasu's legitimate reason for the fight at Battle of Komaki-Nagakute was that 'He should defeat Hideyoshi to help Nobukatsu, a bereaved child of Nobunaga.'
Therefore, he lost the reason because Nobukatsu made peace with Hideyoshi, and was forced to withdraw his forces. Then as a term of making peace with Hideyoshi, he made his second son, Ogimaru (later he was known as Hideyasu YUKI), adopted by Hideyoshi and sent Ogimaru to Osaka.

Entering 1585, all of the powers that assisted Ieyasu in Battle of Komaki-Nagakute in the previous year, such as Saika-shu in Kii Province, Motochika CHOSOKABE in Tosa Province, and Narimasa SASSA in Ecchu Province, were defeated by Hideyoshi. Having been placed in a disadvantageous position in confrontation with Hideyoshi, Ieyasu promised to give Numata City in Kozuke Province to the Hojo clan, to strengthen the alliance with the clan in Sagami Province. However, Masayuki SANADA, the lord of Ueda-jo Castle in Shinano Province, who had controlled Numata, did not accept the condition, and became to belong to the Uesugi clan in Echigo Province, separated from Ieyasu's side. For this, Ieyasu sent a military force of 7,000 with Tadayo OKUBO and Mototada TORII as the generals to attack the Sanada clan. However, his forces were severely defeated by Sanada's forces that used dexterous tactics, and with reinforcements of the Uesugi clan arriving as well, were forced to retreat (the first Battle of Ueda).

Around this time, anti-Hideyoshi hardliners, such as Tadatsugu SAKAI and Tadakatsu HONDA, confronted soft-liners supporting Hideyoshi, such as Kazumasa ISHIKAWA, within the Tokugawa family, making the family face the crisis that it might be split. Resultantly, Kazumasa left the Tokugawa family to support the Toyotomi side, forcing Ieyasu into a corner. Because military secrets of Tokugawa's forces leaked out completely, he changed his military system into the one he had learned from Takeda's forces.

For Ieyasu who continued refusing Hideyoshi's request that Ieyasu should become a vassal serving him, Hideyoshi proposed on April 23 (in the old calendar), 1586, that he would make his younger sister, Asahihime, Ieyasu's legal wife. At that time, Ieyasu had no legal wife. On May 14, Ieyasu married Asahihime, but still refused to become a vassal of Hideyoshi. However, because Hideyoshi sent his biological mother, Omandokoro (the honorary term for her), to Okazaki-jo Castle on October 18 (in the old calendar) as a hostage, Ieyasu made up his mind to become a vassal of Hideyoshi. Starting out from Okazaki on October 20, Ieyasu arrived in Osaka on October 26 and stayed in Hidenaga TOYOTOMI's residence. In that night, Hideyoshi himself visited Ieyasu secretly to asked Ieyasu to become his vassal. In this way, Ieyasu became completely subjugated to Hideyoshi, and on October 27, Ieyasu had an audience with Hideyoshi at Osaka-jo Castle, declaring before the daimyo gathered there that he would become a vassal serving the Toyotomi clan.

The era of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI

On November 1 (in the old calendar), 1586, Ieyasu visited Kyoto, and was awarded the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) on November 5. On November 11 (in the old calendar), he returned to Mikawa Province, and sent Omandokoro back to Hideyoshi on November 12. On December 4 (in the old calendar), Ieyasu moved his main castle from Hamamatsu-jo Castle where he had spent 17 years to Sunpu-jo Castle in adjacent Suruga Province. There is the theory that this measure was taken because Kazumasa ISHIKAWA, who had left the Ieyasu side, possessed complete military secrets of Hamamatsu-jo Castle.

In August (in the old calendar) of 1587, Ieyasu came to Kyoto again, and was conferred to Junii (Junior Second Rank) and Dainagon (chief councilor of state) on August 8, coming to be called Musashi-Dainagon. On this occasion, he was allowed by Hideyoshi to use the name of Hashiba. After this, Ieyasu made efforts, based on a relationship by blood with the Hojo clan, to mediate between Hideyoshi and the clan, for example, by making Ujinori HOJO, a younger brother of Ujimasa HOJO and Ieyasu's long-time friend, come to Kyoto. However, Ujinao HOJO refused to serve Hideyoshi as his vassal, and in 1590, Hideyoshi started attacking the Hojo clan. Ieyasu's troops participated in the attack together with those of Hideyoshi (the Siege of Odawara).

Prior to this incident, Ieyasu carried out a large-scale land survey called 'Gokakoku-sochiken' (a land survey over five provinces) from July (in the old calendar) in 1589 to the next year. This was a preparation for a fight with the Hojo clan that was supposed to occur at that time. However, at the same time, it aimed at thoroughly grasping situations in his territories, based on the lesson gained from the fights with Hideyoshi in which Ieyasu won but was forced to subjugate himself to Hideyoshi at last. Results of this land survey were not used for the original purpose, because Ieyasu's territories were changed to the Kanto area immediately after the survey was conducted, but were effectively used to govern the new territories.

Later, according to Hideyoshi's order, Ieyasu's territories were changed from the five provinces of Suruga, Totomi, Mikawa, Kai, and Shinano to the seven provinces of former Hojo clan's territories, Musashi, Izu, Sagami, Kozuke, Shimotsuke, Kazusa, and Shimousa. His earning base was exceptionally largely increased from a rice crop of 1.5 million koku (approx. 180 liters/koku) to a rice crop of 2.5 million koku. However, it is considered that this change of territories caused him distress, because he lost the Mikawa Province to which he had been firmly related, and because in addition, there were disquieting movements in the Kanto region of that time, for example, by remaining retainers of the Hojo clan. Furthermore, the Hojo clan employed a tax system of shiko-rokumin (40% of the rice crop produced yearly was collected as a tax, and the remaining 60% became farmers' income), which was extremely favorable for farmers of that time, and Ieyasu could not raise the tax rate thoughtlessly either. Therefore, an increase in the real income corresponding to that in the amount of rice crop could not be expected. However, Ieyasu moved to the Kanto region according to Hideyoshi's order and came to reside in Edo-jo Castle.

In governing the Kanto region, Ieyasu placed his powerful retainers in important branch castles. In addition, he selected for his direct-control territories, which produced rice crop of more than a million koku, his competent retainers, such as Nagayasu OKUBO, Tadatsugu INA, Nagatsuna HASEGAWA, Motomasa HIKOSAKA, Masatsuna MUKAI, Masakazu NARUSE (a military commander in the Sengoku period), and Sadayoshi KUSAKABE as daikan (the Edo government officers placed in the direct-control territories) or other officers. In these ways, Ieyasu governed the region without any difficulty, and after this, Kanto has developed greatly until now. By the way, the tax rate of Shiko-rokumin, having been set by the Hojo clan, continued being used for generations until the Kyoho Reforms (the reforms in the Kyoho era) were executed by Yoshimune TOKUGAWA later.

The powerful retainers placed by Ieyasu in various locations

Kozuke Province

Naomasa II: 120,000-koku Minowa (later Takasaki Domain)

Yasumasa SAKAKIBARA: 100,000-koku Tatebayashi Domain

Chikayoshi HIRAIWA: 33,000-koku Maebashi Domain

Yasushige HONDA: 33,000-koku Shiroi Domain (however, it is said that 13,000 koku of it was for his father, Hirotaka HONDA).

Nobumasa OKUDAIRA: 30,000-koku Kozuke-Miyazaki Domain (Obata Domain)

Yasukatsu YODA: 30,000-koku Fujioka Domain

Yasushige MAKINO: 20,000-koku Ogo Domain (the lord of Ogo Domain)

Sadatoshi SUGANUMA: 20,000-koku Yoshii Domain

Yorimizu SUWA (or Yorimizu SUWA): 12,000-koku Soja Domain

Ienori MATSUDAIRA: 10,000-koku Naha Domain

Nobuyuki SANADA: 27,000-koku Numata Domain

Shimotsuke Province

Hiroteru MINAGAWA: 10,000-koku Minakawa Domain

Shimousa Province

Mototada TORII: 40,000-koku Yahagi Domain

Ietsugu SAKAI: 30,000-koku Usui Domain

Yasumoto MATSUDAIRA: 20,000-koku Seki-juku Domain

Yasushige HONDA: 33,000-koku Koga Domain

Nagamori OKABE (or Yasutsuna OKABE): 12,000-koku Shimousa-Yamazaki Domain

Yoshimasa KISO: 10,000-koku Ashido Domain

Sadamasa TOKI: 10,000-koku Moriya Domain

Masamitsu HOSHINA: 10,000-koku Tako Domain

Shigenari MIURA (or Muneyoshi KUNO): 10,000-koku Sakura Province

Ujikatsu HOJO: 10,000-koku Iwatomi Domain

Musashi Province

Kiyonaga KORIKI: 20,000-koku Iwatsuki Domain

Yasushige MATSUDAIRA: 20,000-koku Kisai Domain

Shigetada SAKAI: 10,000-koku Kawagoe Domain

Tadatsugu INA: 10,000-koku Musashi-komuro Domain

Iehiro MATSUDAIRA: 10,000-koku Musashi-matsuyama Domain

Ietada MATSUDAIRA: 10,000-koku Oshi Domain

Tadachika OKUBO: 10,000-koku (or 20,000-koku) Hanyu Domain

Yasutada MATSUDAIRA: 10,000-koku Fukaya Domain

Yasunaga TODA: 10,000-koku Toho Domain

Nobumine OGASAWARA: 10,000-koku Honjo Domain

Sadamitsu SUGANUMA: 10,000-koku Abo Domain

Kiyomune MATSUDAIRA: 10,000-koku Hachimanyama Domain

Kazusa Province

Tadakatsu HONDA: 100,000-koku Okita Domain

Tadamasa OSUGA: 30,000-koku Kururi Domain

Ienaga NAITO: 20,000-koku Sanuki Domain

Yasumichi ISHIKAWA: 20,000-koku Naruto Domain

Sagami Province

Tadayo OKUBO: 45,000-koku Odawara Domain

Masanobu HONDA: 10,000-koku Amanawa Domain

Izu Province

Nobunari NAITO: 10,000-koku Nirayama Domain

In 1592, the Bunroku-Keicho War was started according to an order of Hideyoshi, but Ieyasu was allowed to stay in Nagoya-jo Castle, without crossing the sea.
In "Jozankidan" (a collection of anecdotes compiled in the Edo period), the following episode is recorded: When asked that 'Do you cross the sea?' he replied that 'Then who should guard Hakone?'
There is a viewpoint that he was allowed not to cross the sea as a preferential treatment, because his forces acted as a spearhead in the Siege of Odawara. In the Bunroku-Keicho War in which people agonized for 'unbounded military services,' he could avoid crossing the sea. Therefore, Ieyasu could avoid consuming his military as well as financial power, enabling him to solidify the bases of his territories. However, it was not only Ieyasu who could avoid crossing the sea, but most of the daimyo in the eastern areas of Japan, except rare cases, stayed at Nagoya.

In July (in the old calendar) of 1595, the 'Hidetsugu incident' occurred. After such a big incident as having shaken the Toyotomi government occurred, Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI ordered all Daimyo to come to Kyoto to make the situation calm down. Ieyasu as well came to Kyoto responding to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's order, and after this, stayed in Fushimi-jo Castle longer than in the Edo-jo Castle that was his residence as well but was under development then. Having certainly come to occupy higher positions in the Toyotomi government, Ieyasu learned the political system in the central government through placing himself in the core of the government.

After having been laid up with illness, Hideyoshi specified the system of Go-tairo and Go-bugyo (five elders and five government officers) to make the government system more solid for Hideyori TOYOTOMI, the heir of Hideyoshi, in July (in the old calendar), and appointed Ieyasu to one of the Go-tairo. Then Hideyoshi died in August (in the old calendar).

After Hideyoshi died

After Hideyoshi died, Ieyasu began showing signs of tyrannical behaviors, based on Hideyoshi's will that governmental affairs should be entrusted to Ieyasu until Hideyori became an adult. Furthermore, although making marriages among daimyo was prohibited in August 1595 before Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu arranged such marriages, starting to increase his supporters dexterously.
The following were such marriages (all of the females in these marriages had been made adopted daughters of Ieyasu):

Iroha hime, the eldest daughter of Masamune DATE, and Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, the sixth son of Ieyasu.

A daughter of Yasumoto MATSUDAIRA (a nephew of Ieyasu) and Masayuki FUKUSHIMA (an adopted son of Masanori FUKUSHIMA)

Yoshishige HACHISUKA (the heir of Iemasa HACHISUKA) and a daughter of Hidemasa OGASAWARA.

A daughter of Tadashige MIZUNO (a male cousin of Ieyasu) and Kiyomasa KATO.

A daughter of Masanao HOSHINA and Nagamasa KURODA (the eldest legitimate son of Josui KURODA).

Furthermore, Ieyasu frequently visited the residences of Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, of Yoshihiro SHIMAZU, and of Nagamori MASHITA to increase the number of his supporters. Concerning such operations of the government, Ieyasu aroused antipathy of Toshiie MAEDA, tairo (the person at the highest post of the government), and Mitsunari ISHIDA, one of Go-bugyo, and on January 19 (in the old calendar), 1599, Yoshiharu HORIO, San-churo (an arbitrator), was sent to Ieyasu as an envoy for checking the crime. However, it is said that Ieyasu intimidated Yoshiharu and others to make them go away. However, becoming aware that it would be disadvantageous to confront Toshiie and others, Ieyasu reconciled with them by exchanging reconciliation agreements on February 2 (in the old calendar), but Toshiie died on March 3 (in the old calendar).

After that, the incident in which Masanori FUKUSHIMA and Kiyomasa KATO assaulted Mitsunari occurred, bringing to the surface confrontations between Budan-ha (a political faction that was willing to resort to military means to achieve its aims) of Masanori and others and Bunchi-ha (the civilian government group) of Mitsunari and others. Ieyasu consoled military commanders belonging to Budan-ha to get their support and, in addition, made Mitsunari resign from the bugyo post and made him stay in Sawayama-jo Castle.

On September 7, Ieyasu entered Osaka and stayed in the Osaka residence of Mitsunari. On September 9, he visited the castle and expressed his congratulations to Hideyori TOYOTOMI on Chrysanthemum Festival. Then staying in Osaka, he continued doing his governmental jobs there. On September 12, he moved to the Osaka residence of Masazumi ISHIDA, an elder brother of Mitsunari, and moved to Nishino-maru (the west compound of Osaka-jo Castle) on September 28, and continued doing his governmental jobs in Osaka.

In addition, around this time, Ieyasu also tried breaking the ties among daimyo in the Toyotomi government secretly. Ieyasu accused the four persons of Toshinaga MAEDA (the heir of Toshiie MAEDA), Nagamasa ASANO, Harunaga ONO, and Katsuhisa HIJIKATA of attempting to kill him when he was entering the castle on September 9, and on October 2, made Nagamasa retire from his active life and stay in Fuchu of Kai Province, made Nagaharu exiled to the place of Hideyasu YUKI in Shimousa Province, and made Katsuhisa exiled to the place of Yoshinobu SATAKE, (Ukyo no daibu (mayor of the right capital district)) in Mito City of Hitachi Province. Furthermore, he tried to conquer Toshinaga's Kaga Province forcibly, but stopped sending his force, because Toshinaga decided to send his real mother, Hoshunin (Matsu), to Edo as a hostage. However, after this, the Maeda clan became to be completely integrated into the control of Ieyasu.

Furthermore, Ieyasu also tried to increase the number of his supporters.

He increased the earning base of Yoshitoshi SO in Tsushima Province to 10,000 koku.

He additionally gave the 50,000 koku of Fuchu in Echizen Province to Yoshiharu HORIO who had already owned an earning base of 120,000 koku in Hamamatsu of Totomi Province.

Tadamasa MORI who had owned 70,000-koku Kanayama in Mino Province was moved to a bigger territory of 137,000-koku Kawanakajima in Shinano Province.

Tadaoki HOSOKAWA in Miyazu, Tango Province, was moved to a bigger territory of 60,000-koku Kitsuki in Bungo Province.

An additional territory of 50,000 koku was given to the Shimazu clan in Osumi, Satsuma Province.

The Battle of Sekigahara

In March (in the old calendar) of 1600, Ieyasu was informed by Hideharu HORI in Echigo Province and by Yoshiaki MOGAMI in Dewa Province that Kagekatsu UESUGI in Aizu Province was making a disquieting movement of increasing armaments.
The following incident occurred as well: Nobuyoshi FUJITA, who had been a retainer of the Uesugi clan, had worked as the Jodai officer (the officer sent for controlling the castle) in Tsugawa-jo Castle and had been intimate with Ieyasu as well, left the Aizu side and came to inform Hidetada TOKUGAWA in Edo that 'The Uesugi clan had an intention against the central government.'

For this, Ieyasu sent Akitsuna INA to Kagekatsu, as the official envoy for checking the crime.
However, Kanetsugu NAOE, a senior vassal to Kagekatsu, sent back a letter of defiance called 'the Naoe Letter.'
Then becoming seriously angry about the situation, Ieyasu declared that he should conquer the Uesugi clan, because Kagekatsu's intention of defiance was apparent. On this occasion, the three bugyo officers of Geni MAEDA, of Masaie NAGATSUKA, and of Nagamori MASHITA, Yoshiharu HORIO, Kazuuji NAKAMURA, and Chikamasa IKOMA appealed him to stop the conquering movement, but Ieyasu executed the conquering activity forcibly, without accepting the appeal. For the activity, he was awarded bleached cloths by Emperor Goyozei as a recognition of sending his forces to the battle, and Hideyori TOYOTOMI awarded him a 20,000 ryo (ryo: a monetary unit at that time) of gold and a 20,000 koku rice crop for soldiers.
In these ways, the conquest by Ieyasu of the Uesugi clan was recognized by the Imperial court and the Toyotomi clan as a righteous fight in which 'Ieyasu, a faithful retainer of the Toyotomi clan, defeated Kagekatsu, a traitor.'

On June 16, Ieyasu started going to conquer the Uesugi clan, leading his military forces, from Kyobashi-guchi of Osaka-jo Castle, and entered Fushimi-jo Castle in the evening of the same day. However, the progress of his forces was very slow in the following way: The forces arrived in Hamamatsu on June 23, in Shimada City on June 24, in Sunpu on June 26, in Odawara City on June 27, in Fujisawa City in June 28, in Kamakura City on June 29, in Kanazawa Ward on July 1, and in Edo on July 2.

There is a viewpoint as well that the forces were being dispatched considering that Mitsunari ISHIDA, who had antipathy against Ieyasu, and others would start moving their forces in the meantime. Actually, in July, Mitsunari, together with Yoshitsugu OTANI, started moving his forces and took back Nishinomaru (the castle compound to the west of the main compound) of Osaka-jo Castle. Then Mitsunari persuaded the bugyo officers, including Nagamori MASHITA and Masaie NAGATSUKA, to support his side, established Terumoto MORI as the supreme commander, and sent to daimyo a paper for impeaching Ieyasu. After starting to move his forces, Mitsunari attacked Fushimi-jo Castle, guarded by Mototada TORII, a longtime senior vassal to Ieyasu, with a force of 40,000 soldiers, and in the fight, Mototada was killed and Fushimi-jo Castle came under Mitsunari (the Battle of Fushimi-jo Castle).

Furthermore Mitsunari's forces invaded into the areas of Ise Province and Mino Province. In his military camp in Oyama-jo Castle in Shimotsuke Province, Ieyasu was informed by an envoy dispatched by Mototada in Fushimi-jo Castle that Mitsunari started moving his forces.
Gathering most of the daimyo who had been engaged in the fighting to defeat the Uesugi clan, Ieyasu declared that he would change the direction of their movements of the forces, saying that 'We should defeat Mitsunari who is a cunning retainer of the Imperial court and does ill to Lord Hideyori.'
For this, Budan-ha daimyo, including Masanori FUKUSHIMA, who had antipathy against Mitsunari, announced that they would support Ieyasu, and here, Ieyasu's eastern military group forces in the Battle of Sekigahara was formed (Oyama meeting).

The eastern military group forces were composed of around 100,000 soldiers, combining Tokugawa's direct forces, and those of Masanori FUKUSHIMA and others. Of them, a troop led by Hidetada TOKUGAWA took the Nakasen-do road from Utsunomiya, while the other forces led by Ieyasu progressed towards Osaka and Kyoto along the Tokai-do road. On the other hand, Ieyasu stayed in Edo-jo Castle for around a month, and sent daimyo nearly 160 letters. This was because he was informed by then that Mitsunari had virtually supported Hideyori and Osaka-jo Castle (at the stage of the Oyama meeting, he was informed that Mitsunari started his forces independently), and he was afraid that the daimyo might rush to support Mitsunari.

After entering Kiyosu-jo Castle, the eastern military group forces, including Masanori, invaded Mino Province, which had been under the power of the western military group forces in the Battle of Sekigahara, and took Gifu-jo Castle that had been guarded by Hidenobu ODA in the Western military group forces. On this occasion, Ieyasu saved the life of Hidenobu, Nobunaga's legitimate grandchild.

In September, Ieyasu's troop started Edo-jo Castle and arrived in Mino Province. As a preliminary skirmish, Sakon SHIMA, a retainer of Mitsunari, and Takenori AKASHI, a retainer of Hideie UKITA, launched a surprise attack against the eastern military group. For this, Kazuhide NAKAMURA, Toyouji ARIMA, and others in the eastern military group forces fought against them, but Tanomo NOISSHIKI, a retainer of Kazuhide NAKAMURA, died in the fight (the Battle of the Kuise-gawa River). There was a rumor that prior to this incident, Ieyasu himself was attacked with a gun around the Io-gawa River (the present Ibi-gawa Rivers). Fro more information, refer to Gondo-cho).

At 8AM on September 15, the final fight between the eastern military group forces and the western military group forces started fighting in Sekigahara-cho, Mino Province. Initially, Mitsunari's western military group forces dominated the fight overwhelmingly. However, around noon, the army of Hideaki KOBAYAKAWA, which Ieyasu had tried to take into his side, decided to change its support to the eastern side from the western side, and rushed to attack Yoshitsugu Otani's troops on the western side, changing the fighting state to the advantage of the eastern side. Otani's troops fought bravely, but with Yasuharu WAKISAKA, Mototsuna KUTSUKI, Naoyasu AKAZA, and Suketada OGAWA all changing their sides to support the eastern side as well, the western military group forces were routed. In the final phase of the fight, the troops of Yoshihiro SHIMAZU, which tried to retreat through among the enemy forces, came immediately in front of the headquarters of the eastern side forces, where Ieyasu stayed, while staging a furious attack. Although such a dangerous situation occurred, the war was won by the eastern military group forces led by Ieyasu (the Battle of Sekigahara).

On September 18, Ieyasu seized Sawayama-jo Castle, which had been Mitsunari's residence, and advanced to Omi Province. On September 21, he captured Mitsunari who had fled from the fighting field and executed him at Rokujo-gawara on October 1. Then after entering Osaka, Ieyasu executed, took the territories of, or reduced the territories of the daimyo who had supported the western side, and increased his territories from a 2.5 million koku of rice crop from to a 4 million koku of rice crop, from the new territories he took. Concerning Hideyori TOYOTOMI, and Yodo-dono (his wife), Ieyasu did not blame them saying that what happened was not concerned with females and youngsters, and left Hideyori's territory as it was. However, the land that had been directly controlled by Taiko Hideyoshi, which had been included in daimyo's territories, was lost together with the territories of the daimyo on the western side, because the land was distributed as rewards based on the levels of accomplishments in the war. Resultantly, the Toyotomi family was forced to become merely a 650,000-koku daimyo owning the three provinces of Settsu, of Kawachi, and of Izumi, and Ieyasu came to dominate the nation as virtual Tenkabito (the ruler of the nation).

Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who was to subdue the barbarians")

After having completed necessary procedures accompanying the end of the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu handed over the Nishino-maru of Osaka-jo Castle to the Toyotomi family on March 23 (in the old calendar), 1601, and entered Fushimi-jo Castle, continuing his governmental jobs there. Then at last, he changed names in Tokugawa's family tree to open a bakufu as Seii taishogun. It was customary that only a person in the lineage of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) could become Seii taishogun. Therefore, Ieyasu ordered Shinryuin Bonshun to arrange Tokugawa's family tree so that the tree should reach MINAMOTO no Yoshiie of the Minamoto clan.

According to recent studies (by Kazuhiko KASAYA and Masuo IRIMOTO), it was in 1588 far before this that Ieyasu publicly announced that his real name was Minamoto. This is because Ieyasu signed 'Dainagon MINAMOTO no Ieyasu' on the written oath when Emperor Goyozei visited Jurakudai (a residence built by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI).
In addition, Ieyasu signed 'Dainagon MINAMOTO no Ieyasu' on the shuinjo (vermillion seal letters) issued to shrines and temples in Sagami Province in 1591, and based on these facts, Kasaya and others described that 'Ieyasu was permitted to use the name of Minamoto even in the Toyotomi government.'
By the way, when Ieyasu was granted an Imperial sanction to changed his name from Matsudaira to Tokugawa, he publicly announced that his real name was Fujiwara. Furthermore, a person not originated in Seiwa-Genji could actually become the shogun. Therefore, there is a theory that it was a popular view created in the Edo period that only a person in the lineage of Seiwa-Genji could become a shogun.

On February 12 (in the old calendar), 1603, Emperor Goyozei sent to Fushimi-jo Castle Mitsutoyo KAJUJI, Sangi (councilor), as an Imperial envoy. Here, eight Imperial decrees of six types were given to Ieyasu, appointing him to Seii taishogun, Shogaku ryoin betto (Rector of Junna and Shogaku colleges), and udaijin (minister of the right). It was a custom originating with Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA that the honor of being given governmental posts in addition to Genji no choja (the chief of the Minamoto clan) was awarded.

On March 21, Ieyasu was officially appointed to shogun at Nijo-jo Castle, and on March 25, he visited the Imperial court and expressed his gratitude for having been appointed to shogun. However it was on March 27 (in the old calendar) that the Imperial court appointed Ieyasu to shogun officially, and it can be said that the Edo bakufu officially started on this day.

Ieyasu, who had been one of the Go-tairo officers in the Toyotomi government, took the position of the head of samurai four and a half years after Hideyoshi's death, and established the position that surpassed the Toyotomi clan both in name and reality. In starting the bakufu, he established laws and regulations to control samurai and the Imperial court, through the introduction of various systems, including the specifications of Buke shohatto (laws for the military families) and of Kinchu narabini kuge shohatto (a set of regulations that were applied to the emperor and the Kyoto nobles). His gaining control of the Imperial court meant that the Toyotomi clan would lose the means of regaining the clan's former power, and therefore, was important for the stabilization of his government after the nation was unified.

Ogosho seiji (the bakufu ruled by the retired Shogun)

On April 16 (in the old calendar), 1605, Ieyasu resigned from the shogun post and made the Imperial court appoint Hidetada TOKUGAWA, his third son, to shogun, showing over the nation that 'the shogun post should be inherited by the Tokugawa family.'
At the same time, he requested Hideyori TOYOTOMI to face Hidetada, the new shogun, but Yodo-dono turned down it. At last, Ieyasu sent Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, his sixth son, to Osaka-jo Castle, to calm the situation down.

In 1607, he moved to Sunpu-jo Castle. Then he was called 'Ogosho in Sunpu' for 'Shogun in Edo,' and, continuing to hold real power, made efforts to establish the bakufu system (called 'Ogosho politics').

In 1611, he requested to see Hideyori at Nijo-jo Castle. The Toyotomi family, considering that the family was in the master's position against the Tokugawa family, initially took the position of refusing to accept the request. However, because the shogun, Hidetada, was the father-in-law of Hideyori, Ieyasu requested Hideyori to come to Kyoto on the pretext that 'Hideyori comes to greet his father-in-law,' and at last succeeded in making Hideyori come to Kyoto, with persuasions by Kiyomasa KATO and others as well.
The general view is that this meeting showed to the general public throughout the nation that 'Ieyasu was the head of samurai in Japan.'
However, there is also the viewpoint that Ieyasu really felt that the authority and threat of the Toyotomi clan could not be ignored.

Osaka no Jin (The Siege of Osaka)

For Ieyasu who entered in his closing years, the Toyotomi clan continued being the greatest threat. Although having been degraded to the position of merely a daimyo, the Toyotomi family still possessed a special status, and was not integrated into the control of the Tokugawa clan effectively. In addition, most of the daimyo in the eastern group who were placed in the western region of Japan were the daimyo who had been under an obligation to the Toyotomi family. In addition, when Ieyasu was appointed to shogun, the rumor that Hideyori would be appointed to Kanpaku (the top adviser to the emperor) was accepted by the people naturally, and when Hidetada was appointed to shogun, Hideyori was advanced to Udaijin (minister of the right) higher than that of Hidetada (naidaijin (minister of the center)).

Furthermore, the Tokugawa clan had problems internally. Relationships between Hidetada, the shogun, and Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, his younger brother, were seriously bad, and Masamune DATE, the father-in-law of Tadateru, did not abandon his desire to control the nation. Therefore, it was also feared that he might support Tadateru to challenge the government. In addition, even within the Tokugawa Shogun family, there were confrontations concerning which of Iemitsu TOKUGAWA and Tadanaga TOKUGAWA, both sons of Hidetada, should become the next shogun. Furthermore, movements of the believers of Christianity, which had been prohibited in the nation, could not be ignored. There was a possibility that, if these powers were combined with that of the Toyotomi clan and started a movement to defeat Ieyasu, the bakufu might be annihilated instantly. Around this time, Ieyasu questioned Razan HAYASHI whether it was wise to destroy the Toyotomi family, which still was his master family in theory.

Initially, Ieyasu made the Tokugawa clan look like it was groping for ways to coexist with the Toyotomi clan. There was a sign that he tried to entrust control of temples to the Toyotomi family. Furthermore, he made his granddaughter, Senhime, marry Hideyori (following Hideyoshi's will). However, because the government was taken over by Ieyasu, people in the Toyotomi clan began gradually to become cautious about what Ieyasu did. In addition, the Toyotomi clan employed many ronin (master-less samurai) for preparing a final war with the Tokugawa clan, and many of them were soldiers of the troops defeated in the Battle of Sekigahara and bore a grudge against Ieyasu.

Meanwhile, many powerful daimyo under an obligation to the Toyotomi family died one after another: For example, Kiyomasa KATO, Yoshiharu HORIO, and Nagamasa ASANO died in 1611, and Yoshinaga ASANO, and Terumasa IKEDA in 1613. Therefore, the Toyotomi clan became isolated gradually (because so many daimyo under an obligation to the Toyotomi family died one after another, there is a theory as well that Ieyasu poisoned them).

Then, taking the opportunity of the incident of the Hoko-ji Temple bell IN 1614, Ieyasu made up his mind to make the Toyotomi clan subjugated completely, and started the maneuvers to ruin the clan otherwise.

The incident of the Hoko-ji Temple bell

In April (in the old calendar) of 1614, the Toyotomi family reconstructed Hoko-ji Temple according to Ieyasu's recommendation, and it was scheduled to hold a ceremony to consecrate a newly made Buddhist statue by inserting the eyes (thereby investing it with soul) in the Daibutsu-den (the Great Buddha hall) on August 3. However, Ieyasu stopped holding the ceremony, saying that the inscription on the bonsho (temple bell) included ominous terms.
He made the following the problematic terms: '国家安康,' '君臣豊楽・子孫殷昌,' and '右僕射源朝臣.'
He said that, with the characters of 家 and 康 in his name (家康: Ieyasu) included divided in it, the phrase of '国家安康'was ominous, and that the phrase of 君臣豊楽・子孫殷昌 meant that descendants would be prosperous with the Toyotomi family as the lord. In addition, he said that the phrase of '右僕射源朝臣' meant shooting Ieyasu. This last one was a complete false charge, and the original meaning of '右僕射源朝臣' was 右僕射 (Tang's expression for minister of the right) and 源家康 (MINAMOTO no Ieyasu).

Furthermore, on August 18, he made senior priests at Kyoto-Gozan (five big temples in Kyoto) interpret the inscription on the temple bell. For this, the priests are said to have answered, fearing the influential power of Ieyasu, that the phrase of 国家安康 in the inscription considered being extremely impious, because it damaged the name of Ieyasu (according to Tokugawa Jikki (a collection of official records of the Edo bakufu).

For this, the Toyotomi family sent Katsumoto KATAGIRI, a Karo (top retainer) and Seikan BUNEI, who made the inscription, to Sunpu, to offer an explanation for the situation. However, Ieyasu refused even to see them, took Seikan into custody and sent Katsumoto back to Osaka. Katsumoto proposed Hideyori to leave Osaka-jo Castle as a compromise measure, but the Toyotomi family turned down the proposal. Then on September 26, the Toyotomi family exiled Katsumoto saying that he had communicated with Ieyasu secretly. Taking this opportunity, Ieyasu declared a war with the Toyotomi clan for the reason that the Toyotomi clan increased forces by recruiting ronin (master-less samurai).

It has been considered generally that this incident was conceived and made a problem by Ieyasu, together with Suden and Razan HAYASHI, to give a pretext for attacking the Toyotomi clan. However, Seikan himself explained that the imina (personal name) of 家康 was inserted into the inscription intentionally, and each priest at Kyoto-Gozan replied that it was a problem not to have avoided including the imina. At that time, the persons who could use imina in calling a man basically were the man's parents, the man's master or the man's enemies, and in such a situation, the family name with his governmental post name added, or the man's common name was usually used. It was quite rude to call a man by his imina. When taking these into consideration, it is considered that the allegation on Ieyasu's side was not a far fetched one, but rather that a careless act on the Toyotomi side allowed the Ieyasu side a chance to take advantage.

After that, the bell still remains in the premises of Hoko-ji Temple without being melted down (designated as an important cultural property).

Osaka Fuyu no Jin (Winter Siege of Osaka)

On November 15 (in the old calendar), 1614, Ieyasu left Nijo-jo Castle to attack Osaka-jo Castle. Then his large force of 200,000 soldiers completely enclosed Osaka-jo Castle. However, he did not attack directly, but limited his activities to local fights, for example, attacks on forts outside Osaka-jo Castle. The Tokugawa forces continued winning such local fights as the Battle of Kitsugawa-guchi (1614), the Battle of Imafuku, the Battle of Kamono, and the Battle of Bakurobuchi, but were defeated seriously by Nobushige (Yukimura) SANADA in the fight at the Sanada-maru (Sanada barbican). However, the defeat was not serious enough to change the war situation largely, and the Tokugawa forces started taking a new strategy. To threaten the soldiers in the castle and Yodo-dono in particular, who were unfamiliar with wars, he made his soldiers give a shout of victory at 8 PM, 0 AM, and 4 AM, and made cannons (ishibiya (guns with stones as bullets), and artillery) fire at 10 PM, 2 AM, and 6 AM. This strategy of firing cannons was successful. Fearing that the castle might be destroyed, Yodo-dono proposed to make peace with Ieyasu, and Ieyasu agreed with it as well.

The conditions for making the peace were to fill the outer moats of the Osaka-jo Castle, and to destroy Nino-maru (the second compound of the castle) and Sanno-maru (the third compound of the castle). However, Ieyasu ordered Masazumi HONDA to fill the inner moats as well, which was not included in the conditions.
Therefore, by the middle of January, 1615, the Osaka-jo Castle had become a naked castle with only Honmaru (the keep of the castle)

Osaka Natsu no Jin (Summer Siege of Osaka)

Because the inner moats had been filled, ignoring the conditions for peace, the Toyotomi side tried to dig them again. However, on the pretext that the act constituted 'Toyotomi's preparations for a war,' Ieyasu demanded to exile ronin and to change the territory of the Toyotomi clan. Furthermore, when he was going to Kyoto saying that it was for the marriage of Yoshinao TOKUGAWA, he sent large forces to the Kinki region, and started attacking the Toyotomi clan soon after his demands were turned down.

For this, the Toyotomi clan made a sortie from Osaka-jo Castle, but being overwhelmingly disadvantageous in the number of soldiers, lost many brave military commanders, including Naoyuki BAN, Mototsugu GOTO, Shigenari KIMURA, and Kanesuke SUSUKIDA, one after another. Due to strenuous efforts of Nobushige SANADA and of Katsunaga MORI as well as inattention and bad cooperation among big forces, the Tokugawa forces met such a dangerous situation for a while that the Uma-jirushi (massive flags used in Japan to identify a daimyo or equally important military commander on the field of battle) of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA fell and Ieyasu himself made his mind to kill himself. However, meanwhile, Nobushige and Katsunaga were killed in fights by the Tokugawa forces that had rebuilt the fighting system, and Osaka-jo Castle was taken by Ieyasu. On May 8, Hideyori TOYOTOMI and Yodo-dono, and their close associates killed themselves, and the Toyotomi clan was ruined.

There is also the theory that "Ieyasu tried to take Hideyori into his custody before he killed himself, but having been too late, threw himself down in tears." This theory was employed in "Ieyasu TOKUGAWA," a novel by Sohachi YAMAOKA.
However, there is also the theory that this story was fabricated in a later generation to avoid the criticism that Ieyasu ruined the Toyotomi family, which had been his master family

After that, the Osaka-jo Castle was completely destroyed and the land was made flat, on which a new Osaka-jo Castle was built by the Tokugawa clan. The shingo (the title of god) of Hokoku Daimyojin (Great Luminous Deity of Our Bountiful Country), given to Hideyoshi posthumously, was abolished, and Hokoku-jinja Shrine (in Osaka City) and Toyokuni-byo (the mausoleum for Hideyoshi) were closed and left unattended. After the Meiji restoration, the shingo of Hokoku Daimyojin was restored, and Nobunaga and Hideyoshi came to be enshrined in Tosho-gu Shrine as well.

In his last years

In 1615, Ieyasu established Kinchu narabini kuge shohatto (a set of regulations that applied to the emperor and the Kyoto nobles) to establish relationships between the bakufu and the Imperial court, and to clarify differences between the lord-retainer relationships in the Tokugawa shogun family and those in the Imperial Family. Furthermore, Buke shohatto (laws for the military families) and Ikkoku Ichijo Rei (the law for one castle per province) were established to control daimyo.
In this way, Ieyasu achieved control of the entire area of Japan by the Tokugawa clan, and enabled stable control of the nation by the Tokugawa clan for 264 years

In January (in the old calendar) of 1616, he went hawking and became ill there. On March 21, he was conferred the rank of Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister) by the Imperial court. On April 17 (around 10 AM), he died in Sunpu-jo Castle. He died at the age of 75.

Poisoning from fried sea bream was the most plausible cause of death. However, it was January 21 (in the old calendar) when Ieyasu ate fried sea bream for the evening meal, and it was on April 17 (in the old calendar) that he died. If the cause was food poisoning, too many days had passed. From the various symptoms, it is now considered that he might have died from stomach cancer or syphilis. By the way, it was at Tanaka-jo Castle (in present Tanaka, Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture) that he ate the problematic fried food.

It is recorded in "Toshogu-gojikki" that the following two poems were the last ones he composed before his death.

Being happy, I awoke again and will sleep for while; The worldly dream is the sky at dawn.'

Either of going first or of being left behind is the same; I consider that it is farewell because I cannot go with you.'

It was prohibited to cook fried foods within Edo-jo Castle. It is sometimes explained that the reason was because Ieyasu died from an poisoning from fried food. However, the fact was that the cooking was prohibited because a fire was likely to be caused when a female servant in O-koku (the inner halls of Edo-jo Castle where the wife of the Shogun and her servants reside) was cooking fried foods.

Chronological table

* There is a possibility that the Imperial decree of promotion to Junii (Junior Second Rank) with the post changed to Gon Dainagon (provisional chief councilor of state) dated August 8 (in the old calendar), 1587, was issued using the name of Ieyasu TOYOTOMI.

Dated the same day, Hidetada TOKUGAWA was also appointed to Jiju (a chamberlain), with the name of Hidetada TOYOTOMI.

A draft of the imperial decree and edict of an official post and Imperial rank for Lord Hidetada' (in a book collection of Imperial Household Archives)

In the similar way, it is considered that the following two decrees were also issued with the name of Ieyasu TOYOTOMI: the one of 'should assume both posts of Sakone no daisho (Major Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) and Samaryo gogen (Inspector of the Samaryo, Left Division of Bureau of Horses),' dated on December 28, the same year, and the one for promoting him to Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and for changing the post to Naidaijin (Inner Minister), dated May 8 (in the old calendar), 1596.

The decrees having been issued for awarding ranks and for appointing posts to Ieyasu TOKUGAWA were lost (recorded in the article on May 8 (in the old calendar), 1645, of Tokugawa Jikki), and those that are now stored in Tosho-gu Shrine are the documents that were obtained through requesting the Imperial court to re-issue them in 1645, and there is a possibility that the name of Toyotomi was changed to Minamoto when re-issuing them.

Religious services

According to Ieyasu's will, his body was buried in Mt. Kuno in the southeast of Sunpu (present Tosho-gu Shrine on Mt. Kuno) initially, but after the first anniversary of his death, was re-buried in Tosho-sha Shrine in Nikko City due north of Edo-jo Castle. The close retainers, Tenkai and Suden, contested whether his shingo should be Gongen (incarnation) or Myojin (a gracious deity), and with Tenkai having won, Ieyasu was made the Gongen (incarnation) of Yakushinyorai (Bhaisajyaguru, Buddha able to cure all ills) based on Sanno-ichijitsu Shinto. Then the shingo of Tosho-Daigongen was awarded on February 21 (in the old calendar), 1617, and the god rank of Shoichii (Senior First Rank) on March 9. The decree permitting use of the character of gu (宮) was issued for Tosho-sha (社) on November 3 (in the old calendar), 1645, and the shrine became named Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. In addition, the god rank of Shoichii was also awarded to Tosho-gu Shrine. As the founder of the Edo bakufu, Ieyasu was sometimes called Tosho-shinkun or Gongen-sama, and was worshiped throughout the Edo period.

Even today, his graveyard is in the inner shrine of Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. Daiju-ji Temple, the Matsudaira clan's family temple located in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, and Ankokuin-reibyo on Mt. Koya, are his mausoleums as well. In addition, he is enshrined in the Tosho-gu shrines throughout Japan. By the way, of 15 Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu TOKUGAWA and Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA in addition to Ieyasu are not buried in Kanei-ji Temple nor Zojo-ji Temple.

Evaluations of him

For being good at fighting, he was called 'the best in handling a bow along the Tokai-do road,' and was called 'God lord Ieyasu' in the Edo period. When a person criticized him publicly, he was punished. On the contrary, in the era from the Meiji period to the end of the Pacific War, people hesitated to praise him, for the reason that he was a 'cunning retainer' who repressed the Imperial court. After the war, evaluations of Ieyasu have been made freely.

Concerning the control of the Edo bakufu

The control system of the Edo bakufu that Ieyasu established, with the Tokugawa shogun family at its pinnacle, was an extremely complete one. The Edo bakufu exclusively controlled an area producing approx. 4 million koku of rice, including major cities controlled directly by the bakufu (called Tenryo), such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Sakai, and approx. 7 million koku when the territories of Hatamoto (direct retainers of the Tokugawa family) were included additionally, one-third of the total amount of rice crop in the nation (the amount was much more when the territories of Shinpan (whose lords were a relative of the shogun family) and Fudai-daimyo (the daimyo whose families were retainers from before the Battle of Sekigahara) were added as well. In addition, the bakufu had overwhelming power outclassing other daimyo, for example, by controlling the basis of monetary economy through the possession of important mines, such as the gold mine on Sado island, and through the monopoly of the minting right. With this background, the bakufu regulated and controlled even the emperor's family in addition to the daimyo throughout the nation, shrines and temples, and the Imperial court, through various laws and regulations. When a person acted against the control or was judged to be dangerous for the bakufu, the person was not tolerated. Therefore, in the early Edo bakufu period, many daimyo were deprived of their territories. Even the Imperial court and the emperor's family were no exception, and the Shie Incident (the great conflict between the shogunate and the Imperial Court, concerning priests' robes which were usually purple) was a symbolic one.

The bakufu financially oppressed even daimyo obedient to the bakufu, for example, with the Sankin-kotai system (a system under which feudal lords in the Edo period were required to spend every other year in residence in Edo), not to allow them to have the power to resist the bakufu.
It was the Ieyasu-established Edo bakufu that, placing the Tokugawa shogun family at its pinnacle of the reign based on its overwhelming power base, controlled daimyo throughout the nation, the Imperial court, and the emperor's family in the posture of 'Do not make them live nor kill them, and abolish a family if it resisted the bakufu (or was dangerous for the bakufu).'

The absolute control system of the Edo bakufu, in which only the Tokugawa shogun family was considered to be absolute, could be viewed as 'conservative and feudal.'
On the other hand, it is also an undeniable fact that, because such a solid control system had been established, the bakufu government could end the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (in Japan) and could be a long-term stable one that continued for more than 250 years, an unprecedentedly long term in global history. Therefore, Ieyasu's competence of having established the base of the Edo bakufu is evaluated highly. Furthermore, it is also said that, just because this control base existed, the transition to the new Meiji government could be made swiftly.

It can be evaluated that his employment of closed diplomatic policies leading to later national isolation enabled the nation to prevent invasion from various foreign nations towards the end of the bakufu era. By the way, these 'achievements' were accomplished after his death, based on the situation at that time, and were irrelevant as accusations against him. In addition, such a policy was taken globally at that era: For example, Ming took the policy of Kaikin-saku (a measure to impose controls on the sea).

There is the accusation as well that his establishment of a completely centralized feudal control system, in which, with the Tokugawa shogun family placed as the absolute monarch, even the emperor family in addition to the Imperial court as well as daimyo, temples and shrines throughout the nation were placed under its control virtually and closed diplomatic policies were taken, was a factor that delayed modernization of Japan. Furthermore, concerning this, there are many criticisms as well for having controlled farmers in the posture of 'Do not kill them nor make them live' and for the harsh repression of Christians.

Ieyasu is said to have neglected the Imperial court more than Nobunaga, and actually he virtually placed the Imperial court under his control. In 1606, he prohibited the Imperial court from awarding official ranks to daimyo without recommendation of the bakufu, and established Kinchu narabini kuge shohatto, to thoroughly remove the political involvement of the Imperial court. On December 17 during Osaka Fuyu no Jin, the Imperial court proposed Ieyasu to mediate reconciliation with a decree, but Ieyasu refused it. Furthermore, after the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu demanded that Emperor Goyozei, who had been pro-Toyotomi, should abdicate the throne. Then when the emperor tried to transfer the Imperial Throne to his younger brother, Imperial Prince Hachijonomiya Toshihito, Ieyasu objected it saying that the prince had once become an adopted son of Hideyoshi, dethroned Emperor Goyozei in 1611 and transferred the Throne to Imperial Prince Kotohito (Emperor Gomizunoo). Ieyasu made enthronement and dethronement that even Nobunaga had not made, and taking the advantage that he led the enthronement of Emperor Gomizunoo, he tried to make Masako, the fifth daughter of Hidetada, enter the court as an Imperial consort while he was still alive, to control the emperor's family as the maternal grandfather (it is said that the story of making Masako enter the court as the Imperial consort started in 1612. It was because Ieyasu and Emperor Goyozei died that so much time was needed before Masako actually entered the court as an Imperial consort (in 1620).

Concerning how Ieyasu handled his clan and Fudai retainers (the retainers whose families had been retainers of the Tokugawa family from before the Battle of Sekigahara)

It is said that Ieyasu dealt coldly with Hideyasu YUKI and Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, his sons, and the retainers who contributed significantly in establishing the bakufu. However, he adequately rewarded these retainers as well as Hideyasu in the amount of their territories. In addition, for Tadakatsu HONDA, Ieyasu made his grand daughters, Kuma-hime and Sen-hime (daughters of Nobuyasu MATSUDAIRA) to Tadamasa HONDA, Tadakatsu's son, and Tadatoki HONDA, Tadakatsu's grandson, respectively, and, for Hideyasu, Katsu-hime (Tensu-in), a daughter of Hidetada, to Tadanao MATSUDAIRA, Hideyasu's son. In this way, Ieyasu showed a certain amount of care about them. To Tadateru, he gave a territory equivalent to those of Tokugawa gosanke (three privileged braches of the Tokugawa family) (550,000-koku Takada in Echigo Province) before the Tadateru's family was abolished. Although the Okubo family was abolished due to the Okubo Nagayasu incident (political strife with Masanobu HONDA), Tadatomo OKUBO, a grandson of Tadachika OKUBO, regained the status of daimyo. After Ieyasu died, his territory was expanded, and Tadatomo OKUBO in the next generation regained the family's former territory of Odawara, with its earning base increased to a 110,000 koku of rice crop as a powerful Fudai daimyo (however, it cannot be denied that there is the view that this was because Tadatomo was a grandson of Ieyasu). Furthermore, circulating competent persons is essential to activate an organization, and it can be interpreted that the series of actions was genuinely political to establish the bakufu system firmly.

It is said that Ieyasu always alienated Hideyasu, his second son, and Tadateru, his sixth son, for the reason that dubious situations were involved in their births or their looks were bad. (It is said that it was only a formal procedure for his sons to have given them territories, and both Hideyori and Tadateru were treated coldly by him for their entire lives). In addition, the theory has recently been proposed that even the suicide by disembowelment of his son, Nobuyasu MATSUDAIRA, was not due to Nobunaga's demand but Nobuyasu was purged by Ieyasu himself. Furthermore, he isolated Tadakatsu HONDA and Yasumasa SAKAKIBARA, of Tokugawa-shitenno (the four powerful generals serving Ieyasu TOKUGAWA), from the core of his control after the Battle of Sekigahara, and abolished the family of Tadachika OKUBO, a distinguished military group member almost equivalent to these two persons, through the Okubo Nagayasu incident, and made him lose his power. When the Okubo Nagayasu incident occurred, Nagayasu OKUBO had already died and been buried. However, Ieyasu had Nagayasu's half-decayed dead body dug out, decapitated it, and exposed the head on the river bed of the Abe-gawa River to be viewed publicly. From these facts, he is also evaluated as having been ruthless even for his sons or retainers.

However, Ieyasu used many retainers of the Imagawa clan, of the Takeda clan, and of the Hojo clan, all of whom had once been his enemies, and employed many of their military strategies and political measures.
In "Koro-shodan" (literally, talks by old men), it is described that Ieyasu told Yasushige HONDA as in the following: 'As I used persons well, pretending not to know them, they worked as my trusted men and accomplished achievements valiantly.'

Persons in the era of Ieyasu

Ieyasu candidly respected Kenshin TAKEDA who made him experience a humiliating rout, and actively learned Shingen's military strategies and philosophy from retainers of the Takeda clan. In addition, he also respected MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, and was fond of reading 'Azumakagami' where Yoritomo's words and deed were recorded. On the other hand, he did not employ complete meritocracy as Nobunaga did, where social statuses and social orders were ignored, nor did he increase his retainers as Hideyoshi did, based on his own charisma, or by using money or a territory as a lure. However, as described later, it seems that he had a complicated feeling for Nobunaga, and Nobunaga's influence can be known from the fact that the two persons of Hideyoshi and Ieyasu, who became Tenkabito (the ruler of the nation), were once under Nobunaga.

For this reason he was late in unifying the nation, but he placed only his confident subordinates around him, and could become Tenkabito, helped by defects of the Toyotomi government as well. However, because of these subordinates, retainers of the daimyo such as the Imagawa family, the Takeda family, and the Hojo family, which he himself had not ruined directly, were included, and it can also be said that he reaped the benefits (or that Nobunaga and Hideyoshi were made responsible for all dirty activities done in unifying the nation). He can be said having been a good enough ruler in that he learned from great predecessors, because he made wise selections from what he learned and acted himself corresponding to the situation at the time and to his situation.

Tanuki-oyaji' (literary, a raccoon dog old man: a cunning old man) was Ieyasu's nickname. This nickname was used in kabuki plays in the Edo period as the name of a villain to indicate Ieyasu indirectly. In the Meiji period and later, this nickname has become used publicly for indicating Ieyasu. Although having been used for indicating that Ieyasu was good at plotting, this nickname also gives the impression that he was a mean person as well, causing a factor to have degraded recent evaluations of Ieyasu considerably.

It is said that Ieyasu was a calm and composed resourceful general, but he had impatient and nervous characters as well: For example, it is said that when the eastern military group forces were placed in an advantageous situation in the initial phase of the Battle of Sekigahara, he cut the sashimono (flagpole) of the pageboy named Chozaburo MONNA. It is also said that when irritated or placed in a disadvantageous situation, he always bit the nail of his thumb, and sometimes bit it so strongly that the skin was broken and it bled.

Although he was evaluated as a cool-headed realist, there were also the cases, as described in the following, in which he was swayed by emotion: When a child of Yoshinobu NATSUME, who had been killed in place of Ieyasu in the Battle of Mikatagahara, violated a rule, Ieyasu pardoned him by a special procedure beyond the law, and Ieyasu also spared Masayuki SANADA's life responding to Tadakatsu HONDA's desperate appeal. In particular, the trust between him and his retainers, who had endured hardships together with him from his Mikawa period, was strong. There was a popular view that Samurai in Mikawa were killed without showing their backs to the enemies in the Battle of Mikatagahara, and furthermore, it is also recorded (in "Hagakure-oboegaki" (a memorandum on Bushido)) that the blind faithfulness of samurai in Mikawa, including Yoshinobu and Mototada TORII, was called by the enemies "dog-like faithfulness." Therefore, it seems that Ieyasu was very popular and was strongly trusted by samurai at least in the Mikawa area, his home base. However, this can be said for the entire Matsudaira family, and it must also be taken into account that an uprising was caused for him. Needless to say, he valued competent persons highly, and employed many former retainers of the Imagawa clan, of the Takeda clan, and of the Hojo clan in addition to those of Fudai retainers in the Ansho and Okazaki areas. In his Ogosho era, he employed, based on competence, priests, merchants and scholars in addition to samurai, and furthermore, William Adams, an Englishman (it was only Ieyasu who gave a foreigner a territory as a samurai), to establish the base of the Edo bakufu.

Ieyasu and religion

In Hongan-ji Temple of Jodo Shinshu sect (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism), which was the largest armed religious power in the Sengoku period, Kyonyo, the eldest son of Kennyo, the eleventh chief priest of the temple, and Junnyo, the third son of him confronted after Kennyo died. Then Kyonyo became independent of the temple and established Higashi (eastern)-Hongan-ji Temple (the Otani group of the Shinshu sect), and for this, Junnyo established Nishi (western)-Hongan-ji Temple (the Hongan-ji group of the Jodo Shinshu sect), separating Hongan-ji Temple into Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple and Nishi-Hongan-ji Temple. It is said that Ieyasu was also involved in this incident of separating the temple into two. According to an established theory, it is said that Ieyasu, who had suffered from an uprising of Ikko sect followers in Mikawa in his youth, enticed Kyonyo to separate Hongan-ji Temple to make the power of Hongan-ji Temple diminish. However, recently, the Otani group of the Shinshu sect has officially expressed, as a result of historical study, the viewpoint that Kyonyo did not establish Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple by being enticed by Ieyasu but had originally the intention of independence. Therefore, it is impossible to assert the popular theory that Ieyasu plotted the separation of Hongan-ji Temple into Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple and Nishi-Hongan-ji Temple.

However, it leaves no doubt that at least, Ieyasu supported Kyonyo and contributed the land space for building Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple in this incident of separating the temple (even the Otani group of the Shinshu sect admits that Ieyasu was involved in establishing Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple by Kyonyo). Then after the separation of Hongan-ji Temple, Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple and Nishii-Hongan-ji Temple came to confront each other, and resultantly, the sect gradually lost the strong armed religious power that had been threatened daimyo in the Sengoku period. Once, Nobunaga fought with the forces of Hongan-ji Temple and then made peace with them, but succeeded in undermining the power of Hongan-ji Temple, for example, by making it lose the authority of the temple that had exerted an overwhelming influence for long years. On the contrary, Hideyoshi tried to placate the temple forces. However, although to what extent Ieyasu was involved in the affairs of the temple is unknown, he resultantly made Hongan-ji Temple separated internally, weakening the power of the temple by inducing self-destruction. This can also be counted as an example showing his cunning.

However, when the uprising of Ikko sect followers in Mikawa occurred, the enemy Ikko sect side included Ieyasu's former retainers, such as Masanobu HONDA and Yoshinobu NATSUME. However, Ieyasu did not resent them but employed them again. Therefore, they had a feeling of obligation to Ieyasu: For example, Masanobu HONDA was one of Ieyasu's brains until Ieyasu's later years, and Yoshinobu NATSUME was killed in place of Ieyasu in the Battle of Mikatagahara.

Furthermore, similarly, Ieyasu thought that the Nichiren sect, which had strong influence over townspeople, was dangerous for the following reasons: In holding Senso-kuyo (a religious ritual where 1,000 priest were invited) at the Daibutsu-den hall of Hoko-ji Temple, ordered by Hideyoshi, the Nichiren-sect was divided into the Jufuseha group, which admitted receiving offerings from other religious sects, and Fu-jufuseha group led by Sogi, which did not admit receiving offerings from other religious sects; In this situation, Ieyasu decided that the latter group did not follow orders of the bakufu and had also the feeling that the Nichiren set was rather aggressive to other religious sects. Therefore, Ieyasu exiled to Tsushima Province Nichio, a member of the Fu-jufuseha group, who did not follow Ieyasu's order for serving the bakufu later, and Nikkyo and others who were aggressive in criticizing other religious sects had their ears and noses chipped off and were exiled. Even after Ieyasu's death, the Fu-jufuseha group continued to be repressed for the reason that the group did not accept religious offerings from the Edo bakufu.

In addition to these newly-emerging religious sects, Ieyasu also cared about the older Tendai sect, Shingon sect, and Hosso sect concerning their connections with the Imperial court through the Monzeki posts (the head priest posts of these temples), and he newly added the Monzeki post to Chion-in Temple of the Jodo sect and furthermore, to Rinno-ji Temple as the pinnacle temple of the Tendai sect and of the Shingon sect, monopolizing the head priest posts of the Tendai sect. Chion-in Temple and Rinno-ji Temple had a strong connection with the Edo bakufu, and with the Terauke seido (the system in which the public should be registered in one of designated temples to prove their Buddhist faith) established, the bakufu succeeded in placing religion completely under it.

Concerning this, completely different evaluations will be made depending on who makes the evaluation based on what standpoint (power or religion).

Evaluations in modern times and the present day

It can be said that Ieyasu came to be evaluated badly in the Meiji Restoration and later, because it was convenient for the Meiji government, which was established after it defeated the Edo bakufu, to make bad what was in the Edo period. In particular, before the Pacific War, the dispatch of troops to Korea by Hideyoshi (the Bunroku-Keicho War) was considered right to the extent that it was called "the subjugation of Korea," because it met the trend of imperialistic territory expansion in Empire of Japan at that time. Therefore, the biased evaluation of 'Hideyoshi was a clean ruler, while Ieyasu was a cunning ruler' was often made. In this era, critical evaluations were also made for TAIRA no Masakado and Takauji ASHIKAGA, who were respected by Ieyasu and others, as rebels who had defied the imperial court (there is a theory as well that Ieyasu was also critical of Takauji ASHIKAGA).

In "Ieyasu TOKUGAWA," a novel by Sohachi YAMAOKA, Ieyasu was depicted as a person who restrained himself again and again from an early age, endured adversity and difficulties, and won victories with foresight, or as a realist seeking peace. With this novel, the re-evaluation of Ieyasu started and still continues. Therefore, there are also people who evaluate Ieyasu highly as a man who saw the world and had indomitable spirit.

On the other hand, in the postscript of "Hasha no Ie," a novel about Ieyasu, Ryotaro SHIBA wrote that 'There were bad aspects as well as good aspects' in the Edo period started by Ieyasu, and he also pointed out that 'The ethnic natures of the Japanese were made undersized and deformed,' and he was quite critical about the closed nature and conservatism of the control.

There is also the theory that it is an overestimation to consider Ieyasu an excellent ruler or cunning ruler, because, although he unified the nation, he established only conservative systems, compared with Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. There exists the following opinion as well: Rather than determining things independently, Ieyasu held meetings and made his retainers discuss them, and made decisions after they reached conclusions, and therefore, he was only an organizer of discussions or the representative of policy-executing staffs (there is also a viewpoint that he was good at using subordinates), and he could unify the nation because he happened to live a long life and actually was only an ordinary person. "Bonsho-Ieyasu-tenkatorino-nazo" (The riddles why Ieyasu, an ordinary military commander, could unify the nation) written by Makoto TAKEMITSU employs this theory, and "Nigero Ieyasu" (Escape! Ieyasu), a novel by Shoichiro IKEMIYA, is written form this viewpoint as well.


Lord Ieyasu's teachings

Based on historical evidence, Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA of the Owari-Tokugawa family made clear that Lord Ieyasu's 'Goikun' (teachings), which includes the famous phrase of 'A person's life is as if going on a long road with a heavy burden on its back --- Consider that anger is an enemy,' had the following origin: First, in the Meiji period, Matsunosuke IKEDA, a shogun's former retainer having earned a 500 koku of rice crop, made documents with an autograph sign of 63-year-old Ieyasu, based on 'Hitono-imashime' (Admonitions), which had been said being Tokugawa's teachings, and then Deishu TAKAHASHI and others dedicated them to Tosho-gu shrines in various areas, including Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine.

"Tosho-gu Goikun" (Goikun at Tosho-gu Shrine) (or "Ieyasu-ko Goikun" (Goikun by Lord Ieyasu)), whose contents are very similar to those of the above document, is also called "Matsunaga Dosai Kikigaki" (verbatim accounts of what Dosai MATSUNAGA heard), "Inoue Kazu no kami Kikigaki" (verbatim accounts of what Inoue Kazu no kami heard) or "Banzaishi." It is said that what Dosai MATSUNAGA and Inoue Kazue no kami (Masanari INOUE), sent to Ieyasu at Sunpu by Hidetada TOKUGAWA, the second shogun, in the early Genna era (1615 - 1624), heard from Ieyasu during their several-days' stay there, were recorded in it. In the Edo period, it was prohibited to publish this document. According to a theory, this document was a fabricated one.

A person extremely enthusiastic about health

Ieyasu was extremely enthusiastic about health, and lived an extraordinary long life for the standard at that time (for 75 years when his life was counted in the number of years where he lived) (or for 73 years and four months in the actual life length). It is said that being finicky originally, Ieyasu considered the balance of foods to eat as well as digestion and notified the kitchen of the information. His meals were austere, and he maintained the eating habit in the fighting field as a military commander in the Sengoku period. The fried sea bream that might have caused his death was his first and last extravagance in his life (adding more, fried sea breams were eaten by fishermen, and according to the common sense at that time, they were not too extravagant). He was familiar with natural drugs and had such profound knowledge that astonished even drug specialists, and according to a theory, it is also said that he mixed drug materials by himself and that he cured a disease of Iemitsu, his grandson. On the other hand, it is also said that he often produced too strong drugs by using drug materials near to powerful medicines like mercury and took them like household medicines, and therefore, he was admonished by drug specialists (by the way, mercury was used as a drug for treating syphilis, and it is surmised that he suffered from syphilis). By the way, it is recorded that Hai Gou Shen (male seal sexual organs), an aphrodisiac, was used in drugs for Ieyasu. In the Battle of Sekigahara, he made his retainers use soap for protection against infectious diseases.
Concerning falconry, one of his hobbies, Ryotaro SHIBA wrote in "Hasha no Ie" that 'He might have been the first person in Japan who had the knowledge that physical exercise is good for health.'

He was fond of novel things

In reality, he was fond of novel things, for example, Nanban (European)-style armors and Nanban-style clocks. There is the following anecdote: The shoes from Europe were slippery with a smooth sole, and for this, getting a hint from straw sandals in Japan, he made the sole grooved to make it not slippery.

He was a master in martial arts

He was an expert in the Japanese martial arts of swordplay, gunnery, archery, equestrian art, and Japanese swimming. His swordplay was that of the Shinkage-ryu (神影流) school that originated in the Shinto-ryu school by Mitsumori ARIMA and in the Shinkage-ryu (新陰流) school by Nobutsuna KAMIIZUMI (according to "Okudaira-ke Fu" (a family tree of the Okudaira family) and a document on the Jikishinkage-ryu school swordplay that has been handed down for generations; However his swordplay was that of the Okuyama-ryu school according to "Kyugasai Yuishogaki" (a kind of family tree of Kyugasai)). He learned his swordplay in the following way throughout his life: He learned it from Kyuga OKUDAIRA (Kyugasai was one of his names as a swordsman), a founder of swordplay as well as his retainer, for seven years from the Battle of Anegawa, employed Tadaaki ONO (recommended by Ittosai ITO in the Itto-ryu school of swordplay) as the swordplay instructor for Hidetada at a stipend of a 200 koku of rice a year in 1593, and also employed Munenori YAGYU in 1594 (Ieyasu fought with Muneyoshi YAGYU in a swordplay match and was defeated with Munenori using no sword, and therefore, ordered Muneyoshi to serve the bakufu as a swordplay instructor, but he declined the order because of his advanced age).
However, it is recorded in "Mikawa Monogatari" (Tales in Mikawa) that Ieyasu himself said 'For a noble man around whom his retainers exist, the swordplay to protect himself from an initial attack is necessary, but the swordplay to kill his opponent is unnecessary,' and it is also said that he told his sons that taisho (generals) should not directly fight in the fighting field.'
Concerning swimming art, he showed in a river in the Suruga area how excellently he could swim, when he was 69 years old. Concerning equestrian art, he learned the Otsubo school of the art that originated in Keisho OTSUBO in the early Muromachi period.

With a strong physical power as well, he shot down a kite with 1.4-m matchlock gun at the age of 70.

He had many hobbies.

In historical stories and others, Ieyasu was often depicted as a man who had no hobby other than falconry and making drugs, but actually he had many other hobbies. He learned Sarugaku (called Noh at present) from Kanze Juro-tayu, who was in the family line of Zeami, from his earlier years, and not only played it but learned through 'Fushikaden,' and therefore, he was familiar with old customs and manners as well. Ieyasu was fond of Sarugaku where samurai spirit and human touches were shown, but did not like his retainers to become devoted to chanoyu (present tea ceremony). He was fond of incense (fragrant woods, in particular), and sent persons overseas to get such woods. He learned Igo (board game of capturing territories) from Sansa HONINBO, and Nagamasa ASANO was his good rival in Igo. Because not only he himself played Igo but also protected the head family of the Igo school and established the Igo society, he was praised publicly in the hall of fame for Igo. He had not much interest in male homosexuality that was not unusual among samurai at that time, but it is said that Manchiyo II (later Naomasa II), a pageboy who became to be counted later as one of Tokugawa-shitenno (the four powerful generals serving Ieyasu TOKUGAWA), was only one male that Ieyasu loved.

His height

It is said that his height is estimated to be from 156 cm to 160 cm. He became rather fat in his later years, and it is said that the size of his waistline is estimated to be 120 cm.

His mentor: Shingen TAKEDA

Although having been greatly tormented by Shingen TAKEDA, Ieyasu followed his examples on many policies he took, both in military and political affairs. When ordered to kill remaining retainers of the Takeda clan by Nobunaga ODA after he ruined the Takeda family in 1582, Ieyasu ignored Nobunaga's order to shelter them. He gave the family name of 'Takeda' to his fifth son, Nobuyoshi, and made him govern Mito Domain with the name of Nobuyoshi TAKEDA. Famous red-colored arms of Naosuke II also followed the example of Masakage YAMAGATA, a brave general of the Takeda clan. On the contrary, he was slow to respond to Nobunaga ODA, his friend from his childhood and his sworn ally, and he scarcely followed Nobunaga's policies. In his later years, Ieyasu was fond of talking about old times, including the Imagawa era when he lived a life like a prisoner, but it is said that he did not talk about his impressions of Nobunaga (according to a theory, it is said that he resented Nobunaga).

Ichi Fuji, ni taka, san nasubi (The first is Mt. Fuji, the second is hawks, and the third is eggplants.)

It is said to be auspicious that one dreams Mt. Fuji, a hawk or an eggplant in the first night of the year, but according to a theory, it is also said that these three items were a list of what Ieyasu liked. The reason why he built his resident castle in Sunpu in his retired later years was that the place gave a good view of Mt. Fuji. Hawks indicated that falconry was his hobby. Ieyasu was fond of eggplants over anything else, and because 'liked by the person who became the ruler of the nation,' eggplants were selected as the third item to follow the luck. For more information, refer to Hatsuyume (the dream in the first night of the year).

Retainers and Ieyasu

Ieyasu, blessed with many competent retainers, gave important posts to those who expressed their opinion straightforwardly. It is said that he and his retainers sometimes staged fistfights or abused each other verbally.

The people whom Ieyasu respected

It is said that Ieyasu respected such persons as Gaozu (Liu Bang), Choryo, Han Xin, Tai Gong Wang, Buno, Shuko, Yoritomo MINAMOTO, and Takauji ASHIKAGA.

He liked learning.

It is said that he liked reading "Rongo" (Analects of Confucius), "Chuyo" (Doctrine of the Mean), "Shiki" (the Chinese Historical Records), "Kanjo" (historical records of the Han Dynasty), "Rikuto" (an ancient Chinese strategy book), "Sanryaku" (an ancient Chinese strategy book), "Joganseiyo" (a book written about Taiso, the second Emperor of Tang Dynasty in China), "Engishiki" (an ancient book for codes and procedures on national rites and prayers), and "Azuma kagami." Ieyasu printed and published these books in wood block printing from before the Battle of Sekigahara (called Fushimi versions), and in copper character versions (called Sunpu versions). His interest was wide: For example, he had Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) taught, and learned geometry and mathematics from Anjin MIURA (William Adams).

Teso (line patterns on his palm)

Two or three out of 100 persons have the teso in which 'the knowledge line' and 'the feeling line' are integrated (called 'masukake' line). It is said that Ieyasu had a masukake line (his teso was stored in the treasure hall in Nikkosan-Rinno-ji Temple in Tochigi Prefecture). By the way, many of the persons with a masukare line had the good luck of ruling a nation, and even today, many persons in top groups of various fields had this teso.
The source: Tekichu Teso-jutsu (the Teso-reading techniques that always produce correct predictions) (by Yasuto NISHITANI) Sobun

Inquiries from Hideyoshi

For the question of 'What is the treasure of Tokugawa?' made by Hideyoshi, he replied that 'it was 500 samurai in Mikawa.'

He was not good at handwriting?

In "Eimeiyawa," the following description is included as what Koan WATANABE talked: "The handwriting of Gongen-sama (Ieyasu) is as bad as that of persons who had no knowledge of writing."
In "Eimeiyawa," the following description is included as what Koan WATANABE talked: 'The handwriting of Gongen-sama (Ieyasu) is as bad as that of persons who had no knowledge of writing.'

He was stingy.

There are many anecdotes related to Ieyasu's stinginess.

When he tried to dry his hands with Kaishi (Japanese tissue) after coming out of a lavatory, the Kaishi flew away with the wind, and he chased after it to the garden to take it back (for the retainers who laughed seeing the scene, he retorted that 'I have become the ruler of the nation in this way").

His clothes were washed frequently because he rarely bought new clothes, and when the female servant, who had been forced to wash them, complained that she wanted Ieyasu to buy new clothes, he told her in an admonishing tone that he saved money for the nation. When female servants once complained that pickles of their dishes were salty, he inquired the complaint of the cook, and getting the following answer, he left the matter intact: "Even now, the female servants ask for another helping many times, and it is unconceivable how many more times they will become to ask for another helping when more delicious pickles are served." When samurai were doing Sumo-wrestling on a tatami-mat room, he ordered that the other side of the straw-like cover should be used instead.

He made the former coin-minting site in Sunpu dug up, and recovered the amount of copper corresponding to 1,000-ryo (ryo: a monetary unit at that time) business tax in three years.

He became quite angry about a decorated toilet, and made it destroyed immediately.

He had the collected tax amount of gold and silver reported directly by the daikan (the bakufu officer sent tot the domain), and made the amount up to the units of Kan and Mon (Kan and Mon: each a monetary unit at that time) stored in a warehouse, and made female servants gather to count the remaining amount corresponding to Monme and Bu (Monme and Bu: each a monetary unit at that time) for private use.

When residing in Mikawa, he ate boiled barley in summer. When, on an occasion in the Sengoku period, one of his retainers offered boiled rice with boiled barley on top of it, he said that, in such a period, he could not be a glutton himself while farmers continued suffering (foods became most scanty in summer).

When a stable was damaged, he said that horses would grow stronger in such a condition and left the stable as it was.

He gave his retainers small house-building space so that they would not build pompous residences, and his residence itself was austere as well.

Ujisato GAMO cited Toshiie MAEDA as the person who could become the ruler of the nation following Hideyoshi, and said that Ieyasu could not become Tenkabito (the ruler of the nation), because he did not give lots of territories to others.

Resultantly, Ieyasu left a vast amount of assets to the next generation. However, in "Ochiboshu Tsuika" (An addition to Gleanings), Ieyasu was evaluated as not having been mean but thrifty.

His residence castles

Ieyasu was born in Okazaki City, Mikawa Province, but lived in present Shizuoka Prefecture (Hamamatsu, Sunpu) for a long period of time throughout his life, in his main castle there or as the base site of his life. The total length of the period when he lived in Okazaki City was a short time of ten years combining those in his childhood years and those after the Battle of Okehazama, including the periods of two years when he lived as a hostage with the Oda family in Owari Province.

The theory that he was a shadowy person

This theory is as follows: Ieyasu was killed by Nobushige SANADA in Osaka Natsu no Jin (Summer Siege of Osaka), and a shadowy person acted in place of Ieyasu until he died due to illness, to avoid the confusion that would ensue otherwise and to make the work to stabilize the bakufu progressed smoothly. According to a theory, the shadowy person might have been Esai SHOOKU, his younger paternal half-brother, or Hidemasa OGASAWARA. In Nanshu-ji Temple located in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, there exists a grave that should be Ieyasu's.

Theories that he was assassinated

One of these theories is as follow: Ieyasu was assassinated in the year following Osaka Natsu no Jin. According to a theory, after deciding the promotion of Iemitsu to the shogun post, Ieyasu was shot to death, while hunting with a hawk, by someone belonging to the group, including, Sugen-in, who tried to promote Tadanaga to the shogun post. There is also a theory that he was assassinated by someone on the Toyotomi side resenting Ieyasu.

[Original Japanese]