Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan in the Edo period (1609-1868).
Ieyasu was born in the Okazaki Castle in December, 1542. His father was Matsudaira Hirotada and mother was Odai, a daughter of Mizuno Tadamasa who was the lord of the Kariya Castle. As Hirotada feuded with the Mizuno family, the mother was sent back to her family. Takechiyo (Ieyasu's original name) was to be a hostage of Imagawa Yoshimoto in Suruga when he was 6. However, Oda Nobuhide captured him at Tahara on his way. Later, Takechiyo was exchanged with Nobuhide's child and was held hostage by the Imagawa clan from the age of 8 to 19.
Ieyasu and Nobunaga
He married Tsukiyama Gozen, a daughter of a key vassal of the Imagawa, when he was 16. Imagawa Yoshimoto was killed by Oda Nobunaga in the Battle of Akehazama. Motoyasu, Takechiyo had changed his name earlier, was defending the Otaka castle in Nagoya as ordered by Yoshimoto.Yoshimoto's death led Motoyasu to make an ally with Nobunaga in 1561. His son, Nobuyasu, married with Nobunaga's daughter, Tokuhime, at the age of 5, making the relationship between the Matsudara family and Oda even closer. Motoyasu renamed as Tokugawa Ieyasu with the Imperial Court's permission in 1566. He then had Mikawa in control.
Ieyasu's conquest of Totomi began around 1568. The three men of Iinoya, Suganuma Tadahisa, Kondo Yasumochi, and Suzuki Shigetoki, navigated Ieyasu from Okuyama, Inasa. He arrived at the Myoonji Temple (Tenryugawa-cho, Higashi-ku), passing the Hokoji Temple, Iinoya, and Kanasashi. Ieyasu successively captured the Hikuma castle and the Kakegawa castle. Moreover, he attacked the Horie castle (Kanzanji).
Ieyasu supported Nobunaga during the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, meritoriously defeating armies of Azai and Asakura. Same year, he changed the name of Hikuma region to Hamamatsu. He spent his life in the region from 29 to 45.
A nogaku play was held in the Hamamatsu castle, cerebrating Nobuyasu's genpuku or coming-of-age.
Takeda Shingen announced his intention of taking Totomi and Mikawa in 1572. His troops entered from the Aokuzure pass, capturing the Inui catsle (Haruno), and moved forward to Tadarai (Tenryu) and Futamata (Tenryu). And then, the Takeda proceeded further to Nishijima (Fukuroi), passing Amagata, Ichinomiya, Iida (Mori-machi), Mukasa (Iwata), Kakuwa (Kakegawa), and Kihara. Ieyasu also departed Hamamatsu and proceeded to Mitsuke (Iwata), and then to Fukuroi. Consequently, the two armies fought in Hitokotozaka. The Battle of Mikatagahara against the Takeda in 1573, Ieyasu's largest war since the Anegawa's, ended in the Tokugawa's utter defeat. He learned many lessons from this loss. In order to cut contacts between the Amano and the Takeda, he attacked the Inui castle in 1574. Even though Takeda Katsuyori captured the Takatenjin castle, he left without proceeding further because Ieyasu strengthen the force in the fortress of Mamushizuka (Kakegawa).
The second son of Ieyasu, Ogii, was born in the same year. There are two theory of where the child was born. One is at the Nakamura residence (Ubumi, Yuto-cho, Nishi-ku) and the other is at Anjo city. And a record says Tsukiyama Gozen, Ieyasu's official wife, abused Oman, the mother, terribly for her pregnancy and forced her to bare the child outside castle. *A monument of the burial of the child's placenta was built in the Nakamura residence in 1884.
Ieyasu defeated the army of Takeda Katsuyori at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575. However, many clans in Totomi, such as provinces of Shuchi, Ogawa, and Kaibara, were still on the Takeda's side. The Futamata castle, the Inui castle, and the Takatenjin castle were the main fortresses of the clans. Ieyasu attacked the Futamata castle and the Komyoji castle. The Futamata fortress finally gave up due to starvation after a seven month refuge.
Nagamaru (later Hidetada), Ieyasu's third son, was born in the Hamamatsu castle in 1579. However in the same year, Nobunaga ordered Nobuyasu, Ieyasu's first son who was accused of conspiring with the Takeda, to kill himself. Nobuyasu, at the age of 21, committed seppuku, samurai's style suicide, and was buried inthe Seiryuji Temple in Futamata. His mother and Ieyasu first wife, Tsukiyama Gozen, was also murdered on her way to Hamamatsu. Her tomb is in the Seiraiin Temple.
His fourth son, Tadakichi, and third daughter, Furihime, were born in the Hamamatsu castle in 1580.
Ieyasu had all regions in Enshu in control as his troop captured the Takatenjin castle (Ogasa) and the Koyama castle (Yoshida, Kaibara). This meant that the fourteen year war against the Imagawa and the Takeda ended. Ordered by Nobunaga, Ieyasu attacked the Takeda in Suruga. As he also conquered Kai province, he was then ruled Mikawa, Totomi, and Suruga. Same year, Nobunaga was murder in the Incident at Honnoji. Ieyasu welcomed the Takeda's vassals into his force. Letters of allegiance to the Tokugawa by those are preserved at the Akiha Shrine in Mikumi-cho.
Nobukichi, his fifth son, was born in Hamamatsu in 1583.
Ieyasu fought with Hideyoshi, who had risen to power after the death of Nobunaga, at Komaki and Nagakude. The war was settled through peace negotiations and Hideyoshi adopted Ieyasu's son. In 1579, Ieyasu at the age of 45 married with Asahime who was 44 years old then and was a stepsister of Hideyoshi. He allied with Hideyoshi.
Ieyasu and Hideyoshi
When he was 45 in 1586, he left Hamamatsu, where he lived for 17 years, and moved to the Sunpu castle.
Odered by Hideyoshi, he left his territory (Suruga, Totomi, Mikawa, Kai, Shinno) and moved to Kanto region in 1589. Accordingly, he inhabited the Edo castle. Hideyoshi died in 1598, leaving a will asking Ieyasu to be the guardian of Hideyori, his son, until his coming of age. Thus he handled political affairs in Osaka.
Ieyasu won the battle against the combined force led by Ishida Mitsunari in 1600. This made him practically the ruler of Japan. He retired from the position of shogun in 1605. Hidetada was appointed as his heir, showing that the Tokugawa shogunate would be ruled by heredity. The Toyotomi family extinguished after the two wars in Osaka, the Winter Siege of Osaka in 1614 and the Summer Siege of Osaka in 1615.
Ieyasu collapsed while he was practicing falconry and died in the Sunpu castle at the age of 75 in 1616.
Yoroigake Matsu or Armor Hanging Pine
The Armor Hanging Pine is the pine tree on which, according to legend, Ieyasu hung his armor to rest under the tree when he came back from the Battle of Mikatagahara in 1572. Originally, it stood nearby the Hamamatsu castle. The tree was felled by windstorm in 1932. People in Motoshiro-cho transplanted the tree on the south side of the City Office. It is now the third generation of the original tree.The spring around the tree was called Umabiyashi (literally, cooling horse) as Ieyasu used it to washed his horse to ease its fatigue from the battle. There is a place called the name in Matsushiro-cho.