5 Bakumatsu Japan

9780226060569We’ve largely studied the Tokugawa shogunate while confined to the level of the samurai. Of course along the way we’ve seen glimpses of the non-samurai world in the sources of the 47 rōnon incident. In fact, Oishi and the others were only able to put Kira at ease of a samurai revenge vendetta by pretending to be non-samurai and doing what was thought to be very un-samurai-like actions. These largely took place in other spaces like the pleasure quarters of the city and at the intersections and blank spaces on the Tokugawa social map. We will now turn to these spaces–especially the space of the townspeople (chōnin).

Readings for week 1:

  1. Hirano, The Politics of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan, chs. 1-2, “Strategies of Containment and Their Aporia” and “Parody and History in Late Tokugawa Culture.”
  2. Amino, Ch. 7, “Commerce, Finance, and Currency.”

Readings for week 2:

  1. Hirano, chapters 3-4.
  2. Hiraga Gennai, “On Farting” (1771)
  3. Dazai Shundai, “On Political Economy” (1730)
  4. Class slides

Readings for week 3

  1. Aizawa Seishisai, “New Theses” (1825)
  2. Oshio Heihachirō, “A Call to Arms” (1837)
  3. Watanabe Kazan, “On a Serious Matter” (1838)
  4. Treaty of Amity and Commerce (1858)
  5. Sakuma Shozan, “Report to the Daimyō Concerning a Policy for the Expulsion of Foreigners” (1862) and “A Draft of the Imperial Injunction” (1864)

Bakumatsu class slides 1

Naiyu-gaikan class slides 2