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Voices of Early Modern Japan


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: The Shogun's Japan Evaluating and Interpreting Primary Documents Timeline of Japanese History from the Mid-Sixteenth Century through the Tokugawa Period, 1543--1868 I. THE DOMESTIC SPHERE 1. Getting Married: "Agreement Regarding a Dowry" (1815) 2. Obtaining a Divorce: An Appeal for Assistance (1850) and Letters of Divorce (1857, Undated) 3. The Consequences of Adultery: "The Eavesdropper Whose Ears Were Burned" (1686) 4. A Woman's Place: Onna Daigaku (The Greater Learning for Women, 1716) and Tadano Makuzu's Hitori Kangae(Solitary Thoughts, 1818) II. MATERIAL LIFE 5. Fashion and Sumptuary Legislation: Ihara Saikaku's The Japanese Family Storehouse (Nippon eitai gura, 1688); List of Clothing Prohibitions for Edo Townsmen (1719) 6. Samurai Dress and Grooming Standards: Prohibitions of 1615 and 1645 7. Lunisolar Calendar: Calendar for Seventh Year of Kaei (1854): Samurai in Armor 8. Japanese Foodways and Diet: The Accounts of Joao Rodrigues (1620--21), Yamakawa Kikue (1943), and Terakada Seiken (1832--36) 9. The Communal Bath: Shikitei Sanba's "The Women's Bath" (Ukiyoburo, 1810) 10. The Japanese Home: Carl Peter Thunberg's Travels in Europe, Asia and Africa Made During the Years 1770 & 1779 III. THE POLITICAL SPHERE 11. A Foreigner's View of the Battle of Osaka: Richard Cocks's Account of the Fall of Osaka Castle (1615) 12. Forging Political Order: "Laws for the Military Houses" (1615, 1635) 13. The Emperor and the Kyoto Aristocracy: "Regulations for the Imperial Palace and the Court Nobility" (1615) 14. Weapons Control in Japanese Society: Toyotomi Hideyoshi's "Sword Hunt" (1588) and "A Local Ordinance Regarding Swords" (1648) 15. Self-Governance in Villages: Goningumi (Five-Household Group) Laws (1640) 16. Regulating Townspeople in Two Cities: City Code from Kanazawa (1642) and Notice Board in Edo (1711) IV. FOREIGN RELATIONS 17. Regulating Foreign Relations: The "Closed Country Edicts" (sakoku rei, 1635, 1639) 18. Tokugawa Japan and Choson Korea: Record of a Journey Across the Sea (1719) 19. Leaving a Window Open to the Western World: Letter from a Nagasaki Official to the Dutch Governor-General (1642) 20. A Dutch Audience with the Shogun: Englebert Kaempfer's The History of Japan (1692) 21. Sizing Up the Foreign Threat: Aizawa Seishisai's Shinron (New Theses, 1825) V. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC LIFE 22. The Social Estates: Yamaga Soko on "The Way of the Samurai" (shido) 23. Trying to Get by on a Fixed Income: The Economic Problems Facing the Samurai, as Seen in a Letter from Tani Tannai to Saitaniya Hachirobei Naomasu (1751) and a Statement from Three Village Leaders to a Tokugawa Bannerman (1856) 24. The Samurai and Death: An Account of Junshi from Francois Caron's A True Description of the Mighty Kingdoms of Japan and Siam (1636) 25. Private Vengeance Among the Samurai: A Letter from a Daimyo's Official in Echigo Province to an Official of the Tokugawa Shogunate and A Letter of Authorization (1828) 26. Rules of Merchant Houses: "The Testament of Shima Soshitsu" (1610) and "The Code of the Okaya House" (1836) 27. Dealing with Deviant Behavior: "A Letter of Apology" (1866) 28. Loans Among the Peasantry: "A Loan of Rice" (1702) 29. Unrest in the Countryside: A Song in Memory of a Protest (1786) and Petition to the Lord of Sendai from the Peasants of the Sanhei (1853) 30. Outcastes in Tokugawa Society: A Report from the Head of All Eta and Hinin (Undated) and an Inquiry by the Edo City Magistrates to the Tokugawa Council of State Regarding the Forfeiture of the Property of an Eta Who Assumed the Status of a Commoner (1799) VI. RECREATIONAL LIFE 31. Advice to Travelers in the Edo Period: Ryoko Yojinshu(Precautions for Travelers), 1810 32. Documentation for Travel: "Sekisho Transit Permit" (1706)and "A Passport" (1782) 33. Children and Their Amusements: The Japan Journal of Francis Hall (1859) 34. The Tea Ceremony: Chikamatsu Shigenori's Stories from a Tearoom Window (1804) 35. Archery and the Martial Arts: Hinatsu Shirozaemon Shigetaka's Honcho Bugei Shoden (A Short Tale of the Martial Arts in Our Country), 1714 36. Courtesans and the Sex Trade: Ihara Saikaku's The Life of an Amorous Man (Koshoku ichidai otoko, 1682)and Buyo Ishi's An Account of Worldly Affairs(Seji kenmonroku, 1816) 37. A Hero for the Masses: The Kabuki Play Sukeroku: Flower of Edo (1713) VII. RELIGION AND MORALITY 38. Preaching to the People: A Sermon by Hosoi Heishu (1783) 39. Anti-Christian Propaganda: Kirishitan monogatari (Tale of the Christians, 1639) 40. Controlling the Populace: Registers of Religious Affiliation (1804) 41. Religious Views of the Japanese: Sir Rutherford Alcock's The Capital of the Tycoon (1863) 42. The Teachings of Zen Buddhism: Suzuki Shosan's Roankyo (Donkey-Saddle Bridge, 1648) and Hakuin Ekaku's Sokko-roku Kaien-fusetsu (Talks Given Introductory to Zen Lectures on the Records of Sokko, 1740) Appendix 1: Biographical Sketches of Important Individuals Mentioned in Text Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms Mentioned in Text Bibliography Index

About the Author

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis is professor of history and founding director of the Asian Studies program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Vaporis is the author of Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern Japan and Nihonjin to sankin kotai [The Japanese and Alternate Attendance].


"The best source reader yet produced in this field...Vaporis' bold choice of sources accurately represents the broadness and plurality of Tokugawa society. His commentaries and explanations are written from the perspective of the latest historiography. The wide range of historical sources presented...makes this book far superior to Sources of Japanese Tradition, and should ensure that it replaces it as the standard source book for the undergraduate teaching of pre-1868 Japanese history." --Dr. Kiri Paramore, Leiden University "Filled with unusual and heretofore little known documents that bring us close to the lived experience of 17th through early 19th centuries Japan, this volume deserves to be widely used in the classroom to provide students with glimpses of another world." --Anne Walthall, University of California, Irvine "Constantine Nomikos Vaporis' one of the top five historians of the Tokugawa period writing in the Western world, whose special expertise in social history is evident. But, the work is extremely well-balanced; it equally covers the period's political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and diplomatic dimensions as well. Moreover, it masterfully conveys how historians use primary documents and why this skill is important for uncovering the texture of life in a society remote from us in time and space. Vaporis does all of this in accessibly clear, plain language. As such, his book belongs not only on the reference shelves of public libraries, but also should be required reading in university-level introductory surveys of early-modern Japanese history. Even seasoned specialists in the field will find gems of new information here and there within the book's covers." --Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, York University

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