Eldest son of koshaku (marquis) Yorimichi Tokugawa, family head of the house of Kishu Tokugawa. After studying at the Gakushuin Senior High School, he studied at Cambridge University. He was selected as a member of the House of Peers in 1939. He was elected a member of the House of Councillors in the first election of 1947. He served as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, member of the Library Management Committee, president of the Association of National Diet Members on Matters related to the United Nations, president of the Association of National Diet Members on Matters related to UNESCO and director of Diplomatic Relations of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal party. He was instrumental in the promotion and encouragement of music by collecting literature and old musical instruments, and building the Nanki Gakudo (Nanki Music Library) equipped with a pipe organ. He served as honorary councillor of Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in his later years.