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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

So that in Yedo was named Kwanei ji


In

1632, Iemitsu made another military demonstration at Kyoto, and on this occasion the Emperor would have conferred on him the post of prime minister (dajo daijiri). But he refused to accept it. This refusal was subsequently explained as a hint to the feudal chiefs that inordinate ambition should be banished from their bosoms; but in reality Iemitsu was influenced by the traditional principle that the Throne had no higher gift to bestow on a subject than the shogunate.

PROMINENT FEATURES OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF IEMITSU

The prominent feature of this able ruler's administration was that he thoroughly consolidated the systems introduced by his grandfather and confirmed by his father. From the time of Iemitsu downwards, cardinal forms were never changed, alterations being confined to non-essentials. On his death-bed he desired that his prime minister, Hotta Masamori, and several other notables should accompany him to the tomb, and on the night of the 10th of June, 1651, Hotta Masamori (aged forty-six), Abe Shigetsugu (aged fifty-two), Uchida Masanobu (aged thirty-three), Masamori's mother (aged sixty-three), Saegusa Moriyoshi, and Okuyama Yasushige all committed suicide. Their tombs stand to this day in Nikko.

THE NIKKO SHRINE AND THE KWANEI TEMPLE

It has been related how largely Ieysau was aided against the Osaka party by Tengai, abbot of Enryaku-ji.

This priest it was that devised the singular accusation connected with the inscription on a bell at Hoko-ji. He received from Ieyasu the diocese of Nikko in Shimotsuke province, where he built a temple which ultimately served as the shrine of Ieyasu. But the first Tokugawa shogun, faithful to his frugal habits, willed that the shrine should be simple and inexpensive, and when Hidetada died, his mausoleum (mitamaya) at the temple Zojo-ji in Yedo presented by its magnificence such a contrast to the unpretending tomb at Nikko, that Iemitsu ordered Akimoto Yasutomo to rebuild the latter, and issued instructions to various feudal chiefs to furnish labour and materials. The assistance of even Korea, Ryukyu, and Holland was requisitioned, and the Bakufu treasury presented 700,000 ryo of gold. The shrine was finished in 1636 on a scale of grandeur and artistic beauty almost unsurpassed in any other country. The same priest, Tengai, was instrumental in building the temple known as Kwanei-ji, and at his suggestion, Hidetada asked the Imperial Court to appoint a prince to the post of abbot (monsu).

This system already existed in the case of Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in Kyoto, and it was Tengai's ambition that his sect, the Tendai, should possess in Yedo a temple qualified to compete with the great monastery of the Imperial capital. Thus, Ueno hill on which the Yedo structure stood was designated "Toei-zan," as the site of the Kyoto monastery was designated "Hiei-zan," and just as the temple on the latter received the name of "Enryaku-ji," after the era of its construction (Enryaku), so that in Yedo was named "Kwanei-ji," the name of the year period of its foundation being Kwanei. Finally, the Kwanei-ji was intended to guard the "Demon's Gate" of the Bakufu city as the Enryaku-ji guarded the Imperial capital. Doubtless, in furthering this plan, Iemitsu had for ultimate motive the association of an Imperial prince with the Tokugawa family, so that in no circumstances could the latter be stigmatized as "rebels." Not until the day of the Tokugawa's downfall did this intention receive practical application, when the priest-prince of Ueno (Prince Kitashirakawa) was set up as their leader by the remnants of the Bakufu army.


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