- Edo period
The nihongo|Edo period|江戸時代|Edo-jidai, also referred to as the Tokugawa period (徳川時代 "Tokugawa-jidai"), is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868. The period marks the governance of the
Edoor Tokugawa shogunate, which was officially established in 1603 by the first Edo shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period ended with the Meiji Restoration, the restoration of imperialrule by the 15th and last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu. The Edo period is also known as the beginning of the early modern period of Japan.
Rule of shogun and daimyo
An evolution had taken place in the centuries from the time of the Kamakura bakufu, which existed in equilibrium with the imperial court, to the Tokugawa, when the "bushi" became the unchallenged rulers in what historian
Edwin O. Reischauercalled a "centralized feudal" form of government. Instrumental in the rise of the new bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunagaand Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Already powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area. He maintained 2.5 million" koku" of land, had a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town (the future Tokyo), and had an additional two million "koku" of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved quickly to seize control from the Toyotomi family.
Ieyasu's victory over the western
daimyoat the Battle of Sekigahara(October 21, 1600, or in the Japanese calendar on the 15th day of the ninth month of the fifth year of the Keichōera) gave him virtual control of all Japan. He rapidly abolished numerous enemy daimyohouses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, and redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyo, but his assumption of the title of shogunhelped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada (1579-1632) as shogun and himself as retired shogun in 1605. The Toyotomi were still a significant threat, and Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Toyotomi stronghold at Osakawas destroyed by the Tokugawa army.
The Tokugawa (or Edo) period brought 250 years of stability to Japan. The political system evolved into what historians call "bakuhan", a combination of the terms "
bakufu" and "han" (domains) to describe the governmentand society of the period. In the "bakuhan", the shogun had national authority and the daimyo had regional authority. This represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an increasingly large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first centuryof rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million "koku", control of the most important cities, and a land assessment system reaping great revenues.
feudalhierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyo. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the "shinpan", or "related houses". They were twenty-three daimyo on the borders of Tokugawa lands, daimyo all directly related to Ieyasu. The shinpan held mostly honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu. The second class of the hierarchy were the " fudai", or "house daimyo", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service. By the eighteenth century, 145 fudai controlled such smaller "han", the greatest assessed at 250,000 "koku". Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven "han" formed the third group, the " tozama" (outside vassals), former opponents or new allies. The tozama were located mostly on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million "koku" of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyo, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions.
The Tokugawa not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they also had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyo, and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of
political sanctionfor the shogun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family. The Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyo houses. The code encompassed private conduct,
marriage, dress, and types of weaponsand numbers of troops allowed; required feudal lords to reside in Edo every other year (the " sankin kōtai" system); prohibited the construction of ocean-going ships; proscribed Christianity; restricted castles to one per domain ("han") and stipulated that bakufu regulations were the national law. Although the daimyo were not taxed per se, they were regularly levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads, bridges, and palaces. The various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but also depleted the wealth of the daimyo, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The "han", once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units. The daimyo did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers, bureaucrats, and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations, already greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms.
From openness to seclusion
Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but also was suspicious of outsiders. He wanted to make
Edoa major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshūand that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade and allowed only certain ports to handle specific kinds of commodities.
The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the
Nanban trade periodduring which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place. It is at the beginning of the Edo period that Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as the "San Juan Bautista", a 500- ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenagato the Americas and then to Europe. Also during that period, the "bakufu" commissioned around 350 Red Seal Ships, three-masted and armed trade ships, for intra-Asian commerce. Japanese adventurers, such as Yamada Nagamasa, used those ships throughout Asia.
Christianproblem" was, in effect, a problem of controlling both the Christian daimyo in Kyūshū and their trade with the Europeans. By 1612, the shogun's retainers and residents of Tokugawa lands had been ordered to forswear Christianity. More restrictions came in 1616 (the restriction of foreign trade to Nagasaki and Hirado, an island northwest of Kyūshū), 1622 (the execution of 120 missionaries and converts), 1624 (the expulsion of the Spanish), and 1629 (the execution of thousands of Christians). Finally, the Closed Country Edict of 1635prohibited any Japanese from traveling outside Japan or, if someone left, from ever returning. In 1636 the Dutch were restricted to Dejima, a small artificial island— and thus, not true Japanese soil — in Nagasaki's harbor.
The shogunate perceived Catholic Christianity to be an extremely destabilizing factor, leading to the persecution of Catholicism. The
Shimabara Rebellionof 1637-38, in which discontented Catholic Christian samurai and peasants rebelled against the bakufu — and Edo called in Dutch ships to bombard the rebel stronghold — marked the end of the Christian movement, although some CatholicChristians survived by going underground, the so-called Kakure Kirishitan. Soon thereafter, the Portuguese were permanently expelled, members of the Portuguese diplomatic mission were executed, all subjects were ordered to register at a Buddhist or Shinto temple, and the Dutch and Chinese were restricted, respectively, to Dejima and to a special quarter in Nagasaki. Besides small trade of some outer daimyo with Koreaand the Ryukyu Islands, to the southwest of Japan's main islands, by 1641, foreign contacts were limited by the policy of sakokuto Nagasaki.
By 1650, Christianity was almost completely eradicated, and external political, economic and religious influence on Japan became quite limited. Only
China, the Dutch East India Company, and for a short period, the English, enjoyed the right to visit Japan during this period, for commercial purposes only, and they were restricted to the Dejimaport in Nagasaki. Other Europeans who landed on Japanese shores were put to death without trial.
After a long period of inner conflict, the first goal of the newly established Tokugawa government was to pacify the country. It created a balance of power that remained (fairly) stable for the next 250 years, influenced by Confucian principles of
social order. Most samurailost their direct possession of the land: all land ownership was concentrated in the hands of the about 300 " daimyo". The samurai had a choice: Give up their sword and become peasants, or move to the city of their feudal lord and become a paid retainer. Only a few land samurai remained in the border provinces of the north, or as direct vassals of the shogun, the 5000 so-called " hatamoto". The daimyo were put under tight control of the shogunate. Their families had to reside in Edo; the daimyo themselves had to reside in Edo for one year and in their province ("han") for the next. This system was called " sankin kotai".
During the Tokugawa period, the social order, based on inherited position rather than personal merits, was rigid and highly formalized. At the top were the Emperor and Court nobles ("
kuge"), together with the Shogun and daimyo. Below them the population was divided into four classes in a system known as "mibunsei" (身分制): the samurai on top (about 5% of the population) and the peasants (more than 80% of the population) on the second level. Below the peasants were the craftsmen, and even below them, on the fourth level, were the merchants. [Beasley, p. 22.] Only the peasants lived in the rural areas. Samurai, craftsmen and merchants lived in the cities that were built around the daimyo's castles, each restricted to their own quarter.
Outside the four classes were the so-called "eta" and "hinin", those whose professions broke the taboos of Buddhism. "Eta" were butchers, tanners and undertakers. "Hinin" served as town guards, street cleaners and executioners. Other outsiders included the beggars, entertainers and prostitutes. The word "eta" literally translates to "filthy" and "hinin" to "non-humans", a thorough reflection of the attitude held by other classes that the "eta" and "hinin" were not even people. "Hinin" were only allowed inside a special quarter of the city. The actors usually travelled in groups from one village to another, performing in each city then moving to the next. It was completely lawful to kill a "hinin" for no reason. Sometimes "eta" villages weren't even printed on official maps.
The individual had no legal rights in Tokugawa Japan. The family was the smallest legal entity, and the maintenance of family status and privileges was of great importance at all levels of society. For example, the Edo period penal laws prescribed "non-free labor" or
slaveryfor the immediate family of executed criminals in Article 17 of the "Gotōke reijō" (Tokugawa House Laws), but the practice never became common. The 1711 "Gotōke reijō" was compiled from over 600 statutes promulgated between 1597 and 1696. [Lewis, p. 31-32.]
The Edo period bequeathed a vital commercial sector in burgeoning urban centers, a relatively well-educated elite (although one with limited knowledge of European
science), a sophisticated government bureaucracy, productive agriculture, a closely unified nation with highly developed financial and marketing systems, and a national infrastructure of roads.
Economic development during the Tokugawa period included
urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and, initially, foreign commerce, and a diffusion of trade and handicraftindustries. The construction trades flourished, along with banking facilities and merchant associations. Increasingly, "han" authorities oversaw the rising agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts.
By the mid-eighteenth century, Edo had a population of more than one million, and
Osakaand Kyotoeach had more than 400,000 inhabitants. Many other castle towns grew as well. Japan had almost zero population growth between the 1720s and 1820s, often attributed to lower birth rates in response to widespread famine, but some historians have presented different theories, such as a high rate of infanticideartificially controlling population [http://books.google.com/books?id=QGEECT7R75IC] . Osaka and Kyoto became busy trading and handicraft production centers, while Edo was the center for the supply of food and essential urban consumer goods. Ricewas the base of the economy, as the daimyo collected the taxes from the peasants in the form of rice. Taxes were high, about 40% of the harvest. The rice was sold at the " fudasashi" market in Edo. To raise money, the daimyo used forward contracts to sell rice that was not even harvested yet. These contracts were similar to modern futures trading.
It was during the Edo period that Japan developed an advanced
forest managementpolicy. Increased demand for timber resources for construction, shipbuilding and fuel had led to widespread deforestation, which resulted in forest fires, floods and soil erosion. In response the shogun, beginning around 1666, instituted a policy to reduce logging and increase the planting of trees. The policy mandated that only the shogun and daimyo could authorize the use of wood. By the 18th century, Japan had developed detailed scientific knowledge about silvicultureand plantation forestry. [Diamond, pp. 297-304.]
Artistic and intellectual development
During the period, Japan progressively studied Western sciences and techniques (called "
rangaku", literally "Dutch studies") through the information and books received through the Dutch traders in Dejima. The main areas that were studied included geography, medicine, natural sciences, astronomy, art, languages, physical sciences such as the study of electrical phenomena, and mechanical sciences as exemplified by the development of Japanese clockwatches, or wadokei, inspired by Western techniques.
The flourishing of
Neo-Confucianismwas the major intellectual development of the Tokugawa period. Confucian studies had long been kept active in Japan by Buddhist clerics, but during the Tokugawa period, Confucianism emerged from Buddhist religious control. This system of thought increased attention to a secular view of man and society. The ethical humanism, rationalism, and historical perspective of neo-Confucian doctrine appealed to the official class. By the mid-seventeenth century, neo-Confucianism was Japan's dominant legal philosophy and contributed directly to the development of the " kokugaku" (national learning) school of thought.
Advanced studies and growing applications of neo-Confucianism contributed to the transition of the social and political order from feudal norms to class- and large-group-oriented practices. The rule of the people or Confucian man was gradually replaced by the
rule of law. New laws were developed, and new administrative devices were instituted. A new theory of government and a new vision of society emerged as a means of justifying more comprehensive governance by the bakufu. Each person had a distinct place in society and was expected to work to fulfill his or her mission in life. The people were to be ruled with benevolence by those whose assigned duty it was to rule. Government was all-powerful but responsible and humane. Although the class system was influenced by neo-Confucianism, it was not identical to it. Whereas soldiers and clergy were at the bottom of the hierarchy in the Chinese model, in Japan, some members of these classes constituted the ruling elite.
Members of the
samuraiclass adhered to bushi traditions with a renewed interest in Japanese history and in cultivation of the ways of Confucian scholar-administrators, resulting in the development of the concept of " bushido" (the way of the warrior). Another special way of life--"chōnindō"-—also emerged. "Chōnindō" (the way of the townspeople) was a distinct culture that arose in cities such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Edo. It encouraged aspiration to bushido qualities—-diligence, honesty, honor, loyalty, and frugality-—while blending Shinto, neo-Confucian, and Buddhist beliefs. Study of mathematics, astronomy, cartography, engineering, and medicine were also encouraged. 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. Their search for enjoyment became known as " ukiyo" (the floating world), an ideal world of fashion, popular entertainment, and the discovery of aesthetic qualities in objects and actions of everyday life, including sex (" shunga"). Professional female entertainers (" geisha"), music, popular stories, " Kabuki" and " bunraku" (puppet theater), poetry, a rich literature, and art, exemplified by beautiful woodblock prints (known as " ukiyo-e"), were all part of this flowering of culture. Literature also flourished with the talented examples of the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon(1653-1724) and the poet, essayist, and travel writer Matsuo Bashō(1644-94).
Ukiyo-e prints began to be produced in the late 17th century, but in 1764
Harunobuproduced the first polychrome print. Print designers of the next generation, including Torii Kiyonaga and Utamaro, created elegant and sometimes insightful depictions of courtesans. In the 19th century, the dominant figure was Hiroshige, a creator of romantic and somewhat sentimental landscape prints. The odd angles and shapes through which Hiroshige often viewed landscape and the work of Kiyonagaand Utamaro, with its emphasis on flat planes and strong linear outlines, later had a profound impact on such Western artists as Edgar Degasand Vincent van Gogh(see Japonism). Buddhismand Shintowere 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 1640 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. Shintoeventually assumed an intellectual form as 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. The Kojiki, Nihongi, and Man'yōshūwere all studied anew in the search for the Japanese spirit. Some purists in the kokugaku movement, such as Motoori Norinaga, even criticized the Confucian and Buddhist influences-—in effect, foreign influences-—for contaminating Japan's ancient ways. Japan was the land of the kamiand, as such, had a special destiny.
End of the shogunate
Decline of the Tokugawa
The end of this period is particularly called the
late Tokugawa shogunate. The cause for the end of this period is controversial but is recounted as the forcing of Japan's opening to the world by Commodore Matthew Perry of the US Navy, whose armada(known by Japanese as "the black ships") fired weapons from Tokyo Bay. Several artificial land masses were created to block the range of the armada, and this land remains in what is presently called the Odaibadistrict.
The Tokugawa did not eventually 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 would finally bring down the Tokugawa. From the outset, the Tokugawa attempted to restrict families' accumulation of wealth and fostered a "back to the soil" policy, in which the farmer, the ultimate producer, was the ideal person in society.
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. Better means of crop production, transport, housing, food, and entertainment were all available, as was more leisure time, at least for urban dwellers. The literacyrate was high for a preindustrial society, and cultural values were redefined and widely imparted throughout the samuraiand " chōnin" classes. Despite the reappearance of guilds, economic activities went well beyond the restrictive nature of the guilds, and commerce spread and a money economy developed. Although government heavily restricted 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, artistic interests, and loans. In this way, a subtle subversion of the warrior class by the "chōnin" took place.
A struggle arose in the face of political limitations that the shogun imposed on the entrepreneurial class. The government ideal of an
agrarian societyfailed to square with the reality of commercial distribution. A huge government bureaucracyhad 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 uncertain, there were at least 26 million commoners and about four million members of samurai families and their attendants when the first nationwide censuswas taken in 1721. Drought, followed by crop shortages and starvation, resulted in twenty great famines between 1675 and 1837. 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 people 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 and wage 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 18th century created for the first time a material gap in terms of technologies and armament between Japan and the West (which did not really exist at the beginning of the Edo period), forcing it to abandon its policy of seclusion and contributing to the end of the Tokugawa regime.
Western intrusions were on the increase in the early nineteenth century.
Russian warships and traders encroached on Karafuto(called Sakhalinunder Russian and Soviet control) and on the Kuril Islands, the southernmost of which are considered by the Japanese as the northern islands of Hokkaidō. A British warship entered Nagasaki harbour searching for enemy Dutch ships in 1808, and other warships and whalers were seen in Japanese waters with increasing frequency in the 1810s and 1820s. Whalers and trading ships from the United Statesalso arrived on Japan's shores. Although the Japanese made some minor concessions and allowed some landings, they largely attempted to keep all foreigners out, sometimes using force. " Rangaku" became crucial not only in understanding the foreign " barbarians" but also in using the knowledge gained from the West to fend them off.
By the 1830s, there was a general sense of crisis.
Famines and natural disasters hit hard, and unrest led to a peasant uprising against officials and merchants in Osaka in 1837. Although it lasted only a day, the uprising made a dramatic impression. Remedies came in the form of traditional solutions that sought to reform moral decay rather than address institutional problems. The shogun's advisers pushed for a return to the martial spirit, more restrictions on foreign trade and contacts, suppression of "rangaku", censorshipof literature, and elimination of "luxury" in the government and samurai class. Others sought the overthrow of the Tokugawa and espoused the political doctrine of "sonnō jōi" (revere the emperor, expel the barbarians), which called for unity under imperial rule and opposed foreign intrusions. The "bakufu" persevered for the time being amidst growing concerns over Western successes in establishing colonial enclaves in China following the First Opium Warof 1839–1842. More reforms were ordered, especially in the economic sector, to strengthen Japan against the Western threat.
Japan turned down a demand from the United States, which was greatly expanding its own presence in the Asia-Pacific region, to establish diplomatic relations when Cmdre. James Biddle appeared in
Edo Baywith two warships in July 1846.
End of seclusion
Matthew Calbraith Perry's four-ship squadron appeared in Edo Bay in July 1853, the bakufu was thrown into turmoil. The chairman of the senior councillors, Abe Masahiro(1819–1857), was responsible for dealing with the Americans. Having no precedent to manage this threat to national security, Abe tried to balance the desires of the senior councillors to compromise with the foreigners, of the emperor who wanted to keep the foreigners out, and of the daimyowho 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 March 1854, the 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(1854–1856), Abe then tried to strengthen the regime by ordering Dutch warships and armaments from the Netherlands and building new port defenses. In 1855, a 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 1855 as chairman of the senior councillors by Hotta Masayoshi(1810–1864).
At the head of the dissident faction was
Tokugawa Nariaki, who had long embraced a militant loyalty to the emperor along with antiforeign sentiments, and who had been put in charge of national defense in 1854. 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 1859 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 thus 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 Keiki), for shogun, a candidate favored by the shinpanand " tozama" daimyo. The "fudai" won the power struggle, however, installing Tokugawa Yoshitomi, arresting Nariaki and Keiki, executing Yoshida Shoin (1830–1859, a leading "sonnō-jōi" intellectual who had opposed the American treaty and plotted a revolution against the bakufu), and signing treaties with the United States and five other nations, thus ending more than 200 years of exclusion.
Bakumatsu modernization and conflicts
During the last years of the "bakufu", or "bakumatsu", the "bakufu" took strong measures to try to reassert its dominance, although its involvement with modernization and foreign powers was to make it a target of anti-Western sentiment throughout the country.
The army and the navy were modernized. A naval training school was established in Nagasaki in 1855. Naval students were sent to study in Western naval schools for several years, starting a tradition of foreign-educated future leaders, such as Admiral Enomoto. French naval engineers were hired to build naval arsenals, such as
Yokosukaand Nagasaki. By the end of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, the Japanese navy of the shogunalready possessed eight Western-style steam warships around the flagship "Kaiyō Maru", which were used against pro-imperial forces during the Boshin warunder the command of Admiral Enomoto. A French military mission was established to help modernize the armies of the "bakufu".
Revering the emperor as a symbol of unity, extremists wrought violence and death against the Bakufu and Han authorities and foreigners. Foreign naval retaliation in the
Anglo-Satsuma Warled to still another concessionary commercial treaty in 1865, but Yoshitomi was unable to enforce the Western treaties. A "bakufu" army was defeated when it was sent to crush dissent in the Satsuma and Chōshū Domains in 1866. Finally, in 1867, Emperor Kōmeidied and was succeeded by his minor son Emperor Meiji.
Keiki reluctantly became head of the Tokugawa house and shogun. He tried to reorganize the government under the emperor while preserving the shogun's leadership role. Fearing the growing power of the Satsuma and Chōshū daimyo, other daimyo called for returning the shogun's political power to the emperor and a council of daimyo chaired by the former Tokugawa shogun. Keiki accepted the plan in late 1867 and resigned, announcing an "imperial restoration". The Satsuma, Chōshū, and other "han" leaders and radical courtiers, however, rebelled, seized the imperial palace, and announced their own restoration on
January 3 1868.
Boshin war(1868–1869), the "bakufu" was abolished, and Keiki was reduced to the ranks of the common daimyo. Resistance continued in the North throughout 1868, and the "bakufu" naval forces under Admiral Enomoto Takeakicontinued to hold out for another six months in Hokkaidō, where they founded the short-lived Republic of Ezo.
Battle of Sekigahara. Tokugawa Ieyasudefeats a coalition of daimyo and establishes hegemony over most of Japan.
*1603: The emperor appoints
Tokugawa Ieyasuas shogun, who moves his government to Edo (Tokyo) and founds the Tokugawa dynasty of shoguns.
Tokugawa Ieyasuresigns as shogun and is succeeded by his son Tokugawa Hidetada.
Yi Dynastysends an embassy to Tokugawa shogunate.
RyūkyūIslands become a vassal state of Satsuma domain.
Tokugawa Ieyasubans Christianity from Japan.
*1615: Battle of Osaka.
Tokugawa Ieyasusieges Osaka Castle, all opposition from forces loyal to the Toyotomifamily. Tokugawa authority becomes paramount throughout Japan.
Tokugawa Iemitsubecomes the third shogun.
Tokugawa Iemitsuforbids travelling abroad and reading foreign books.
Tokugawa Iemitsuformalizes the system of mandatory alternate residence ( sankin kotai) in Edo.
Shimabara Rebellion(1637-38) mounted by overtaxed peasants.
Tokugawa Iemitsuforbids ship building.
*1639: Edicts establishing National Seclusion (
SakokuRei) are completed. All Westerners except the Dutch are prohibited from entering Japan .
Tokugawa Iemitsubans all foreigners, except Chinese and Dutch, from Japan.
*1650: With peace, there evolved a new kind of noble, literate warrior according to bushido ("way of the warrior").
Great Fire of Meirekidestroys most of the city of Edo.
Kabukiand ukiyo-ebecome popular.
*1774: The anatomical text "
Kaitai shinsho", the first complete Japanese translation of a Western medical work, is published by Sugita Gempakuand Maeno Ryotaku.
Matsudaira Sadanobubecomes senior shogunal councillor and institutes the Kansei Reforms.
Russian envoy Adam Laxmanarrives at Nemuro in eastern Ezo(now Hokkaidō).
Russian envoy Nikolai Rezanovreaches Nagasaki and unsuccessfully seeks the establishment of trade relations with Japan.
*1837: Rebellion of Oshio Heihachiro
*1854: The USA forces Japan to sign a trade agreement ("treaty of Kanagawa") which reopens Japan to foreigners after two centuries.
*1855: Russia and Japan establish diplomatic relations.
*1864: British, French, Dutch and American warships bombard
Shimonosekiand open more Japanese ports for foreigners.
Tokugawa Yoshinoburesigns, the Tokugawa dynasty ends, and the emperor (or "mikado") Meiji is restored, but with capital in Edo/Tokyo and divine attributes.
The Edo period in popular culture
* - an
animeseries based in this period.
Ganbare Goemon- a Konamivideo game series that takes place in the Edo period.
Lone Wolf and Cub- a mangabased in this period.
Ninja Scroll- an anime film that takes place in this period.
Samurai X& Rurouni Kenshin- an anime movie and series about the Meiji Revolutionthat brought the fall of the Tokugawaand a series based on the period directly after also known as the beginning of the Meiji Period
Samurai Champloo- an anime series based in latter part of this period.
Peacemaker Kurogane- an anime series focusing on a boy who joins the Shinsengumi
Gintama- a manga and anime series which takes place in an alternate Edo period where Edois overrun by aliens called the Amanto.
Criminal punishment in Edo-period Japan
Edomoji- Japanese lettering styles invented in the Edo period.
Ee ja nai ka- an outbreak of mass hysteria at the end of the Edo period.
Jidaigekideals with Japanese period dramas, which are usually set in the Edo period.
Jitte (weapon), law enforcement weapon unique to the period.
Karakuri, Japanese automatons
*cite book |title=Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed |last=Diamond|first= Jared |year=2005 |publisher = Penguin Books |location= New York|isbn = 0-14-303655-6
* Lewis, James Bryant. (2003). [http://books.google.com/books?id=0YIbNlliRswC&dq=hideyoshi+slavery&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 "Frontier Contact Between Choson Korea and Tokugawa Japan."] London:
Routledge. 10-ISBN 0-700-71301-8
loc [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/jptoc.html Japan]
Azuchi-Momoyama period| History of Japan| Meiji era>
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