The Rise of Tokugawa Period Japan and Dominance of Edo Society

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Tokugawa Japan rose after the fall of the original Japenese system. A man named Oda Nobunaga was responsible for taking over Kyoto, the capital of Japan at the time and placing shogun, Ashikaga Shogunate, under his command. While he only ruled for a short period of time before he was killed by one of his generals, he focused on riding the land of buddhism. After his death, Toyotomi Hideyoshi took over and spread his command to the southern islands that were ruled by daimyo, he was successful at getting them to abide by the same currency, but unsuccessful at getting their loyalty. Eventually he received their allegiance after he designated lands to them. Hideyoshi died in 1598, due to a plague.

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Under the ruling of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi trading began to happen within the Japenese ports, they traded things such as tobacco and firearms. While trading began, so did the spread of Jesuit missionaries. They were tolerated up until Hideyoshi issued an edict saying that there is no more christian faith permitted in Japan and gave Jesuits 20 days to leave, which was called the eviction of missionaries. He also stated that those who are participating in trading were allowed to stay in Japan.

After protests by the Jesuits, he allowed them to stay as long as they were not disrupting the community and government, but eventually they did. In 1612 he ordered all missionaries to leave and executed 9 of them. The religious conflict was still apparent through trading, Japenese set harsh restrictions on ships such as only allowing dutch ships to enter and dock at Nagasaki Harbor once a year, after a thorough examination. After the death of Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, a daimyo who eventually becomes a shogun, took over. After he took power, the Great Peace happened, a change in the government that ultimately strengthened it. They used the system bakufu, which is made up of daimyo and a committee of the elders. The shogunate now sets the national policy, while still controlling its land, which included three major cities: Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Territories were split within the state which allowed daimyo to rule them. Financially, it worked out well for the daimyo because they were able to maintain their revenue through taking over property of samurai lands. For the samurai it didn’t work out so well, due to the growing economy through trading, industrial activity, and commercial expansion, samurai were confined to their tradition and were frowned upon in the trading world. Their salary was dependent on the revenue from rice fields, which put them behind financially. Samurai who did not make it financially in this time period were given the name ronin. The lifestyle and culture, which Tokugawa lived by was strict.

The marriages were arranged and women were expected to obey their husbands, with many restrictions put against them. In Tokugawa, they also had a strict class system called eta, it is composed of the warriors, artisans, peasants, and merchants. This system was hereditary and you can’t move classes. This class system regulated everything about their life, from laws to hairstyles. The Tokuwaga art and literature did take off during this time period, resembling their culture.

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