Aoyama Shigenaga


Aoyama Clan


Mikawa Province

Lifespan:  Tenshō 6 (1578) to 11/4 of Kanei 16 (1639)

Other Names:  Zenshirō (common)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Aoyama

Bakufu:  Edo

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada → Tokugawa Iemitsu

Father:  Aoyama Masanaga

Mother:  Daughter of Ōkubo Tadamasu

Siblings:  Shigenaga, sister (wife of Gotō Akitsugu), sister (wife of Aoyama Shigekatsu), sister (wife of Aoyama Toshimasa)

Adopted Children:  Shigekatsu, Toshimasa, Morinaga

Aoyama Shigenaga served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Tokugawa clan.

In 1578, Shigenaga was born as the lineal heir of Aoyama Masanaga, a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Mikawa Province.

In 1585, Shigenaga entered into service for Tokugawa Hidetada and, in 1588, was promoted to the role of koshō, or a page, to Hidetada.  In 1590, he served in the Conquest of Odawara.  In 1598, he became a tsukaiban, or messenger and scout on the battlefield.  In 1600, Shigenaga served meritoriously at the Second Battle of Ueda.  In 1605, he followed Hidetada to the capital of Kyōto, accompanying him on a visit to the Imperial Court.  In 1607, upon the death of his father, he inherited the headship of the Aoyama clan and, together with land from his inheritance, managed a fief of 2,500 koku.  In 1612, he was appointed as a metsuke, or inspector, and entered Fushimi Castle.  In the period from 1614 to 1615, he served in the winter and summer campaigns of the Siege of Ōsaka.  During the Battle of Tennōji – Okayama, Shigenaga charged ahead of the hatamoto corps, but after the war, was censored for acting before others on the battlefield, removed from his position and confined.  At this time, his adopted son, Shigekatsu, formed a cadet family.

In 1621, Shigenaga re-entered into service for Tokugawa Iemitsu and was granted a fief of 2,000 koku in Kai Province.  Thereafter, he facilitated the transfer of domains among daimyō including, in Ise Province, the Kanbe domain in the Kawawa District and the Ise-Kameyama domain in the Suzuka District, in addition to, in Shinano Province, the Matsumoto domain in the Tsukama District.

In 1639, Shigenaga died without a natural son so his younger cousin, Yoshimasa (the son of his uncle, Aoyama Masanari) inherited the headship of the clan.  He also adopted Morinaga (the son of Aoyama Shigekatsu) from a cadet family.