Tokugawa Iemitsu

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Tokugawa Iemitsu

Tokugawa Iemitsu ( Japanese 徳 川 家 光 ; * August 12, 1604 in Edo , today Tokyo as Tokugawa Takechiyo ( 徳 川 竹 千代 ); † June 8, 1651 ibid) was the third shogun from the Tokugawa dynasty. He ruled from 1623 to 1651.

Iemitsu, as the eldest son of the shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, succeeded him in 1623. Hidetada resigned as a shogun, but like the first of the Tokugawa shoguns, Tokugawa Ieyasu , he retained real power as Ōgosho ( 大 御所 ) until his death in 1632.

After Tokugawa Iemitsu's death, his firstborn, Tokugawa Ietsuna , became a shogun.

During the time of his political sovereignty, i.e. after the death of his father, Tokugawa Iemitsu laid down the two main political pillars of the Tokugawa shogunate for the next 200 years:

Control of the daimyo

Iemitsu consolidated the shogunate by destroying a large number of the daimyos and establishing the central government in Edo , which would last for the next 200 years until the Meiji Restoration . He also established the system of Sankin kōtai in 1635 , which significantly limited the power of the daimyō by forcing them to constantly switch between their provinces and Edo and forcing them to do military service.

Isolation of Japan

While Oda Nobunaga saw the Christianization of Japan by foreign missionaries as a means of breaking the power of the Buddhist monasteries and supported it accordingly, Iemitsu soon realized that the foreign religion and the steadily increasing influence of Christian missionaries would endanger the power of the shoguns.

The result of these considerations was the policy of isolation from the outside world, Japanese Sakoku , which was to begin between 1633 and 1639: No Japanese were allowed to leave the islands, foreign trade was only conducted with the Chinese and Dutch (they had no missionaries on their ships), and that only from the island of Deshima in the port of Nagasaki, which was artificially created and isolated for this purpose . All other foreigners were banned from entering the country on pain of death. In this context Christianity was even banned in Japan. Christian missionaries were persecuted and cruelly murdered or banished from Japan.

The massive reprisals inflicted on the Japanese of Christian faith resulted in the Shimabara uprising in 1637/1638 , which was, however, bloodily suppressed. A total of around 37,000 insurgents (men, women and children) who had sought refuge in Hara Castle were murdered after their fall. As a result of this uprising, Iemitsu's anti-Christian policy intensified dramatically: From now on, the practice of Christianity alone was punishable by death.

Web links

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