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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Hoshina Masayuki
(1611-72)
Domainal lord of Aizu (in present-day Fukushima Prefecture) in the early Edo period. His common names were Kōmatsumaru and Higo no Kami, and his posthumous name was Hanitsu Reishin. Born on the seventh day of the fifth month of 1611 as the fourth son of second Tokugawa Shōgun Hidetada (1579-1633), he was the half-brother of third Shōgun Iemitsu (1604-51).
       Hoshina initially became the adopted son of Hoshina Masamitsu, lord of Shinano Takatō Domain, and took the name Higo no Kami (Protector of Higo). In accordance with instructions left in Iemitsu's will, Hoshina was appointed regent to fourth Shōgun Ietsuna (1641-80) and thereafter played a key role in the Tokugawa government.
       Hoshina had a love of scholarship, and was especially interested in the study of Zhu Xi Neo-Confucianism and Shinto. Many Confucianists and Shinto scholars, such as Yoshikawa Koretari, Yamazaki Ansai, Hattori Ankyū, and Tomomatsu Ujioki, served as his retainers and collaborators. He was also close to the Hayashi lineage of official Confucian advisors to the shogunate. At his behest, Hayashi Razan instructed Ietsuna on the first section of the Confucian classic Great Learning (Jp. Daigaku).
       Hoshina's interest in scholarship led to his composing and editing many texts. Representative among these are Irakusanshiden shinroku (Record of the True Teachings Transmitted by the Cheng Brothers and Three Teachers), Gyokuzan kōgi furoku (Commentary on the Lecture at Yushan), Nitei chikyōryoku (Chronicle of Song Dynasty Political Thought), Aizu fudoki (Gazetteer of Aizu Domain), and Aizu jinja shi (Outline of the Shinto Shrines of Aizu Domain). These works were employed by the Aizu domainal government to foster the education of local samurai retainers, improve local industry, and implement religious policies. Yoshikawa Koretari, in his capacity as representative of the Yoshida Shintō school, bestowed the Shinto spiritual title Hanitsu Reishin on Hoshina while the domain lord was still alive. Koretari also conferred the four secret transmissions of Yoshida Shintō on Hoshina in the year prior to his death. He died on the eighteenth day of the twelfth month of 1672 at the age of sixty-two.

- Yazaki Hiroyuki
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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