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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

He had procured the investiture of Hideyori


few months after the Daigo fete, Hideyoshi was overtaken by mortal sickness. His last days were tormented by the thought that all his skill as an organizer and all his power as a ruler were incompetent to devise a system such as would secure the succession to his child. In June, 1596, he had procured the investiture of Hideyori, then three years old, with the title of regent, and when, just two years later, his own sickness began to develop alarming features, he resolved to place all his trust in Ieyasu. After much thought three boards were ordered to be formed: one consisted of five senior ministers (dairo), its personnel being Tokugawa Ieyasu, Mori Terumoto, Ukita Hideiye, Maeda Toshiiye, and Uesugi Kagekatsu. By these five statesmen the great affairs of the empire were to be managed. The second board was formed with three nobles of lesser note. They were designated the "middle ministers" (churo), whose duty was to arbitrate between the board of senior ministers and the third board, namely that of five "administrators" (bugyo). This third board had been originally organized by Hideyoshi in 1585, but it had not, of course, been associated with the other two boards which came into existence after Hideyoshi's death, though its personnel and its functions remained throughout the same as they had been originally. Again and again, with almost pitiable iteration, the Taiko conjured the thirteen nobles forming these boards to protect Hideyori and to ensure to him the heirship of his
father's great fortunes. Each was required to subscribe a written oath of eight articles:

(1) That they would serve Hideyori with the same single-minded loyalty they had shown to his father.

(2) That the rules of Hideyoshi's house were not to be altered; and that if, in the administration of public affairs, the five bugyo were unable to determine a course of action, they should consult Hideyori through Ieyasu and Toshiie; or, if necessary before taking action, the Emperor was to be consulted.

(3) That there were to be no factions among them, personal considerations and partiality of every kind being excluded from their councils.

(4) That they must endeavour to work together in the discharge of their duties, suppressing all petty jealousies and differences.

(5) That, in settling matters, the opinion of the majority was usually to be followed, but, at the same time, if the opinion of the minority showed no sign of being dictated by personal interests, it should be duly considered. That without permission from Hideyori no administrator should dispose of any of his (the administrator's) territory to another person.

(6) That all accounts were to be kept in a manner above suspicion; that there were to be no irregularities and no pursuing of personal interests; that no questions concerning landed estates should be dealt with during the minority of Hideyori; that no petitions should be presented to him, and that Ieyasu himself would neither ask for changes to be made in the matter of land-ownership nor accept any gift of land from Hideyori during the latter's minority.

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