Every Japanese schoolkid knows that Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first shogun of Japan and initiated the long, war-free Edo Period (1603-1868), but few know that he didn’t rule from Edo (present-day Tokyo). He ostensibly handed rule of the country over to his son, Hidetada, only two years after establishing the shogunate and moving to Sunpu Castle in Suruga (present-day Shizuoka Prefecture).
“Nippon! Rekishi Kantei” (“Japan! History Evaluation”; BS-TBS, Mon., 10 p.m.) sends TV personality Seiichi Tanabe to the castle to find out how Ieyasu lived. He continued to rule Japan from Suruga, and spent the last third of his life there, surviving to the age of 75 in a time when the average life span was 45. Ieyasu was a health nut, but what was the secret to 260 years of peace under the shogunate he set up?