Toki Yoritoshi (土岐 頼稔, March 20, 1695 – October 17, 1744) was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period. He served in a variety of positions in the Tokugawa shogunate, including Kyoto Shoshidai (1734-1732) and rōjū.
At some point, there was a devastating fire in Heian-kyō while Toki Tango-no-kami held the office of Kyoto shoshidai. Shortly afterwards, a clever poem which included a play on the shoshidai's name was widely circulated:
- Toki mo toki
- Tango no gogatsuban ni
- kaji dashite
- Edo e shiretariya
- Mi-shoshi senban.
- A conventional English translation (Frederic Shoberl, 1822): "Such is the time at present: a fire broke out in the fifth night of the fifth month. When the news shall have reached Edo, there will be numberless applicants who will harass you without ceasing."
- A more literal English translation (Timon Screech, 2006):
- At this very time
- On Tango's evening
- Fire broke out
- Edo was informed
- For the noble governor
- Much [trouble].
The 18th century poet was Kazehaya Yoshizane, who puns "Tango" (Tango no Sekku), one of the five main festivals of the year (falling on the 5th day of the 5th month), with the daimyo's toponym, "Tango" (Tango province). Poetry of this sort was an element of popular culture in this period. Witty and timely word play which somehow married puns on a personal name with a current event became fashionable. It could engender broad public approval, and occasionally such poetry might even receive approbation from the emperor.
- Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822, p. 241 n77.
- Screech, p. 114.
- Screech, pp. 113-114.
- Screech, p. 242 n78.
- Bolitho, Harold. (1974). Treasures Among Men: The Fudai Daimyo in Tokugawa Japan. New Haven: Yale University Press. 10-ISBN 0-300-01655-7/13-ISBN 978-0-300-01655-0; OCLC 185685588
- Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. 10-ISBN 070071720X/13-ISBN 9780700717200' OCLC 635224064
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