Life and Times of a Japanese Shogun: Tokugawa Ieyasu with Patrick Lovell - Context Travel

Life and Times of a Japanese Shogun: Tokugawa Ieyasu with Patrick Lovell


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It is almost inconceivable to think of Japan today without also considering the role and legacy of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first in a line of fifteen Tokugawa shoguns of the Edo period in Japan, that lasted from 1600-1868. As the third of the three great unifiers of Japan, Ieyasu is studied by business people and is known by all Japanese even small school children. During this conversation, we take a look at the life and times of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his legacy today.

We’ll begin by learning how Ieyasu ended the over 200 years period of constant civil wars and established a dynasty that dominated Japan until the Boshin Wars that ushered in the Meiji period putting Japan on a trajectory that ended in imperialism, fascism, war, and utter defeat and destruction. We’ll discuss how Ieyasu not only created a dynasty but ushered in a period of over 250 years of peace and prosperity and laid the foundations of the modern Japanese state.

Knowing who Ieyasu was, what he thought, and how he led 421 years ago not only provides an engaging and fascinating story, it offers the chance to enjoy his legacy and imprint that to this day is found in all corners of modern Japan. On any future visit to Japan, one will have an insight into Japan’s political system, transportation system, food culture, manners, customs, and philosophy, all impacted by Tokugawa Ieyasu and the era he alone created.

Led by an expert history guide, Patrick Lovell, this interactive seminar will deepen our understanding of the important figure in Japanese history, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a comprehensive awareness of this character.

Patrick Lovell completed a BA in Education and Asian History at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, where he followed his interest in Asia and particularly Japanese history, and culture. After a study abroad semester in a Japanese family he taught Japanese history at Nishimachi International School, Tokyo, founded by the Meiji period Matsukata Masayoshi’s grand daughter Tané Matsukata, and adult education Japanese history courses at Temple University, Tokyo Campus. Patrick has spent 50 years in Japan and witnessed first-hand the end of Japan’s heady economic revival and the rise and fall of the speculative land bubble in the early 90s. Patrick has been providing custom history/cultural tours throughout Japan for 15 years and is a 35 year practitioner of Buyo traditional Japanese dance. He maintains his Japanese karasansui garden in Nikko where he makes his home.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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