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Yoshinaga Asano

  • Biography
1576-1613. A daimyo and the firstborn son of Nagamasa Asano. Yoshinaga served in the punitive expedition of Odawara and was highly praised by Hideyoshi Toyotomi for his efforts in the attack on Iwatsuki Castle; with his father he was assigned the land of Kai. However, he was sent to Noto Tsumugi in disgrace with the downfall of Hidetsugu, the chief adviser to the Emperor. Over time he was forgiven by the mediation of Toshiie Maeda and Mandokoro Kitano and stepped up his efforts in the reconquest of Korea. He joined the East squad with Kiyomasa Kato and others in the Battle of Sekigahara, revolting against Mitsunari Ishida, and distinguished himself by participating in the attack on Gifu Castle; he was then granted the Land of Kii (an area that annually produced approximately 472,300 barrels of rice). He studied under the master of artillery, Ichimu Inadome, and is known for his skills in artillery and devotion to his parents.

  • Association with Minato City
Built the Tameike Pond in Akasaka as a clean water supply and outer moat

In 1606, by the direction of the Shogun, Yoshinaga ordered his retainer Choun Yajima to build a weir in Toranomon (the area of the present Patent Agency) and created a large man-made lake that reached Akasaka Gomon, which is the Akasaka Tameike Pond. Because of its shape, it was also called the “Hyotan (Gourd) Pond” and was used as the outer moat of Edo Castle as well as for a supply of clean water. Because the water flowed noisily around the weir above Aoizaka, it was called “Akasaka’s don-don (dub-a-dub).” Although Tameike Pond was eventually disused as a clean water supply, it became Edo’s notable site for floating lotuses. The pond was still in existence at the beginning of Meiji, and ferryboats used it carry goods and passengers. However, when the construction of the Imperial College of Engineering in Toranomon commenced and the weir was expanded, the water began to recede; this resulted in marshland, and the pond was eventually filled. Tameike-cho and Sotobori Street were built in that area.

Kokushi Daijiten (Comprehensive Dictionary of Japanese History) (Yoshikawa Kobunkan)
Kaei - Keio, Edo Kiriezu (Cutout Picture Map of Kaei and Keio) (Jinbunsha)
Edo Tokyo Monogatari - Yamanote Hen (Tales of Edo Tokyo - Yamanote Edition) (Shinchosha/Shinchobunko)
Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten 13 Tokyoto (Kadokawa Comprehensive Dictionary of Japanese Place Names 13, Tokyo) (Kadokawa Shoten)

  • Related Publications
Shashin de miru Edo Tokyo - Tonbo no hon (Edo Tokyo in Photographs - Dragonfly’s Book) (Toru Haga & Masayuki Okabe / Shinchosha)
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