Extending Offer: Explore the Ancestor of the Tokugawa Clan


It is well known that the Tokugawa clan originally called themselves the Matsudaira. It was Ieyasu who started the Tokugawa (徳川) family name in 1567 and that was because he wanted to become Shogun eventually.

But why “Tokugawa?”

To become the Shogun, he had to be a descendant of the Genji clan. Genji or Minamoto clan originated from the Tenno family and the clan was allowed to establish the military government, Bakufu, as the representative of the Tenno. For most samurais, it was the goal of life to become the Shogun and it meant to rule the whole country.

Ieyasu witnessed both Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi failed to become the Shogun because of their bloods, and that was why they failed to establish a long last government. So Ieyasu thought it would be very important to appeal that his ancestor was a Genji, in order to found the Bakufu government to rule Japan.

Ieyasu’s family, the Matsudairas, was in Mikawa (today’s Aichi) from his grand grand father generation but the family was originally from the Tokugawa (得川) area near today’s Ota City in Gunma. And the original Tokugawa was the hometown of the Nitta clan, one of the Genji clan. Yoshisada Nitta is famous for his loyalty to the Tenno and he finished Hojo and Kamakura Bakufu in 1333. So Ieyasu started to name his family from Matsudaira to Tokugawa, trying to create images that he would be the best candidate for Shogun.

Before the Matsudairas, by the way, in the original Tokugawa (得川), his ancestor’s family name was Serada. In the 14 Century, a person called Mitsuyoshi Serada moved to Mikawa to get married with a daughter of the Matsudaira family. And after generations Ieyasu was born in Mikawa. Ieyasu looked up the family tree originated to Serada, and established the foundation that he was the Genji clan.

Tour (Double Toshogus)

This tour explores Serada related locations where Ieyasu’s family originally came from and the place where Ieyasu rests in peace.

Serada Toshogu(世良田東照宮)

Around 1222 Yoshisue Serada (Tokugawa) founded Serada Estate in this location, and Iemitsu Tokugawa, 3rd Shogun of Tokugawa, the grand-son of Ieyasu, founded Serada Toshogu in the same location in 1644.

Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮)

Nikkō Tōshō-gū (日光東照宮) is a Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine located in NikkōTochigi PrefectureJapan.

Together with Futarasan Shrine and Rinnō-ji, it forms the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō UNESCO World Heritage Site, with 42 structures of the shrine included in the nomination. Five of them are designated as National Treasures of Japan, and three more as Important Cultural Properties.


7:00 AM Departure (Tokyo American Club)

9:00 AM Serada Toshogu

13:00 PM Lunch (Nikko)

14:00 PM Nikko Toshogu

20:00 PM Back to Tokyo American Club


Minimum number of participants: 6 (Max: 9)

Private Tour (Toyota Alphard): 100,000 Yen + Toll


Any days

Contact Information


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