Download A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the by Andrew Gordon PDF

By Andrew Gordon

A chinese language announcing has it that "each step adjustments the mountain." Likewise, every one significant flip in background adjustments how we comprehend what went earlier than: as Japan now keeps in an monetary funk that yet didn't wipe out the "economic miracle" of the postwar interval, we have to reconsider our histories once more to provide an explanation for the origins of prosperity, the evolution of what it capacity to be jap, and the roots of obstinacy. Gordon's clearheaded, readable, and inquisitive narrative, geared toward scholars and critical common readers, accomplishes this activity molto con brio. Head of Harvard's Reischauer Institute of eastern experiences, Gordon tells a sweeping and provocative tale of Japan's political, monetary, social, and cultural innovations of its modernity in evolving foreign contexts, incorporating within viewpoints and debates. past settling on the nationwide phases (feudalism, militarism, democracy), the writer innovatively emphasizes how exertions unions, cultural figures, and teams in society (especially girls) were affected through the years and feature spoke back. suggested either for normal libraries and for professional collections.

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Extra info for A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present

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The officials would collect tax revenues from the lands originally controlled by the samurai and forward the funds to the daimyo¯’s castle or his Edo residence. The daimyo¯ would then pay out to each samurai an amount equivalent to the expected income from that man’s original fief. The samurai in the city retained the right to wear two swords. Some served as policemen and keepers of order, but the majority no longer had official military duties. Assigned to a variety of administrative positions, or sometimes to none at all, the samurai received from the daimyo¯ their annual salaries, called “stipends,” reflecting the value of a fief of origin.

They pro­ moted officially sponsored trade and diplomatic travel, both for its own sake and to maintain domestic hegemony. Satsuma domain was allowed to trade with the Ryu¯kyu¯ Islands (Okinawa). This was a source of Chinese goods throughout the Tokugawa era. Even in 1646, despite the uncertainty of wars in China as the Qing established their dynasty, bakufu officials in Edo decided that Satsuma should maintain this trade. The bakufu also continued trade with China through Nagasaki throughout the Tokugawa era.

9 Such reports, whether from samurai administrators, scholars, or city merchants, reflect the anxiety of people offended at the violation of the natural hierarchy of the 30 CRISIS OF THE TOKUGAWA REGIME world as it ought to be. They also reveal that in the world as it was, the misfortunes of daimyo¯ or officially favored merchants were someone else’s gains. The Okayama author’s lament that “farmers and tradesmen have exchanged positions” is a reaction to the evidence on the other side of the economic ledger: A tremendous surge in rural production and commerce took place in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

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