The Tokugawa Shogunate

The Tokugawa shogunate was the period of Japanese history that lasted from 1603 to 1857, when Japan’s tumultuous era of political upheaval shifted the country from a feudal shogunate to a modern imperial government under Emperor Meiji. The tokugawa shogunate was a time of great cultural and social innovation, as well as tremendous economic growth.

The shogunate was an administrative entity that controlled Japan’s economy and society through its various policy-making bodies, called bakufu. The shogunate’s authority was centralized in Edo (now Tokyo), but it had a wide-ranging impact on the lives of the people living within its jurisdiction.

Agricultural Productivity
One of the most important areas for the Tokugawa government was the development and improvement of agriculture. The Tokugawa shogunate promoted the cultivation of cash crops and introduced improved farming methods. This, along with the increase in domestic trade and manufacturing, stimulated the economic development of Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate.

Religion and Culture
The Tokugawa shogunate’s leaders promoted a neo-Confucian philosophy that emphasized a heaven-mandated system of reciprocal relationships in order to maintain harmony in society. It viewed each individual as being in four distinct social groups: ruler-subject, father-son, husband-wife, and older brother-younger brother. The shogunate officials also stressed that each group had a superior and an inferior, with the inferior party being expected to act in deference to the superior.

This idea of social hierarchy, as well as the shogun’s emphasis on a strict isolationist foreign policy, was an effective means to control Japan’s society. It allowed the government to restrict access to foreign products and ideas and to block technological progress, but it also helped maintain an enduring sense of Japanese national identity and tradition.

Daimyo lordship
The tokugawa shogunate created over 250 daimyo, or lords, throughout Japan. Each daimyo was responsible for a territory that surrounded Edo and, in some cases, protected other vital regions. The most prominent daimyo were the fudai, shinpan, and tozama lords. The fudai were lords who had owe their allegiance to the Tokugawa shogun before Ieyasu’s decisive victory at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. These lords were considered the bulwarks of the bakufu and their status ensured the continuity of the Tokugawa family line.

In addition to these daimyo, there were many samurai lords who had achieved a degree of lordship before the Tokugawa shogunate, but they did not hold allegiance to the shogun. These samurai were often referred to as fudai gyoku, or “sacred samurai,” because of their fervor for the samurai code of honor, which included piety, loyalty, and discipline.

These samurai lords were not usually given the opportunity to participate in the shogunate’s governing councils, which were made up of the san-bugyo, or senior bugyo. The san-bugyo were charged with a variety of duties, including overseeing the tenryo (shogunate estates) and hearing samurai cases.

The san-bugyo were also responsible for maintaining the purity of the shogunate’s samurai code of honor and for making sure that samurai lived up to their obligations to the shogun and their daimyo. Ultimately, the san-bugyo were the ultimate arbiters of Tokugawa politics and the highest level of decision making in Japan during the shogunate.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price