Japanese: 御三卿 (gosankyou)
The Gosankyô were three junior branches of the Tokugawa clan during the Edo period, lower in rank and power than only the Gosanke (daimyô of Mito, Kii/Kishû Wakayama, and Owari domains) and the mainline shogunal lineage itself. Consisting of the Hitotsubashi, Shimizu, and Tayasu clans, they were along with the shogun's lineage and the Gosanke the only houses permitted to use the Tokugawa name, and the only houses from which successors to the position of Shogun could be chosen. Members of the Gosankyô were ineligible, however, for powerful advisory & decision-making positions such as that of rôjû, and did not enjoy the privilege of offering advice directly to the shogun in times of emergency that the Gosanke did. Further, while the Gosanke enjoyed their own daimyô domains, the Gosankyô did not possess extensive fiefs, and were based at mansions located inside the Tayasu-mon, Hitotsubashi-mon, and Shimizu-mon gates of Edo castle, respectively.
The Tayasu, Hitotsubashi, and Shimizu families were descended from Tokugawa Munetake (second son of Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune), Tokugawa Munetada (fourth son of Yoshimune), and Tokugawa Yoshishige (second son of Shogun Tokugawa Ieshige), respectively.
Tokugawa Iesato (successor to the last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, as head of the Tokugawa house) came from the Tayasu house. Shoguns Tokugawa Ienari and Yoshinobu came from the Hitotsubashi house.
- Mitani Hiroshi, David Noble (trans.), Escape from Impasse, International House of Japan (2006), xxiv-xxv.
- "Gosanke and gosankyô," gallery labels, Edo-Tokyo Museum.