Aoyama Narishige


Aoyama Clan


Shimōsa Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 18 (1549) to 9/7 of Genna 1 (1615)

Other Names:  Shichiemon

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Assistant Director of the Bureau of Drawings and Books

Clan:  Hattori → Aoyama

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Shimōsa-Iida

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu

Father:  Hattori Masanobu

Mother:  Daughter of Aoyama Tadanori

Siblings:  Masahisa, Narishige

Wife:  Daughter of Tsuneoka 当自

Children:  Naritsugu, daughter (wife of Asaba Yukimasa), Narikuni

Aoyama Narishige served as a bushō and daimyō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a rōjū, or member of the shōgun‘s council of elders – the highest ranking position among officials of the Edo bakufu.

In 1549, Narishige was born as the second son of Hattori Masanobu.  In 1571, his mother’s older cousin, Aoyama Tadashige, was killed in action and did not have an heir so, upon orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, he inherited the headship of the Aoyama clan.

Narishige served as a guardian of Tokugawa Hidetada.  In 1590, when Ieyasu transferred to the Kantō, Narishige was granted a fief of 3,000 koku in the Katori District of Shimōsa Province.  In 1601, his fief was increased by 2,000 koku.  On 12/25 of Keichō 8 (1603), his fief was further increased by 5,000 koku in Shimōsa.  His total fief exceeded 10,000 koku enabling him to establish the Iida domain in Shimōsa.

In 1608, Narishige was appointed as a rōjū, but, owing to his adoption of Ōkubo Narikuni (the son of Ōkubo Nagayasu), he was deemed complicit in an event known as the Ōkubo Nagayasu Incident (the discovery of certain improprieties by Nagayasu in the wake of his death) whereupon he was demoted and removed from his position.  His fief was reduced by 7,000 koku and he was confined to Iida.  At the Siege of Ōsaka, he earnestly requested to accompany Honda Masanobu in a bid to make contributions and restore his honor, but, in the end, died without being pardoned.  The remaining fief of 3,000 koku at the time of his demise reverted to the Edo bakufu which, in turn, granted his lineal heir, Aoyama Naritsugu, a new fief of 1,000 koku.  His descendants served as hatamoto, or direct retainers of the bakufu.  In the era of Naritsugu’s son, Aoyama Narimasa, the fief was increased to 1,200 koku and, several generations thereafter, 成存, became a commissioner of finance for the bakufu.