Ikeda Terumasa (池田輝政)

Terumasa IKEDA was a busho (Japanese military commander) and daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) from the end of the Sengoku period (period of warring states) to the early Edo period. He served as the lord of Ikejiri-jo Castle in Mino Province, lord of Ogaki-jo Castle in the province, lord of Gifu-jo Castle in the province, and lord of Yoshida-jo Castle of Mikawa Province before becoming the lord of the Himeji domain in Harima Province. He is known as the one whose large-scale renovation of Himejijo Castle brought it to its current form. He was the first generation of the head family of the Ikeda family in the Okayama domain.


He was born on February 10, 1565, in Kiyosu, Owari Province (the present-day Kiyosu City, Aichi Prefecture) as the second son of Tsuneoki IKEDA, a senior vassal of Nobunaga ODA. He later served Nobunaga, who recognized his military exploits in the capture of Hanakuma-jo Castle (Battle of Hanakuma-jo Castle) in 1580 and awarded him a citation. In 1582, when Nobunaga was killed by Mitsuhide AKECHI in the Honnoji Incident, he served under Hideyoshi HASHIBA (later Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI) along with his father and brother, and when Hideyoshi held a funeral ceremony for Nobunaga on November 10, 1582 at Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Terumasa carried the coffin with Hidekatsu HASHIBA.

In 1583, when his father became the lord of Ogaki-jo Castle in Mino Province, Terumasa became the lord of Ikejiri-jo Castle. When his father Tsuneoki and brother Motosuke IKEDA were killed in the Battle of Komaki Nagakute in 1584, he took over as the head of the family, gaining 130,000 koku in rice as the lord of Ogaki-jo Castle in Mino Province and then 130,000 koku as the lord of Gifu-jo Castle. Thereafter, he served in most of Hideyoshi's major battles, such as the conquest of Kishu, the conquest of Ecchu and the Kyushu Conquest. After the conquest and siege of Odawara in 1590, his koku was increased to 152,000 in four districts in Mikawa province--Hoi, Yana, Atsumi, and Shitara (Higashimikawa) in the Mikawa Province--and he became the lord of Yoshida-jo Castle (in present Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture). Additionally, as the rice to eat while staying in Kyoto, he was provided Ogurisu no sho (Ogurisu village) in Ise Province. During the Bunroku War, he remained at Yoshida-jo Castle for guarding the eastern part of Japan.

During the Toyotomi period, Terumasa received treatment pursuant to that of the Toyotomi family, and was granted Jushiinoge jiju (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade Chamberlain) and the cognomen Toyotomi. Besides, when the downfall of the chief adviser to the Emperor Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, most of Hidetsugu's wives and concubines were killed, but Terumasa's sister Wakagozen (the lawful wife of Hidetsugu) was saved and given special treatment. In 1594, he married Tokuhime, the daughter of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, tthrough the intermediation of Hideyoshi.

When Hideyoshi died in September 1598, he approached Ieyasu. He also acted with the warlords of the Budan faction, which was willing to resort to military means to achieve its aim, and conflicted with the members of Bunchi faction, which was centering on civil officers, such as Mitsunari ISHIDA; when Toshiie MAEDA, who was acting as the arbitrator between the Budan and Bunchi factions, died on April 27, 1599, he took part in the attack against Mitsunari ISHIDA together with Masanori FUKUSHIMA, Kiyomasa KATO, etc., as one of the seven warlords. During the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he sided with Tokugawa, and took part not only in the final battle but also in the capture of Gifu-jo Castle, a preliminary skirmish, and rendered distinguished service along with Masanori FUKUSHIMA (Battle of Gifu-jo Castle).

After the war, he was transferred to Harimahimeji with property increased to 520,000 koku, and he changed his name to Terumasa. From 1601 to 1609, he carried out a large scale renovation of the Himeji-jo Castle. Additionally, he took part in nationwide construction projects such as the construction of Edo-jo Castle in 1606, the construction of Sasayama-jo Castle in 1609, and the construction of Nagoya-jo Castle in 1610 together with other feudal lords, and served as the head-of-shogunate administrator in the construction of Sasayama-jo Castle. In April 1611, he participated in the meeting between Ieyasu and Hideyori Toyotomi at Nijo-jo Castle. In 1612, he was granted Senior Third Rank, Royal Advisor and the Matsudaira surname to be called 'Harima saisho' (prime minister of Harima), 'Himeji saisho' (prime minister of Himeji), etc. (saisho was the Tang name for Sangi). Furthermore, the family held a large territory totaled 920,000 koku (according to one theory, a million koku based on a land survey)--the 280,000 koku of his second son Tadatsugu IKEDA at Okayama-jo Castle in Bizen Province, the 60,000 koku of his third son Tadao IKEDA at Sumoto-jo Castle in Awaji Province, and the 60,000 koku of his brother Nagayoshi IKEDA at Tottori-jo Castle in Inaba Province--and was called 'shogun of Nishigoku' (western Japan), 'Himeji saisho hyakumangoku' (prime minister of Himeji of one million koku), etc. The social standing of the Ikeda family was greatly raised by the marriage with the Tokugawa family, which remained the basis for the prosperity of the Ikeda family until the Meiji Restoration.

He died suddenly in Himeji on March 16, 1613. The cause of death was paralysis. He was fifty years old at the time of his death. There were rumors that Terumasa's death was under a curse of Hideyoshi. Toshitaka IKEDA, the eldest (legitimate) son, took over as the head of the family.

Graveyard: Gokoku-in Temple of Shobozan Myoshin-ji Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City)
Banzeizan Kokusei-ji Temple (Kobashi-cho, Naka Ward, Okayama City)
Graveyard of the Ikeda family in Waidani: (Waidani, Yoshinaga-cho, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture)
Taisozan Kokusei-ji Temple (Kanayadani, Miyazu City)
There is also a gravestone composed of five pieces piled up one upon another called 'gorinto' at Zuigan-ji Temple on Mt. Masui in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture.

Character and anecdotes

It is said that his name Terumasa was written as 輝政 all his life, but during the years when he was the lord of Yoshida-jo Castle, it was written as 照政.

He was known as a quiet person.

When the waiting-woman to his wife said "this family prospered thanks to ma'am," he reprimanded her in front of his wife; but later, he summoned the waiting-woman and told her, "I understand that my promotion was largely due to my wife's influence, but please don't mention it in her presence, so that she doesn't take advantage of it after hearing it and ruin the marriage."

He had an inferiority complex about being short, but when someone joked about this over a drink, he simply parried it with an improvised song and dance.

He competed intensively with Masanori FUKUSHIMA in the capture of Gifu-jo Castle under the command of Ieyasu, and despite the fact that he was actually the first to reach the castle, he simply gave in and agreed that they had captured the castle together.

When Terumasa married Tokuhime, a daughter of Ieyasu, he visited the residence of Tokugawa in Fushimi and asked, 'Is Naokatsu NAGAI, who killed my father in the Battle of Nagakute, present?'
When Ieyasu responded 'NAGAI is at the lowest seat', and had him proceed in front of Terumasa, Terumasa requested, 'I would like you to tell me about my father's last moments.'
Having heard Nagai's story, Nagamasa asked 'What is this man's worth?', and when he heard the answer '5,000 koku,' Terumasa instantly turned disgruntled.
Everyone there feared that Terumasa would take vengeance, but instead, Terumasa sighed with grief and said, 'No more than 5,000 koku'--Is that the price of my father's life?'
Although it is unknown whether this incident was the direct cause or not, the Nagai family received 72,000 koku, later.

Career and ranks

August 8, 1585: Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade)

1587: After the Kyushu Conquest, granted the cognomen Hashiba.

May 6, 1588: appointed Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade, Chamberlain. Granted the cognomen Toyotomi.

March 24, 1603: Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards)

September 1612: Granted the cognomen Matsudaira. November 9: appointed Senior Third Rank, the Imperial advisor.

November 16, 1910: Granted Junior Second Rank

[Original Japanese]