Bunkyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienari


(Divine Prince of Respectful Embellishment)

11th Shōgun, Lord Tokugawa Ienari

LOCATION: Kan’ei-ji (Ueno Park)

Where da ladies at?

After a bunch of super boring shōguns, we’ve finally come to someone worth talking about: Tokugawa Ienari, the party shōgun. Awwwwwwww yeah!

Ienari was the longest reigning shōgun.
Was irresponsible, but people liked him.
Saved many temples & shrines by moving them to Nippori
He was da man for something like 50 years.
Dude was a straight pimp.
Only shōgun with his own hashtag on Twitter: #TeamIenari

"My eyes aren't so good, ladies. Why don't you come a little closer?"
“My eyes aren’t so good, ladies. Why don’t you come a little closer?”


Look at this chart comparing Ienari’s life with mine:

legal wife

(literally main bedroom)

(literally side rooms)
16-27 official concubines
(but there were nearly 1000 women living in the 大奥 ō-oku harem at that time; his number fluctuates because of deaths/illnesses/etc)
2 at best…
26ish boys
27ish girls
diseasessaid to have been
“riddled with syphilis”
yet lived to a ripe old 68
(pretty good
for those days)
allergic to ragweed and house dust
partyingliked to drink every night with beautiful women
(emphasis on the plural) and he was said to have never had a sexless night
i’d like that too,
but reality is a little different…
“da vulgar shōgun”

“da Viagra shōgun” [i]
marky star
spendingblew so much cash on bitches and bling that the inheritance money of the direct shōgunal line never recovered until after the bakumatsuwhat inheritance?
CONCLUSION:A straight up pimp.Pretty much not a pimp…


"It's good to be the shogun."
If you could, you would.
“It’s good to be the shogun.”


There are a bunch of things he did that I don’t want to compare with my life. For example, as a kid he liked to have pet chickens and crabs. He also liked to step on them and crush them to death. He also loved butter and dairy products.

Yuck. I hate butter and dairy.


Should I bring my drums?
Entertain the shogun? OK.
Should I bring my drums?
Not necessary?
I see.
On my way…


Anyways, after a long life and a long reign that I’m sure he enjoyed every freaking minute of, he was finally enshrined together with his father, Ieharu, at Gen’yū-in, the funerary temple of the second shōgun, Ietsuna. Ienari’s grave was located to the right of Ieharu’s and left of the stone walls surrounding the Gen’yū-in funerary complex.

Some people might say his posthumous name is inappropriate or ridiculous. But 文 bun means “style” and 恭 kyō means “respect.” Dude, Ienari was a straight up playa. You gotta respect that style[ii].


Karamon and fence surrounding the oku no in of Bunkyo-in. When you passed through this gate, you’d find the naka-karamon and hoto (burial urn) of Ienari.
Stone lanterns from Genyuin. This is the most gravey picture in this article.
Stone lanterns from Gen’yu-in.
This is the most gravey picture in this article.


For the same reasons I’ve been complaining about for days now, I have no pictures of his grave or Gen’yū-in mortuary complex. The best I can offer is my original article on Gen’yū-in, Tokugawa Ietsuna’s place of enshrinement.

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[i] Ottosei is a kind of seal. Common belief at the time was that if you cut off a seal dick and dry it, then make it into a powder and drink it, you’ll get “man power.”
[ii] Liberal translation, I know. It’s a joke, sue me. That said, Ienari’s long reign saw a true flourishing of Edo culture and peaceful rule.

9 thoughts on “Bunkyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienari

  1. I used to think Ieyasu was the coolest shogun. But he ain’t got shit on this dude.

    Ienari FTW!

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