Tokugawa Political System
Daimyo were classed according to their relationships to the shogun as kinsmen ( shimpan), hereditary vassals (fudai), and less-trusted allies (tozama; meaning. 1 Rule of Shogun and Daimyo; 2 From Openness to Seclusion; 3 Society The code encompassed private conduct, marriage, dress, and types of weapons and numbers of . The rice was sold at the fudasashi market in Edo. natural disasters, market dislocations, peasant rebellions, and even foreign relations changing relationship of the fudai daimyo with the Bakufu and Sho- gun throughout fudai daimyo themselves, the trusted vassals of the Shogun, effec-.
In most domains, the scope of government was similar. In fact, as the Edo period wore on, most domains copied the system of the shogunate. The Tokugawa shogunate also had responsibilities and concerns which went beyond those of ordinary domains; the Tokugawa shoguns were, after all, hegemons presiding over a whole country. The Tokugawa government alone dealt with the imperial court, the imperial nobility and the emperor himself.
The emperor was the source of legitimacy since the office of shogun was an imperial appointment. Furthermore, Confucianism which was the official ideology of the Tokugawa house during the Edo period focused attention on the emperor. Thus, the Tokugawa shogunate established a monopoly on access to the imperial court.
As the period wore on, the monopoly was breached, but it is essentially true that the Tokugawa controlled and manipulated the court for its own purposes. The shogunate held a near monopoly over foreign trade and foreign affairs. The trade monopoly was important because significant profits were available to the Tokugawa alone. Foreign trade was also permitted through Satsuma domain to the Ryukyu kingdom Okinawa and through Tsushima domain to Korea, but generally speaking diplomatic matters were closely controlled by the Tokugawa.
Foreign relations were crucial because control of them made a statement to the political public that the Tokugawa house was in control of all aspects of government; it was an additional source of legitimacy. In line with this, the Tokugawa shogunate restricted diplomatic contact by prohibiting any Europeans except the Dutch from coming to Japan after ; this was the policy of national seclusion sakoku.
But even seclusion was an exercise of power which impressed observers and encouraged submission. Perhaps the most important role of the shogunate was control of the domains, the han. This was precisely what had been lacking in the Warring States period, the ability of central authority to enforce peace. During the forty years before the Edo period, the three unifiers, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, evolved a system which proved increasingly capable of ensuring the loyalty and obedience of vassals.
The Tokugawa shogunate took this previous experience and honed it to perfection. Elements of this system included a police and spy network which reported any suspicious activity by samurai or daimyo. Daimyo were required to report any proposed marriage alliances between domains to the shogunate for approval. Contact between domains was prohibited to reduce opportunities for plotting against the shogunate. The number of castles, their size and their strength were very strictly limited.
The shogunate could punish daimyo for transgressions in a variety of ways; a domain could be reduced in size, the daimyo could be shifted to an entirely different domain, or, the ultimate sanction, suicide could be demanded, perhaps with the additional punishment of his lineage being reduced in status to a non-daimyo level. The most important aspect of the system of controlling the han was the sankin-kotai system, or the system of alternate residence in Edo.
Sankin kotai bi-annual commuting by daimyos also stimulated the development of the road system. At the same time, due to military reasons, Bakufu did not encourage free movement of people and merchandise. At major check points, sekisho passport controls were created.
Collapse of Tokugawa Shogunate | South China Morning Post
Some rivers were left without bridges, intentionally and for military reasons. Hans were not allowed to build ships or maintain navy. As noted above, from the beginning, the Edo tax system presupposed a nationally unified rice market.
Development of cash crops and handicrafts also stimulated nationwide commerce. Osaka was the commercial center with many rich merchants and money lenders, while Edo was a political center and consumption city. Naturally, the sea lane between the two cities was well developed.
In Osaka, the futures market in rice emerged this is said to be the first futures market in the world. The Bakufu's policy towards commerce and industry was variable and inconsistent.
Sometimes the central government tried to control and tax private businesses. Other times free economy was permitted. Cartels were sometimes imposed and other times prohibited. Among historians, opinions differ as to whether the Edo economy was more dynamic under free market policy or pro-cartel policy.
Tetsuji Okazaki Tokyo University tries to show that estimated GDP grew faster during the time when cartels were permitted than when they were banned. He argues that trade cartels were a positive factor for the development of the Edo economy rather than an impediment. However, his data and regressions may be too crude to be decisive.The Way of the Samurai (Documentary)
Toward the end of the Edo period, many hans and local cities developed economically. As a result, direct trading among them without the intervention of Osaka merchants began. Many markets not just rice, but almost everything were nationally integrated. Industry As agriculture and commerce grew, pre-modern manufacturing handicrafts, food processing also began to develop.
For example, the following products were produced: No steam engines or electricity yet, but division of labor was underway. In order to enrich local population and increase tax revenue, many hans promoted local industries, and some even succeeded S.
For example, Tokushima han indigo: Farmers produced indigo along the Yoshino River and their output gradually grew. But indigo distribution was monopolized by Osaka merchants who imposed high interest on loans.
In order to protect local farmers and encourage local merchants, the han government created an indigo exchange and provided financial and distribution services. But the Bakufu objected to this move, prohibiting such official support the Bakufu wanted to protect Osaka merchants who contributed financially to the central government.
So the han privatized the indigo exchange and other services. The Takamatsu government issued han's paper money to promote various industries but failed, and its money depreciated.
After many such failed attempts, the han finally succeeded in research on sugar production from sugar beets and commercialized the technology. As sugar production greatly increased, the han promoted inter-han trade direct trade between hans. But again, the Bakufu tried to discourage such trade not brokered by Osaka merchants. Satsuma han military technology: This han in southern Kyushu imported new technology from the West and produced blast furnace, cannons and western ships. It was also engaged in illegal trade with Ryukyu Okinawawhich was very profitable.
By increasing wealth and military capability, Satsuma han later played the key role in toppling the Bakufu government and establishing the Meiji government. These are just a few examples.
Edo period - New World Encyclopedia
Many other hans were engaged in industrial promotion, including Choshu han paper, waxYonezawa han safflower, lacquer waxAkita han silk and silk dressHizen han pottery, coalHigo han lumber, silkand so on. But we should not forget that there were many hans which were less successful and deeply in debt. They borrowed money from big private merchants but never repaid.
Confucianism was taught to the sons of bakufu samurais. Professional school enacted The popularity of education in the Edo period is often cited as the cause of fast industrialization in later periods.
Education in this period ranged from the recondite study of Chinese philosophy and literature at public schools to children's primary education at private schools.
More specifically, four types of learning institutions were important. It emphasized social order, proper rituals, the way of good political leader, and respect for elderly and superior.
The Edo government vigorously promoted Confucianism as an ideology to legitimize and maintain the class society. Seika Fujiwara and Razan Hayashi were the leading bakufu scholars. Students had to memorize and interpret ancient Chinese books.