Mashiyama Masakata (増山正賢)

Masakata MASHIYAMA (November 27, 1754 - February 23, 1819) was daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in Edo period. He was the fifth lord of the Nagashima Domain of Ise Province. He was the sixth generation of Mashiyama family of the Nagashima domain.

He was the eldest son of Masayoshi MASHIYAMA, the forth lord of the domain. His mother was Masayoshi's lawful wife, Miyohime (Horinin), who was a daughter of Toshiyasu HOSOKAWA. His lawful wife was Michihime (Hoenin), who was a daughter of Sadakazu INAGAKI. His second wife was originally from the Takasu clan (Reiyoin). His official rank was Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and Kawachi no kami (Governor of Kawachi Province). He was also known as a literati and painted many calligraphic works and paintings. His imina (personal name) was Sen, his azana (a popular name) was Kunsen, and his go (pen name) was Sessai. He called himself Tankyuzanjin as a go after retirement, and other go (pen names) were Katsuno Shoin, Gyokuen, Kanen, Setsuryo, Shoshuen, Shotei, Guzan, Sekiten Dojin, and Choshu.


He was born as the eldest son of Masayoshi in Edo on November 27, 1754. In 1776, he succeeded to family estate of 20,000 koku (approximately 3.6 million liters of crop yield) of the Nagashima domain at the age of 23 due to his father Masayoshi MASHIYAMA's death. He held various posts such as Osaka-jo-gokaban (a person to guard Osaka-jo Castle). He is said to have been politically incompetent as the lord of domain but said to have been a culturally distinguished person at the time. In September, 1785, he ordered Baigai TOTOKI, jukan (official under Confucianism), to establish hanko Bunreikan (domain school, Bunreikan) and Confucius's Mausoleum. He dedicated himself to develop the Bunji era through inviting many men of culture. Masakata excelled in calligraphic works and paintings such as Sansui-ga (Chinese-style landscape painting) and Kacho-ga (painting of flowers and birds), and the range of his cultural performance broadened to Igo (board game of capturing territory) and green tea ceremony. He was respected as a literati daimyo who excelled in literature. He wrote books such as "Shoshuenteishaki"(Record of Shoshuen Bower House) and "Senchasiki"(Manners of Green Tea).

On August 13, 1801, he was retired at the age of 48 and his eldest son Masayasu succeeded to his post. He lived a leisurely life afterward living in his suburban residence in Sugamo, Edo. However, his addiction to the culture in this way was considered as a violation of sumptuary law by the bakufu, so he was suspended in August, 1804. He died on February 23, 1819 in Tsukiji, Edo. He was 66 years old.

Buddhist name: Jiuninden Sessai Dochi Daikoji
Grave: Ueno Kanei-ji Temple (Kanzen-in) in Taito Ward, Tokyo.

Currently, his grave has been moved to Renge-ji Temple in Nakano.

Literati daimyo

He was known as Sessai as a literati daimyo who loved elegance and taste. He learned karayo (Chinese style) from Tosai CHO for calligraphic works and paintings from Kenkado KIMURA. His sophisticated painting style of the Nanbin school was unbelievably excellent for a daimyo's avocation, and Chikuden TANOMURA praised his paintings for having grace and elegance. He was good at Kacho-ga, and the sketching guide to insects "Chuchijo" was valuable material in herbalism. He also painted Sansui-ga of literati painting style.

Baigai TOTOKI and Nanko HARUKI, feudal retainers of the domain, were discovered by Sessai for their capability as literatus. He sent both of them to Nagasaki to learn painting skills from Chinese. It is also said that Unpo OOKA and Saien KAMIJO, shogun's retainers, were Sessai's disciples on painting profession.

He favored interactions with writers and artists and became their patron. It was famous that he invited Kenkado KIMURA, who had been expelled from Osaka for violation of sake brewing control, to his domain and saved Kenkado from the trouble.

In addition, he had interactions with Nanbo OTA, Gozan KIKUCHI, Shiseki SO, Gentai WATANABE, and Masatsuna KUTSUKI of the Fukuchiyama Domain known as a literati daimyo.