Honda Narishige

本多成重

Honda Clan

Daimyō

Mikawa Province

Lifespan:  Genki 3 (1572) to 6/23 of Shōhō 4 (1647)

Other Names:  Senchiyo (childhood), Tange, Jirō-Taifu

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Governor of Hida

Clan:  Honda

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Echizen-Maruoka

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada → Matsudaira Tadanao → Tokugawa Iemitsu

Father:  Honda Shigetsugu

Mother:  Daughter of Torii Tadayoshi

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Toki Sadamasa

Children:  Shigeyoshi, Shigemitsu, Shigeyoshi (written with a different character), Shigekata, daughter (formal wife of Matsudaira Naoyoshi)

Honda Narishige served as a bushō and daimyō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  Narishige was a retainer of the Tokugawa clan and the first lord of the Echizen-Maruoka domain.

In 1572, Narishige was born as the eldest son of Honda Shigetsugu, a retainer of the Tokugawa clan.  His childhood name was Senchiyo.  In 1575, while on deployment at the Battle of Nagashino, his father, Shigetsugu, sent a short letter to his wife stating: “Be careful of fire, do not make Osen cry, feed the horse.”  This is well-known as the shortest letter in Japan.  Despite Shigetsugu’s outwardly rough nature, the letter showed the father’s concern for his son.

Narishige served the Tokugawa clan.  In 1602, his fief was increased by 2,000 koku in the Gamō District of Ōmi Province so that he held 5,000 koku in total.  In 1613, he became an appointed chief retainer of Matsudaira Tadanao with a fief of 40,000 koku in Maruoka in Echizen Province.  Together with his cousin, Honda Tomimasa, Narishige served as a deputy to the young Tadanao.  Narishige made contributions at the Siege of Ōsaka.  On 6/19 of Keichō 20 (1615), he was invested with the titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Hida.

In the second month of 1623, when Tadanao was removed from his position, Narishige was initially engaged in service by the Edo bakufu.  In 1624, he was promoted to the role of a hereditary daimyō with a fief of 46,300 koku as lord of the Echizen-Maruoka domain.  To establish the foundation of the domain, he oversaw activities including development of a town below the castle and riparian works.  On 5/19 of Shōhō 3 (1646), he retired and was succeeded by his eldest son, Honda Shigeyoshi.  His second and third sons each received 3,000 koku from the eldest son’s allocation and served as hatamoto, or retainers of the bakufu.  His fourth son became a chief retainer of Matsudaira Tadamasa.

Narishige died on 6/23 of Shōhō 4 (1647) at the age of seventy-six.