Maeda Toshinaga

Maeda Toshinaga

Maeda Toshinaga (前田 利長; February 15, 1562 - June 27, 1614) was a Japanese daimyō of the Edo period belonging to the Maeda clan.

Maeda Toshinaga Biography

Oldest son and heir of Maeda Toshiie, his childhood name was "Inuchiyo" (犬 千代).

Toshinaga was born in what is now part of the city of Nagoya in Owari Province, where his father was in the service of Oda Nobunaga. In 1581 he married one of Nobunaga's daughters, Ei-hime, who was only six years old at the time of the marriage.

Nobunaga was assassinated the following year in the Honnō-ji incident. In 1583, he assisted his father in the Battle of Shizugatake, and after Shibata Katsuie's death he swore allegiance to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was granted a fief of 40,000 koku in Kaga Province.

In 1585 he played a key role in Hideyoshi's campaign against Sassa Narimasa and his fief was increased with additional lands in Kaga and Etchū provinces reaching 320,000 koku.

He joined Hideyoshi during the Kyūshū campaign and the siege of Odawara and in 1598 received additional lands for 267,000 koku.

Toshiie died the following year and Hosokawa Tadaoki convinced Toshinaga to support Tokugawa Ieyasu against Ishida Mitsunari and Toyotomi Hideyori.

At the time of the Battle of Sekigahara his role was primarily to contain the forces of Uesugi Kagekatsu and Niwa Nagashige with whom he clashed at the Battle of Asai.

At the same time he had to prevent the forces of his younger brother Maeda Toshimasa, feudal lord of Noto province, from joining Mitsunari's western army.

With the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate Toshinaga was confirmed in his properties, which had also been expanded with the addition of 225,000 koku previously held by his brother Toshimasa, 120,000 koku from Komatsu Castle and 63,000 koku from Daisho-ji Castle for a total of 1,250,000 koku covering the provinces of Kaga, Noto and Etchū.

The kokudaka of the Kaga domain was surpassed only by the house of the Shōgun. Toshinaga built and resided in the castle of Kanazawa.

With the establishment of the sankin-kōtai system of alternative presence in Edo, Toshinaga was the first daimyō to establish a residence in the new capital.

Toshinaga had no children and adopted his younger brother Maeda Toshitsune as his heir. He retired in 1605 and moved from Kanazawa to Toyama Castle, setting aside 220,000 koku for his retirement expenses.

When Toyama Castle was burned down in 1609, he moved to Uozu, and later to Takaoka. During this time, he withdrew from public life due to complications of syphilis and committed suicide by poisoning himself in Takaoka Castle in 1614.

His temple where he rests is located at Zuiryū-ji Temple in Takaoka.