Download Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan by Mark Ravina PDF

By Mark Ravina

Examining neighborhood politics in 3 jap domain names (Yonezawa, Tokushima, and Hirosaki), this ebook exhibits how warlords (daimyo) and their samurai tailored the idea and perform of warrior rule to the peacetime demanding situations of demographic switch and speedy fiscal progress within the mid-Tokugawa period.

The writer has a twin objective. the 1st is to envision the effect of shogunate/domain family members on warlord legitimacy. even supposing the shogunate had ideal energy in international and army affairs, it left a lot of civil legislations within the fingers of warlords. during this civil realm, Japan resembled a federal union (or “compound state”), with the warlords as semi-independent sovereigns, instead of a unified state with the shogunate as sovereign. The warlords have been hence either vassals of the shogun and self sustaining lords. within the strategy of his research, the writer places ahead a brand new idea of warlord legitimacy which will clarify the endurance in their autonomy in civil affairs.

The moment objective is to check the quantitative size of warlord rule. Daimyo, the writer argues, struggled opposed to either monetary and demographic pressures. it's in those struggles that domain names manifested such a lot basically their autonomy, constructing precise nearby ideas to the issues of protoindustrialization and peasant depopulation. In formulating recommendations to advertise and keep watch over financial development and to extend the peasant inhabitants, domain names drew seriously on their claims to semisovereign authority and built guidelines that expected practices of the Meiji state.

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First, it aptly reflects the composite legitimacy of the early modern order. Tokugawa ideology was syncretic in two senses. It fused multiple ideologies and religions (Shinto¯ , Buddhist, and neoConfucian) in support of multiple forms of authority. The shogunate held the coincident, and eventually competing, roles of independent suzerain, imperial servant, and guarantor of daimyo privilege. The shogunate was thus not supported by a single statist ideology but by several ideological traditions. This greatly complicated government reform.

In public, even shogunal apologists were loath to assert shogunal supremacy over the emperor. Shogunal ideologues such as Arai Hakuseki argued for a hegemonic shogunate by ignoring the emperor rather than denying him. By the late eighteenth century, however, the shogunate was commonly seen as subject to imperial authority. 23 Some historians have treated the term ko¯ gi, or “public authority,” as evidence of supreme shogunal authority. This is problematic. In 26 land and lordship the Warring States period, ko¯ gi was a term commonly applied to domain governments headed by daimyo, but in the seventeenth century it came increasingly to refer to the shogunate.

The passivity of domains like Tokushima, Hirosaki, and Yonezawa points to a critical tension inherent in domain autonomy. Although large domains were autonomous in broad areas of civil affairs, this independence was predicated on the strength of the shogunate. Having ceded authority over diplomacy and foreign affairs to the shogun, the daimyo were dependent on his competence to defend the Tokugawa order. Like states in a federal union, daimyo were both fiercely protective of local autonomy and dependent on the union for their survival.

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