Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康像

Tokugawa Ieyasu, victorious at the Battle of Sekigahara in Keicho 5 (1600), was granted the title Seii tai shogun (“barbarian-subduing generalissimo”), or shogun, for short, by the emperor and established his bakufu or shogunate in Edo in Keicho 8 (1603). He further consolidated his power in Keicho 20 (1615) by defeating the remaining supporters of the Toyotomi clan in the summer siege of Osaka Castle. Ieyasu then died at the age of seventy-five in the fourth month of the following year, Genna 2 (1616). His deathbed statement was that he would be enshrined as Hasshu no chinju (the protective deity of the eight provinces, i.e., of Japan). The following year, the emperor designated him Tosho Daigongen, and he was then enshrined as that deity. During the Edo period, Toshogu shrines, shrines where Ieyasu is worshipped as Tosho Daigongen, were built throughout Japan, starting with the Nikko Toshogu. Portraits of Ieyasu as a god, of which this painting is one example, were also worshipped. Ieyasu is depicted, in the center of this painting, wearing sokutai, formal court garb, and seated on a raised platform, its tatami featuring a decorative cloth binding. He holds a shaku (a flat wooden baton) in his right hand and has a long sword, worn at the hip, on his left. Above his head, we see a bamboo blind and a curtain. In the foreground are balustrades and a pair of Chinese lion-dogs. This painting is the classic composition of a portrait of the defied Ieyasu. Because this painting, an unsophisticated portrayal, shows signs of changes or errors introduced during the copying process, it is thought to be a later work resulting fro
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Edo-Tokyo Museum
Tokugawa Ieyasu
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93.3cm x 42cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

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