Iida Tadahiko (飯田忠彦)

Tadahiko IIDA (January 23, 1799 - July 15, 1860) was a scholar of Japanese classical literature and historian who was from the Tokuyama Domain and lived during the end of Edo period. His imina (real name) was Tsunenori at first, then later changed to Mochinao and Tadahiko; after he became a priest, he called himself Mokuso. Commonly he was called Yojin, Gyobu, and Sama. His azana (adult male's nickname) was Shiho. His go (pen name) was Kanzan, Yashishi, and Ihinchoso. His homyo (a name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood) was 志信院黙叟理現居士. He is known as the author of "Dai Nihon Yashi" (Unofficial History of Japan).

His father was Juro Kanekado IKUTA, a feudal retainer of Tokuyama Domain, and his mother was a daughter of someone from the Oya family. At first, his father, Kanekado, had the last name of Satomi, but later became an adopted son of the Ikuta family. Kanekado had three sons and one daughter, and Tadahiko was born as the second son.

From his childhood, Tadahiko showed interests in history. When he was around two to three years old, he stopped crying if menoto (wet nurse) showed him a statue of Michizane SUGAWARA. It is said that when he was around five to six years old, he drew a picture of Michizane on his own. When he was eight years old, his favorite book was "Bukan" (a book of heraldry); when he was twelve years old, it was "Dainihonshi" (Great History of Japan). He was especially touched by the latter, and grieving over the fact that the writing had stopped during the era of Emperor Gokomatsu, he began to aspire to writing a sequel. At the age of thirteen he entered hanko (a domain school), and the following year, he was adopted by Tsunesada MATSUO, who was also a feudal retainer of Tokuyama Domain. He called himself Tsunenori MATSUO and traveled to Edo to study, and he studied military science and the like. However, in 1818 when he was serving Hiroshige MORI, he ran away as the result of being reproached for his problems with women. Later he became an adopted son-in-law of Kensuke Tadanao IIDA, goshi (country samurai) of Yao City, Kawachi Province, and his name was changed to Yojin Mochinao IIDA. However, once again he did not get along well with his adoptive father; in 1823 he divorced his wife Kiho and ran away from the same family. He kept the last name Iida and changed his first name to Tadahiko. He traveled to Edo to study and made a lot of efforts to collect historical materials for editing a sequel of "Dainihonshi" (Great history of Japan), which had been his dream for some time.

On December 27, 1834, through an introduction of a person named Sahyoe OTA who was a retainer of the Arisugawanomiya family, Tadahiko was selected by the family and was given by Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Tsunahito, the head of the family, a post called 'keraimuseki,' which referred to a retainer without assigned work. This meant giving Tadahiko the position title of a retainer of miyake (house of an imperial prince), and reportedly it was done to provide convenience to Tadahiko when he visited temples and shrines and old families in various places for collection of historical materials. Later Tadahiko changed the base of his activities to Kanei-ji Temple where priestly Imperial Prince Kosho, the third son of Imperial Prince Tsunahito served as a chief priest, he devoted himself to writing a sequel almost independently. While writing the sequel, upon request by the monk of Kanei-ji Temple, Tadahiko had the rough draft turned into typographical printing at the same temple, and the printed copy was given to Emperor Ninko through Imperial Prince Tsunahito.

In 1848, Tadahiko was invited by his close friend, Shigefumi TOYOSHIMA, who was shodaibu (aristocracy lower than Kugyo) of Arisugawanomiya, and returned to Kyoto and resumed his position in miyake as a retainer of Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Takahito, the heir of Imperial Prince Tsunahito. By this time he had finished compiling "Dai Nihon Yashi," and a fair copy of all 291 volumes had been complete; on June 28, 1851 he organized a banquet titled 'Yashi Kyoen' (Banquet on Completion of Yashi), which would today be something like a publication party, and to which he and Shigefumi TOYOSHIMA invited their friends; everyone who attended the party selected a character from "Dai Nihon Yashi" and read waka (modern Japanese poetry) and kanshi (Chinese-style poem) about the characters. The poems which were read on this occasion were compiled and published in the same year as "Yashi Kyoen Poems" and still exist today at National Diet Library and the like.

In 1858, when Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) requested for imperial sanction on The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan, Tadahiko submitted a written opinion to Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito, Dazai no sochi (Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices) and the eldest son of Imperial Prince Takahito, saying that 'foreign countries are publicly seeking trade but are privately trying to propagate heresy (referring to Christianity).'
This provoked bakufu; on January 9, 1859, Tadahiko and Yasumori TOYOSHIMA, the eldest son of Shigefumi, were asked to turn themselves in and were imprisoned. This was one of implications in so-called Ansei no Taigoku (suppression of extremists by the Shogunate). Yasumori was forgiven after imprisonment of about ten month at a town magistrate's office, but Tadahiko was sent to Edo for further investigation. At this time Tadahiko was prepared for execution like Shoin YOSHIDA, and Imperial Prince Taruhito, imagining that this would be the last farewell, sent off with tears. However, since Tadahiko had not personally taken part in specific political activities and as the Arisugawanomiya family lodged a protest, Tadahiko was returned to Kyoto and only suffered the punishment of confinement of 100 days. On February 27, 1860, Tadahiko finished his term of punishment and became free; next month he retired and became a priest and began living in retirement at Jorenge-in Temple in Fukakusa Town, Kii County (present-day Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City).

However, when the Sakuradamongai Incident occurred in tandem with his retirement life, on July 2, 1860 Tadahiko was suddenly captured by Fushimi Magistrate's office on suspicion of involvement in the incident. It had been only three months since the last release.
Tadahiko had no involvement in this matter and responded with dignity to the questions by the magistrate's office; nevertheless, the magistrate's office imprisoned him in a nearby inn as 'someone in the middle of interrogation.'
Tadahiko was furious about being captured for a false charge and being treated in this way, and on July 10, 1860 he stubbed his throat with a short sword he had kept. Five days later, he died in spite of treatment and was buried at Ryugen-ji Temple.

His writings include, in addition to "Dai Nihon Yashi," "Monzekiden" (22 volumes), and "Shigoko" (10 volumes), and "Shokakeizu" (62 volumes).

Tadahiko was enshrined at Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku-jinja Shrine as one of martyrs at the end of Edo period, and in 1888 he was enshrined at Yasukuni-jinja Shrine as well; three years later he was raised to Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) after his death.

[Original Japanese]