Matsudaira Sadanao (松平定直)

Sadanao MATSUDAIRA (February 29, 1660 - November 24, 1720) was a daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) in the Edo period. He was the fourth lord of the Matsuyama Domain in Iyo Province. He was the fifth head of the Hiasamatsu Matsudaira family of the Sadakatsu lineage.

He was the first son of Sadatoki MATSUDAIRA, the second lord of the Imabari Domain in Iyo Province. His biological mother was the noble's concubine Reichoinden (of the Hiraoka clan). His lawful wife was the daughter of Masayuki INABA. His children included Sadanaka MATSUDAIRA (first son), Sadahide MATSUDAIRA (third son) and Sadaakira MATSUDAIRA (fourth son). His official rank and government posts were Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), Oki no kami (governor of Oki Province), and jiju (chamberlain). His childhood name was Nabenosuke.


Sadanao MATSUDAIRA was born in 1660. In 1674, he became the adoptive heir of Sadanaga MATSUDAIRA, the lord of the Matsuyama Domain and went on to succeed him as lord of the Matsuyama Domain. His adoptive mother was of the Shunkoinden Kyogoku clan. In that year, he was appointed to Jugoinoge Awaji no kami (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade of the governor of Awaji Province) and three years later, he became the governor of Oki Province and was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank., Lower Grade).

In 1687, he moved the hancho (domain administration building) from Ninomaru to Sannomaru and used Ninomaru as a separate hancho (a retreat for his old age). In 1704, with the promotion in official rank of Ienobu TOKUGAWA, the successor of the Tokugawa Shogun family, Sadanao was appointed Shogunate messenger to Kyoto and promoted to jiju. In Kyoto, he had an audience with the Emperor Higashiyama. In the following year, hansatsu (currency issued by a feudal domain) were issued for the first time in the territory because of financial difficulties. On the other hand, he homogenized farmer's burden through the introduction of the land area system and succeeded in earning stable revenues from nengu (land taxes) by revising the taxation method from kemi-ho (annual crop inspections) to jomen-ho (a fixed tax rate). On the cultural front, he was fond of Haikai (seventeen-syllable verse) and contributed to its prosperity.

In connection with the Genroku Ako Incident on December 15, 1702, Sadanao was ordered to take custody of 10 Ako roshi (lordless samurai of Ako domain); Chikara OISHI, Yasube HORIBE, Okaemon KIMURA, Kansuke NAKAMURA, Hannojo SUGAYA, Saburobe CHIBA, Kazuemon FUWA, Gengo OTAKA, Yazaemon KAIGA and Kinemon OKANO, out of total 47 persons. At that time, Sadanao, who was ill in bed, was unable to go to Edo-jo Castle and received this order through his vassal.
He met the roshi in January 5, 1703 and said the following:
I have longed to meet you since last year, but was not able to as my illness meant that I was unable to even travel to the castle.'
However, I am deeply impressed by this incident.'
I would like to give you a bigger welcome, but I cannot do so because you are the custody of the shogunate.'
However I will not restrict you with regard to various matters.'
If you require anything, do not hesitate to ask my vassals.'
It was said that Matsudaira family's treatment of the roshi was inferior to that of Tsunatoshi HOSOKAWA who was given custody of Kuranosuke OISHI and others. The family was criticized by the samurai and common people of Edo who would say that 'The flowing water (Mizuno) of Hosokawa is clean but the open water (Matsudaira, Governor of Oki Province) of the ocean (Mori, Governor of Kai Province) is turbid' (a satirical tanka poem of the time).

In 1720, he passed away in the second residence of the Matsuyama Domain in Mita, Edo. He died at 61.

His posthumous Buddhist title was 大龍院殿前四位拾遺兼隠州刺史観誉喜広聞証大居士. His corpse was cremated at Mita Saikai-ji Temple and the ashes were buried at Dairin-ji Temple in Matsuyama City.