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Merchant Class Difference: Edo and Meiji Times

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Longar Abiem

on 23 February 2014

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Transcript of Merchant Class Difference: Edo and Meiji Times

From
1603
Times
Where they Lived [Meiji]
Merchant Class Difference: Edo and Meiji Times

Social Status [Edo]
When Japan came out of isolation, merchants saw this as
this as a opportunity to gain more power. After Japan
open its doors to the west, they began to gain more
wealth than before by the international trade.
Economic Strength [Edo]
The bottom rung of feudal Japanese society was occupied by merchants, both traveling traders and shop-keepers.
Merchants were ostracized as "parasites" who profited from the labor of the more productive peasant and artisan classes. Not only did merchants live in a separate section of each city, but the higher classes were forbidden to mix with them except on business.
Nonetheless, many merchant families were able to amass large fortunes. As their economic power grew, the restrictions against them weakened.


The merchant class helped Japan with its transitions to modern society. Merchant families became powerful and played important roles in the Japanese banking system. Their centre
and services grew.


Other Ways [Edo]
During the Edo period, the merchant class enjoyed a rise in social and economic status. Increasingly able to afford an education and the trappings of luxury, merchants broke social barriers, hobnobbing with samurai at the popular haiku and literary clubs. The clubs afforded the two classes a rare opportunity to mingle on an equal basis. Previously considered the dregs of society for their dealings with money, the merchants' new affluence encouraged the growth of art and helped spawn a culture more attuned to the common man.

At the beginning of the Edo Period, merchants were at a low
rank because other people thought they were living off other
people. With this statement, they had no power or legal authority over anyone. When Japan started to use money
more as a currency, merchants became extremely rich. But,
with their wealth, their access to power was denied. During
this time, samurai became poor and and obligated to the
merchants. Even with their negotiation with samurai, they
still rich but no power.
This is a focus on a lowly social rank, marginalized by the government to a wealthy, developed class. But, despite their wealth, the merchant class was denied power in the Edo Period because the group was in low status in the social hierarchy. At the same time, samurai became poor and indebted to the merchants in order to keep up with the extravagant lifestyle encouraged by the shogunate. A contradiction developed where the samurai had legal authority, but with little money, and the merchants were wealthy but had no power.
To
1912
Power and Authority [Edo]
Where They Lived
The merchants lived near the samurai in the surroundings were the farmers, artisans, merchants, and their families gravitated to the site of the castle to accommodation and goods, service themselves so the economy of the city continued to grow
Social Standing [Meiji]

Occupation [Edo]

The merchants provided needed goods to the city's
population, which resulted in Japan's banking industry.
They provided services in the village and post stations
also along the highway. Many of these stations grew
into major centres.

Other Ways [Meiji]

In Meiji Japan, they began to industrialize, carrying out business trade with the US,UK, the rest of Europe, and China. They became much more useful in Japan
Economic Strength [Meiji]

Power and Authority [Meiji]
As merchants were becoming mere wealthy, they began to provide more services to Japan and established the banking industry. With their labor, they became more powerful.
Even though they gained wealth and power, they still were living in the same area, but still had riches to call their own.
Occupation [Meiji]
The merchants helped the establishment of the banking industry and carried trade with foreign lands. They became much more industrial to Japan
Full transcript