Aoyama Tadanari


Aoyama Clan


Hitachi Province

Lifespan:  8/6 of Tenbun 20 (1551) to 2/20 of Keichō 18 (1613)

Other Names:  Tōemon (common)

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Deputy Governor of Hitachi, Governor of Harima

Clan:  Aoyama

Bakufu:  Edo (magistrate of Edo for the bakufu, general magistrate of the Kantō, member of the council of elders)

Domain:  Hitachi-Edosaki

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada

Father:  Aoyama Tadakado

Mother:  Daughter of the Uno clan

Wife:  Daughter of Amakata Michioki, [Consort] Daughter of Shinshiro Masatada

Children:  Tadatsugu, Tadatoshi, Asahina Yasushige, Yukinari, Amakata Michiano, daughter (wife of Kawaguchi Chikatsugu)

Aoyama Tadanari served as a bushō and hereditary daimyō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  Tadanari served as a magistrate of Edo and member of the council of elders for the Edo bakufu.  He was the first lord of the Hitachi-Edosaki domain and the ninth head of the main branch of the Aoyama family.

The Aoyama clan were kokujin, or provincial landowners, originating from the Aoyama township in the Agatsuma District of Kōzuke Province.  Later, the clan settled in the village of Dōdō in the Nukata District of Mikawa Province.  From this location, the Aoyama began to serve the Matsudaira clan.  His father, Aoyama Tadakado (the son of Aoyama Tadayo), served Matsudaira Hirotada and Tokugawa Ieyasu.  From an early age, Tadanari served as an attendant to Ieyasu.  In 1572, after his father, Tadakado, died in battle against Takeda Shingen, Tadanari inherited the headship of the clan.

Having earned the trust of Ieyasu, in 1585, Tadanari was ordered to serve as a mentor for Ieyasu’s third son, Tokugawa Hidetada.  In 1588, he accompanied Hidetada to Kyōto and was invested by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the court titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Deputy Governor of Hitachi.  In 1590, after Ieyasu was transferred to the Kantō, Tadanari served as a magistrate for the city of Edo and had landholdings of 5,000 koku (inclusive of an increase of 2,000 koku in 1593).  He received a broad section of residential land centered upon the village of Harajuku and extending to a portion of Akasaka and the upper part of the village of Shibuya.  The current site of Aoyama in Tōkyō is comprised a portion of this area and was named accordingly.  The Aoyama family was temporarily removed from its position and this area seized, while residences for visiting daimyō were built including an expansive site for the Mōri family.  Later, after his position as a daimyō was restored, he received a large site which, although not as large as before, was beyond that of a minor daimyō.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Tadanari served in Hidetada’s army and, despite being delayed in his deployment, in 1601, was granted landholdings of 15,000 koku in Edosaki in Hitachi Province.  Tadanari held the dual roles of magistrate of Edo and general magistrate of the Kantō.  After the inauguration of the Edo bakufu, he served, along with Honda Masanobu and Naitō Kiyonari, in an important role as a member of the council of elders to administer the affairs of the bakufu.

In 1606, Tadanari and Kiyonari were ordered to be temporarily confined but soon pardoned.

On 8/11 of Keichō 11 (1606), Ieyasu’s tenth son, Chōfukumaru (Yorinobu) was invested with the title of Deputy Governor of Hitachi so the title for Tadanari was changed to Governor of Harima.  That same year, he received an increase of 10,000 koku so his landholdings were 25,000 koku in total.

In 1613, Tadanari died at the age of sixty-three and he was succeeded by his second son, Aoyama Tadatoshi.