Tokugawa Mochitsugu (徳川茂承)

Mochitsugu TOKUGAWA was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) who lived toward the end of the Edo Period. He was the 14th (last) lord of the Kishu Domain. He was the sixth (or supposedly seventh) son of Yorisato MATSUDAIRA, the lord of the Saijo Domain in Iyo Province. His initial name was Yorihisa.


On March 1, 1844, he was born at edohantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo) of the Saijo Domain as the sixth son of Yorisato MATSUDAIRA, the ninth lord of the Saijo Domain in Iyo Province. His childhood name was Kokichi. On August 15, 1846, he changed his childhood name to Kenkichi.

In 1858, when the 13th lord Iemochi TOKUGAWA (his given name was Yoshitomi in those days) assumed power as the 14th seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians"), Mochitsugu succeeded Iemochi as the head of the Kishu Tokugawa Family by the order of the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and assumed a post of the 14th lord of the Kishu Domain. On November 7, 1859, he celebrated his coming of age and changed his given name from Yorihisa to Mochitsugu, which includes "Mochi" given by Iemochi. When he went to Kyoto in 1862, he was received in audience by Emperor Komei and given tenpai (to be given sake from Emperor).

In 1868, when the Boshin Civil War began, Mochitsugu was suffering from disease. However, since he was from one of Tokugawa gosanke (three privileged branches of Tokugawa family), and shohei (officers and men) of bakufu who were routed in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi took refuge in his domain, he was nearly put down by the new government. Accordingly, in order to make explanation, despite his disease, and to show that he did not have the intention to revolt against the new government, he offered 1,500 troops from his domain to the army of the new government while presenting 150,000 ryo (unit of mass and currency) as war funds, moreover playing a part in Kyoto defense by the imperial order. Consequently, the new government decided not to put down the Kishu Domain.

He became the governor of the Kishu Domain as a result of the return of lands and people to the emperor in 1869 and then moved to Tokyo Prefecture after Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures) in 1871. When Nishinomaru Palace, which had been used as the Imperial Palace in Edo-jo Castle (the former Edo-jo Castle), was burned down in 1873, he dedicated the edohantei of the former Kishu Domain (present-day Togu-gosho [the Crown Prince's palace]) to the Imperial Family, thereby being awarded 20,000 gold yen.

Seeing the warrior class becoming poor due to new policies made by the Meiji Government, such as Conscription Ordinance and Chitsuroku-shobun (Abolition Measure of Hereditary Stipend), he said as follows:
Samurai must not depend on the government assistance: samurai should support themselves.'
Accordingly, in March 1878 he contributed 100,000 yen and founded Tokugisha for the warrior class of the former Kishu Clan, as their common funds. With income from the purchased fields, he founded Tokugi Junior High School and focused on helping and training the poor warrior class.

On July 7, 1884, he was conferred the rank of marquis by the Peerage Law and served as the member of Kizokuin (the House of Peers) from October, 1890. After the Sino-Japanese War, he was awarded Kyokujitsusho (Orders of the Rising Sun). He died on August 20, 1906. Died at the age of 63 (which is 62 by the traditional calculation). The family head was succeeded by Yorimichi TOKUGAWA, who was son-in-law (the sixth son of Yoshiyori TOKUGAWA).


It is said that he got along well with Iemochi, the 14th shogunate, while Iemochi had the closest relationship with Mochitsugu, and at the same time, Mochitsugu respected Iemochi. When Mochitsugu headed to Geishu-guchi as a leading general for the Second conquest of Choshu, he was welcomed in Goza no ma (a front room where a person of high rank is seated) in Osaka-jo Castle, where he was awarded saihai (a baton of command) and Jinbaori (sleeveless campaign jacket worn over armor) by Iemochi in person, and then they faced in private. This was the last meeting with Iemochi in his lifetime.


Date=Old calendar Graveyard: Choho-ji Temple, Keitoku-san in Kainan City, Wakayama Prefecture

January 13, 1844: Born. Childhood name: Kokichi (the sixth son of Yorisato MATSUDAIRA, who was the lord of the Saijo Domain in Iyo Province).

June 24, 1846: Changed his childhood name to Kenkichi.

1858: Succeeded the head of the Kishu Tokugawa Family in Kii Province and became the lord of the Kishu Domain.

October 13, 1859: Celebrated his coming of age, and identified himself as Mochitsugu, with a portion of the name given by Iemochi TOKUGAWA, the 14th seii taishogun. He was awarded the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and was appointed as Sangi (councillor) and Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards).

December 1: Appointed as Chunagon (vice-councilor of state).

December 6: Exchanged betrothal presents with Princess Michinomiya Noriko (April 5, 1850 - November 14, 1874), the daughter of Imperial Prince Fushiminomiya Kuniie.

December 21: Married Princess Noriko.

1864: Rose to the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). Remained in the position of Gon Chunagon (provisional vice-councilor of state).

August 6: Became the general of the bakufu army for the first conquest of Choshu.

August 8: Yoshikatsu TOKUGAWA, the lord of the Owari Domain, replaced the position of the general.

May 1865: Became the leading general for the Second conquest of Choshu.

June 17, 1869: Became the governor of the Kishu Domain.

July 14, 1871: Resigned as the governor.

1877: Rose to the rank of Junii (Junior Second Rank).

July 7, 1884: Conferred the rank of marquis.

August 20, 1906: Died. Decorated for the medals for merit of Juichii (Junior First Rank). Died at the age of 63. Homyo (a name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood): Jisho inden goken nichijun daikoji.

[Original Japanese]