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Tokugawa coat of arms at the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō

The Tokugawa ( jap. 徳川氏 , shi ) is a Japanese shogun - dynasty , which the Tokugawa shogunate (also Edo period , 1603-1868) founded. The Tokugawa shogunate (Japanese bakufu , literally the tented government of the shoguns) began with General Tokugawa Ieyasu , Imagawa Yoshimoto and allies of Oda Nobunaga . The Tokugawa coat of arms ( Mon ) shows three hazel leaves in a circle, but is known as the mallow coat of arms . The hazel root was traditionally counted among the mallow family in Japan .


After the death of Nobunaga, who had been attacked by his general Akechi Mitsuhide and had to commit seppuku , his most capable general, the former common soldier Toyotomi Hideyoshi, seized the power that Nobunaga had previously wielded. But even Hideyoshi was not granted the shogunate because of his low descent. He died, leaving only one underage son (Toyotomi Hideyori). Therefore Ieyasu filled the power vacuum that had developed. He had already served under Nobunaga and was an able general. After Nobunaga's death, after the two initially fought, he teamed up with Hideyoshi. After the latter's death, he himself took hold of the power of the shogunate, which he gained after defeating his worst adversary, Ishida, in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 .

The rule of the Tokugawa was characterized primarily by its very long duration for Japanese history. They stayed in power for over 200 years. The seat of government of the shogunate was in Edo , later Tōkyō . The Tokugawa ruled with an iron fist. They decreed that the daimyo , the local rulers, had a permanent residence in Edo and had to stay there for a certain time in the year. They also introduced the policy of closing Japan in order to stabilize their power. Unlike the Hōjō Shikken or the hapless Ashikaga shogun , the Tokugawa shogunate was only overthrown when the Japanese turned back to the Tennō , the emperor, as ruler with the Meiji Restoration in 1868 .

The current head of the family has been Tokugawa Tsunenari since 1963. The main family's possessions are now managed by the Tokugawa Kinen Zaidan Charitable Foundation (( 川 記念 財 団 , English Tokugawa Memorial Foundation ), the chairman of which is the head of the family.

Heads of families


Surname Life dates Reign
1. Tokugawa Ieyasu 1543-1616 1603-1605
2. Tokugawa Hidetada 1579-1632 1605-1623
3. Tokugawa Iemitsu 1604-1651 1623-1651
4. Tokugawa Ietsuna 1641-1680 1651-1680
5. Tokugawa Tsunayoshi 1646-1709 1680-1709
6. Tokugawa Ienobu 1662-1712 1709-1712
7. Tokugawa Ietsugu 1709-1716 1713-1716
8. Tokugawa Yoshimune 1684-1751 1716-1745
9. Tokugawa Ieshige 1712-1761 1745-1760
10. Tokugawa Ieharu 1737-1786 1760-1786
11. Tokugawa Ienari 1773-1841 1787-1837
12. Tokugawa Ieyoshi 1793-1853 1837-1853
13. Tokugawa Iesada 1824-1858 1853-1858
14. Tokugawa Iemochi 1846-1866 1858-1866
15. Tokugawa Yoshinobu 1837-1913 1866-1867


Surname Life dates time
16. Tokugawa Iesato 1863-1940 1868-1940
17. Tokugawa Iemasa 1884-1963 1940-1963
18. Tokugawa Tsunenari 1940–0000 1963–0000

More family members

Secondary lines

See also


Commons : Tokugawa clan  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Julian Braun: The common way of sword and brush: Philosophy and ethics of Japanese martial arts of the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) . Dissertation Tübingen 2006. DNB

Web links