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Tokugawa Family Crest as seen at Kanei-ji Temple, Ueno Tokyo

Tokugawa Bakufu

         The Shoguns and their rule

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ShogunPeriod of Rule
Tokugawa Ieyasu

1603–1605

Tokugawa Hidetada

1605–1623

Tokugawa Iemitsu

1623–1651

Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

1651–1680

Tokugawa Ienobu

1680–1709

Tokugawa Ietsugu

1709–1712

Tokugawa Ietsugu

1713–1716

TokugawaYoshimune

1716–1745

Tokugawa Ieshige

1745–1760

Tokugawa Ieharu

1760–1786

Tokugawa Ienari

1787–1837

Tokugawa Ieyoshi

1837–1853

Tokugawa Iesada

1853–1858

Tokugawa Iemochi

1858–1866

Tokugawa Yoshinobu

1867–1868

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Tokugawa Ieyasu “¿ì ‰ÆN January 31, 1543 – June 1, 1616

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The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the Tokugawa bakufu (“¿ì–‹•{?) and the Edo bakufu (]ŒË–‹•{?), was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which now is called Tokyo. The Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle from 1603 until 1868, when it was abolished during the Meiji Restoration.

Following the Sengoku Period of "warring states", central government had been largely re-established by Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu who completed this process and received the title of shogun in 1603. In order to become shogun, one traditionally was a descendant of the ancient Minamoto clan.

The Tokugawa period, unlike the shogunates before it, was supposedly based on the strict class hierarchy originally established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The warrior-caste of samurai were at the top, followed by farmers, artisans, and traders. The inflexible nature of the Social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts which did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value. As a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This often led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much bigger rebellions. None, however, proved compelling enough to seriously challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers.

Toward the end of the 19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyo with the titular Emperor finally succeeded in the overthrow of the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration. The Tokugawa Shogunate came to an official end in 1868, with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu and the "restoration" (Ōsei fukko) of imperial rule.

See Late Tokugawa shogunate for details.

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