Matsudaira Naomasa (松平直政)

Naomasa MATSUDAIRA (September 1, 1601-March 8, 1666) was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in the early Edo Period. After serving as the lord of Anezaki Domain in Kazusa Province, the lord of Ono Domain in Echizen Province and the lord of Matsumoto Domain in Shinano Province, he became the first lord of Matsue Domain in Izumo Province. The first head of the Echizen Matsudaira family of Naomasa lineage.

He was the third son of Hideyasu YUKI, the lord of Echizen Fukui Domain. His mother was from the Mitani clan (Gesshoin). His lawful wife was 久姫, the daughter of Tadayoshi HISAMATSU-MATSUDAIRA. His children were: Tsunataka MATSUDAIRA (the first son), Chikayoshi MATSUDAIRA (the second son), Takamasa MATSUDAIRA (the third son), Naotaka MATSUDAIRA (the fourth son), Komahime (the lawful wife of Naonori ECHIZEN-MATSUDAIRA), Tsuruhime (the lawful wife of Yoshizumi SATAKE). Others were Takehime who died young., Manhime, Kame-hime, Kiyahime, and Matsuhime (the wife of Daizen OKUBO). His official court rank was Dewa no kami (the governor of Dewa Province).


He was born on September 1, 1601 in Kawachi, Ika-gun, Omi Province; that is why he was named Kawachi-maru (later Kuni-maru). In 1605, he was adopted and raised by a vassal Shigemasa ASADA. When his father Hideyasu died from a disease in 1607, he became under the patronage of Tadanao MATSUDAIRA, the elder brother by a different mother. On May 28, 1611, he met his grandfather Ieyasu Tokugawa at the Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto. He was given a part of his elder brother Tadanao's name, 'Nao' (直 in chinese character), and came to use the name Dewa no suke Naomasa (Naomasa, assistant governor of Dewa Province).

In 1614, he joined the Siege of Osaka. Because his real mother's social status was low, he was in the position of heyazumi (an adult-age eldest son who has yet to come into his inheritance) and did not have any war funds. It is said that his loyal subject called Hyogo KAMIYA borrowed no less than 2,000 ryo (currency unit) from the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple, which enabled Naomasa to join the battle. At the Fuyu no jin (the Winter War of Osaka), he fought at the Sanada-maru (Sanada Barbican) which was defended by Nobushige SANADA (also known as Yukimura SANADA), who was the greatest commander of the Toyotomi clan. He also joined the Siege of Osaka (Summer Siege of Osaka) next year and fought well by following the direction given by his brother Tadanao. During this battle, Tadanao's force made a distinguished war service by beheading lots of enemies including general Nobushige SANADA.
As an anecdote at this time, it is said that Naomasa's vassal Tahei MUTO gripped Naomasa's intimate part(scrotum) and said, 'when people feel scared it shrinks; however, yours doesn't.'

After the Siege of Osaka, his grandfather Ieyasu praised his great war service and he was given Ieyasu's uchikai bukuro (bag for food and money). His elder brother Tadanao also complimented Naomasa's performance, and granted a shoryo (territory) of 10,000 koku from his own territory. On June 19, 1616, the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) granted an estate of 10,000 koku in Kazusaanezaki and the rank of Dewa no kami to Naomasa; he finally became an official daimyo. In 1623, when his brother Tadanao was forced to withdraw from the family head and exiled to the Bungo Province due to his misconduct and his quarrels with Hidetada TOKUGAWA, Naomasa changed the territory with additional properties of 50,000 koku in Echizen-Ono. In 1633, he again changed the territory with additional properties of 70,000 koku in Shinano in Matsumoto. In the next year, he built Tsukimi-yagura turret and tatsumi tsukeyagura (Southeast Connecting Tower) at the Matsumoto-jo Castle, and repaired the castle gate. In 1638, he changed his territory to Matsue in Izumo with an additional properties of 186,000 koku (and also governed 14,000 koku in Oki Province on behalf of someone else), and became kokushu (kokushu daimyo, a rank of territorial load in Edo period). This is how he became the head of Matsue domain.

Later, Naomasa severely oppressed Christians within his territory. It is said that he was more severe than the former feudal lord Horio clan and Tadataka KYOGOKU. On May 2, 1663, the bakufu appointed him as a kashi (ambassador) along with Motomasa OSAWA at the time of enthronement of the Emperor Reigen, and went to Kyoto. However, right after that on December 25, Naomasa fell ill and on March 8, 1666, he died at the edohantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo). Died at the age of 66. His grave is located at the Gessho-ji Temple (Matsue City) in Sotonakabara-cho, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. His eldest son Tsunataka took over as the head of the family.

It is said that Naomasa was good at arguing, and people even called him "Abura-guchi" (eloquence) behind his back. The uchikai bukuro which Naomasa received from Ieyasu is stored in the Gessho-ji Temple.