Abe Masasuke (阿部正右)

Masasuke ABE (January 13, 1725 – August 13, 1769) was a daimyo (a feudal lord) and a roju (a member of the shogun's council of elders) during the Edo period. He was the third lord of the Bingofukuyama Domain. He was the seventh head of the Abe family.

He was the second son of Masatomi ABE, the second lord of the domain. Mother - Yoshitaka SHIMAZU's adopted daughter (Tadateru TORII's daughter). Lawful wife - Takahiro NIWA's daughter. Children - 正表 ABE (oldest son), Masakata ABE (second son), Masatomo ABE (third son). Childhood name - Tominosuke. Original name - 正治.


He was born in 1724 as the second son of Masatomi ABE, the lord of the Bingofukuyama Domain, in Edohantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo). In 1738, at the age of 14, he had an audience with Yoshimune TOKUGAWA (the eighth Shogun), was assigned as Iyo no Kami (Governor of Iyo Province) and promoted to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). In 1748 at the age of 25, he succeeded the position of head of the family estate from Masatomi and performed his duty as the lord for 28 years until he died in 1769. However, for the majority of his term of office, he was engaged in the shogunate government, not directly in administration of the domain.

Masasuke, assuming the position of lord of the Fukuyama Domain, entered Fukuyama in 1730 and inspected his domain, but after that he stayed in Edo or Kyoto. In 1752 he was appointed as Sojaban (an official in charge of ceremonies), in 1756 he was assigned as Jisha Bugyo (the magistrate in charge of temples and shrines) as his additional post, and in 1760 he transferred to the post of Kyoto Shoshidai (the head of the governmental office in Kyoto) and was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). While holding the office of Kyoto Shoshidai, he was sometimes punished due to breaking with precedent, but was actively involved in arranging the rites and festivals for enthronement of the Empress Gosakuramachi, and so on. In 1764, he assumed the position of Nishinomaru Roju, and in the next year (1765), he was appointed as Honmaru Roju. Furthermore, it was the first time in about 100 years, since Shigetsugu ABE, that the head of the Abe family took the position of Roju.

On one hand, however, Masasuke's successful career cost a great deal and forced the Fukuyama Domain to spend in excess. Therefore, the domain overissued han bills (bills usable only in a particular feudal clan) (ginsatsu [bills used for silver]) to compensate for the difficult financial situation, but inevitably confused the market, causing the domain to lose its credibility. The domain, puzzled by this situation, not only ordered compulsory use of the han bills, but also imposed 'goyogin' (forced loans) on the people of the domain. However, in 1753 an uprising broke out led by people who opposed this and it was decided to withdraw the policy. Thereafter, the domain strove for control of circulation of finances and the economy, trying to put the finances on a firm foundation, but the situation never changed for the better before Masasuke died. Also, it is said that under these circumstances, official discipline of retainers of the domain became overly relaxed. His third son, Masatomo, succeeded him.

1725: He was born on January 13th. 1738: He was appointed as Jugoinoge, Iyo no Kami. 1749: He inherited the family estate on January 7th. 1752: He assumed the position of Sojaban. 1756: He held an additional post as Jisha Bugyo (June 4th). 1761: He was transferred to the position of Kyoto Shoshidai from Sojaban-cum-Jisha Bugyo (January 8th). 1764: He was transferred to the position of Nishinomaru Roju from Kyoto Shoshidai. 1766: He was transferred to the position of Honmaru Roju from Nishinomaru (February 1st). 1769: He died while still holding office as a Roju and a lord (August 13th), at the age of 46.

Shi (a posthumous name) - 西閣院殿楼誉託方練契
Cemetery - Saifuku-ji Temple, later reburied at Yanaka Cemetery (Yanaka of Taito Ward [Taito Ward]).

Official rank

1738: He became Jugoinoge, Iyo no Kami. 1760: He became Jushiinoge, jiju (a chamberlain).