Tokugawa Bakufu: The Centralized Feudal System

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Tokugawa Bakufu, founder and the first shogun of Edo Bakufu, unified Japan after a long period of internal wars and power shifts ruled by samurais, the warrior class, from late 12th to 16th century and country maintained domestic peace for around 250 years. Tokugawa adopted the centralized feudal system from the old government which he held the national authority and allowed daimyo rule the feudal domains. This is known as the BakuHan system (Bakufu, the central government and Han, the local government). Under the feudal structure, Bakufu gave Han the land to rule and in return imposed heavy expenses on Han including levying taxes, giving logistical support, providing military aid and helping with public building projects. Bakufu came up with…show more content…
There was an increase wealth in farmer class. At the early period, there is a dramatic expansion of farmland and increase in population due to the irrigation projects that government carried out and the invention of new farming tools. There were guidebooks published to teach farmers how to produce crops more efficiently. Farmers began to sell their surplus to market. There was also a class of wealthy merchants with considerable capital came into existence due to vibrant commercial activities at the late Edo period due to the expansion of commerce and the growing productivity of agriculture. Because Bakufu’s policy toward economy was not so consistent in controlling tax and preventing private business. The Han encourage the development of simple rural industries. Sometimes, Han promoted certain industries to enrich local population and raise more tax revenue to cover the huge expenses charged by the Bakufu which allow growing wealth in farmer and merchant class. One of the Han that succeeded was Tokushima Han. The government created an indigo exchange and provide financial and distribution services to the local farmers and merchants for producing indigo along the Yoshino River. Also the improvement in transportation system largely encourage interregional trade. The Bakufu designated five highways that connect the capital to Kyoto and other major provinces…show more content…
At the beginning of Edo period, the education was served for people to behave and function in accordance with their social classes and only people from the top class in Japan could read or write. But by the end of Edo period, learning had become widespread in response to the practical needs for human resources. And the private professional schools often searched out and attracted “people of talent” that have the desire to contribute to the country. Schools that were opened by the government and also private institutions divide into two parts. For samurai, the Hanko schools taught ancient Chinese philosophy and some taught European language and technologies in term of military medicine and navigation. For the commoners, Terakoya school that run by local teachers taught basic reading, writing and calculation to children from age of six to thirteen. As the public realized the importance of studying letters and arithmetic, a large number of Terakoya were established from urban to rural areas contributing to the high literacy rate among the general population. It also became essential for both merchants and farmers to learn basic calculation skill in order to trade and operate small industries. As a result, education create some class consciousness among the commoners. It gave people ideas on individual qualities
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