Tsunayoshi Tokugawa

Tsunayoshi Tokugawa (1646-1709)
Tsunayoshi was the 5th of the Tokugawa shoguns, ruling from 1680 to 1709. He is one of the most notorious figures in Japanese history. Viewed by many as a tyrant, his policies were deemed eccentric, extreme, and unorthodox. His Laws of Compassion, which made the maltreatment of dogs an offense punishable by death, earned him the nickname ‘Dog Shogun’. However, Tsunayoshi’s rule coincides with the famed Genroku era, a period of unprecedented cultural growth and prosperity that Japan would not experience again until the mid-20th century. It was under Tsunayoshi that for the first time in Japanese history considerable numbers of ordinary townspeople were in a financial position to acquire an education and enjoy many of the amusements previously reserved for the ruling elite.

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