Munenobu was the eldest son of Shimazu Tsugutoyo; his mother was a daughter of the Shibuya clan. He was raised as an adopted child of Tsugutoyo's wife Take-hime (an adopted daughter of Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi), and was as a result granted the privilege of using the Matsudaira name.
Upon his father's retirement in 1746, Munenobu became head of the clan, and of Satsuma domain. He struggled with a heavy household debt, and attempted to run the domain frugally. He retired in 1749 after only three years as the lord, journeying to Edo for his retirement and passing on leadership of the domain to his younger brother Shimazu Shigetoshi. During that brief period, however, he escorted a Ryukyuan embassy to Edo in 1748, and was elevated to Upper Junior Fourth Rank. Munenobu died less than a year into his retirement, at the young age of 21.
|Lord of Satsuma han
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