Tokugawa Iesada (徳川 家定 (May 6, 1824 â€“ August 14, 1858) was the 13th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He held office for only five years, from 1853 to 1858. He was physically weak and was therefore considered unfit to be shogun. His reign marks the beginning of the Bakumatsu period.
Having risen to power soon after the Black Ships episode, he is held to have been responsible for the Unequal Treaties (Convention of Kanagawa, Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty, Harris Treaty, Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce) which broke the sakoku (isolation) policy and opened Japan to foreign influences. Kōmei, the reigning emperor at the time, was a major opponent of his policies. This strengthened the sonnō jōi movement.
Iesada was married to Princess Atsu, the adopted daughter of the daimyo of Satsuma, Shimazu Nariakira.
Ii Naosuke rose to the rank of tairō under him.
Iesada died childless in 1858, which caused factions within the bakufu to clash over the succession. Tokugawa Nariaki of Mito, Satsuma and others wanted to see Tokugawa Yoshinobu as his successor, while the Ōoku and shogunate officials like Ii Naosuke supported Tokugawa Iemochi, and succeeded. These quarrels ended in the Ansei Purge.
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