Maeda Yoshiyasu (前田慶寧)

Yoshiyasu MAEDA was the 13th lord of the Kaga Domain. He was the eldest son of Nariyasu MAEDA, the 12th lord, and his mother was Yohime, the daughter of Ienari TOKUGAWA, the 11th seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians"). His lawful wife was So (Reikanin), the daughter of Yorinori ARIMA, and his second wife was Michiko (Kenkoin) who was the daughter of Takemichi KOGA and adopted by Masamichi TAKATSUKASA. His children included Toshitsugu MAEDA (eldest son), Princess Yasuko (Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Takehito's wife), Rei (Masataka SAKAKIBARA's second wife), En (Atsumaro KONOE's wife), Tei (Atsumaro KONOE's wife). His great-grandchild included Kikuko (granddaughter of Yasuko), the wife of Imperial Prince Nobuhito. Incidentally, his descendants include the former prime minister (Fumimaro KONOE and Morihiro HOSOKAWA).


On June 24, 1830, he was born as the eldest son of Nariyasu MAEDA, the 12th lord of the Kaga Domain. His childhood name was Inuchiyo and initial name was Toshizumi. His mother was Yohime, and Yoshiyasu was a grandchild of Ienari TOKUGAWA, the 11th seii taishogun.

In 1864, he was in Kyoto to guard Kyoto Imperial Palace in place of his father, but he left Kyoto after being defeated in the Kinmon Incident and throwing up his duty as the guard at Imperial Palace. As a result, he met with his father's anger and was given a good behavior order. On this occasion, many of his close retainers such as Yasumasa MATSUDAIRA (Daini) and Nakasaburo ONOGI were punished by his father, Masachika HONDA, and others. Some believe that his father felt unpleasant with a close relationship between Yoshiyasu and Sonno Joi ha (supporters of the doctrine of restoring the emperor and expelling the barbarians) and thus he subject them to pressure.

In 1866, he succeeded his father as the family head and became the lord of the domain; however, his father controlled the real power and thus he was not substantially independent. In the Boshin Civil War, he supported the New government army. On May 22, 1874, he died before his father. Died at the age of 45 (which is 43 by the traditional calculation). His shigo (a posthumous name) was Yasutoshiko.

Plan of heir of Shogun

In an attempt to strengthen power of O-oku (the inner halls of Edo Castle where the wife of the Shogun and her servants reside), his grandmother Senkoin (Yohime's mother and Ienari's second wife) supposedly intended to make his grandson Yoshiyasu the heir because Iesada TOKUGAWA, the heir to Ieyoshi TOKUGAWA, who was seii taishogun and Yoshiyasu's uncle, was in poor health. It is said that Miyo (Senkoin) forged the testament of Ienari accordingly (its content was making Iesada, Ieyoshi's son, the 13th Shogun and making Yoshiyasu adopted by Iesada to be the 14th Shogun). However, this plan ended in failure because Ienari died and Miyo was sent to Yohime to be taken care of, by the order of Tadakuni MIZUNO, roju (member of shogun's council of elders).

[Original Japanese]