Owari Domain (1/2)The Owari Tokugawa family ruled Owari throughout the Edo period.

Owari Domain

Matsudaira family crest “three hollyhocks”

Article category
History of the domain
domain name
Owari Domain (1610-1871)
Aichi prefecture
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Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle

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The Owari domain was ruled by the Owari Tokugawa family, whose founder was Yoshinao Tokugawa. The Owari Tokugawa family was the leading of the three families that would produce a successor when the Shogun family lost its successor. In addition, there were feudal lords who had deep ties to the shogun's family, and some were close to the shogun and others opposed to it. Here, let's take a look at the history of the Owari domain, focusing on its successive lords.

The history of the Owari clan began when Tokugawa Yoshinao moved to Nagoya Castle. While many of the feudal lords were ordered to change their territory regularly, the Owari Tokugawa family ruled this land without moving from the Owari domain throughout the Edo period. At the time of the first feudal lord, Yoshinao Tokugawa, the Owari domain had a total of 471,300 koku, but later expanded its territory to areas along the Kiso River basin, including Kagami-gun in Mino Province, as well as the Kiso and Hida regions. Eventually, the Owari domain took into its domain military and economic key points in the Tokai region, such as the Kiso River, Hida River basin, Nagara River, and Ibigawa River basin. As a result, the stone height is 619,500 koku. The Kishu domain, which belongs to the same three families, has 550,000 koku, and the Mito domain has 350,000 koku, which clearly shows the economic power of the Owari Tokugawa family, which was called the top of the three great families. According to one theory, in addition to the income from the sale of rice obtained through the development of new fields, the Owari domain also received income from selling lumber harvested in the Kiso Mountains, and the actual amount of koku was closer to 900,000 to 1 million koku. It has been reported.

Establish a stable reign with economic prosperity

The Owari domain, which had a difference of nearly 300,000 koku between the front stone height and the actual stone height, was relatively financially comfortable. Therefore, it is said that the annual tax paid by the people of the territory was kept low at 4 lords and 6 mins. Perhaps because the people of the domain were able to live comfortably, there was no uprising in the Owari domain until it was abolished. Kaishu Katsu also described the Owari domain as ``a country with a perfect civil government'' and ``a country where the virtues of Oda Nobunaga are still admired by the people'' in 1898 (Meiji 31), when he wrote Hikawa Seiga. He praised the government by saying, ``There is a long history of good government.''
Yoshinao Tokugawa, the first lord of the Owari domain, was still a child when he became the lord of the Owari domain, but after he became an adult, he worked on improving water supply, developing new rice fields, and establishing the annual tax system.
Mitsutomo Tokugawa, who became the second lord of the domain, put too much effort into shrine and temple policies, which worsened the domain's finances, but he did make some achievements, such as improving the fire prevention system and increasing military equipment.

Relationship between the Shogun family and the Owari clan

The Owari Tokugawa family, the lords of the Owari domain, is considered to be the highest of the three families. Gosanke is the highest rank of the clan whose founder is a male descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu. When there was no successor to the shogun family, it was customary to adopt an adopted son from the three major families. The Owari Tokugawa family was considered to be the closest family to the shogun family, as the third lord of the domain, Tsunamao Tokugawa's biological mother was Chiyohime, the eldest daughter of the third shogun, Iemitsu Tokugawa. Yoshimichi Tokugawa, the 4th lord of the domain, became the lord at the age of 11 due to the sudden death of his father, Tsunamao Tokugawa, and was highly praised by the 6th shogun, Ienobu Tokugawa, for his high character and ability to rule.
It is said that Ienobu was concerned that his son Nabematsu (later the seventh shogun, Ietsugu Tokugawa) was in poor health and begged Yoshimichi Tokugawa to make him the seventh shogun.
However, this wish did not come true. It is said that Yoshimichi said, ``Owari will not contest for the rank of shogun,'' or that Shiraishi Arai, who was in charge of national affairs in place of Ienobu, opposed it, but the truth is not certain.
Tokugawa Yoshimichi died under suspicious circumstances in 1713, just one year after the sixth shogun Ienobu passed away. After having dinner with his mother, Honjuin, he suddenly coughed up blood and died. He passed away at the young age of 25 (23 years old). Regarding this death, Shigeaki Asahi, a feudal retainer of the Owari clan, wrote in his diary, Oumuro Chuki, that there was a rumor that an insider from the Kishu clan was inquiring about the Owari clan residence. is written.
Yoshimichi's eldest son, Gorota Tokugawa, succeeded him at the age of three, but he also passed away two months after his father's death.

Conflict with the Kishu Tokugawa family over the eighth shogun

As the fifth lord, Gorota Tokugawa, died at a young age, Yoshimichi's younger brother, Tsugutomo Tokugawa, became the sixth lord. Tsugutomo was not originally in a position to become the lord of the domain, so when he became the lord, he held a grand banquet to celebrate his appointment as lord, even though it was the day after Gorota Tokugawa's death, and it is said that he was scolded by his vassals. It's being passed on.
Tsugutomo Tokugawa is famous as the person who competed with Tokugawa Yoshimune of the Kishu Tokugawa family for the position of eighth shogun. Many people may be familiar with this story, as it is often featured in novels, dramas, and manga. There are various theories as to why the Owari Tokugawa family was higher in status than the Kishu Tokugawa family, and even though Tsugutomo Tokugawa was closer to the Shogun family in terms of bloodline, he was unable to become the Shogun. Among them, Masayuki Naruse and Masatake Takekoshi, the chief retainers of the Owari Tokugawa family, adhered to the declaration of Yoshimichi Tokugawa, the fourth lord of the Owari clan, that ``Owari will not contest the rank of shogun'' and did not actively seek to become shogun. The theory is famous. In addition, there was opposition from Nobufusa Manabe and Shiraishi Arai, who were important figures in the shogunate.
Thus, Tsugutomo Tokugawa served as the lord of the domain until his death in 1731, without becoming a shogun. It is said that Tsugutomo was passionate about saving money from an early age and was a saver. As a result, he pursued politics that promoted frugality and thrift, and his reputation among the people of his territory was poor, saying that he was ``singy and short-sighted.'' Among the nicknames that Tsugutomo gave to the people of his territory were ``Owari Dainagon'' and ``Owari Daikon,'' which were official titles.
It is said that there was something called ``Kiriboshi Daikon,'' but according to historical facts, Tsugutomo was not appointed as Dainagon. However, due to his policies, the Owari domain had a surplus of over 13,000 ryo of gold and 27,000 koku of rice in 1729. Tsugutomo Tokugawa was also enthusiastic about the development of commerce, and while he was the lord of the domain, Echigoya, a member of the Mitsui family, a wealthy Edo merchant, once again exhibited in Nagoya. The population of Nagoya Castle exceeded 170,000 people, and the 7th feudal lord, Muneharu Tokugawa, laid the foundation for his breakthrough.

Conflict with the Shogunate

Among the successive lords of the Owari domain, the most famous is the 7th lord, Muneharu Tokugawa. Muneharu was the younger brother of Tsugutomo Tokugawa, and the fourth lord of the domain, Yoshimichi Tokugawa, loved him very much. It is said that Tokugawa Muneharu was a feudal lord who completely defied the orders of the shogunate and pursued the exact opposite policy. His reign is recorded in ``Yume no Ato'' and ``Kyogen Emaki.'' The Kyomoto Emaki is in the collection of the Nagoya City Museum, so we recommend viewing it while touring Nagoya Castle.

Tokugawa Muneharu ignored the thrift edict issued by the 8th Shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa, invited a playhouse to the castle town of Nagoya, and granted permission to establish a new red-light district within his territory. For this reason, actors, painters, and other people who were unable to work in Edo, who were responsible for the culture of townspeople, gathered in Nagoya, and Nagoya became even more lively than in Edo. The Kyomoto emaki that I introduced earlier depicts this situation.
It seems that Tokugawa Muneharu himself was a flashy person who wanted to stand out, and there are anecdotes of him walking around his territory in Noh and Kabuki costumes and riding a white bull.

The article on Owari Domain continues.

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Writer(Writer)I am a writer who loves history, focusing on the Edo period. My hobbies are visiting historical sites, temples and shrines, and reading historical novels. If there is a place you are interested in, you can fly anywhere. I'm secretly happy that the number of sword exhibitions has increased recently thanks to the success of Touken Ranbu.
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