chapter  10
12 Pages

Shogun Tsunayoshi, Kaempfer and the 47 Ronin

TSUNA YOSHI AT FIRST inspired great hopes. Sakai's influence was over and it was Hotta Masatoshi who had control and to whom the Shogun owed his accession. The government favoured arts and sciences, encouraged military studies and protected artists. People who had given proof of filial piety and other virtues were rewarded. The calendar was reformed. T sunayoshi himself zealously practised the principles of Confucianism, and the school of Hayashi Razan was greatly in favour, for under the influence of Y oshinao, the seventh son of Ieyasu, it had become a veritable shrine, where Confucius and the other Chinese sages were worshipped. Razan died in 1657 and his son, Shunsai, who succeeded him, continued teaching philosophy. He also occupied himself with the history of Japan and collected a vast library of ancient writings. The Shogun himself undertook to give lectures at which all the daimyo had to be present. But gradually his enthusiasm slackened and later, in 1690, the Shoheiko was transferred to Yushimadai, not far from Ochanomizu, where it still stands, although it has been rebuilt several times. It is now called Seido and there is a cement bridge which leads to it over the canal. This bridge is called Hijiri-bashi, or the Bridge of the Sages. The Seido formed an original part of Tokyo University.