Tokugawa Mitsukuni

Tokugawa Mitsukuni
Tokugawa Mitsukuni / Mito komon (徳川 光圀, 11 July 1628 - 14 January 1701) was a prominent daimyo who was known for his influence in the politics of the earlyEdo period. He was the third son of Tokugawa Yorifusa (who in turn was the ninth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu) and succeeded him, becoming the second daimyo of the Mito domain.


In 1657 (Meireki 3) at the age of 27, he married a daughter of the kampaku Konoe Nobuhiro
He was responsible for assembling the Mitogaku scholars to compile a huge Japanese history, Dai Nihon shi. In it, Japan was depicted as a nation under the Emperor, analogous to that in Chinese dynasties. This helped the rise of nationalism in the late shogunate and in the Mito domain later.
In 1661, at age 34, he became the daimyo of the Mito han
At age 63, he was awarded the court office of gon-chūnagon, or provisional middle counsellor. He posthumously received the court rank of junior first rank (1869) and first rank (1900).
In 1691, he retired to his villa, Seizan-sō. He died there a decade later.
He was also known as a gourmet of the Edo period. He is claimed to be one of the first Japanese to eat ramen as well as routinely enjoying such exotic food as wine and yogurt.
He also directed at Zuisen-ji the creation of the very first guide to Kamakura, the Shinpen Kamakurashi. The book would have a profound influence on the city in the following centuries, an influence which continues to this day in names for parts of the city like Kamakura's Seven Mouths, Kamakura's Ten Bridges, and other such popular monikers he coined.
Mitsukuni had one son, who took the Matsudaira surname. Additionally, Mitsukuni adopted the son of an elder brother; this adopted son, Tokugawa Tsunaeda, became his heir.

Mito Kōmon

During the latter half of the Edo period and the Meiji period, a kōdan (narrative tale) named "Mito Mitsukuni 
Man'yūki" fictionalized the travels of Tokugawa Mitsukuni. This tradition of dramatizing his life continued with a novel and, in 1951, the first television series to portray him as a wanderer, masquerading as a commoner, who castigated the evil powers in every corner of the nation. In 1969, the TBS series Mito Kōmon began, and today continues to attract audiences. Episodes were re-broadcast in the early 1990s by WNYE-TV (New York City) under the title "The Elder Lord of Mito."
Each summer, the city of Mito hosts the Mito Komon festival, which prominently feature the Tokugawa seal as well as actors representing Tokugawa Mitsukuni and his assistants.

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