Voices of Early Modern Japan : Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns book cover
2nd Edition

Voices of Early Modern Japan
Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns

ISBN 9780367437244
Published November 27, 2020 by Routledge
336 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this newly revised and updated 2nd edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan, Constantine Nomikos Vaporis offers an accessible collection of annotated historical documents of an extraordinary period in Japanese history, ranging from the unification of warring states under Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early seventeenth century to the overthrow of the shogunate just after the opening of Japan by the West in the mid- nineteenth century.

Through close examination of primary sources from "The Great Peace," this fascinating textbook offers fresh insights into the Tokugawa era: its political institutions, rigid class hierarchy, artistic and material culture, religious life, and more, demonstrating what historians can uncover from the words of ordinary people. New features include:

• An expanded section on religion, morality and ethics;

• A new selection of maps and visual documents;

• Sources from government documents and household records to diaries and personal correspondence, translated and examined in light of the latest scholarship;

• Updated references for student projects and research assignments.

The first edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan was the winner of the 2013 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Curricular Materials. This fully revised textbook will prove a comprehensive resource for teachers and students of East Asian Studies, history, culture, and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Part 1: 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)  Part 2: 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  Part 3: 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)  Part 4: 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)  Part 5: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC LIFE  22. The Social Estates: Yamaga Sokô on "The Way of the Samurai" (shidô)  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 Hachirôbei Naomasu (1751) and a Statement from Three Village Leaders to a Tokugawa Bannerman (1856)  24. The Samurai and Death: An Account of Junshi from François 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 Sôshitsu" (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)  Part 6: RECREATIONAL LIFE  31. Advice to Travelers in the Edo Period: Ryokô Yôjinshû (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 Shirôzaemon Shigetaka’s Honchô Bugei Shôden (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, 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 Shôsan’s Roankyô (Donkey-Saddle Bridge, 1648) and Hakuin Ekaku’s Sokkô-roku Kaien-fusetsu (Talks Given Introductory to Zen Lectures on the Records of Sokkô, 1740)  43. Nisshinkan School Injunction (Nisshinkan Dôjikun), 1803  Part 8: VISUAL DOCUMENTS  44. The Battle of Abeno, Siege of Osaka Castle (1615)  45. Map of Edo in Toshima County, Musashi Province (1630-31)  46. The Territories of Japan in 1664  47. Painting of the Korean Embassy’s Visit to Our Country [Japan], 1748, by Hanegawa Tôei  48. Anatomy of a Ukiyo-e (Woodblock Print): The Rônin Takebayashi Takashige

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Constantine Nomikos Vaporis teaches Japanese history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of fi ve books, including Tour of Duty: Samurai, MilitaryService in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern Japan and Samurai: An Encyclopedia of Japan’s Cultured Warriors.


"Filled with unusual and heretofore little known documents that bring us close to the lived experience of 17th through early 19th centuries Japan." - Anne Walthall, Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine