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Edo Japan: A Closed Society

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Janelle Peister

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of Edo Japan: A Closed Society

Edo Japan: A Closed Society
In the early 1500s,
Japan welcomed traders
because of the
technology they brought.
During the Edo Period
(1600-1868) the shogun
considered foreigners a
threat to his military control.
Locking out the World
Why would the shogun be worried
about foreigners coming to Japan?
The Shogun felt that if the daimyo acquired European weapons, they might challenge his authority. Shogun was also worried about the Japanese changing their religion to Christianity.
Christian missionaries were coming to Japan from foreign lands. Shogun ordered Japanese Christians and missionaries be put to death
Threats from the West
Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu passed the following exclusion/isolation laws:
1)Newcomers were no longer allowed to enter Japan
2)Japanese could not leave
3)Ships big enough for large voyages were to longer be made
4)Japanese outside the country were forbidden to return
5) Foreign objects were banned
Cutting off Contact

From the Shogun's point of view this was essential for "national security" and the only way to eliminate threats to his power and to protect Japanese culture
Nakahama Manjiro: From Japan to America
Dutch traders were allowed to come to Japan still because they were only interested in trade.
They were not allowed to bring their families and could not speak to Japanese servants.

Once a year the Dutch were required to make an expensive trip to Edo to pay their respects.

How does this compare to the how the shogun controlled the daimyo?
Exceptions to Exclusion Laws
A truck stops at a road just before a bridge. The vehicle is a bit too high to pass under -- by 2 or 3 cm. The driver must turn around and find a different route. The frustrated trucker is about to get back in his truck and do that when a boy on a bicycle comes by and speaks to the driver. Five minutes later, the truck passes safely under the bridge.

What do you think the boy said?
Using Lateral Thinking
Math Break.. :)
A father and son are involved in a car accident, and the son is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The surgeon says, "I can't operate on him. He's my son." Who is the surgeon?

Think and discuss
One of the reasons the Tokugawa shogunate (government) passed the isolation laws was because it saw the West as a threat to Japanese culture. In other words, it saw the problem as the West. If someone had been able to restate the problem as the "need to protect Japanese culture," what other possible solutions to the problem might have arisen?
1)Farmers increased production by growing two crops in one season.
2) Road improvements increases trade between daimyo.
3) Population increased in urban centres
4) Silver and gold coins were introduced as currency
Economy in Edo Period
1) Little foreign trade
2) Overtaxing of peasants
3) For the early part rice was used for payment
As a direct result of the peace created during Edo Japan, the arts flourished.

1) Kabuki - a type of Japanese theater was created
2) Sumo Wrestling
3) Haiku - A form of poetry
4) Bunraku - Puppet theater
Culture During Edo Japan
Towards the end of Edo Japan, many classes became poor because of high taxes and costs associated with moving all the time. Many blamed the shogun for this.

They claimed that the Shogun illegally held power and that it rightfully belonged to the Emperor
End of Edo Period
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, many natural disasters struck Japan killing 1/3 of the population and destroying the food supply.
Natural Disasters
Read pg. 305, if you don't have a
book find a partner with a book.
Full transcript