Beasley_1 - Cary Academy

Beasley_1 - Cary Academy


The Tokugawa settlement (I600-I650)

It was unfortunate for Hideyoshi that a son, Hideyori, was born

to him in 1593, his fifty-sixth year, since the event persuaded him

to make fresh - and in the event unreliable - arrangements

concerning his successor. His nephew and adopted son, Hidetsugu,

about whose personal habits there were doubts, was disgraced,

then ordered to commit suicide in 1595. Hideyori became

heir. Five regents (Taira) were appointed to protect his interests,

all of whom were daimyo.

_Qne was TQkugawa Ieyasu. When Hideyoshi died in 1598,

Ieyasu, despite the promises he had made, sought power for

himself, disregarding Hideyori's claims. A military balance

emerged: on one side Ieyasu, holding the Kanto and supported

by lords in the north, as well as by two of Hideyoshi's most able

vassals; on the other an alliance of daimyo from Kyushu and the

west, which included Mori and Shimazu. In 1600 their armies

met at Sekigahara, midway between Nagoya and Kyoto, and

Jeyasu emerged as victor. This was as much because of political

skills as military genius, for two of his declared opponents had

already come to terms with him before the engagement started.

One refused without warning to take part in the battle. The other

changed sides once the fighting began, launching his men against

the flank of those who thought him their ally.

Hideyori. still a child. was allowed to retain his father's mightY

castle at O,aka, ..ll.m..aLthe yeaJ;ji went lly_jJJ2S;!;''!ills; .. £1~EJ:"J:haUL

long as he stayed there he would be a focus for anti:1':?'~!:I:j~w::

~entiment of ~nd. Icyasu decided therefore to remove him.

At the end 0 'I 6 I" pretext was found to send an army against

him, but it soon transpired that his castle's defences were too

strong to be taken by storm. Having no wish for a protracted

siege, which might give opposition time to surface, Ieyasu offered

peace terms in January of the following year; and when they were

accepted, he took advantage of the terms of truc"e to fill in more

of the moats - in what was claimed to be a 'misunderstanding' ~

than had been specified i

attacked again in June, suc,

the appeal was ignored; an

ing any further danger fr

talgically to Hideyoshi's d:

Like Minamoto Yorito

chose to remain in the K

his lands, rather than mo\

giving its name to a perioc

on the other hand, in usin

map once more. After Sd

draw to southern Kyushu

of good behaviour. Else'


third of the land

was confIscated and redist

possess~on of a vast centr;

to the provinces surround

(fudaz) , plus cadet branch

strategic domains within

from the north; protectinl

(Hikone), the west (Hit

controlling key centres (H

the road that joined JapaI

wealthiest of the lords, ]a

been vassals of the Tokuf

who had not opposed Ie)

ably. Others, like Mori of,

side in that battle, had the

men, unlikely to be able

Kyushu and Shikoku we

Tokugawa allies. -ng ki

This process ofland re;

l.;l.idetada, and his granc

I).laladministration sus ec

lack of an heir ...



nent (1600-1650)

lat a son, Hideyori, was born

,ince the event persuaded him

It unreliable - arrangements

hew and adopted son, Hides

there were doubts, was dis­

;ide in 1595. Hideyori became

)inted to protect his interests,

len Hideyoshi died in 1598,

lad made, sought power for

claims. A military balance

ing the Kanto and supported

two of Hideyoshi's most able

daimyo from Kyushu and the

himazu. In 1600 their armies

~en Nagoya and Kyoto, and

. as much because of politiCal

f his declared opponents had

~fore the engagement started.

~e part in the battle. The other

;an, launching his men against

1 their ally.

:d to retain his father's migO.ry


)e a focus for anti-Tokugawa

[ded therefore to re;'~;;ej';I;;;~­

)und to send an army against

us castle's defences were too

ing no wish for a protracted

time to surface, Ieyasu offered

-ing year; and when they were.

terms of truc'e to fill in more

l to be a 'misunderstanding' ,-

The Unifiers

than had been specified in the agreement. Inevitably, when he

attacked again in June, success came easily. Clemency was sought;

the appeal was ignored; and Hideyori committed suicide, removing

any further danger from those who still looked back lLQStalgically

to Hideyoshi's day

Like Minamoto Yoritomo - and unlike Hideyoshi - Ieyasu

chose to remain in the Kanto, surrounded by his followers and

his lands, rather than move to Kyoto. Edo was to be his capital,

giving its name to a period and a culture. He followed Hideyoshi,

on the other hand, in using his supremacy to redraw the political

map once more. Mter Sekigahara, Shimazu was allowed to withdraw

to southern Kyushu and keep his position there on promise

of good behaviour. Elsewhere, sweeping changes were made.

J:::ie,;trly a third of the land in Japan, measured by yield (kokudaka),

was confiscated and redistributed. putting Ieyasu ang his men in

possession of a vast central stronghold, running from the Kanto

to the provinces surrounding Kyoto. Vassal lords of the Tokugawa

(fudat), plus cadet branches of the Tokugawa house, were given

strategic domains within this region: defending Ieyasu's capital

from the north; protecting the approaches to Kyoto from the east

(Hikone), the west (Himeji) and the south (Wakayama); and

controlling key centres (Hamamatsu, Nagoya) along the Tokaido,

the road that joined Japan's two capitals. Farther afield were the

wealthiest of the lords, known as tozama, who had not hitherto

been vassals of the Tokugawa. The Maeda of Kaga (Kanazawa),

who had not opposed Ieyasu at Sekigahara, were treated favourably.

Others, like Mori of Choshu, who had fought on the 'wrong'

side in that battle, had their lands drastically reduced in size. Lesser

men, unlikely to be able to resist, lost their domains altogether.

Kyushu and Shikoku were divided for the most part between

Tokugawa allies. -n 9 Itt" Ili () q "litk.e. :'iho 'jtuns > ,~

Th.i~rocess ofland reallocation continued under Ieyasu's son,

Hidetada, and his. graJ}dsq!ldc~lemit]Jd,_jl!st~hU&

.:1ko .td ~c{.. .tilee, ~ Su .. diMt.;

C6~dlL!-rfz..CSJ?, f'~fu£ mvu ~d"



. ',~ 1111 ru,re' tary right. Indeed, the Tokugawa were well-nigh absolute.

)" hI f house,

~ ~ ~ ~ By the end of the seventeenth century, the head of the Tokugawa

together with his@off~d)etainers (hatamoto) below the

, J ,~,~. ~ rank of daimyo - the qualifying level for daimyo was a holding of

~ \) iJ 10,000 koku - and his numerous 'housemen' (gokenin), were

~ ~ ~ .;;) masters of a little more than a quarter of the arable in Japan.

~ ~ ~~. Tokugawa relatives, plus the Shogun's vassal daimyo (judat), shared

~ ~ ~ S another third. That left about a third to the 'outside' lords (tozama)

t ~.~ l' and something under 2 per cent to the court and religious estab-

~ -is ,."l lishments.

~ ~ ~ Creating this overwhehning preponderance ofland in the hands

, ~ ~ of the house head and his subordinates was fundamental to

~ 1il imposing order on Japan's feudal lords. It was bolstered by a

~ ~ number of institutional devices. In r603 Ieyasu assumed the title

of Shogun, signalling the end of an interregnum that had lasted

since Ashikaga Yoshiaki had been deposed by Nobunaga thirty


years before. Ieyasu is said to have possessed two genealogies in

. '~ . order to keep his options open. One showed descent from the



~Fujiwara, which would have qualified him for senior office at

~ court. The other traced his line through the Nitta to the Min­

~ ~~, amoto, establishing a claim to be Shogun. It is by no means certain

~~. .' that either was genuine - false genealogies were a feature of

~_~__ sixteenth-century life but the final choice of the second was a

~'~ ~'-l' shrewd one, given that Hideyoshi had made a different one. It

, 9i. ~ did not pr, event Ieyasu from holding court rank and arranging an

~ J. imperial marriage for Hidetada's daughter, but it strengthened his

~ position vis .. iI-vis the samurai class, as it had done for Yoritomo. It

provided a means, which he was quick to exploit, by which to

make land grants under his own seal, to require written oaths of

10 al from claim 0, and to call for contributions from them for

tlP.e building of Edo castle. They were made to attendhi';;" th';;;

As Shogun he also took over the direction offoreign affairs, using

for this purpose the title Taikun (since anglicised as Tycoon).

The prerogatives of his office were founded on custom, not

law, but towards the end of his life Ieyasu committed them to

paper. In August r615, soon after Osaka fell, W'announced a set

J/tLJ.e,UdcJ ,-ULild.Ld.

(l.t!..jatL'd:7{;J?tS c;CJY' ek.ot'~

")b'lJt... tlk..u.fl- ,fU!.e... .

yra were welJ-nigh .a~ollit""

y, the head of the Tokugawa

tainers (hatamoto) below the

for daimyo was a holding of

'housemen' !gokenin), were

rter of the arable in Japan.

vassal daimyo (Judd!), shared

o the 'outside' lords (tozama)

Ie court and religious estab-

Iderance ofland in the hands

inates was fundamental to

Jrds. It was bolstered by a

603 Ieyasu assumed the title

interregnum that had lasted

eposed by Nobunaga thirty

,ossessed two genealogies in

.e showed descent from the

ed him for senior office at

Jugh the Nitta to the Min­

;un. It is by no means certain

JealQgies were a feature of

choice of the second was a

.ad made a different one. It

court rank and arranging an

shter, but it strengthened his

it had done for Yoritomo. It

ick to exploit, by which to

, to require written oaths...rrf

,0ntribu!Jsms fr0!!!c.!!,1erl!Jor_

e made to attend him the;:;;)

:tion of foreign affa.irs, using

:e anglicised as Tycoon).

re founded on custom, not

Ieyasu committed them to

;aka fell, ~announced a set

JIt..U..C~.J ,.


~,11~ 11. ,..":""" .. ""'"cc

. 'l ~. ~ deCiSIOns III the emperor s capItal, while dalmyo administered

[lJ ':ii theIr domaills. To represent him III Kyoto, Ieyasu sent a senior


~ . .~.;s .... vassal lord as governor (Shoshidai), residing in the newly built

~. NIJO castle. As a guarantee of daimyo compliance - reinforcing

~ ,the ultimate threat ofdeillotion or removal De required lords to

"" ~ ~live for much of then time III Edo. much as the Ashikaga and



{~~' ~ Hideyoshi had done in Kyoto. Their wives and children remained

19 ~ ¥s hostages when they withdrew to their domains.

'J ~ ~ Under Iemitsu these rules were spelt out in greater detail. By

~ . ~ ,~a revision of the Buke Shohatto in 1635, the arrangement became

S ~ ,'altern~te

attendance' (sankin-kotat), by which daimyo spent half

! ' ""< their Hme III Edo on a regular rota: that is, for six-monthly or

~ .\.v~ yearly periods, depending on the location of their lands, This

~ clinvolved them in considerable expense, since they both lived and

j .:g ~t avelled in state. As a further restraint, a .mpplementary order of

~~1649 laid down the ~pe a,nd size of l~htary force they could


mamtaill. II-/'n ~tVi"Vnt'a:fTu k.i.~h4t:Lt4tU!.t;rS1-

It waf1ifostiy &ter Ieyasu's death in 1616 that clear political

1'!l' ~ structures were devised to prevent his intentions from being

~ ~ \ undermined by- the passage of time. U nd~r Hidetada the court

~, ~ ~ made Jeyasu art;1jiirnf the hIghest rank. Iermtsu, who was Shogun

i ~:i:l from 1623 to 1651, built him a magnificent shrine at Nikko.

, '~'.~ . ~ 'Ancestral law' was thereby given the extra sanction of divinity.

:§. ~ ~ More practically, Iemitsu took up the task of giving government

~ ~ 'I:J a more defined and durable character, which would be less depen-

, dent on the qualities of the ruler and his subordinates. A council

of ministers (R6ju) was formalised in 1634 as a board of four or

five members, each a fudai lord of 25,000 koku or more, Its

members served as duty senior minister in monthly rotation. The

same principle of rotation, allowing for differences of detail,

applied to other appointments, The R6ju were collectively

responsible for advice on general policy and for matters. concerning

feudal lords, Below them was a junior council, similarly

composed, but with more restricted duties. A number of commissioners

(bugyo) came next, responsible for shrines and temples.

Together these three offices comprised the upper division of the


Bakufu's administration. A

by hatamoto, not of daimy

daily business of govermr

supervised Edo and its laq

concern was with Tokug

several 'inspectors' (metsul

and derelictions of duty, 0

on Tokugawa estates, plus!

Osaka and Nagasaki, all gra

bilities. Only Tokugawa v:

Since nearly all the m'

clerical staff, the bureaucl

complex than that of prev

ture and the rules it desig

ways also made ir€umber

this..D d ced ten k f I

(gekokujo), u ' i ,

tralisation than is custo ,

effort was made to legisl t

boundaries, it was taken .c

'good government' wou c

plified by the Tokugaw .

of life, Accordingly, de p

hereditary vassals, not e

correspondence betwe

Japan and what had exi t,

example and political p '1,

(Chapter 10).

a. J2L1jabV('..

7n.(/Jt.t /2£et1:.LCd,

;!tM.l1.f!fC7L c~

a t/t:.o hi .(!1n.1J.~" . (:(

&.cl.~ Mf Id 9'l'l.-k-C'

(t)tci d.R.£L-L l-Jj -L­


(Lf. 1/t,1kJ..V L..L.a.LlU

1715 iu4l!?~ )u;t.t.-l



while daimyo administered

l Kyoto, Ieyasu sent a senior

, residing in the newly built

yo compliance - reinforcing

emoval - he required lords to

>, much as the Ashika~

: wives and children remajged

their domains.

,pelt out in greater detail. By

635, the arrangement became

by which daimyo spent half

a: that is, for six-monthly or

location of their lands. This

nse, since they both lived and

int, a supplementary order of

of military force they could

t.e. iutjh4t-L14uL-;no

Edo Society



)Ck of history. Until the end

society of Japan had been a

rom one part of the country

.etail and nomenclature. The

lered structure on it. Starting

devised, which rested funion

between an upper class,

lower class of 'commoners' ,

erences to provide for further

that central line. The object

tly to perpetuate Tokugawa

nstant repetition of gekokujo,

t', partly to prevent a return

e immediate past. What was

t of economic development.

tribution of wealth changed,

encies and contradictions.

lenteenth century after more

;ave a major stimulus to the

,ck to the land; agricultural

;reater variety of crops (silk,

all brought in from nearby

countries). The resulting surpluses spilt over into domestic commerce.

Towns grew larger and more numerous, providing greater

opportunities for merchants and artisans. As transport and communications

improved, the products of distant regions became

available in the principal population centres. Inevitably these

conditions made for sharper disparities of wealth. Alongside

landed wealth, on which samurai in the last resort depended,

there emerged a commercial wealth in the hands of townsmen.

Emulation of the lifestyle of the urban rich brought many samurai

to debt, especially at the margins of the feudal class, and this in

turn led to a blurring of status lines. Marriage and adoptions were

arranged between samurai and well-to-do commoners, despite

being frowned on by the social code. Conservatives demanded

steps to check such practices.

It was not until the end of the Edo period that these problems

threatened a social or political revolution, but long before that

point was reached they had begun to undermine the accustomed

patterns of Edo life. As rulers sought to expand their sources

of revenue, while their more successful subjects looked for

status recognition, those who were losers in the economic contest


debt-ridden samurai, dispossessed farmers, the urban

poor - pressed for relief from their disabilities. By the end of

the eighteenth century, Edo society was marked by a rising

level of turbulence.

. ' .:>/(.e, di '§fbn21J

.~&_ '''/l.Lu... ,M h.d:.u-u/11. 1O-i amt-~ 'JI.-rf





'___..... standards poor, since waW-'l!JrruiQoJJrsLth!i!aJL!!p:leli...h.eeJ[Lj~>diJ::tg

jfi'. ~heir rights in land. For appearance's sake, do subsidised the

:..,or court on a ste~dily rising scal~but even in the eighteenth century

,~ Its total contributIOn was no more than 120,000 koku, equivalent

~ to the holding of a feudal lord of I1I1ddle standing. About a third

of it went to the imperial house. Another third was distributed as

fiefS or stipends to members of the nobility. The most senior of

these received between 1,500 and 3,000 koku: that is, something

like the average stipend of a Tokugawa bannerman (hatamoto),

serving as a Bakufu commissioner. Of the remaining roo or more

ofleading families, nearly eighty had less than 200 koku, which in

Edo would have classed them with 'housemen' wokeniti), l'c-..or

These were modest amounts, when one considers the rank of

those who received them. A feudal lord, in order to be designated

daimyo, had to hold land as vassal~in-chief that yielded at least

ro,ooo koku. If one accepts the traditional formula, that one koku


of rice would support one person for a year, this made him master

of a not inconsiderable body of people. The Shogun's own land

amounted to over 4 million koku, yielding an annual revenue of

~. about a third of that. Among the country's other daimyo, whose

~ numbers rose from 200 In 1603 to Just over 2S0 in I8so, there



were 'sixteen whose domains were rated at 300,000 koku or more.

~. FIve were Tokugawa relatIves, ten were tozama, or 'outside' lords,

~ mostly In north and west Japan, and only one, Ii of Hikone, was

a Tokugawa vassal ([udat) in the strictest sense. Daimyo of middle

~~ standing were those who had at least roo,ooo koku, while those

~ 1::


for centuries been eroding

's sake, @do subsidised the

~n in the eighteenth century

an I20,000 koku, equivalent

Idle standing. About a third

ther third was distributed as

lobility. The most senior of

)00 koku: that is, something

awa bannerman (halamoto),

: the remaining IOO or more

less than 200 koku, which in

.ousemen' (gokeniti), fOCl"r

n one considers the rank of

rd, in order to b,e designated

l-chief that yielded at least

onal formula, that one koku

a year, this made him master

Ie, The Shogun's own land

~lding an annual revenue of

ntry's other daimyo, whose

Jst over 250 in I850, there

ed at 300,000 koku or more.

:e tozama, or 'outside' lords,

:mly one, Ii of Hikone, was

,st sense. Daimyo of middle

: roo,ooo koku, while those

a small proportion of whom

tin) of their own._Out of a

nillion in I600, rising to 30

Lmurai, together with their

:..The head of the Tokugawa

her 60,000 baishin, though

.n the years of peace. The

owing, compared with the

'cts the result of victory in

Edo Society Di (i HI.L~ ",f"~ -;;;:hJd (!J ./ztllV&f -:

j,uu.d fi.lk1tLY' k=tjd jdu'i&fthe

civil wars, which had made poss' e a degree of generosity l'UG5 ?

when enfeoffing warriors. The se of Ikeda of Okayama is

similar. A Tokugawa ally,~ ad 2I upper samurai, nearly 700

middle samurai and over 500 lower samurai in a domain that was

rated at 3 I 5,000 koku. In both examples there is on average one

samurai (disregarding rank) for every 200 or 250 koku. At the

other extreme, the defeated, like Shirnazu of Satsuma and Mori

of Choshu, who had lost more land than vassals - vassalage was a

highly personal bond, not easily broken - were left with far more 1:: rJa:h

men than resources. Their samurai were numerous but poor. ~es

Each daimyo, if his domain were large enough, gover a it

through a structure much like that which served the ogun in

Edo (Chapter 7), but on a smaller scale. At its he were senior rnC1zeill~

officials, drawn from upper samurai families ualified for ei~f1e"'.!G'ILposts

by hereditary rank. Such men had fi s not sti e . So e H


1 )


. lof these tasks became routine. Rarely did samurai need to take up

~ ~~rms after 1650. When they dId so, It was usually to act against

.- ~ ynothing more demanding than peasant revolt. As a result, they

;;;lbecame more and more an unemployed soldiery, whose morale

~ ~ ~grew worse frol~ one genemtion to another. Dec.L0t£.

~ ~ ~ Other samUraI - a nunonty, though a large one, tending steadily

~ ~ 'Ii to mcrease - were employed in domain administration. Here a

~ major preoccupation was finance: that is, raising the funds,

~ ~


whether in rice or cash, to pay stipends, to maintain an official

. \:l. ;( residence in Edo, . and to meet the cost of expensive journeys to

'I.l ~ ;and from the capItal ev~r; yea~. Another was to administer the

.~ i\i ~ ~ countrysIde, the domam s pnmary source of revenue. Since

. ~ ~ ~ ~ samurai were no longer resident outside the castle town, officials

. ~..\'I-- J from the castle dealt Wlth rural affaIrs through village headmen,

~ '1I1'~ ~ or perhaps through a distrKt office, manned by locally recruited

~ fll !!:,staff. OccasIOnal VISItS of mspectlOn to the areas under their

~ ~~ ~ control, in order to keep a check on tax returns or supervise

~. ~~ ~urveys, v:as all that was thought to be required by way of personal

~.~ ~ • mterventlon. It was an authoritarian system, but not always an

y ~.~ 8 ~effiC!ent one. Japanese farmers, like those elsewhere in the world,



lid samurai need to take up

t was usually to act against

nt revolt. As a result, they

'ed soldiery, whose morale

lOther. Dec.Li1e-e.

a large one, tending steadily

ain administration. Here a

:hat is, raising the funds,

lds, to maintain an official

·,t of expensive journeys to

ther was to administer the

source of revenue. Since

:Ie the castle town, officials

through village headmen,

lanned by locally recruited

to the areas under their

n tax returns or supervise

required by way of personal

system, but not always an

:lse elsewhere in the world,

:senting yields.

~val concept of the warlold

to raise an army fro!!l.hi~._

)f the Edo period held his

uired them to be governed

ing to their people: that is,

nd order of Japan at large.

:leal, but for the most part

~amurai, no longer simple

T in waiting still, but com-

: of a government machin!J

1 to fight, neither Shogun

le samurai virtues ofloyalty

1 the pursuit of vengeance

the other side of the coin,

ociety that they were trying

Bda Society

to build. The Bakufu eventually banned them. An important step

in that direction came at the beginning of the eighteenth century,

when two lords, one of them a Bakufu official, quarrelled in the

Shogun's castle. Swords were drawn. The one who was held

lie 1II.l0ll1-S

to be the aggressor was ordered to commit c~iirl~ (/)'l.COt'rj€.r

(seppuku) , since resort to force was fi . en in the castle pre-;OYe.t/;d-J'l1.0

cincts. His domain w Iscated, making his samurai into :7J


Distinguished bureaucratic service became the grounds for an

advance in rank, carrying with it possibilities of promotion.

Samurai education was developed, in order to provide the ethos

and the skills appropriate to an official career. Until this time most

samurai, especially those of the higher ranks, had received their

education at home, where they were given a knowledge of proper

behaviour and a training in the use of weapons, flavoured with a

dash of literacy. As a bureaucratic role in life becam~ ... J;he norm,

however, their superiors wanted something more, Like the aristocrats

of Nara and Heian, they were deemed to need 'correct'

moral attitudes if they were to playa part in government. This, it

was held, they could acquire through the Confucian classics, so

poth Bakufu and domains began to establish schools at which

.these could be studied. Fifteen were founded by 1700, another

seventeen in the next fifty years, seventy-five more by the end of

the century.

In admitting students to the schools, preference was given to

those of highest rank, who were likely to hold the most responsible

offices. Middle and lower samurai might attend on a voluntary

basis, or might even be excluded altogether, as were commoners

as a rule. Teaching and organisation betrayed the same concern

with status. Achievement as such was not greatly valued, except

in military skills (which also formed part of the curriculum). An

acquaintance with prescribed Confucian texts, acquired by rote

learning, was all the philosophy that was given to most, while at

the practical level an ability to read and compose official documents,

perhaps with some help from those of greater literary

accomplishment, plus a smattering of arithmetic, was as much as

the school was ready to offer.

For some samurai, whose rank did not admit them to high

office as of right, this was not enough. Society did not permit them

to engage in trade or farming. Hence the pursuit of scholarship, or

the possession of a more than local reputation for swordsmanship,

or a recognised expertise in military science, all opening a path

to employment by a lord - not necessarily their own - were among

the very few ways of increasing their income with propriety. Most

domains were willing to g:

acquiring the requisite kr


It was because of this tl

after the eighteenth cen

schools under feudal patre

of some note, who suppor

students. The earliest acac

a more advanced study oft

elsewhere. This remained

who came in time to inc

. moners. Some attention·

Separate schools were dE

styles of swordsmanship. ~

studies' (yogaku) later in th

and scientifIC: medicine,

tography and surveying),

lllanufacture of explosives

Advanced training of tJ

but not on a sufficient scal

of the samurai. Even fel

income and expenditure.

centage of the crop. It tl

seventeenth century, whil

when population stabilise

w~eaching its technolo

to any important degree.

Since domains failed to I

were left with little choi

farmers, in order to seek

t:JX demands exceeded co

the second half of the E

peasant revolt, putting fUl

Expenditure, by contra:

ponent, other than the pi

been the expense incurr



)ecame the grounds for an

possibilities of promotion.

l order to provide the ethos

l career. Until this time most

er ranks, had received their

~iven a knowledge of proper

,f weapons, flavoured with a

le in li(~.llecame the !L.0Wl..

:thing more, Like the aristo­

, deemed to need 'correct'

part in government. This, it

h the Confucian cl!:!s~icJ., so

, establish schools at which

, founded by 1700, another

nty-five more by the end of

)Is, preference was given to

to hold the most responsible

light attend on a voluntary

'gether, as were commoners

betrayed the same concern

s not greatly valued, except

part of the curriculum). An

cian texts, acquired by rote

was given to most, while at

and compose official docum

those of greater literary

f arithmetic, was as much as

id not admit them to high

Society did not permit them

the pursuit of scholarship, or

putation for swordsmanship,

science, all opening a path

rily their own - were among

ncome with propriety. Most

Edo Society

domains were willing to grant leave of absence for the purpose of

acquiring the requisite knowledge, usually in one of the major


It was because of this that private academies multiplied in and

after the eighteenth century, matching the spread of official

schools under feudal patronage. Most were founded by a scholar

of some note, who supported himself by fees or regular gifts from

students. The earliest academies, especially in Kyoto, catered for

a more advanced study of the Confucian classics than was provided

elsewhere. This remained their main attraction for many students,

who came in time to include a sprinkling of well-to-do commoners.

Some attention was also paid in them to mathematics.

Separate schools were devoted to fencing (kendo) and various

styles of swordsmanship. To these were added so-called 'western

studies' (yi5gaku) later in the period, inclining towards the practical

and scientific: medicine, astronomy (which was related to cartography

and surveying), western-style gunnery and the use and

p1anufacture of explosives . .:J1vt. Dafch. 'foada. ~;. ~~7f. W

Advanced training of this kind provided outlets for amf;hion, 'hi

but not on a sufficient scale to solve the larger economic problems ~




,~~ . Edo and financing the daimyo's travels to it. Most of this commitment

had to be met in cash. A proportion of tax rice was

'Ij ~"

~ ~~ If\: '\l! therefore sold to produce it, an undertaking that involved the

~ ..;;;{ ;;{ domain's officials in financial dealings of which they had little

~::\ ~ previous understanding. Qv1erchant advisers were employed to


,J:~ ~ handle most of them) Since these were usually men who creamed

'\.". 'N \" .~off for themselves such profits as could be made from seasonal

~ ~ and annual variations in the price of rice, the domain saw li~tle

. ~~. enefit. Indeed, when the treasury faced unanticipated needs,

~)\::i such as might arise from a Bakufu demand for contributions to


-{.,j ~the cost of public works, these 'official' merchants would furnish

~ ~.J. ~ loans, the interest on which, invariably high, became a furth';:

;j .~ ~burden. '

~ ~"),"~ The Bakufu was to some extent protected in this kind of

~ ~ situation by its possession of political authori,ty. It could decree

~ w controls on prices and interest rates, even cancel debt in the last


~~ resort, though it sometimes found that meddling with the market

:~in this way could make things worse in the longer term. Rank­

'j -ll and-file samurai had no such recourse. Like their lords, they were

~ ,;;s town-dwellers, whether in Edo or the provinces. Most had fixed

~ ~comes, payable notionally in rice. Since they needed cash for

...aday-to-day expenses, and could obtain it only by marketing the


rice that was due to them as stipends, the custom grew up of

I ~ ~, • transferring the rice 'coupons' with which they were issued to a

~ convenient merchant or moneylender, who would make a cash

~ advance against them. This put the samurai in much the same

~ ~ position as the daimyo's treasury. Profit from selling the rice went

-;J I


,Is to it. Most of this comproportion

of tax rice was

lertaking that involved the

;s of which they had little

rdvisers were employed to

, usually men who creamed

lId be made from seasonal

· rice, the domain saw little

faced -u~~nticipat~d needs,

,mand for contributions to

,1' merchal1ts would furyjsh

)ly high, became a further

protected in this kind of

· authority. It could decree

,ven cancel debt in the last

t meddling with the market

in the longer term. Rank-

· Like their lords, they were

, provinces. Most had fixed

Since they needed cash for

n it only by marketing the

Is, the custom grew up of

vhich they were issued to a

r, who would make a cash

samurai in much the same

it from selling the rice went

-hich no provision had been

1 - pushed the family~o.

urban life, due to the ever

clothes and entertainment,

on household budgets, the

,xceeded income. On rare

ium on samurai debt, but

, lords were just as likely to

, for economies that might

Edo Society

benefit themselves. Official assistance proved a slender straw at

which to clutch.

In the course of time, the tension between wealth and rank ~

a.cising from these changes caused an erosion of the status structure

pf the ruling class. Daimyo granted samurai rank to a few merchants

whose services they especially valued. In larger numbers, .f!eC{Ul;'lltj

middle and lower samurai sought financial support by entering ~~

into family ties through marriage or adoption with affluent com-~e .

moners. More widely still, they used family and household labour :;Z;:/l/uutuJ&?

to produce craft goods for sale, so setting up a kind of upper-class 7?ttl:J>.luf

by-employment. Those in the greatest distress might even seek~nu;1;.iJ:..,.

permission to abandon their rank, whether on a permanent or a

temporary basis, in order to take up farming or trade. ~~~,d"i:) Iv

The result was a decrease in the cohesion of Edo society. The IveizJ;.fh.

changes inevitably aroused resentment, directed both at successful

social climbers and at those who could in one way or another be

held accountable for the problems that society faced. Lords and

upper samurai were accused of not having done enough to remedy

hardship among those whose loyalty to them had been tested over

many lifetimes. The merchants were blamed for feudal debt,

because it was thought to stem from their greed and manipulation

of prices. Villagers, on whom samurai income depended, saw the

root of their misfortunes in the growth of towns. Even so, the

system still held together tolerably well in r 850, if less from

inherent strength than for lack of an impetus to bring it down.

Some new factor, it seemed, was needed to provide a shock to

the structure before it ,:,,"ould fall apart. a.mi. -f1uP-4.£~i-o:.tCt:&iJ

//-U~"U((d Up (AG ~. I

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