Today is the 98th anniversary of Tokugawa Yoshinobu 徳川慶喜's death. Yoshinobu was the last ruler of the Edo shogunate, but managed to avoid being assassinated or executed, moved to Shizuoka, and enjoyed a long and uneventful retirement.

Well, I say "Yoshinobu"... actually, the issue of his name is not so clear. Japanese Wikipedia sez:

「慶喜」は、「よしのぶ 」あるいは通称として「けいき 」(有職読み)とも読む。将軍在職中、江戸幕府の公式な文書等には「よしひさ 」と読んだとの記録が残っている。本人によるアルファベット署名や英字新聞に「Yoshihisa 」の表記も残る。 ... 出身地である水戸では「よしのぶ」と呼ばれる事が多いが、余生を送った静岡では「けいき」と呼ばれる事が多い。

"慶喜" was read both "Yoshinobu" and, alternatively [as a tsūshō 通称] "Keiki" (this being the yūsoku yomi 有職読み). Some records indicate that while 慶喜 was shōgun, his name was read "Yoshihisa" in shogunate documents. The romanization "Yoshihisa" also appears in English newspapers and in 慶喜's own signature. ... in Mito, where he was born, he is usually referred to as "Yoshinobu," but in Shizuoka where he spent his retirement, "Keiki" is more frequently used.

According to those who knew 慶喜 while he was alive, he himself preferred to be called "Keiki-sama," and in telegrams to his younger brother Tokugawa Akitake identified himself as "Keiki." Similarly, 慶喜's heir and seventh son, Yoshihisa [慶久 — different second character], is said to have been called "Keikyū-sama" by those around him. "Keiki-san" and "Keiki-sama" are both attested, and although contemporary usage is waning, "Keiki-san" is attested not only in Shizuoka but in a range of locations. [Author of carefully-researched historical fiction] Shiba Ryōtarō 司馬遼太郎 says that "Most of those who call him 'Keiki' are from families connected with the former shogunate," but the usage is also attested among those connected with the Higo Domain, who worked to topple the shogunate.

Like I said: legalistic system. You can't argue from first principles. All you can do is cite precedent and hope for the best.

Popularity factor: 6

language hat:

<i>Well, I say "Yoshinobua"</i>

You do?

Also, what, you couldn't have waited two years for the centennial?


I also think I'm missing the joke. Should it be "Yoshino-Booyah!"?


Well, that was an unfortunate place to make a typo. I meant Yoshinobu! I say Yoshinobu!

As for the centennial, no way. This way I'm ahead of the pack. The centennial blog posts will quote ME.


He was certainly a man who had his keiki and ate it


Boo Saibancho!

Incidentally, keiki is Hawaiian for "child," so there are a lot of TV ads in Honolulu that say "Bring you keiki" or "Keiki discount," and then my wife and I always turn and say to each other, "Mmmm, keiki."


sorry..couldnt resist it..I guess 'keiki' could have any number of interesting readings if one we to put ones mind to it..but lets leave it at that for now!

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