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Marubashi Chuya

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  • Died: 1651
  • Japanese: 丸橋 忠弥 (Marubashi Chuuya)


Marubashi Chûya was a ronin (masterless samurai) from Yamagata, and instructor in martial arts and military strategy, most famous for his involvement in the 1651 Keian Uprising which sought to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. He is said to have been a man of great strength and good birth whose distaste for the shogunate stemmed primarily from a desire for revenge for the death of his father, killed by the shogunal army at the 1615 Osaka Campaign. The identity of his father is not clear, but may have been Chôsokabe Morichika.

He found work teaching the use of the halberd, and other aspects of martial arts and strategy. Marubashi met Yui Shôsetsu, later to be his partner in organizing the Keian Uprising, at the armorer shop run by the latter. At some point after 1645, the two began to plot their rebellion, which would revolve around starting a fire in the capital of Edo and using this as a distraction to allow the rebels entry into the castle.

They planned to strike shortly after the death of Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1651, but Marubashi fell quite ill at that time, and revealed secrets of the plot in his delirium. Before any part of the plot was initiated, Marubashi was arrested in Edo. Yui killed himself shortly afterwards, while Marubashi and a number of the other rebels were crucified, their families beheaded.

He is the titular figure in a 1870 kabuki play by Kawatake Mokuami also known as Keian Taiheiki.

References

This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both the Samurai Archives Wiki and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.

  • Frederic, Louis. "Marubashi Chūya." Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Sansom, George. A History of Japan: 1615-1867. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1963. pp54-56.
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