Because Yoshiatsu became lord of Mito at a young age, and because of the sensitive political situation of the time, the shogunate assigned the lords of several other domains to serve as his "guardians," overseeing the administration and governance of Mito during his minority. Even after Yoshiatsu came of age, however, some in the shogunate remained concerned about the political situation (and perhaps about Yoshiatsu's ability, or his own political intentions), and so the guardians were permitted to continue to wield considerable authority. Those guardians were lord of Takamatsu han Matsudaira Yoritane, lord of Moriyama han Matsudaira Yorinobu, and lord of Hitachi Fuchû han Matsudaira Yoritsugu. They were dismissed on 1849/3/13.
Yoshiatsu married his first cousin, Takako (Ito-hime), an adoptive daughter of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi and niece of Yoshiatsu's mother Yoshiko, in 1853. Following her death in 1856, he then became betrothed in 1858 to Ei-gimi, a younger sister of court noble Hirohata Tadanori. In 1859/8, he was sentenced to house confinement amidst the dismissal and house confinement of a number of prominent officials associated with foreign affairs, but was released by the end of the following month.
In 1868, while traveling to Mito, he contracted beriberi, and died of it upon his arrival in the domain, with no heir having been named. His younger brother, Tokugawa Akitake, who had been studying in France, left for Japan, arriving to succeed him after the fall of the shogunate.
|Lord of Mito
- Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 157.
- Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 191.
- Anne Walthall, "Nishimiya Hide: Turning Palace Arts into Marketable Skills," in Walthall (ed.), The Human Tradition in Modern Japan," Scholarly Resources, Inc. (2002), 48.
- Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 2 (1937), 507.
- Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 3 (1937), 210, 221.