|Birth Place||Edo (Tokyo)|
Mizuno Tadakuni was a senior official in the Edo government and the ruler of Hamamatsu Domain during 1817 to 1845. He is famous for his unsuccessful Tenpo Reforms.
Mizuno Tadakuni was born in Edo (present Tokyo) as the second son of Mizuno Tadamitsu, lord of Karazu domain (present Karazu, Saga Prefecture), in 1794. He succeeded the headship of the family as his older brother died young. In 1816, he was named soshaban, a position in the Edo shogunate that supervised ceremonies.
Ruling Hamamatsu Domain
Aiming to be a roju, senior official in the government, he tried to be transferred to Hamamatsu domain. In 1817, it came true, and he ruled the domain for the next 30 years. However, he hardly stayed there and left administrative matters of the domain to hanri (domain officer).
Tadakuni needed a vast amount of funds for political activities. The financing efforts he undertook include collections of jonokin (tribute payments) and appropriations of ko (financing associations).The gap of the rich and the poor was widened in the region. To make the matter worse, a nationwide famine hit Japan (Tenpo Famine). A revolt called Hamana-Okage-Sawagi erupted around the Mikkabi region in 1830.
Cultivating a mountain called Mitsuyama nearby Lake Sanaru is one of the few industrial promotion projects he carried out.He also planned to develop farmlands in what now is Usami, Nishi-ku. However, it was opposed by locals. Although he undertook cultivations of kozo plant (Paper Mulberry tree) and productions of paper, the results of these projects are unknown. In 1826, he carried out military reforms. This was led by events such as a foreign ship being cast ashore near what now is Yoshida, Haibara District. He assisted the construction of Agatai Reisha (present Agatai Shrine) in 1833. The name of the shrine on a monument stands there is written by Him. In 1842, he established a school called Keigikan in what now is Taka-machi, Naka-ku.
Despite some remarkable achievements, peasant revolts broke out in all around the region because of the Mizuno clan's pressure politics. The 30 year rule of the Mizuno in Hamamatsu ended in 1845. Tadakuni spent his retirement in Dewa Province (present Yamagata and Akita). He passed away in 1851.
In 1841, he initiated the Tenpo Reforms to restore the shogunate finances.The ordinances included the returns of peasants in Edo to their village to improve food production, the abolishment of kabunakama (merchant monopoly association), the returns of certain lands to the shogunate, and lowering the interest rate. These high-handed policies were greatly unpopular.
Records of Visiting Hamamatsu
- Tadakuni visited Mikatahara and the Tenryu river on his way to Osaka in 1825.
- He prayed for promotion to the post of roju (senior official in the Edo shogunate) at the Gosha Shrine, the Suwa Shrinem, the Hachiman Shrine, and the Akiha Shrine in 1826.
- He visited at the honjin (inn for government officials) in Hamamatsu.
- In 1828, he visited the Hamamatsu castle and wrote a poem.He also went boating in Lake Sanaru.