EDO PERIOD OF JAPAN
A period known in the JAPANESE history as that of peace and stability . The EDO PERIOD OF JAPAN started in 1600 AD and lasted in 1868 AD . The modern TOKYO was called EDO . In 1603 AD , Emperor GO-YOZEI declared TOKUGAWA LEYASU as SHOGUN . But he abdicated the post of SHOGUN only two years later to groom his son as the second SHOGUN . Now it was time for them to consolidate their rule . In 1609 AD , the SHOGUN gave permission to the DAIMYO of SATSUMA DOMAIN to invade the RYUKYU Kingdom as the latter showed insults towards the SHOGUNATE . It resulted into the victory of SATSUMA . And it began now the 266 years of RYUKYU’S dual subordination to SATSUMA and CHINA . The seige of OSAKA led by LEYASU in 1615 AD ended with the destruction of the TOYOTOMI CLAN . And with this started an Era of reforms of numerous types which gave stability to the JAPANESE society . These reforms were as follows : 1. The SHOGUNATE promulgated the Law for the Military Houses which imposed tighter controls over the DAIMYOS ; 2. It brought into effect the Alternate Attendance System which required each DAIMYO to spend every alternate year in EDO ; 3. The central government of the SHOGUNATE in EDO appointed a group of senior advisors known as ROJU ; 4. They employed SAMURAI as bureaucrats ; 5. Though the Emperor at KYOTO was funded lavishly , yet he didn’t have political power as such .
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SOCIAL AND POLITICAL REFORMS DURING EDO PERIOD
The TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE went to the great lengths to supress arising social unrest in the JAPANESE society . Harsh penalties like crucifixion , beheading , and death by boiling were announced even for a minor crime committed by the people . For some elite class criminals , option for SEPPUKA were given to them . SEPPUKU in the JAPANESE language means Self-disembowelment . It was an ancient form of a sort of suicide being practiced with certain rituals . After the Christian-led SHIMABARA Rebellion of 1638 AD , the Christianity was finally clamped down in JAPAN and the religion was declared completely outlawed . Under the SAKOKU isolationist policy , the JAPANESE people were not allowed to travel abroad . They were also prohibited to build ocean-going vessels and to return from the overseas . The DUTCH ( the only EUROPEAN ) were allowed to land on the JAPANESE soil at the Island of DEJIMA , NAGASAKI . CHINA and KOREA were the other foreign countries permitted to trade with JAPAN . And foreign books were completely banned to be imported as such . Such actions were meant for maintaining the JAPANESE culture and society intact and indigenous .
ECONOMIC GROWTH DURING EDO PERIOD
The economic growth during the EDO PERIOD were at its all time high . The JAPANESE population was doubled to thirty million during the first century of the TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE rule . It was due to the massive agricultural growth that the population remained stable during the period . Many other developments like construction of roads , elimination of road and bridge tolls , and standardization of coinage promoted trade and commerce . As a result , merchants and artisans of the cities benefited considerably leading to the growth of the population of the JAPANESE cities . Though ninety percent of the JAPANESE population still lived in the rural areas yet they were highly benefited from social and economic changes took place during the EDO PERIOD of JAPAN . Those changes could be enumerated as follows : 1. Increased literacy and numeracy ; 2. The expansion of the private schools especially attached to temples and shrines ; 3. The rise of literacy rate to thirty percent perhaps the world’s highest rate of that time ; and 4. The flourishing of commercial publishing industries producing hundreds of books per year . All these developments led to the socio-economic foundation for the growth of JAPAN in the centuries to come .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ……………….