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Shunmyoin

In Japanese History, Japanese Shrines & Temples, Tokugawa Shogun Graves, Travel in Japan on June 11, 2013 at 1:32 am

浚明院
Shunmyōin
 (Divine Prince of Virtue & Riches)
十代将軍徳川家治公
10th Shōgun, Lord Tokugawa Ieharu
Kan’ei-ji

Tokugawa Ieharu, not the craziest shogun, not the coolest shogun. Just a shogun who was really into his hobbies.

Tokugawa Ieharu.
Meh.

Don’t forget I have an overview of Tokugawa funerary temples. This series is meant to be read in order, so if you’re confused about terminology, please go back and start at the beginning. A lot of new terminology has come up as burial practices change. Also we’ve covered a lot of posthumous names by now, so the chart at the beginning could be really helpful.

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The 10th shōgun, Tokugawa Ieharu, was enshrined together[i] in 厳有院 Gen’yūin, the mausoleum of the 4th shōgun, Ietsuna, at Kan’ei-ji. As with all of the graves at Kan’ei-ji, they have been combined into one spot behind the imperial scroll gate of 常憲院 Eikyūin, which is now called the 徳川将軍家墓所 Tokugawa Shōgun-ke Bosho The Tokugawa Shōgun Family Cemetery and it is, as mentioned many times, pretty much inaccessible. Even if you can get private or group access to the site, photography is not permitted past the entrance[ii].

Entrance to the Tokugawa Family Shogun Graves at Kaneiji

You can’t come in.
And if you do actually get a chance to come in, NO PICTURES!
Because… NO PICTURES.
Got it???!

As is typical with gōshi type enshrinements, the newly deified Shunmyōin[iii], was interred in an 御霊屋 o-tamaya with a 宝塔 hōtō, 2-story pagoda shaped funerary urn[iv]. Because Kan’ei-ji hides the shōgun graves from the public like a bunch of twats, I can’t even show you a picture of the grave itself.

Kan’ei-ji really pisses me off.

Tokugawa Shogun Family Graveyard Ueno

One o-tamaya in the cemetery behind Gen’yuin.
Not sure whose.
Could be Ietsuna, Ieharu, or Ienari.

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I don’t know much about Ieharu, but I’ve heard he was quite intelligent. Not so interested in governing, but intelligent. Kind of a “meh” shōgun. But he was into chess and more importantly he was into the arts and literature. He was also curious about foreigners.

His eldest son, 徳川家基 Tokugawa Iemoto was being groomed to be his successor, but died before he could be installed. Because of this, Iemoto is called 幻の第11代将軍 maboroshi no dai jūichidai shōgunthe phantom 11th shōgun.” Quite a bummer, dude had the name for it and everything. Anyhoo, Iemoto died before his father and was enshrined gōshi-style next door at Eikyūin.

This is the best I could get for Tokugawa Iemoto's grave's photo.  Thanks, Kan'ei^ji.

This is the best I could get for Tokugawa Iemoto’s grave’s photo.
Thanks, Kan’ei-ji.

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[i] What’s the word for this? C’mon, we’ve seen it 3 or 4 times already; 合祀 gōshi.

[ii] The ban on photography is so silly since you can enter and take pictures of the graveyards at Nikkō and Zōjō-ji. Twats.

[iii] Despite the Yiddish sounding kaimyō, Ieharu was 100% Japanese.

[iv] I keep writing funerary urn throughout this series, but I’m wondering if this is redundant. Is there any other kind of urn?

  1. 2 comments.

    1) Thanks for clarifying that his name is Japanese and not Yiddsih
    2) There are non-funerary urns. A vase is a type of urn.

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