Episode 9 – Pax Tokugawa

This week we will be discussing the social and political structure of Edo Japan. I know, that doesn’t sound like a super-exciting topic off the bat, but I promise there’s some fun stuff there. For example, this week we get to learn about how one shogun would force Dutch traders to do wacky things for his amusement!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan.

Hanley, Susan. Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: The Hidden Legacy of Material Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

This is a view of the old palace of the Tokugawa shoguns in modern Tokyo. After the fall of the shogunate it was taken over by the Imperial family, and is today known as the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
This is a view of the old palace of the Tokugawa shoguns in modern Tokyo. After the fall of the shogunate it was taken over by the Imperial family, and is today known as the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
A group of daimyo going to attend to the shogun as part of their duties under the sankin kotai system.
A group of daimyo going to attend to the shogun as part of their duties under the sankin kotai system.
This is a sketch by Englebert Kaempfer of a daimyo's procession going to Edo. Kaempfer, as head of the Dutch mission in Nagasaki, would have to go to Edo on a semi-regular basis in a similar procession (much like a daimyo would).
This is a sketch by Englebert Kaempfer of a daimyo’s procession going to Edo. Kaempfer, as head of the Dutch mission in Nagasaki, would have to go to Edo on a semi-regular basis in a similar procession (much like a daimyo would).
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, a.k.a. Mr. "Wouldn't it be funny if we had those Dutch guys make out?"
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, a.k.a. Mr. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we had those Dutch guys make out?”
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