Tokugawa Hidetada’s Last Months

Tokugawa Hidetada's Last Months

Reinier H. Hesselink - Professor of History, University of Northern Iowa

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
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Room 202, Rosenkranz Hall See map
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Death, in the eyes of the samurai, was often too important a moment to leave its records to the inconvenient domain of truth. For that reason, death among the samurai was frequently covered with a heavy layer of make-believe.

In this lecture, we will blow the lid off the grave of the second shogun to get a glimpse of the mindset it has been hiding for almost four hundred years.


Professor Reinier H. Hesselink teaches the history and culture of the Japanese islands from ancient to modern times at the University of Northern Iowa. His specialty is the cross-fertilization of Japanese sources with information derived from the writings of Europeans visiting the islands between the 16th and 19th centuries, allowing for a new and multi-dimensional description of Japan’s early modern past. He enjoys taking a written document, a painting, a map, or a household object like a screen to analyze and elucidate their contexts, geneses, as well as their contemporary and subsequent meanings. 

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