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Shogunate Senate Ii vs. Anti-Shogunate Delegate Shimazu

    In the decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600, the opening was started by Ii Naomasa shooting against  the Shimazu Yoshihiro troop. Heavily outnumbered, Shimazu had no choice but to retreat. However, Naomasa pursuit-chased Shimazu leaving from the front line. This achievement made his authority evident in terms of seniority, rank, reputation and overall influence during the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate.

    After the battle, his son Naotaka succeeded in the battle of Osaka the Summer Campaign. Consequently, Ii clan became an official shogunate senate family and a few sub-branches remained daimyo for the duration of the Edo period. Meanwhile, Shimazu played cards right after the war, and mended a diplomatic relation with Naomasa, which brought back his family fame and conservation of his territory. Although Naomasa eventually gave generous decisions, Shimazu’s diplomatic strategy was outstanding. Shimazu clan lost the battle at the Sekigahara, but  their tactics gained a victory in political perspective. 




    In the end of Edo period, Ii Naosuke managed to coerce the Tokugawa shogunate to the last brief resurgence of its power and position in Japanese society. At the same time, Shimazu Nariakira, the 11th feudal lord, advanced anti-shogunate movement. While shogunate senate Naosuke was trying to regain strong authority of Tokugawa clan, Nariakira was eager to lead the country to the new epoch. This was the re-start of the fatal fight between Ii and Shimazu. For Nariakira, Naosuke seemed to have gone too far. Even thought the emperor granted Tokugawa regime a significant dominance, Naosuke continued the series of high-handed policies that went against Emperor’s intention. Therefore, Nariakira determined to enter Kyoto with 5,000 soldiers to confront Ii senate in Edo. 

    Yet, their decisions ended up with a cruel conclusion. Nariakira died of a disease just before proceeding to Kyoto and subsequently, Naosuke was assassinated at the gate of Sakurada during the most infamous political terrorism. However, the history of Japan continued to be more intense without a settling of dispute between the two……

Tatsuo Ii

​Director of Ii Museum

Shogunate Senate Ii

Anti-Shogunate Delegate Shimazu

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