Ii Naosuke Sakuradamon

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Ii Naosuke 井伊直弼
(November 29, 1815 – March 24, 1860)

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A daimyo of Hikone (1850–1860) and also Tairō of Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan, a position he held from April 23, 1858 until his death on March 24, 1860. He is most famous for signing the Harris Treaty with the United States, granting access to ports for trade to American merchants and seamen and extraterritoriality to American citizens. He was also an enthusiastic and accomplished practitioner of the Japanese tea ceremony, in the Sekishūryū style, and his writings include at least two works on the tea ceremony.

Under Ii Naosuke’s guidance, the Tokugawa shogunate navigated past a particularly difficult conflict over the succession to the ailing and childless Tokugawa Iesada. Ii Naosuke managed to coerce the Tokugawa Shogunate to its last brief resurgence of its power and position in Japanese society before the start of the Meiji period. Ii was assassinated in the Sakuradamon incident by a group of 17 Mito and 1 Satsuma samurai on March 24, 1860.

Edo Castle's Sakurada Gate – photographed by Felix Beato, 1863–1870.

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- - - - - Tairō
In 1858 after Hotta Masayoshi’s disastrous attempt to obtain the emperor’s approval for the Harris treaty the Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Iesada (徳川家定), chose Ii Naosuke to be the Tairō (Great Elder); a decision influenced by the Kii Party. The position of Tairō, a post traditionally held by members of the Ii family, was rarely filled; in fact there had only been three Tairō between 1700 and Ii Naosuke’s rise to power 158 years later. Ii’s promotion to the post of Tairō annoyed many of the shinpan daimyo (daimyo related to the Shogun, they were unable to be members of the bakufu, but in the event of the Shogun dying heirless the next Shogun would be chosen from one of the shinpan families) including Tokugawa Nariaki. As the Tairō Ii Naosuke had both prestige and power second only to the Shogun; Ii also enjoyed the full backing of the Fudai daimyo. An intelligent and capable politician Ii Naosuke was determined to restore the power of the bakufu in Japanese policy making, both in a domestic and a foreign role.
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- - - - - Kōbu gattai and the Kazunomiya marriage 公武合体
Kōbu Gattai is the policy of binding Kyoto and Edo closer together to shore up the failing shogunate with the prestige of the imperial court. This policy was to be carried out by means of a marriage between the Shogun and the Emperor’s younger sister, Princess Kazunomiya.
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© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


The daimyo of Hikone Ii Naosuke 井伊直弼 had meat from Omi cows  近江牛 prepared as misozuke, pickled in miso paste, and send it to Edo to the Tokugawa Shogun, especially also to Nariaki of Mito 水戸斉昭.
Nariaki even wrote a letter to thank for the meat.

Original from ...  slia.on.arena.ne.jp/rekishi/index.html
徳川斉昭書状別紙, 嘉永元年(1848年)12月

The beef from Hikone was also dried in the cold 「寒」の干牛肉 during the coldest month of January and then eaten as "medicine".
When Ii Naosuke was killed in the Sakuradamon incident on March 24, 1860, by a group of samurai from Mito, the shipments to Mito Tokugawa Nariaki stopped and Nariaki was quite unhappy about this turn of events.

. Eating Meat in Edo .


Sakurada Mon 桜田門 lit. Gate of the Field of Cherry Trees

source : 桜田門外の変」を歩く

Sakurada mon is Nr. 10

The district used to be called
Sakurada goo 桜田郷 Sakurada Go hometown area
It was a wide area of rice fields and many cherry trees were planted along the azemichi 畦道 small paths between the fields.
Near Kasumigaseki there was also
Sakurada mura 桜田村 Sakurada village.
After Ieyasu moved into Edo castle, this part of Edo begun to flourish. Soon there were seven villaged, the
Sakurada Nanagemachi 桜田七ヵ町 / 桜田七ヶ町:
伏見町 Fushimi,善右衛門町 Zen-Saemon,久保町 Kubo,太左衛門町 Tazaemon,
備前町 Bizen,鍛冶町 Kaji and 和泉町 Izumi.


. Kawase Hasui 川瀬巴水 (1883 - 1957) .

Sakurada Gate

Sakurada Gate in Spring Rain


The Sakuradamon Incident 桜田門外の変 Sakuradamon-gai no Hen
桜田門の変 Sakuradamon no Hen

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the assassination of Japanese Chief Minister (Tairō) Ii Naosuke (1815–1860) on 24 March 1860 by rōnin samurai of the Mito Domain, outside the Sakurada Gate of Edo Castle.

The assassination took place outside the Shogun's Edo Castle in Edo (modern Tokyo), just as Ii Naosuke was reaching the premises. Ii Naosuke had been warned about his safety, and many encouraged him to retire from office, but he refused, replying that "My own safety is nothing when I see the danger threatening the future of the country".

A total of 17 Mito rōnin ambushed Ii Naosuke together with Arimura Jisaemon (有村次左衛門), a samurai from Satsuma Domain. While an attack at the front drew the attention of the guards, a lone assassin fired one shot into the palanquin containing Ii Naosuke, with a Japanese-made Colt 1851 Navy Revolver, which had been copied from the firearms that Perry had given the Shogunate as gifts. Drawing the injured and likely paralyzed Ii Naosuke out, Arimura decapitated Ii Naosuke and then committed seppuku.
Arimura Jisaemon, on the point of committing the assassination.

The conspirators carried a manifesto on themselves, outlining the reason for their act:
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- - - - - Consequences
The popular upheaval against foreign encroachment and assassination of Ii Naosuke forced the Bakufu to soften its stance, and to adopt a compromise policy of Kōbu Gattai ("Union of the Emperor and the Shogun") suggested by Satsuma Domain and Mito Domain, in which both parties vied for political supremacy in the years to follow. This soon amplified into the violent Sonnō Jōi ("Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians") movement.

For the following years until the fall of Bakufu in 1868, Edo, and more generally the streets of Japan, would remain notably hazardous for Bakufu officials (see attack on Andō Nobumasa) and foreigners alike (Richardson murder), as the Sonno Joi movement continued to expand. According to Sir Ernest Satow: "A bloody revenge was taken on the individual [Ii Naosuke], but the hostility to the system only increased with time, and in the end brought about its complete ruin".

The conflict reached its resolution with the military defeat of the Shogunate in the Boshin war, and the installation of the Meiji restoration in 1868.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

source : d4.dion.ne.jp/~ponskp/bakumatsu

On the famous painting of the incident, you can see some normal Samurai without shoes.
It was winter and a rare snowfall of about 20 cm kept the rather unprotected palanquin bearers and accompanying samurai cold. So many of the 60 people in the procession, who were only hired for the job, did not protect Naosuke but just run away when they heard the shots.
(Some sources quote one shot, others quote two or more.)


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Tale of Okabe Sanjuro
近世明義伝 岡部三十郎 Kinsei Meigiden Okabe Sanjyūro

Painted by Utagawa Yoshitsuya II
This is a color print of Sanjuro Okabe, one of the Mito clansman who attacked the Chief Councillor of the Shogun at the time Naosuke Ii. This attack, which took place just outside Sakuradamon, Edo in 1860 (seventh year of Ansei) was later referred to as 'The Sakuradamon Incident'.
In 'The Sakuradamon Incident', seceded warriors from the Mito and Satsuma clans attacked the Hikone clan's procession and assassinated the Chief Councillor Naosuke Ii. The assassination of this authority figure of the time sent a signal that the Bakufu's authority had weakened and it is said to have led the Bakufu Administration to fall. Many of the ringleaders committed suicide or were captured and executed by the Bakufu.
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library -


- - - - - H A I K U - - - - -

shunkan ryooshoo Ii Naosuke ni te o awasu

very cold spring day -
I fold my hands
for Ii Naosuke

Kawasaki Tenkoo 川崎展宏 Kawasaki Tenko (1927 - 2009)





. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

鮒ずしや 彦根の城に 雲かゝる
funazushi ya hikone no shiro ni kumo kakaru

Cruician sushi!
Hikone Castle
Covered with floating clouds.

Tr. hokuoto77

'A crucian sushi' was a favorite with Buson.
The crucian sushi is a specialty of Otsu district in Shiga Prefecture. Today Otsu City is nine minutes train ride from Kyoto City and Hikone City about forty minutes train ride from Otsu City.
The crucian sushi in the Haiku must have been one of products of Otsu region. Crucian's scales gills, visceral parts are taken away and the rest are salted. After this process, slices are sandwiched between rice, one by one, and pressed for some time to be fermented naturally. The seasoning and maturing of crucian sushi is a very delicate operation. The whole process calls for skill and experience. Of course, it must be a well-kept trade secret.

*The Poet wrote to Tairo(大魯), one of his disciples:
(Kono ku kaisu bekara zaru mono ni soro. tokaku kiki uru hito mare nite, tada, kito nomi misho itashi soro.)
It translates:
"The Haiku is not appreciated as it should be and people are apt to miss its depth. It is only Kito (几董) who smiled to me with its understanding."
(Translated by hokuto77). In the same letter Buson asked Tairo (大魯) for comments on the Haiku. I can’t possibly get Tairo’s comments at all.
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The Poet had a rest at a tea house on Lake Biwa, enjoying his favorite crucian sushi. A cloud formed from the lake and was drifting up towards the Castle Tower of Hikone. He happened to notice the scene. I believe the cloud was not a figment of his imagination but really existed. The cloud plays a prominent role in the Haiku. It's very clear the cloud will cause no shower of rain at all.
Academic critics say the taste of well matured 'crucian sushi' and the large-scaled landscape, together with the early summer breeze, gave a lot of refreshment to the Poet.
The scenery in the Haiku is magnificent. Even to those who haven’t ever tasted a crucian sushi, nor seen Hikone Castle in the distance, the Haiku will give a breathtaking impression. The rest of sushi haiku by the Poet may well be thought to be discolored by this eminent one.
Here, I think we must carefully consider at what point Kito (几董) nodded smiling to Buson.

The floating cloud can’t be regarded as an omen, good or bad, for the future of the Poet or the castle. It’s just a moving piece of the workings of Nature in the still vast scenery which the Poet is viewing quite by chance. The key is how to interpret the sailing cloud.

I know my guess is wide of the mark. Kito's impression goes:
"Well matured crucian sushi gives him a deeply satisfying feeling and he admires the scenery around him with a real sense of fulfilled existence. Right now, a cloud rising from on Lake Biwa has come up obscuring the Castle. As sushi has thoroughly melted into my body, so he himself merged into this vast landscape filled with splendor and he feel as if riding on the floating cloud and he’ve begun to wonder if it keeps sailing for Eternity."
I know Kito (几董) is acutely aware that Eternity is the very thing that Buson seeks.
- source : hokuoto77.com/buson-su -

crucian carp sushi -
the castle of Hikone
is wrapped in clouds

Tr. Gabi Greve

. funazushi, funa sushi, bunazushi ふな寿司 .
- kigo for summer -


- Reference - Japanese 桜田門の変 -
- Reference - English sakuradamon -

. Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets .

- KAPPA 河童 water goblin - ABC-Index -
- - - #sakuradamon #iinaosuke #naosukeiihikone #hikone - - -


Sakurada Jinja 櫻田神社 / 桜田神社 Sakurada Shrine
3 Chome-2-17 Nishiazabu, Minato ward, Tokyo // 東京都港区西麻布3-2-17

This shrine dates back to 1180, the Heian period.
It has been built on orders of 源頼朝 Minamoto no Yoritomo to house the deity
霞山桜田明神 Kazan Sakurada Myojin.
The fields belonging to the shrine, 御神田, were later re-named 桜田.
Around 1470, 大田道灌 Ota Dokan revived the shrine.
In 1624 it was relocated to Azabu.

Deity in residence;
豊宇迦能売神 Toyoukanome 豊宇賀能売命
(トヨウケビメ Toyoukehime)

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This is a small shrine in the middle of urban area. And, the entrance is inconspicuous although it's along an avenue.
This shrine enshrine the Jurojin deity.
He brings good luck of longevity and recovery from illness.
He is one of the Seven Deities of Good Luck in Japan.

The shrine also has an old tensuioke 天水桶, a basin for collecting rain water.
. Sakurada Shrine - Ten-sui-oke 天水桶 .

The Sakurada Shrine is run by a family, almost like a family business.
- reference -


Ii Naotora and Tokugawa Ieyasu
on a manhole in Shizuoka


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1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Isshinji 一心寺 Isshin-Ji - Kita-Shinagawa
豊盛山 Hoseizan 延命院 Enmei-In / Shinagawa Naritasan
On request of 井伊直弼 Ii Naosuke, the temple was built and the carver 山村一心 Yamamura Isshin made the statue of Fudo Myo-O in 1845.