Edo period - New World Encyclopedia
Reporting to the shogun were daimyo (lit. “great landholders”)—provincial landowners who led bands of warrior vassals and administered the major domains. Perry's arrival in Japan, the American efforts to establish relations with that country, the reactions Daimyo with a blood relationship to the shogun had the highest status within the Tokugawa . Works toward group goals only when reminded. Since each daimyo was a retainer of the shogun, the bakufu or shogunate had Foreign relations were crucial because control of them made a statement to the.
By the late 15th century the Sengoku daimyo had divided Japan into a series of small, belligerent states as each individual daimyo competed for the control of more territory. The Sengoku daimyo built castles in the hill country from which they controlled their vassals, who likewise were petty landowners with castles. In the 16th century the Sengoku daimyo fought among themselves constantly, and a process of consolidation ensued, with fewer and fewer daimyo emerging from the local wars and each holding more and more territory.
In Oda Nobunaga began the movement of decisive military conquest over the daimyo that was later carried on by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and completed in by Tokugawa Ieyasu. By this time roughly daimyo had been brought under the hegemony of the Tokugawa family, the head of which served as shogun. Daimyo were joined to the shogun by oath and received their lands as grants under his vermilion seal in a governing system called the bakuhan. The daimyo divided his domain between his own personal granary land and the land on which his chief retainers were enfeoffed.
Emphasis was placed on quality of workmanship, especially in the arts. For the first time, urban populations had the means and leisure time to support a new mass culture. Professional female entertainers geishamusicpopular stories, kabuki and bunraku puppet theaterpoetryliterature and art, exemplified by beautiful woodblock prints known as ukiyo-ewere all part of this flowering of culture.
The Great Wave at Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai — Ukiyo-e prints began to be produced in the late seventeenth century, but in Harunobu produced the first polychrome print. Print designers of the next generation, including Torii Kiyonaga and Utamarocreated elegant and sometimes insightful depictions of courtesans.
In the nineteenth century, the dominant figure was Hiroshigea creator of romantic and somewhat sentimental landscape prints. The odd angles and shapes through which Hiroshige often viewed landscape, and the work of Kiyonaga and Utamaro, with its emphasis on flat planes and strong linear outlines, later had a profound impact on such Western artists as Edgar Degas and Vincent van Gogh.
Buddhism and Shinto were both still important in Tokugawa Japan. Buddhism, combined with neo-Confucianism, provided standards of social behavior. Although not as powerful politically as it had been in the past, Buddhism was espoused by the upper classes. Proscriptions against Christianity benefited Buddhism in when the bakufu ordered everyone to register at a temple.
The rigid separation of Tokugawa society into han, villages, wards, and households helped reaffirm local Shinto attachments. Shinto provided spiritual support to the political order and was an important tie between the individual and the community.
Shinto also helped preserve a sense of national identity. Shinto eventually assumed an intellectual form shaped by neo-Confucian rationalism and materialism.
The kokugaku movement emerged from the interactions of these two belief systems.
Kokugaku contributed to the emperor-centered nationalism of modern Japan and the revival of Shinto as a national creed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Some purists in the kokugaku movement, such as Motoori Norinagaeven criticized the Confucian and Buddhist influences—in effect, foreign influences—for contaminating Japan's ancient ways. Japan was the land of the kami and therefore had a special destiny. There is considerable debate over the cause for the end of the Edo period.
The Tokugawa shogunate did not collapse simply because of intrinsic failures. Foreign intrusions helped to precipitate a complex political struggle between the bakufu and a coalition of its critics. The continuity of the anti-bakufu movement in the mid-nineteenth century finally brought down the Tokugawa.
From the beginning, the Tokugawa shogunate had attempted to restrict the accumulation of wealth by individual families, and had fostered a "back to the soil" policy, in which the farmer, the ultimate producer, was the ideal person in society. A Japanese-made perpetual clockwatch, Despite these efforts to restrict wealth, and partly because of the extraordinary period of peace, the standard of living for urban and rural dwellers alike grew significantly during the Tokugawa period.
- DAIMYO, SHOGUNS AND THE BAKUFU (SHOGUNATE)
- Tokugawa Political System
- An introduction to the Samurai
Better means of crop production, transportationimproved housing, food, and entertainment were all available, as was more leisure time, at least for urban dwellers. Despite the reappearance of guilds, productive economic activities were relatively unrestricted, and the spread of commerce gave rise to a money economy. Although government imposed heavy restrictions on the merchants and viewed them as unproductive and usurious members of society, the samurai, who gradually became separated from their rural ties, depended greatly on the merchants and artisans for consumer goods, services, and loans.
The entrepreneurial class began to rebel against the political limitations imposed on them by the shogun. The government ideal of an agrarian society no longer reflected the reality of commercial distribution. A top-heavy government bureaucracy had evolved, which now stagnated because of its discrepancy with a new and evolving social order.
Compounding the situation, the population increased significantly during the first half of the Tokugawa period. Although the magnitude and growth rates are not known with certainty, there were at least 26 million commoners and about four million members of samurai families and their attendants when the first nationwide census was taken in Droughtfollowed by crop shortages and starvation, resulted in 20 great famines between and Peasant unrest grew, and by the late eighteenth century, mass protests over taxes and food shortages had become commonplace.
Newly landless families became tenant farmers, while the displaced rural poor moved into the cities. As the fortunes of previously well-to-do families declined, others moved in to accumulate land, and a new, wealthy farming class emerged. Those who benefited were able to diversify production and to hire laborers, while others were left discontented.
Many samurai fell on hard times and were forced into handicraft production or working at salaried jobs for merchants. Although Japan was able to acquire and refine a wide variety of scientific knowledge, the rapid industrialization of the West during the eighteenth century created, for the first time, a material gap in terms of technologies and armament between Japan and the West which had not existed at the beginning of the Edo period, forcing Japan to abandon its policy of seclusion and contributing to the end of the Tokugawa regime.
Western intrusions increased during the early nineteenth century. A British warship entered Nagasaki harbor searching for enemy Dutch ships inand other warships and whalers were seen in Japanese waters with increasing frequency in the s and s.
Whalers and trading ships from the United States also arrived on Japan's shores. Although the Japanese made some minor concessions and allowed some landings, they generally attempted to keep all foreigners out, sometimes using force. Rangaku Western studies became crucial not only for understanding the foreign "barbarians" but also gaining the knowledge necessary to fend them off.
Daimyo | Japanese social class | meer-bezoekers.info
By the s, there was a general sense of crisis. Famines and natural disasters led to unrest and a peasant uprising against officials and merchants in Osaka in Although it lasted only a day, the uprising made a dramatic impression.
The government sought to remedy the situation through moral reform, rather than by addressing the institutional problems. The shogun's advisers pushed for a return to the martial spirit, more restrictions on foreign trade and contacts, suppression of rangaku, censorship of literature, and elimination of "luxury" in the government and samurai class.
Introduction to the Samurai | Kamakura period (article) | Khan Academy
The bakufu persevered amidst growing concerns over Western successes in establishing colonial enclaves in China following the First Opium War of — More reforms were ordered, especially in the economic sector, to strengthen Japan against the Western threat.
In July ofwhen Commodore James Biddle appeared in Edo Bay with two warships, Japan rejected a demand from the United States, which was expanding its own presence in the Asia-Pacific region, to establish diplomatic relations. End of seclusion Commodore Matthew C. The chairman of the senior councilors, Abe Masahiro —was responsible for dealing with the Americans. Having no precedent to follow in managing this threat to national security, Abe tried to balance the desires of the senior councilors to compromise with the foreigners, of the emperor—who wanted to keep the foreigners out—and of the daimyo who wanted to go to war.
Lacking consensus, Abe decided to compromise by accepting Perry's demands for opening Japan to foreign trade while also making military preparations. In Marchthe Treaty of Peace and Amity or Treaty of Kanagawa opened two ports to American ships seeking provisions, guaranteed good treatment to shipwrecked American sailors, and allowed a United States consul to take up residence in Shimoda, a seaport on the Izu Peninsula, southwest of Edo. A commercial treaty, opening still more areas to American trade, was forced on the bakufu five years later.
The resulting damage to the bakufu was significant. Debate over government policy was unusual and had engendered public criticism of the bakufu. In the hope of enlisting the support of new allies, Abe, to the consternation of the fudai, had consulted with the shinpan and tozama daimyo, further undermining the already weakened bakufu.
In the Ansei Reform —Abe tried to strengthen the regime by ordering Dutch warships and armaments from the Netherlands and building new port defenses. Ina naval training school with Dutch instructors was set up at Nagasaki, and a Western-style military school was established at Edo; by the next year, the government was translating Western books.
Opposition to Abe increased within fudai circles, which opposed opening bakufu councils to tozama daimyo, and he was replaced in as chairman of the senior councilors by Hotta Masayoshi — At the head of the dissident faction was Tokugawa Nariaki, who had long embraced a militant loyalty to the emperor along with anti-foreign sentiments, and who had been put in charge of national defense in The Mito school, based on neo-Confucian and Shinto principles, had as its goal the restoration of the imperial institution, the turning back of the West, and the founding of a world empire under the divine Yamato Dynasty.
In the final years of the Tokugawa, foreign contacts increased as more concessions were granted. The new treaty with the United States in allowed more ports to be opened to diplomatic representatives, unsupervised trade at four additional ports, and foreign residences in Osaka and Edo. It also embodied the concept of extraterritoriality foreigners were subject to the laws of their own countries but not to Japanese law.
Hotta lost the support of key daimyo, and when Tokugawa Nariaki opposed the new treaty, Hotta sought imperial sanction. The court officials, perceiving the weakness of the bakufu, rejected Hotta's request and suddenly embroiled Kyoto and the emperor in Japan's internal politics for the first time in many centuries. When the shogun died without an heir, Nariaki appealed to the court for support of his own son, Tokugawa Yoshinobu or Keikia candidate favored by the shinpan and tozama daimyo as shogun.
Bakumatsu Modernization and Conflicts Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun, in French military uniform, c. The army and the navy were modernized by the Ansei Reform.
The need to defend these distant estates from attacks by local chieftains led to the birth of the samurai. The nobles sent from the capital to govern the estates often lacked the skills and authority necessary to maintain security or provide effective administration in such remote districts, so the court appointed deputies from among the local population to assist them.
By the eleventh century the bands were changing to groups of fighting men not necessarily connected through kinship. Power was beginning to aggregate in the hands of a few elite military families, or clans, whose regional dominance was supported by the fighting abilities of retainers and vassals.
The First Warrior Government The Kamakura Shogunate, — By the late eleventh century, the Minamoto also known as Genji clan was recognized as the most powerful military clan in the northeastern region of Japan, having defeated several other powerful local groups. In the mid-twelfth century, the Minamoto clashed with the mighty Taira also known as Heike clan, which commanded an important western region including the area around Kyoto.
A series of clashes, culminating in the Genpei War —ended with the defeat of the Taira. The victorious Minamoto went on to establish a new, warrior-led government at Kamakura, their eastern stronghold. In the great Minamoto leader Minamoto Yoritomo — was appointed sei-i-tai shogun lit. Yoritomo established a military government, bakufu: Reporting to the shogun were daimyo lit.
The Second Warrior Government: The Ashikaga Shogunate of the Muromachi Period — The Kamakura shogunate was overthrown in and succeeded by the Ashikaga shogunate —based in Muromachi, near Kyoto. Under the Ashikaga, samurai were increasingly organized into lord—vassal hierarchies. Claiming loyalty to one lord, they adhered to a value system that promoted the virtues of honor, loyalty, and courage.