Matsudaira clan

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See also Matsudaira clan (Echizen)
  • Japanese: 松平家 (Matsudaira-ke)

The Matsudaira family of Mikawa province claimed descent from Minamoto Yoshikuni, a son of Minamoto Yoshiie. Successive generations adopted the names Nitta, Tokugawa, and Serata. The Matsudaira settled in Mikawa province sometime in the 14th Century, the name 'Matsudaira' being assumed by Yasuchika (ca.1390). The Matsudaira struggled to maintain their domain and in the first half of the 16th Century were caught between the Oda and Imagawa. Matsudaira Motoyasu changed the name of the main branch of his family to Tokugawa. He himself became Tokugawa Ieyasu. The name 'Matsudaira' remained with a number of subsidiary branches and was given by Ieyasu to certain of his retainers and allies as an honorific.

In the Edo period, there were roughly seventeen families bearing the name Matsudaira, the Matsudaira clan of Fukui han perhaps the most prominent.[1] Many tozama daimyô families, including the Shimazu, Ikeda, and Yamauchi, were also granted the name Matsudaira; however, while this was an honor, the obligation to use the Matsudaira name rather than their own family names in all formal correspondence with the shogunate served to suppress the independent force of identity of these powerful clans, in their interactions with the shogunate.[2]


  1. Mitani Hiroshi, David Noble (trans.), Escape from Impasse, International House of Japan (2006), xxiv.
  2. Luke Roberts, Performing the Great Peace, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 181.
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