The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation 9781108478052, 9781108775762

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The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation
 9781108478052, 9781108775762

Table of contents :
Contents
Figures
Tables
Contributors
Acknowledgments
Notes on Conventions
Introduction
Part 1 Global Connections
1 Japan and the World Conjuncture of 1866
2 Western Whalers in 1860s’ Hakodate How the Nantucket of the North Pacific Connected Restoration Era Japan to Global Flows
3 Small Town, Big Dreams A Yokohama Merchant and the Transformation of Japan
4 The Global Weapons Trade and the Meiji Restoration Dispersion of Means of Violence in a World of Emerging Nation-States
Part 2 Internal Conflicts
5 Mountain Demons from Mito: The Arrival of Civil War in Echizen in 1864
6 “Farmer-Soldiers” and Local Leadership in Late Edo Period Japan
7 A Military History of the Boshin War
8 Imai Nobuo A Tokugawa Stalwart’s Path from the Boshin War to Personal Reinvention in the Meiji Nation-State
Part 3 Domestic Resolutions
9 Settling the Frontier, Defending the North “Farmer-Soldiers” in Hokkaido’s Colonial Development and National Reconciliation St
10 Locally Ancient and Globally Modern Restoration Discourse and the Tensions of Modernity
11 Ornamental Diplomacy Emperor Meiji and the Monarchs of the Modern World
12 The Restoration of the Ancient Capitals of Nara and Kyoto and International Cultural Legitimacy in Meiji Japan
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index

Citation preview

The Meiji Restoration

In world history, the Meiji Restoration of 1868 ranks as a revolutionary watershed, on par with the American and French Revolutions. In this volume, leading historians from North America, Europe, and Japan employ global history in novel ways to offer fresh economic, social, political, cultural, and military perspectives on the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent creation of the modern Japanese nation-state. Seamlessly mixing meta- and microhistory, the authors examine how the Japanese state and Japanese people engaged with global trends of the nineteenth century. They also explore the internal military conflicts that marked the 1860s and the process of reconciliation after 1868. They conclude with discussions of how new political, cultural, and diplomatic institutions were created as Japan emerged as a global nation, defined in multiple ways by its place in the world. Robert Hellyer is Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University and has published widely on topics related to Japanese foreign relations and trade as well as Pacific history. His publications include Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640–1868 (2009). Harald Fuess is Professor of History and Director of the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University, and Project Professor at Kyoto University. He also served as elected President of the European Association of Japanese Studies. His publications include Japanese Imperialism and Its Postwar Legacy (1998) and Divorce in Japan: Gender, Family, and the State (2004).

The Meiji Restoration Japan as a Global Nation Edited by

Robert Hellyer Wake Forest University

Harald Fuess Heidelberg University

University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 314–321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre, New Delhi – 110025, India 79 Anson Road, #06–04/06, Singapore 079906 Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781108478052 DOI: 10.1017/9781108775762 © Cambridge University Press 2020 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2020 Printed in the United Kingdom by TJ International Ltd. Padstow Cornwall A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-1-108-47805-2 Hardback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Contents

List of Figures List of Tables List of Contributors Acknowledgments Notes on Conventions Introduction robert hellyer and harald fuess

page vii ix x xiii xiv 1

Part 1 Global Connections

13

1 Japan and the World Conjuncture of 1866 mark metzler

15

2 Western Whalers in 1860s’ Hakodate: How the Nantucket of the North Pacific Connected Restoration Era Japan to Global Flows noell h. wilson 3 Small Town, Big Dreams: A Yokohama Merchant and the Transformation of Japan simon partner 4 The Global Weapons Trade and the Meiji Restoration: Dispersion of Means of Violence in a World of Emerging Nation-States harald fuess

40

62

83

Part 2 Internal Conflicts

111

5 Mountain Demons from Mito: The Arrival of Civil War in Echizen in 1864 maren a. ehlers

113

v

vi

Contents

6 “Farmer-Soldiers” and Local Leadership in Late Edo Period Japan brian platt 7 A Military History of the Boshin War hō ya tō ru 8 Imai Nobuo: A Tokugawa Stalwart’s Path from the Boshin War to Personal Reinvention in the Meiji Nation-State robert hellyer Part 3

Domestic Resolutions

9 Settling the Frontier, Defending the North: “Farmer-Soldiers” in Hokkaido’s Colonial Development and National Reconciliation steven ivings

137 153

171

189

191

10 Locally Ancient and Globally Modern: Restoration Discourse and the Tensions of Modernity mark ravina

212

11 Ornamental Diplomacy: Emperor Meiji and the Monarchs of the Modern World john breen

232

12 The Restoration of the Ancient Capitals of Nara and Kyoto and International Cultural Legitimacy in Meiji Japan takagi hiroshi Suggestions for Further Reading Index

249

266 277

Figures

1.1 “View of a Japanese seaport,” (Yokohama) 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library page 13 4.1 Imports into Nagasaki (in Mexican dollars): ships versus arms and ammunitions, 1863–1870 88 4.2 “Faust and Margerite” Arms Sales, Japan Punch (1868): no. 2 From Fukkoku-ban: Japan panchi [Reprint Edition: Japan Punch] Volume 2 (Tokyo: Maruzen-Yushudo Company Limited, 1999), p. 113. Used with permission of Maruzen Yushudo Company Limited 105 5.1 “Japanese military,” 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library 111 9.1 “River landscape in Izu Province,” 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library 189 9.2 Incoming farmer-soldier (tondenhei) households and key dates 199 10.1 1873 Japanese National Bank ¥10 note 216 10.2 US $10 National Bank note, First National Bank, Bismarck, North Dakota 216 10.3 1873 Japanese National Bank ¥1 note 217 10.4 US $1 National Bank note, First National Bank, Lebanon, Indiana 217 11.1 Edoardo Chiossone’s portrait of the Emperor Meiji. Kō shitsu kō zoku seikan Meiji hen [The Imperial Family and Its Members: Album of Sacred Images] (Tokyo: Miyako Nippō sha, 1935) 233 11.2 Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. J. L. Brunet, Les Ordres de Chevalerie et les Distinctions Honorifiques au Japon [The Orders of Chivalry and Honorary Distinctions of Japan] (Paris: Actualités Diplomatiques et Coloniales, 1903) 236 vii

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List of Figures

11.3 Portrait of Empress Shō ken, Kō shitsu kō zoku seikan Meiji hen, 1935 11.4 The Emperor Meiji invested in the Order of the Garter. Bijutsu jiji gahō [Album of Contemporary Art] no. 6 (1906) © Trustees of the British Museum, used with permission 12.1 Nara meisho ezu [Map of Famous Places in Nara], 1845. Courtesy of Takagi Hiroshi 12.2 Around the foot of Mt. Unebi in the late Edo period 12.3 Kagenkei, owned by the Kō fukuji Temple. Courtesy of Kō fukuji Temple, Nara, Japan 12.4 Hō -ō -den at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum, Japan

237

247 252 253 260 261

Tables

1.1 Rice prices on Osaka markets, Keiō era years 1 and 2 (1865–1866) page 28 4.1 Small arms imports by harbor, 1863–1869 89 4.2 Major small arms importers in Nagasaki, 1866–1867 93 9.1 Farmer-soldiers’ (tondenhei) share of total and agricultural populations of Hokkaido, 1875–1900 207

ix

Contributors

john breen (PhD Cambridge) is professor at Nichibunken in Kyoto (Japan) where he edits the journal Japan Review. His research focuses on the imperial institution and the history of shrines in modern Japan. He has written widely in English and Japanese, and his latest books are A Social History of the Ise Shrines: Divine Capital (Bloomsbury, 2017; coauthored with Mark Teeuwen) and Henyō suru seichi Ise [Ise: Transformations of a Sacred Site] (Shibunkaku, 2016; edited). He is presently writing a book on the construction of sovereignty in Meiji Japan. maren a. ehlers (PhD Princeton) is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (USA). Her research focuses on the social history of early modern Japan with a particular interest in social marginality, the status order, and its implications for the political economy. She is the author of Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018). takagi hiroshi (PhD Hokkaido) is professor at the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University (Japan). His research focuses on the modern emperor system, culture, and the construction of Nara and Kyoto as “ancient capitals.” His major publications include Kindai tennō sei no bunkashiteki kenkyū [A Cultural History of the Modern Emperor System] (Azekura Shobō , 1997), Kindai tennō sei to koto [The Modern Emperor System and Ancient Capitals] (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), and Ryō bo to bunkazai no kindai [Imperial Mausolea and Cultural Assets in the Modern Period] (Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2010). steven ivings (PhD London School of Economics) is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University (Japan). His research focuses on the socioeconomic history of Northeast Asia, especially migratory labor and colonial settlement in Hokkaido and Sakhalin (Karafuto) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He x

List of Contributors

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has published in several journals including Labor History, Japan Forum, and Transcultural Studies, and is currently working on a socioeconomic history of colonial Karafuto. mark metzler (PhD UC Berkeley) is Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Washington (USA). His publications include Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan (California, 2006), Capital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter’s Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle (Cornell, 2013), and with Simon Bytheway, Central Banks and Gold: How Tokyo, London and New York Shaped the Modern World (Cornell, 2016). He is now working on a global history of booms, bubbles, and busts in the nineteenth century. simon partner (PhD Columbia) is Professor of History at Duke University (USA). Partner’s interest in history “from the bottom up” has led him to concentrate on the social and cultural histories of ordinary Japanese – farmers, workers, and merchants. His latest book is The Merchant’s Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan (Columbia, 2017). brian platt (PhD Illinois) is Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University (USA). He also serves as Department Chair and as Director of the Smithsonian-Mason Graduate Certificate in Digital Public Humanities. He is a specialist in Japanese history, with a research focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is the author of Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750– 1890 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2004). In addition, he has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, the National Academy of Education, and the Association for Asian Studies. His current research project deals with historical commemoration and autobiography in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japan. mark ravina (PhD Stanford) is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Chair in Japanese Studies at the University of Texas, Austin (USA). His research focuses on early modern and modern Japan, especially political thought and language. His publications include Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (Stanford, 1999) and The Last Samurai (Wiley, 2004). His most recent book, To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration as World History (Oxford, 2017) was awarded the best book prize of the Southeast Conference of the Association

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for Asian Studies. His current project uses digital humanities methods to explore political language in early Meiji Japan. hō ya tō ru (MA University of Tokyo) is Professor and Director of the Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo (Japan). His research focuses on early modern Japan, especially diplomatic and military events in the closing decades of the Edo period. His publications include Boshin sensō [The Boshin War] (Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007), Boshin sensō no shin-tenkai [New Perspectives on the Boshin War] (Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2018), and numerous articles. noell h. wilson (PhD Harvard) is chair of the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History and Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Mississippi (USA). She is the author of several publications on Japan as a maritime nation and on aspects of Pacific history, including Defensive Positions: The Politics of Maritime Security in Tokugawa Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2015), winner of the 2017 Book Prize from the Southeastern Conference of the Association for Asian Studies. She was a Fulbright Researcher at Hokkaido University (2017–2018) and when not writing about maritime history, stays connected to the ocean through sailing and diving.

Acknowledgments

This volume is a result of a multiyear, international research project that explored the Meiji Restoration upon its sesquicentennial. The project was organized by Robert Hellyer (Wake Forest University), Harald Fuess (Heidelberg University), and Daniel Botsman (Yale University) and involved tri-continental collaboration between historians in the United States, Europe, Japan, and East Asia. A number of the chapters began as papers presented at “The Civil Wars of Japan’s Meiji Restoration and National Reconciliation: Global Historical Perspectives,” an international conference convened at Wake Forest University in January 2015. The conference was made possible by funding from the Wake Forest Departments of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Provost Office of Global Affairs, Provost Fund for a Vibrant Campus, the Humanities Institute, and the Dean of Wake Forest College. The Japan Foundation, Carolina Asia Center (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University also generously provided support. Other chapters were initially presented at a subsequent international conference, “Global History and the Meiji Restoration,” held at Heidelberg University in July 2015 that was supported by grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Japan Foundation, and the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO). The editors also wish to thank the two anonymous readers who offered valuable comments and critiques that markedly improved this book as well as Nora Bartels and Charlotte Schäfer for their editorial assistance. Miho Ayabe, Daniel Botsman, Mary Elizabeth Berry, Paul Escott, Haneda Masashi, David Howell, Lucy Rhymer, Kären Wigen, and Yamamoto Takahiro provided assistance, advice, and support at various stages that proved vital in bringing this book to publication.

xiii

Notes on Conventions

Romanization Japanese words, names, titles, and place names are spelled using the modified Hepburn system. Japanese words include macrons, except for commonly used ones, such as shogun and Tokyo, which appear in standard, English dictionaries. Korean words and place names are spelled according to the McCuneReischauer system. Chinese words, proper names, and place names are spelled according to the pinyin system except in some book titles and in cases, such as Canton (Guangzhou), where the older romanization is more familiar to English-language readers. Proper Names Chinese, Korean, and Japanese names appear in the original order, with the family name first, followed by the given name, except for citations in English-language works where the author’s name appears in western order. Dates Except for those included in direct quotations from sources, dates have been converted into the Gregorian calendar. Months referred to by name (e.g., “June 21”) are Gregorian dates, while references by number (e.g., “the 5th month”) are dates according to the Japanese calendar employed until 1873. Money During the Edo period (1600–1868), Japan had a trimetallic currency system. Silver was used primarily in western Japan and on the Osaka market, gold was standard in the east and in Edo, and copper coins were used throughout Japan for smaller market transactions. While the xiv

Notes on Conventions

xv

Tokugawa shogunate set official conversion rates, in reality rates fluctuated based upon market conditions and varied by region. The silver kan consisted of 1,000 monme of silver reckoned by weight. From the 1780s through the 1840s, 1 monme of silver was worth roughly 100 copper coins. The gold ryō , which corresponded to the koban coin, equaled about 60 monme of silver. This monetary system changed rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century, trends explored by Mark Metzler in his chapter. For a more complete explanation of money and monetary terms used, please see the first page of his chapter. Measures Used in the Volume chō : linear measure – 119 yards or 109 meters; square measure – 2.45 acres or .992 hectares koku: 47.5 U.S. gallons (approximately 6 bushels) or 180 liters shō (of rice): 1.92 U.S. quarts or 1.8 liters kin: 1.32lbs or .6 kilograms tsubo: 3.3 square meters or 35.5 square feet

Introduction Robert Hellyer and Harald Fuess

The Meiji Restoration began largely in private within the grounds of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace. Following meetings that commenced the previous day, on the morning of January 3, 1868, an alliance led by samurai from the Satsuma and Chō shū domains seized control of the palace complex, thereby assuring their influence over the young emperor, Mutsuhito. Later that day, alliance leaders proclaimed the restoration of imperial rule.1 In response to the proclamation, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, who had abdicated his position as shogun a few months earlier, deployed his forces near Kyoto. In the ensuing Battle of Toba-Fushimi, the alliance achieved a surprisingly easy victory and continued to press its military advantage in central and northern Honshu throughout 1868 in what became known as the Boshin War (1868–1869). By the summer of 1869, the nascent regime, headed by Emperor Meiji, had vanquished the fragmented opposition and established its control over the main islands of Japan, including Hokkaido. In these dramatic events of 1868–1869, the primacy of internal forces is apparent. We can say the same of the models that inspired the men of the Satsuma-Chō shū alliance in constructing a new regime. Initially the samurai heading the alliance looked not to the words of a foreign philosopher, as the leaders of the American Revolution did from Montesquieu and Rousseau, but instead to the Japanese past. They declared a desire to revive “ancient kingly rule” (ō sei fukko) as had existed during the earliest days of the Japanese state in the seventh and eighth centuries. Moreover, unlike the US Civil War (1861–1865), neither side in the Boshin War actively courted intervention by foreign states. For their part, Western governments officially declared their neutrality and chose not to overtly 1

A copy of the proclamation, issued on 1867/12/09, the date according to the Japanese calendar, is included in reel number KE161-0798 of the “Dai Nihon ishin shiryō kō hon” [Manuscript of Historical Records of the Meiji Restoration of Japan], a document collection in the archives of Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo. Perhaps because of the brevity of the January 3 proclamation, historians of Japan have given more focus to the Charter Oath, issued in April 1868. For an English translation see, David Lu, Japan: A Documentary History, Vol. 2 (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), pp. 308–310.

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aid one side, a stance different from that taken by some Western states during the Taiping Rebellion in the Qing Empire (1850–1864), and one that ended up assisting the Meiji government. Given the prominence of internal actors and dynamics, the “global” within the Meiji Restoration is often understood in a limited way – as an outside trigger mechanism symbolized by the arrival of US Commodore Perry in 1853. In the decade surrounding the 1968 centennial, Japanese and Western historians, often employing Marxist theory, debated global influences by comparing the Restoration to other revolutionary turning points in world history, notably the French Revolution.2 At the same time, prominent US historians identified the Restoration as the start of a process whereby Japan, by imitating Western models, followed a path to modernity blazed by European nations and the United States.3 Partially in response to these approaches, Western historians crafted studies focused on identifying and dissecting political, military, and economic causes and motivations during the pivotal 1850s and 1860s.4 This trend extended throughout the 1980s and brought the publication of edited volumes examining conflict in the form of loyalist, peasant, and millenarian uprisings in the 1850s as well as political and institutional change surrounding the 1868 watershed.5 Scholarship also explored the global in the form of Japan’s Western borrowing of ideas, policies, and practices that after the initial embrace of the mythical Japanese past, guided the new regime during most of the Meiji period (1868–1912).6 The 1990s witnessed Western historians giving more consideration to socioeconomic trends across the nineteenth century, deemphasizing 1868 as a turning point.7 The decade also welcomed studies that importantly gave voices to ordinary people and women within the story of the 2 3 4

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Kawano Kenji, Furansu kakumei to Meiji ishin [The French Revolution and the Meiji Restoration] (Tokyo: Hō sō Shuppan Kyō kai, 1966). Marius B. Jansen, ed., Changing Japanese Attitudes toward Modernization (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965). W. G. Beasley, The Meiji Restoration (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972); Conrad Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980). Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann, eds., Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982); Marius Jansen and Gilbert Rozman, eds., Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986). Ardath W. Burks, ed., The Modernizers: Overseas Students, Foreign Employees, and Meiji Japan (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1985); D. Eleanor Westney, Imitation and Innovation: The Transfer of Western Organizational Patterns to Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987). David Howell, Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Kären Wigen, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).

Introduction

3

Restoration and the early years of the Meiji state.8 Other research identified global influences in the form of Western military and political pressure viewed as steadily mounting following Britain’s victory over the Qing Empire in the Opium War (1839–1842).9 In addition, scholarship explored in new and valuable ways Japan’s diplomatic sparring with Western nations during the 1850s and 1860s.10 Increased interest in the Meiji Restoration in advance of the 2018 sesquicentennial, which prompted discussions that led to this volume, stimulated a more recent surge in publications in English and Japanese.11 Building on the foundations laid by these interpretations, this book submits that the “global” must be identified and analyzed anew within the complex landscape that brought the downfall of the Tokugawa regime, the civil war that followed it, and the formation of a Japanese nation-state in the decades after 1868. The contributors view and employ the word “global” as encapsulated in the external forces, trends, and influences that in immediate and contextual ways, shaped the course of the Meiji Restoration. This volume’s use of global draws upon the burgeoning field of global history, which along with the related fields of universal and world history, world systems theory, as well as diplomatic and international history, shares a basic aim of expanding the scope of inquiry beyond the confines of the nation-state or geographical boundaries.12 Many practitioners of 8

9 10

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George M. Wilson, Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992); Anne Walthall, The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). Published somewhat earlier is the important work on Meiji period life, Mikiso Hane, Peasants, Rebels, Women and Outcasts (Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 1982). Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, “Opium, Expulsion, Sovereignty. China’s Lessons for Bakumatsu Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 47, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 1–25. Key-Hiuk Kim, The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860–1882 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Michael Auslin, Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006). Mark Ravina, To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017); Daniel V. Botsman and Adam Clulow, eds., “Commemorating Meiji: History, Politics and the Politics of History.” Special Issue Japanese Studies 38, no. 3 (November 2018); Catherine Phipps, ed., “Meiji Japan in Global History,” Special Issue, Japan Forum 30, no. 4 (December 2018); Daniel V. Botsman, Tsukada Takashi, and Yoshida Nobuyuki, eds., Meiji hyakugojū nen de kangaeru – kindai ikō ki no shakai to kū kan [Thinking Through Meiji 150 – Social and Spatial Change in the Transition to Modernity] (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppan-sha, 2018). Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System (New York: Academic Press, 1974); Bruce Mazlish, “Global History” Theory, Culture & Society 23, no. 2–3 (2006): 406–408; Akira Iriye, Global and Transnational History: The Past, Present, and Future (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

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global history emphasize the need to overcome a standard focus on national political elites by exploring groups or topics transgressing territorial borders. Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, an increasing number of edited volumes have appeared, as well as monographs using more specialized lenses such as food, that chart connectivity in global history.13 The field of global history has also come to include what many view as canonical collections and like any self-respecting subfield, now supports a dedicated journal.14 In Japan, early Meiji universal history (bankokushi) preceded world history (sekaishi) as an established concept in school education for the study of history, with a focus on the West and China.15 The academic realm has also seen the publication of important works that emphasize the role of foreigners, engagement with the outside world, and global contexts in the course of the Restoration and the creation of the Japanese nationstate.16 Gurō baru hisutorı¯, written in the katakana syllabary for foreign loanwords, has appeared in about forty book titles and articles since the start of the twenty-first century, including a Japanese translation of 13

14

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16

Prominent edited volumes include A. G. Hopkins, ed., Globalization in World History (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002); A. G. Hopkins, ed., Global History: Interactions Between the Universal and Local (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006); and Bruce Mazlish and Ralph Buultjens, eds., Conceptualizing Global History (New York: Westview Press, 2006). Also Raymond Grew, Food in Global History (New York: Westview Press, 2008). Such as Bruce Mazlish and Akira Iriye, The Global History Reader (New York: Routledge, 2005) and D. R. Woolf, A Global History of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). The Journal of Global History, an organ of the subfield, is published by the London School of Economics. In the German-speaking world, Globalgeschichte [Global History] has also become a widely used term. In addition, German historians have produced publications that have become influential in English-language scholarship such as Sebastian Conrad, What Is Global History? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016) and Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014). In the 1870s, Japanese secondary school textbooks were based on, for example, Peter Parley, Peter Parley’s Universal History on the Basis of Geography [With Illustrations] (London: John W. Parker, 1837). Some examples include: Sakata Yoshio and Yoshida Mitsukuni, Sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin: gaikokujin no shikaku kara [The Meiji Restoration in World History: From the Perspective of Foreigners] (Kyoto: Kyoto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyū jo, 1973); Shibahara Takuji, Seikaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration within World History] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1977); Miyachi Masato, Kokusai seijishita Meiji Nihon [Meiji Japan Under the International Political System] (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppan, 1987); Tanaka Akira, ed., Sekai no naka no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration within the World] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2001); Mitani Hiroshi, Meiji ishin to nashonarizumu – bakumatsu no gaikō to seiji hendō [The Meiji Restoration and Nationalism: Diplomacy in the Closing Days of the Shogunate and Political Change] (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppan, 2009). Meiji Ishin-shi Gakkai, ed., Kō za Meiji ishin: Sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [Studies on the Meiji Restoration: The Meiji Restoration in World History] (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010).

Introduction

5

Pamela Crossley, What Is Global History?17 A number of Japanese historians have used gurō baru hisutorı¯ when discussing the history of Asia but also occasionally in reference to Europe or the United States. Many have included discussions of Japan in gurō baru hisutorı¯ when explicitly examining cross-cultural dimensions, such as a study of foreign communities in the port of Nagasaki.18 Recent studies have explored the Restoration and early Meiji periods through the lens of Japan’s engagement with nineteenthcentury globalization. The 2017 volume in the important series edited by the Meiji Restoration History Seminar (Meiji Ishin Shigakkai) examines Japan’s embrace of “global/Western” standards of international relations following attempts to revise and reinterpret the East Asian diplomatic system of “civilization and barbarian” that governed early modern East Asia’s connections with the outside world.19 Inspired by these historiographic trends, this book offers comparative insights on Japan and other parts of the nineteenth-century world. Yet as its primary approach, the book traces several global threads and their particular and profound intersections with the Japanese experience of the mid-nineteenth century. It first examines the global economic contexts that shaped the Restoration and early Meiji periods, revealing ways in which growth in commodity production and surging demand throughout much of the world created risks and opportunities on state, domain, and individual levels. Discussion across several chapters elucidates how a 1860s’ global commodity boom – manifested in maritime resource extraction, agriculture, and foreign trade – shaped socioeconomic and political trajectories across Japan both before and after the Restoration. The economic thread intersects with the book’s multifaceted examination of the endemic violence and armed conflicts that arose throughout the Japanese state in the 1860s. Japan was part of a worldwide trend that witnessed some 177 armed conflicts across the globe between 1840 and 1880, with the 1850s and 1860s proving especially bloody and 17 18

19

Pamela Crossley, What Is Global History? (Cambridge: Polity, 2006); Pamela Crossley and Satō Shō ichi, trans. Gurō baru hisutorı¯ towa nanika (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012). For example, Tō yama Jun, “Nihon to Higashi Ajia no komyunikeshon no sō gō teki kenkyū , Gotō -Nagasaki o meguru ibunka kō ryū no tobogurafı¯ – sakoku shikan kara gurō buru historı¯ no shiten e – joron ni kaete [General Research on Communication in Japan and East Asia – The Topography of Exchange with Foreign Cultures in Nagasaki and the Gotō Islands: Moving from the Historical Perspective of the Closed Country Concept to a View Using Global History, An Introduction] Momoyama Gakuin Daigaku sō gō kenkyū jo kiyō 37, no. 1 (July 2011): 109–123. Morita Tomoko, “Sō ron: Meiji ishin to gaikō ” [General Remarks: Diplomacy and the Meiji Restoration] in Meiji Ishin Shigakkai, ed., Kō za Meiji ishin 6: Meiji ishin to gaikō [Studies on the Meiji Restoration 6: Diplomacy and the Meiji Restoration] (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2017), pp. 1–14.

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Robert Hellyer and Harald Fuess

destructive.20 Japan’s death toll during its violent 1860s – around 30,000 souls – pales in comparison to the millions who perished during the Taiping Rebellion or the approximately 700,000 lives lost during the US Civil War.21 Yet, as discussions across multiple chapters will make clear, to better understand the Meiji Restoration we must take a closer look at the roots and consequences of Japan’s decade of conflict. Here, too, global intersections proved key and came in tangible forms, such as Western military incursions and the importation of more advanced European and US rifles used in battles large and small. As several chapters will explore, the fear of Western attacks proved equally transformative, helping to instigate clashes and new methods of military mobilization. Together global influences, both concrete and perceived, shook the status system and established political structures, setting the stage for the political watershed of 1868. As its title reveals, this book places particular focus on exploring the Japanese experience within mid-nineteenth-century global environments that witnessed, over the span of a decade, the birth of a string of new nation-states: Italy, Germany, and Canada (as a unified British dominion). To explain how the Meiji Restoration brought forth Japan’s transformation into a “global nation,” a member of what was initially a European-American “nation-state club,” several chapters highlight an underemphasized theme in current scholarship: the reconciliation achieved following the violence of the 1860s. Together, the chapters show how local authorities and the new Meiji central government took steps to allow those who had previously contested their rule to become stakeholders in the coalescing Japanese nation-state that notably included Hokkaido, which had existed on the margins of the Edo period state. The closing chapters further that conversation by demonstrating ways in which the creation of a new Japanese national identity involved significant intersections with global trends, embodied in decisions about images embossed on currency, the diplomatic role of the Emperor Meiji, and the emergence of Kyoto and Nara as cultural capitals. As these chapters make clear, Japanese leaders and intellectuals did not simply imitate established Western methods and practices. Rather, as they found inspiration in an idealized Japanese antiquity, the leaders of 20

21

Michael Geyer and Charles Bright, “Global Violence and Nationalizing Wars in Eurasia and America: The Geopolitics of War in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 38, no. 4 (October 1996): 622. In their chapters, Brian Platt and Harald Fuess explore these comparisons and connections in more detail. Mitani Hiroshi, Kokkyo o koeru rekishi ninshiki – hireishi no hatten teki kō yō [Historical Understanding Across National Borders – The Value of Advancements in Comparative History] Iwanami kō za Nihon rekishi 22 [Iwanami Studies on Japanese History 22] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2016), p. 267.

Introduction

7

the new Meiji state simultaneously moved in conjunction with unfolding global trends in nation-state construction. Overall, by highlighting the breadth of global intersections, the book innovatively employs global history, which often seeks to move away from the story of the nation-state, to explain in numerous new ways the formation of a modern, Japanese national polity. Although not explicitly explored in them, the volume’s wide-ranging discussions also point to ways to consider how that polity became invested in creating an empire in Asia and the Pacific in the early twentieth century. Global Connections, Internal Conflicts, and Domestic Resolutions As its temporal parameters, this volume examines the bakumatsu, the “last days of the shogunate,” extending from the early 1850s until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, as well as the Restoration period, spanning from the regime change in 1868 to the final stages of nation-state formation in the 1890s. Chapters in the first section, Global Connections, reveal the larger, mid-nineteenth-century interfaces with global economic trends and contexts, highlighting the socioeconomic impacts of expanded foreign trade on individuals and the course of the Boshin War. Exploring macroeconomic trends, Mark Metzler identifies 1866 as a point of global economic conjuncture. He outlines ways in which the bakumatsu and Restoration periods were shaped by Japan’s intersection with a world revolution in prices, the global commodities boom of the 1860s, as well as harvest crises and grain shortages throughout much of Eurasia. Through a careful analysis of nineteenth-century global economic history, Metzler offers a number of novel conclusions surrounding socioeconomic unrest during the bakumatsu period. He shows that, in international finance as well as the reconstitution of political regimes, 1866 marked a watershed both in Japan and on the global economic stage. In so doing, Metzler demonstrates that in order to understand the bakumatsu and early Meiji periods and their global intersections, we should take seriously the unexpected unities revealed in “synchrony”: comovements in places and social realms we have assumed to be separate. Numerous other chapters point to cases of synchrony, including Noell Wilson who addresses a long-standing omission in our understanding of whaling, a global trend that shaped the bakumatsu period. Past scholarship invariably mentions how US whalers, fanning out throughout the Western Pacific, helped prompt Commodore Perry’s mission. Yet historians have neglected to examine fully the whaling fleets that subsequently called in large numbers at Japanese ports. Wilson points out the

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synchrony inherent in the continued US demand for whale oil, and its impact on emerging Japanese maritime agendas. She also identifies it in yet another key event of 1866: an often, overlooked convention, signed that year between the shogunate and the United States. Although concerned primarily with bilateral trade, the agreement included a few lines permitting Japanese to obtain passports and travel overseas. Wilson explains how thereafter Japanese began to serve on whaling vessels plying the Pacific, thereby individually participating in the North Pacific commodity and cultural flows that stretched the northern latitudes between Russia and the Americas. The section’s two subsequent chapters outline not only global influences on socioeconomic, military, and political events but also touch upon the process of reconciliation within nation-state formation following 1868. Through a microhistory approach, Simon Partner elucidates how the world commodity boom shaped the life of a Japanese merchant in the treaty port of Yokohama. Partner chronicles Shinohara Chū emon, who in 1859 at the age of fifty, traveled to Yokohama to begin selling silk from his home province to Western merchants. As he overcame commercial challenges, Shinohara grappled with a commercial scene destabilized by attacks on Westerners in and around Yokohama. Shinohara navigated tensions in the market brought by these events and especially the panic that gripped the port amidst British threats to use naval force to retaliate for the murder of a British merchant in 1863. Partner explains that Shinohara faced bankruptcy following another synchronic event: the dramatic drop in silk prices that occurred with France’s loss in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). Overall, through Shinohara we understand not only individual merchant initiatives within the turbulent political and commercial landscapes of the 1860s, but also the possibilities for personal reinvention present in a more globally connected, bakumatsu Japan. Harald Fuess examines the ways in which the global weapons trade fueled armed conflicts beginning with interdomain clashes in the early 1860s and extending into the Boshin War. He details the personal relationships and the breadth of weapon imports, demonstrating the intersection of internal military and political events with Japan’s expanding economic connections with the United States, Europe, India, and China. Examining especially the activities of German and Dutch trading firms, Fuess details how independent European and US traders supplied both sides in the Boshin War, further exacerbating internal divisions. Tracing the international arms flow to Japan, he argues that Satsuma-Chō shū leaders may have staged what they believed was a preventive coup d’état in January 1868 out of fear that the import of foreign arms would soon

Introduction

9

strengthen the military prowess of the Tokugawa regime. Fuess also locates international diplomatic influence in another example of political reconciliation: the Meiji government’s decision to assume the debts to foreign arms dealers held by several domains, even those that had actively opposed the Satsuma-Chō shū alliance. Chapters in the “Internal Conflicts” section identify numerous global influences while illustrating the toll – both real and anticipated – of armed conflicts during the 1860s. Maren Ehlers explores how leaders in Ō no, one of the smaller domains in the Edo period state, grappled with the threatened arrival of a rebel, samurai band from Mito. The Mito group was part of a loyalist cause advocating a revival of imperial influence and the forced expulsion of foreigners, a movement that emerged in response to real and perceived threats of Western military encroachment. Ehlers underscores the contextual influence of global forces by illustrating how the people of Ō no, living in a previously peaceful domain, confronted the Mito band. As they prepared for the band’s anticipated incursion, domain leaders sacrificed the well-being of Ō no’s commoners to protect the samurai elite, laying bare simmering, intradomain class tensions. Brian Platt also emphasizes how feared Western military incursions prompted proposals to create armed units that included farmer-soldiers (nō hei), plans that fundamentally challenged the monopoly on military service held by the ruling samurai class. Platt shows that village-level commoner elites in numerous domains, not just in the well-known case of Chō shū , formed such units as a sense of crisis gripped the Japanese realm. He points to ways in which the long-term significance of peasant mobilization in Japan differed from other parts of the nineteenth-century world. In China regional, private armies raised to fight the Taiping Rebellion contributed to growing regionalism and eventually, the rise of warlords in the early twentieth century. By contrast, Japan’s new form of military mobilization merged into a centralized military organization, punctuated by the institution of conscription to create a national army for the Meiji nation-state. Drawing on his broad research of military practices and technology, Hō ya Tō ru outlines ways in which armed conflicts during the 1860s, especially the Boshin War, decisively altered long-standing military strategies and organization. Hō ya stresses that the expanded use of firearms, particularly imported Western rifles – a trade explored by Fuess – forced a departure from feudal military practices. He reminds us of the military dimension of the success of the Satsuma-Chō shū alliance in both accomplishing the Meiji Restoration and solidifying its grip on power after 1868. In short, the alliance more actively adopted Western weapons and particularly Western-style military organization, compared to the often

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halfhearted attitude toward military reform held by the Tokugawa shogunate and its supporters. Hō ya, therefore, presents another global influence on the bakumatsu and Restoration periods: how the introduction of Western rifles and military structures substantially eroded the legitimacy of the established status system and thus helped to facilitate the creation of a new national polity in the Meiji period. Robert Hellyer illustrates yet another perspective on the armed conflicts of the 1860s: the breadth of devotion and personal toll experienced by many Tokugawa retainers. Hellyer examines the life of Imai Nobuo, who organized a pro-bakufu peasant militia similar to those explored by Platt, and subsequently traveled to Kyoto in 1867, joining a Tokugawa ancillary police force. In that role, Imai was involved in the killing of Sakamoto Ryō ma, today one of the more popular figures of the Restoration period. An ardent Tokugawa supporter, Imai fought in the major battles of the Boshin War before surrendering at Hakodate in 1869. Along with other vanquished, pro-bakufu groups, he eventually settled in Shizuoka and became a tea farmer. In another case of synchrony, Shizuoka’s tea industry emerged thanks to burgeoning US demand for Japanese green tea during the 1860s and 1870s. Hellyer thus reveals how Japan’s new interfaces with global markets fostered opportunities for even the most hard-core opponents of the Satsuma-Chō shū alliance to overcome the bitterness and resentment of the Boshin War and create productive, individual niches in the post-Restoration nation-state. In the initial chapter of the “Domestic Resolutions” section, Steven Ivings builds on the theme of renewal for ex-samurai to show individual reinvention and post-1868 reconciliation through the stories of a new brand of “farmer-soldiers” (tondenhei): settler groups, composed of samurai and commoners, which farmed Hokkaido in the decades after the Restoration. Through these groups, Ivings reveals another nineteenthcentury global trend evident in post-Restoration Japan: settler colonialism. Furthermore, he demonstrates that the tondenhei program was initially geared toward reconciling disaffected elements of the samurai class, especially those from defeated clans in the northeast, and was thus more about internal reconciliation than the professed goal of Meiji leaders to create a buttress against possible Russian incursions. Mark Ravina uses the lens of paper currency to consider how Meiji leaders harmonized “new” with “ancient” and “foreign” with “Japanese” in their nation-building project. He explains that in 1873, they commissioned a US company to design paper currencies sporting images drawn from ancient triumphs such as the victory over Mongol invaders in the late thirteenth century. Ravina reveals that with these currency choices, Meiji leaders did not simply embrace “Westernization” but rather moved

Introduction

11

in concert with an emerging global trend: the creation of exclusive, national currencies often emblazoned with national heroes on paper bills. Presenting another example of synchrony, he notes that over the course of the nineteenth century, Japan and the United States gradually and independently abolished local and privately issued paper currencies in favor of a national currency guaranteed by the central government. Overall, Ravina stresses that in order to fully analyze the Meiji nationbuilding enterprise, we must abandon the idea of Meiji leaders simply imitating Western models and instead confront the degree to which they found Western norms, such as nationalism and the nation-state model, both constraining and empowering. John Breen explores the development of a system of imperial insignia and awards to offer multiple, fresh insights on the Emperor Meiji’s personal role in post-Restoration diplomacy. Breen demonstrates that in pursuit of international recognition, Meiji leaders created a system of ornaments and honors based upon Western European models. He traces how they first implemented that system through exchanges with European royal courts. Nonetheless, until Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), British diplomats refused to participate, deeming Japan unworthy of reciprocal diplomatic recognition. In a similar vein, Meiji leaders cast Japan as detached from neighboring East Asian states by refusing to offer ornaments and awards to Qing and Korean leaders. Breen highlights the key role the Emperor Meiji played in facilitating Japan’s “ornamental diplomacy,” explaining that the monarch spent many of his days receiving foreign envoys. Overall Breen stresses that the Emperor Meiji proved a vital actor in the dynamic construction of Japan’s interstate relationships in the Restoration period. The emperor’s importance in cultural diplomacy is also a concern of Takagi Hiroshi in his discussion of the creation of cultural capitals. In the early Meiji period, leading intellectuals and politicians realized the significance of a cultural pedigree for Japan to emerge as a “civilized” nation of equal standing in the modern international world order. Noting how Europeans made Athens and Rome capitals of classical civilization, they advocated and implemented a restoration and revival of Nara and Kyoto, replete with imperial tombs, as sites embodying a Japanese imperial tradition. In the process of rewriting history for domestic and international consumption, these intellectuals and politicians cast the then dilapidated ancient capitals as geographic and ideological counterparts to the political capital of Tokyo, thereby also helping to transform the Edo period administrative center into the seat of power of the new Meiji government.

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In sum, this collaborative study of the global intersections at the heart of the Meiji Restoration challenges the idea of a national formation process with an expected “progression”: Japan leaving behind its traditional past and embracing the modernity of the West. It highlights instead the ability of Japanese – on individual and institutional levels – to overcome the often bitter armed clashes of the 1860s and achieve a high level of national cohesion by the close of the 1870s. Similarly, the volume demonstrates the ways in which Japan’s expanding maritime and commercial connections accelerated that process of national reconciliation. Moreover, it explores how Meiji leaders successfully created national icons – the Emperor Meiji as a diplomatic actor, a unified paper currency, and cultural capitals – working within new international structures unfolding in the late nineteenth-century world. All told, the convergence of multiple internal factors, shaped in immediate and contextual ways by global trends and contexts, brought particular historical outcomes not at all evident when the palace coup d’état initiated the Meiji Restoration in January 1868.

Part 1

Global Connections

Figure 1.1 “View of a Japanese seaport,” (Yokohama) 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library

1

Japan and the World Conjuncture of 1866 Mark Metzler

How would things look if we were to consider the Keiō era, that brief interval on the eve of the Meiji era, as a period in global history? By Gregorian calendar reckoning, Keiō began on May 1, 1865, and ended October 23, 1868. This pivotal moment in Japanese history happens to be congruent in time with an international economic downturn, whose signal event was the London financial panic of May 1866. In Japan, 1866 was a year of political revolution, with the alliance of the Satsuma and Chō shū domains in March, followed by the Chō shū victory over Tokugawa-led forces in the summer. The year stands out in the history of prices as well, and attention to changes in prices can help integrate stories that are often thought to belong to separate countries, separate social milieus, and separate domains of activity.1 As a step toward understanding the codevelopment of global and domestic histories at this turning point, this chapter focuses on the year 1866 and surveys four themes. The first is the revolution in prices. The outstanding event of Japan’s nineteenth-century price history was the great inflation of the 1860s. The most extreme point of the inflation came in 1866. Japan’s great inflation also arose at a time of international inflation.2 1

2

A note on time: I have converted all dates in the old Japanese calendar to their Gregorian calendar equivalents. This is consistent with the usage in this volume and underscores the international codevelopment of events discussed in this chapter. A note on money: Dollars in this chapter signify silver dollars. The Mexican silver dollar was the most widely used trading currency in nineteenth-century East Asia. US silver dollars and Japanese silver yen (after 1871) were variations of this coin, with nearly the same fineness and weight. Between 1861 and 1865, the exchange rate between Japanese silver monme and silver dollars was around 35 to 36 monme per dollar. Yamamoto Yū zō , Ryō kara en e – bakumatsu / Meiji zenki kahei mondai kenkyū [From the Ryō to the Yen – Research on the Currency Question in the Bakumatsu and Early Meiji Period] (Kyoto: Minerva Shobō , 1994), p. 194. Within Japan, in 1857, a single gold ryō equaled about 70 silver monme or about 6.6 kanmon, with one kanmon consisting of 960 bronze zeni coins. The currency system was reformed in 1860 in response to the great export of gold that followed the opening of the ports in 1859. By 1867, Osaka exchange rates were 1 ryō ≈ 139 monme ≈ 9.8 kanmon.

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A second, connected theme is the global commodities boom of the 1860s, and its end. Japan joined the international trading system at a time when world commodity prices were surging. This is one reason for the speed at which Japan’s foreign commerce developed in the first half of the 1860s. Beginning in the spring of 1865, however, and affecting increasingly many lines of trade in 1866, international commodity prices fell heavily. Falling prices triggered waves of debt default in commercial and financial centers from Bombay to London to Shanghai. While prices fell for cotton and other staple commodities, the price of food grains jumped upward. This movement too was international, and it involves a third theme, of harvest crises and grain shortages. Already by 1865, monetary inflation and civil conflict had pushed Japanese rice prices to what would have been considered famine prices a few years earlier. On top of this, the cold, wet summer of 1866 made for the poorest rice harvest since the great famines of the 1830s. Simultaneously there were weather anomalies across Eurasia, including cold, wet weather that damaged wheat harvests in Europe and droughts that ruined rice crops in India. Grain shortages connect to a fourth and final theme, for the year 1866 also set an Edo period record for the number of urban and rural rice riots. These were part of a larger wave of popular rebellion. A Global Commodities Boom The world as a whole underwent a phase of greatly accelerated commercial and financial integration in the 1860s. This movement was stimulated by a cyclic recovery after the international depression of 1857. It was also connected to wars. In 1857–1858, British imperial forces were warring in Asia on multiple fronts. In India, the anti-British rebellion and civil war ended with the consolidation and intensification of British governance. It was followed by a boom in investment into the building of new railroads and port facilities, largely organized and funded as state-supported private undertakings. The British-French War against China (1856–1860) happened simultaneously. This war for “free trade” led to a great extension and intensification of international commerce in China, especially after the Taiping Rebellion ended in 1864. Nine new treaty ports were opened Shinbo Hiroshi, Kinsei no bukka to keizai hatten [Early Modern Prices and Economic Development] (Tokyo: Tō yō Keizai Shinpō sha, 1978), p. 173; Simon J. Bytheway and Martha Chaiklin, “Reconsidering the Yokohama ‘Gold Rush’ of 1859,” Journal of World History 27, no. 2 (2016): 281–301. In 1871, the yen was established as the national currency at a rate of 1 yen = 1 ryō .

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between 1860 and 1864, including the first three ports in north China and the first three Yangzi River ports (see Figure 1.1). Steamship service regularized trade and quickened its pace. Thus, when Nagasaki and Yokohama became treaty ports in July 1859, it was part of an enormous movement, by which Asian peasantries en masse – tens of millions of producing households – were within a few years’ time linked into a worldwide division of labor. This division of labor had its most important coordinating center in London, and it is worth noticing the transformation of British trade and finance during these years. World economic integration was intensified rather than retarded by the US Civil War. Cotton was the world’s number one industrial crop and the raw material for the leading industry of the industrial revolution. By value, raw cotton was Britain’s biggest import in the mid-century decades, and before the US Civil War these imports ran overwhelmingly in a single channel, being grown by enslaved workers in the southern United States and shipped to the cotton mills of Lancashire. By 1862, the Union naval blockade of southern ports was cutting off these shipments, causing a crisis in Lancashire. British demand caused world cotton prices to increase more than fourfold between April 1861 and the summer of 1864, inducing a boom in cotton-growing districts around the world.3 Western India became the world’s largest zone of substitute cotton production. The boom was centered on Bombay, where super-profits from the cotton trade fueled a boom in building port facilities and other infrastructure, in new company formation, and in banking. From the standpoint of British industry, Japan was a minor producer of cotton, but within Japan, the international shift in supply and demand had big effects. Before 1863, Japan exported virtually no cotton. Briefly, in 1864, cotton was Japan’s single most valuable export to Britain, exceeding silk (which was also exported to Britain in record volume in 1864). In that year, sixty-two foreign ships, most of them British, left Japan carrying cargoes that consisted mainly of raw cotton. British trade statistics show the year’s import of cotton from Japan to be about 4,300 metric tons (84,000 cwt.), for which British buyers paid £696,000 (or about $2.8 million). This number is evidently understated.4 This was 3

4

William O. Henderson, The Lancashire Cotton Famine, 1861–1865 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1934): pp. 122–123; Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), chapter 9. British import statistics did not record a large share of these exports as Japanese because many ships passed first through Hong Kong. Of the sixty-two ships carrying Japanese cotton in 1864, thirty-three sailed direct from Japan to Britain, while the other twenty-nine sailed first to Hong Kong. “Kanagawa,” in Commercial Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls

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only about 1 percent of Britain’s total import of raw cotton, and only a fraction of the cotton Britain imported from China. From the Japanese side, however, this was a big business. Cotton was then Japan’s most important commercial crop after rice, forming the basis for a great, domestically oriented cottage industry of cotton spinning and weaving. The British consul at Yokohama reported that prices as high as $34 per picul (≈60 kg) “drained the country” of available cotton.5 Given the actual export volumes involved, he could only have been speaking of the country nearby, but the price effects spread out more widely. For cotton growers and dealers, high prices were a windfall, as Simon Partner’s chapter in this volume reveals in close detail. For Japanese spinners, weavers, and dyers, high prices could be disastrous. High prices also meant that many buyers took on larger debts to fund their purchases. Silk was, like cotton, in international short supply, because of the silkworm disease that ruined silk production in Europe and western Asia. Foreign demand was therefore practically unlimited relative to the scale of Japanese production, and Japanese sericulture boomed as never before in the early 1860s, fostering rapid technical advances based on established techniques. Contemporary surveys estimated that by 1863 total silk production was double pre-1859 levels.6 Again, many thousands of agricultural households were affected. In 1865, Fukuzawa Yukichi wrote that people complained of high prices and that it took 3 or 4 ryō to buy what formerly cost just a single ryō . But wages too had risen, and owing to foreign trade, people were better off. In silk-producing districts in the northeast that once suffered from famine, “nobody is going out into service, but everybody is engaged at silk . . . Those who ate only barley rice with salt now eat pure rice with a side dish, and rice and fish are going up in price. Peasants who produce rice, fishermen, carpenters and plasterers are all better off.” And not only silk was booming: “Where silk cannot be produced, cotton is raised, and where cotton cannot be produced, rapeseed is produced. Even for things like rice and wheat that do not enter into foreign trade, goods are circulating and selling widely throughout Japan, and peasants and tradespeople can’t keep up with business.” The feeling caused by the boom in foreign trade

5 6

in China and Japan, 1865 (London: Harrison, 1866), pp. 241–244. One pound sterling (£1) was worth about 4 silver dollars. “Kanagawa,” Commercial Reports, 1865, pp. 241–244. Yamaguchi Kazuo, “Opening of Japan at the End of the Shogunate and its Effects,” in Japanese Society in the Meiji Era, ed. Shibusawa Keizō , trans. Aora H. Culbertson and Kimura Michiko (Tokyo: Ō bunsha, 1958), pp. 11–15.

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was “like the joy of ‘kite men’ [tobi no mono: firemen/construction workers] when there is a fire in Edo.”7 Tea producers also enjoyed an export boom, as Robert Hellyer explores in his chapter in this volume. The boom in trade with China also meant a boom in the export of dried seaweed, shellfish, and other marine products. Altogether, Japan’s exports rose from perhaps $5 million in 1861 to around $20 million in 1865, equivalent to 700 million monme, or something over 7 million ryō . In an overwhelmingly agricultural land of nearly 33 million people, this may not seem a big amount, but for multiple reasons, the new export trade had greatly magnified effects. One effect was on prices. Japanese prices were pulled upward by foreign demand.8 They were also pulled upward by the inflationary creation of new money and credit. An International Credit Bubble Together with the boom in international trade came a great expansion of credit, especially between 1862 and 1865. This expansion had its center in London, where international trade was funded by means of trade bills handled by specialized bill brokers. These bills, which were backed by a pledge of the goods in transit, could be monetized during the period before they were due by sale at a discount to banks and other agencies. Trade bills were also kited around between agencies, becoming a vehicle for repeated creation of new credit unsecured by any real claim to goods. The largest of the bill brokers was Overend, Gurney, and Company, whose failure would set off the London financial panic on May 11, 1866. The international credit boom was also promoted by a package of institutional innovations that, in retrospect, effectively completed the framing of London’s globally oriented financial-capitalist order. In 1857, Britain liberalized corporate law to enable the establishment of 7

8

From “Tō jin ō rai” [Intercourse with Foreigners], published in 1865; cited in Tō yō Keizai Shinpō , Nihon bō eki seiran [Foreign Trade of Japan, A Statistical Survey] (Tokyo: Tō yō Keizai Shinpō sha, 1935), pp. 11–12, 17; Keiō Gijuku, ed., Fukuzawa Yukichi zenshū [The Collected Works of Fukuzawa Yukichi], Vol. 1 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1958), pp. 17–19. Shinbo’s analysis demonstrates the greater price rises of goods with export markets as opposed to goods that traded only domestically. Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, pp. 289–297; Shinbo, “Edo makki (Bunsei~Bakumatsu / Ishinki) ni okeru bukka dō kō to keizai hatten” [Price Trends and Economic Development at the End of the Edo Period (Bunsei – Bakumatsu, Restoration Era)], in eds. Harada Toshimaru and Miyamoto Matao, Rekishi no naka no bukka: zenkō gyō -ka shakai no bukka to keizai hatten, shinpojiumu [Symposium: Prices in History – Prices in Preindustrial Society and Economic Development] (Tokyo: Dō bunkan Shuppan, 1985), pp. 119–121.

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banking corporations. There followed a “manic” wave in the formation of British overseas banks, mainly between 1862 and 1866, when twenty-five foreign and thirteen colonial banks were registered in England.9 Conspicuous here were the new “eastern exchange banks” specializing in financing trade with Asia. By 1863, these banks were making record profits, and the boom in overseas banking, like the brokering of trade bills, assumed the aspect of a bubble. Simultaneously, limited liability for corporations was instituted in the Companies Act of 1862, stimulating a surge of company flotations. British authorities also loosened banking laws in India in 1862, and there was a wave of speculation in Bombay in 1864. Riding the boom in the Asian cotton trade, the new British Indian banks extended their business to Shanghai. Thus, international credit networks centered in London extended via the operations of the British eastern exchange banks and trading companies to traders based in Asian port cities, which were undergoing their own growth booms. How were events in Japan related to this international credit cycle? Japan’s own system of credit and debt remained at (or beyond) the distant edges of this movement, but multiple indirect connections were being formed. The Western and Chinese merchants who traded in Japan’s new treaty ports depended almost entirely on credit. In order to procure Japanese goods, foreign merchants in turn extended credit to a few Japanese merchants and to some domains.10 When it came to buying foreign goods, Japanese merchants had to pay cash. This meant a big demand for silver, supplied by Japanese credit networks centered in Osaka. The biggest effects within Japan were caused by the domestic creation of new money and credit. The 1860 currency reform substantially reduced the gold and silver content of the coinage in order to stem the outflow of gold that followed the opening of the ports in 1859. Tokugawa officials also issued large amounts of debased currency for their own fiscal purposes. Seignorage profits from the coinage had been a major Tokugawa revenue source, and this continued to be the case. The shogunate’s money revenue for 1866 totaled 3.7 million ryō , of which nearly 1.7 million ryō was revenue from recoinage. Many domains, especially in western Japan, issued their own local paper money, with Chō shū ’s being 9 10

P. L. Cottrell, “The Coalescence of a Cluster of Corporate International Banks, 1855–75,” Business History 33, no. 3 (1991): 32–35. Ishii Kanji, “Bakumatsu kaikō to gaiatsu e no taiō ” [The Opening of Ports in the Bakumatsu Period and Reactions to Foreign Pressure], in Ishii et al., eds., Nihon keizai shi [Japanese Economic History], Vol. 1, Bakumatsu ishin ki [Bakumatsu and Restoration Periods] (Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2000), pp. 24–27. Foreign debts of the domain governments added up to 4 million yen (= 4 million ryō ) by 1871. Most of this debt seems to have been contracted after the Meiji Restoration.

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especially highly leveraged. Satsuma began to mint a large volume of zeni coins with lower copper content than those of the shogunate, turning an estimated 2 million ryō in profit between 1862 and 1864.11 A temporarily stimulating international price conjuncture and a temporarily permissive international credit environment thus enabled local expansionary measures as well. The Onset of International “Overproduction” and Recession in 1865 The early 1860s’ credit boom was international, as was the wave of company and bank formation. So too was the contraction between 1865 and 1867, when many of these new enterprises failed. The year 1865 began with very high prices for commodities in general. When the end of the US Civil War seemed imminent in March 1865, prices of cotton began to fall. In the initial market overreaction, cotton prices in April and May dropped temporarily to one-half the level of the year before. Although cotton prices then recovered somewhat, this was the beginning of a price decline that would continue for the next thirty years. The initial collapse of prices caused a crisis for merchants who had bought large stocks of raw cotton on credit at high prices. In Bombay, the first big failure in the cotton trade, on May 17, 1865, initiated a panic. Thus, the “panic of 1866,” which has been told as a story of the London financial markets, actually began in the spring of 1865 in Bombay. In June, there was a run on the Bank of Bombay, which operated doubly as a commercial bank and as the central bank of the Bombay Presidency. The economic crisis in Bombay continued through 1866, leading ultimately to the failure of the Bank of Bombay in early 1867.12 One could also begin the story of this downturn with the United States. There, wartime financial innovations included the issuing of inconvertible “greenback” paper money by the US Treasury and the creation of a system of national banks designed to purchase government bonds and to issue their own loans and paper money backed by their holdings of government 11

12

Ishii, “Bakumatsu kaikō ,” pp. 14, 16–17. Thus, despite the currency reforms forced by the new treaties, the shogunate retained substantial money-creation power. (This corrects my earlier statement in Mark Metzler, Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006), p. 18.) The other main sources of Tokugawa money revenue were goyō kin forced loans (700,000 ryō in 1866) and customs revenue (571,000 ryō in 1866). J. B. Brunyate, An Account of the Presidency Banks (Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1900), pp. 15, 30–31; D. E. Wacha, A Financial Chapter in the History of Bombay City (Bombay: Combridge and Co., 1910).

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debt. This surge of money and credit creation funded a wartime boom in the northern United States. With the war’s end in April 1865, the US Treasury immediately began to contract the currency and the government debt, contributing to a great fall of prices and economic depression that began in the spring of 1865 and deepened in 1866.13 In Chinese ports also, there were serious economic disturbances in 1865 and 1866. As world cotton prices fell back in early 1865, cotton prices in Japan continued to rise for a time. Altogether, cotton prices in Japan quadrupled between 1862 and 1866, and they did not decrease thereafter. The domestic movement of cotton prices thus reflected the stepwise, irreversible character of Japan’s wider price revolution.14 After 1866, however, Japanese exports of raw cotton practically ended. Simultaneously, there were large imports of British cotton cloth, in part to fill the local supply shortfall. By way of contrast, Japanese silk exports boomed in 1865 because of record high prices, even though the physical volume shipped was less than in 1864.15 Japanese exports reached about $20 million in 1865. The period of rapid increase then stopped. For the next decade, total exports fluctuated around the same level, only beginning to increase again from 1876. Japan’s trade surplus also disappeared in 1866 and turned to a deficit after 1867.16 This had knock-on monetary effects, because the silver dollars earned by exports served as a stock of silver for minting the shogunate’s token nibukin coins.17 The end of trade surpluses thus dried up the sources of Tokugawa coinage revenues. Simultaneously, grain prices began to move upward. This movement was connected to Japan’s domestic political drama, which entered a new phase in March 1865 when the shogunate announced a second expedition to subdue Chō shū . This enormously expensive operation cost some 4.4 million ryō in 1865 and 1866. It got underway June 9, 1865, when the nineteen-year old shogun, Iemochi, departed Edo, accompanied by armed forces and baggage carriers numbering in the thousands. Proceeding by stages along the Tō kaidō , the shogun, his army, and baggage train arrived in Kyoto on July 14 and then went on to Osaka. Rice 13 14

15 16 17

Rendigs Fels, American Business Cycles, 1865–1897 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), pp. 92–95. Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, pp. 338–339. Local shortages helped keep cotton prices high in Japan, where there were poor cotton harvests in 1865 and 1866. Japanese exports of raw cotton fell sharply in 1865. Great Britain. Parliament, House of Commons, ed., Annual Statement of the Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom with Foreign Countries and British Possessions in the Year 1868 (London, 1869), pp. 308, 312. “Kanagawa,” Commercial Reports, 1865, pp. 241–244. Shinya Sugiyama, Japan's Industrialization in the World Economy, 1859–1899 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Athlone Press, 1988), pp. 44–48. Ishii, “Bakumatsu kaikō ,” p. 15.

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prices in Osaka markets began to increase at a rate higher than the general level of price inflation. Already in October 1864, Osaka rice prices had moved above 230 silver monme per koku, surpassing the historic peak reached during the great famine of 1837 – the year Ō shio Heihachirō ’s rebels had burned a quarter of the city. In July, as the shogun moved into new headquarters at Osaka Castle, the price for a koku of rice passed 300 monme. In August, the price passed 400 monme.18 Shogunal and allied domain forces remained in Osaka for months before commencing a slow advance toward Chō shū in December 1865. The International Panic of 1866 It was not only Japan that had troubles in 1866. In London, the Commercial History and Review of 1866, published by the Economist in March 1867, described the year just passed as one “of almost uniform disaster.” The summer of 1866 particularly stood out in England as a time of cold wet weather, epidemics, trade disruptions, and recordhigh interest rates. In commerce, there had been a great reversal. “For three or four years,” the Review of 1866 explained – that is, from 1862 or ‘63 until 1865 – “from the operation of a variety of causes, . . . demand, in a large number of cases, had outrun supply.” Cotton was the most conspicuous of these cases. However, “the events of 1866 have, in the most abrupt and decisive manner, reversed this order of things, and, by reducing demand far within the limits of supply, have entailed confusion and loss upon large interests.”19 As demand contracted, goods of many kinds appeared to be in oversupply and prices began to fall. Another movement that reversed in the spring of 1866 was “the large drain of gold and silver to Egypt, India, and the East, which have been in progress since 1861, chiefly in payment of cotton.” These shipments of silver and gold specie from Europe to Asia were a basic factor in the expansion of banking and credit in Asian port cities during these years. Eastward shipments of specie ended in March and April 1866 – shortly in advance of the London panic. One might suppose that the end of this

18

19

Conrad Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980), pp. 154–155, 191; Ishii, “Bakumatsu kaikō ,” p. 14; Mitsui Bunkō , ed., Kinsei kō ki ni okeru shuyō bukka no dō tai [Movement of Major Commodity Prices in the Late Early Modern Period] (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1989), pp. 46, 74–76. Here and below, the price of rice from Higo (today’s Kumamoto Prefecture) is taken as representative. In the Edo period, one koku of rice was the ration needed to sustain one person for one year. “Commercial History and Review of 1866,” Supplement to the Economist, March 9, 1867, pp. 8–9, emphasis in original.

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external “drain” would help stabilize London credit markets. In fact, it was symptomatic of a widespread crisis in the repayment of debts.20 At the heart of London’s globalized credit system sat the Bank of England (BoE), whose own gold reserve ran short as banks and merchants suddenly withdrew specie money to cover their debts. At the beginning of May, the BoE’s interest rate for lending to other banks already stood at the relatively high level of 6 percent. On May 3, the BoE raised its bank rate to 7 percent, then a full percentage point higher on May 8. On May 11, the day the bill broker Overend, Gurney announced it could not repay its debts, the BoE raised its rate to 9 percent. With this, the general financial panic commenced. The next day, the Bank of England raised the bank rate to 10 percent, where it remained until August.21 This “10 percent” was a historically high level, and it meant severe pressure for anyone who needed to borrow. Most merchants fell into this category. The story of an “abrupt and decisive” reversal, “reducing demand far within the limits of supply,” was more or less repeated for many commodities, including sugar, jute, copper, tin, and petroleum. It was also so for tea. The year 1866 opened with unheard of high prices for tea in China. This was the year of the “great tea race” from Fuzhou to London, which increased the market excitement.22 The race ended on August 29, when three fully loaded clipper ships arrived within hours of one another at the London docks after a ninety-nine-day voyage. Combined shipments out of China’s ports up to August 31 were the “heaviest on record,” but by September, shippers were dumping tea on the London market amid severe price falls. Consequently, “the losses borne by dealers, importers, and, in fact, by all engaged in the trade, have been beyond precedent.”23 The British consul at Fuzhou, then China’s second busiest foreign-trade port, told of “reckless speculation” and “ruinous competition.” News of the financial crisis in London arrived there in June, and by year’s end, there were mounting business losses.24 The collapse of cotton prices helped to generate a sharp reaction in Ningbo, which suffered a serious trade depression in 1866.25 Several of the new British eastern banks now 20 21 22 23

24 25

“The Commercial History and Review of 1866,” pp. 3–4; Economist, September 29, 1866, pp. 1133–1134. R. G. Hawtrey, A Century of Bank Rate (London, New York: Longman, Green & Co., 1938), pp. 84–86, Appendix I. Sabrina Fairchild, “Fuzhou and Global Empires: Understanding the Treaty Ports of Modern China, 1850–1937” (PhD dissertation, University of Bristol, 2015), chapter 3. “Commercial Review of 1866,” Economist, pp. 8–9, emphasis in original. Also, “Foochow-fu, 1866,” and “Shanghae, 1866,” in Commercial Reports of Her Majesty’s Consuls in China, Japan, and Siam, 1865–66 (London, 1867), pp. 45–46, 103–104. “Foo-chow-fu, 1866,” Commercial Reports, pp. 45–47. Susan Mann, Local Merchants and the Chinese Bureaucracy, 1750–1950 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 140–141; Yen-p’ing Hao, The Commercial

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failed. Shanghai experienced the worst financial panic since its opening in the 1840s.26 Writing from Yokohama, the British consul described a larger shift in the East Asian trade. In the initial phase of free trade, “the success attending the first opening of the ports in China and Japan brought into the commercial field a large number of adventurous men, with little or no capital, eager to make rapid fortunes and quit the scene.” These adventurers with their “gambling spirit” created “a degree of competition and reckless speculation which the trade could not possibly sustain,” while the banks “afford[ed] them accommodation to an unwarrantable extent.” The meaning of the year 1866 was that “the career of this class of merchant” was “brought to an abrupt termination, after having caused incalculable mischief.” As for the banks that funded them, “many of them having been ruined, and nearly all having met with serious losses, they now run with an ill-judged caution in the opposite direction, and are slow to give facilities even to houses of the most undoubted standing.”27 There was a great falloff in the business of the big trading firm of Jardine, Matheson, and Company which had borrowed from the eastern exchange banks and then in turn acted as a kind of bank itself by funding a network of other operations. (These included the arms trade explored by Harald Fuess in his chapter in this volume.) The big trading firm Dent and Company, having run into trouble in 1865, now failed.28 Altogether, about half the Western firms doing business in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865 disappeared in the second half of the 1860s. There was an even bigger dropoff in the Western firms doing business in Yokohama.29 It was Japan’s trade with Britain particularly that fell off in 1866. British-Japanese trade thus displayed a more sharply defined business cycle than did Japanese trade in general. As another factor for diminished trade, the British consul in Nagasaki noted “a great depreciation of the native coin” during 1866, “arising from the scarcity of dollars with the natives.” Japanese silver monme began to depreciate against silver dollars in 1866 and especially 1867, falling from

26

27 28

29

Revolution in Nineteenth-Century China: The Rise of Sino-Western Mercantile Capitalism (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985), p. 324. Hamashita Takeshi, “Jū kyū seiki kō han, Chū goku ni okeru gaikoku ginkō no kin’yū shijō shihai no rekishiteki tokushitsu: Shanhai ni okeru kin’yū kyō kō to no kanren ni oite” [Historical Characteristics of Domination over the Chinese Financial Market by Foreign Banks in the Latter Half of the Nineteenth Century: In Connection with the Financial Crisis in Shanghai], Shakai keizai shigaku 40, no. 3 (1974): 230–233. “Japan. Kanagawa, 1866,” Commercial Reports, p. 255. Ishii Kanji, Kindai Nihon to Igirisu shihon: Jā din-Maseson shō kai o chū shin ni [Modern Japan and English Capital: Focus on the Jardine-Matheson Trading Company] (Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 1984), chapter 2; pp. 159–161. Sugiyama, Japan’s Industrialization, p. 239 (note 18).

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35 or 36 monme per dollar to around 60 per dollar in 1871.30 One can note here again the context of declining specie shipments from Europe to Asia after April 1866. Japan in 1866: Civil Strife, Price Revolution, Provisioning Crisis Another factor that depressed purchasing power was the fact that Japanese consumers were suddenly having to pay much more for food. When the second year of the Keiō era opened in early February 1866, rice prices in Osaka already exceeded 400 monme per koku, double those of a year before. In March, Osaka rice prices moved above 500 monme, and in May, they passed 700 monme per koku.31 Later in that month, the year’s first major riots broke out, in villages in the Mito domain in the eastern Kanto region, where there had been a substandard harvest in 1865. These rural riots then began to spread in eastern Japan.32 Simultaneously, the political situation approached a showdown, as the Satsuma and Chō shū domains secretly allied against the Tokugawa government on March 7, 1866. In effect, two coalitions of states claiming loyalty to the emperor were now aligned against one another, for the Tokugawa side increasingly seemed to be no more than a coalition. It was also an unexpectedly ad hoc and shaky coalition, as numerous lords refrained from dispatching their own military forces in response to Tokugawa requests, whether on pretexts or because they were actually disabled by bankruptcy, violent factional strife among their own retainers, or peasant rebellion and noncompliance in delivering taxes. Meanwhile in Osaka, the presence of the shogun and his men is estimated to have cost over 3 million ryō . To provision 8,000 shogunal troops and officers in Osaka, the forces of vassal lords, plus an army of porters and servants, required large stores of rice. The shogunate’s own receipts of tax rice had fallen well below their former levels, causing government officials to purchase rice on the market. To fund these expenses during May and June, the shogunate imposed a large levy on the Osaka merchant community, something it had done in 1864 and again in 1865. These three levies totaled nearly 2 million ryō . Formally, these were mandatory low-interest loans, which might be compared to mandatory war bond purchases in the twentieth century. In practice, they were not always 30 31 32

“Nagasaki, 1866,” Commercial Reports, pp. 237, 240; Yamamoto, Ryō kara en e, pp. 194–195. Mitsui Bunkō , Shuyō bukka, pp. 46, 74–76. Totman, Collapse, pp. 219–221; Aoki Kō ji, Hyakushō ikki no nenjiteki kenkyū [Chronological Research on Peasant Uprisings] (Tokyo: Shinseisha, 1966), p. 248.

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repaid. These de facto taxes were another factor pushing merchants to raise their sale prices.33 Simultaneously, preparing for war, the Tokugawa and domain governments refrained from their usual sales of tax rice to the markets. Private hoarding magnified the shortages. The sudden increase in rice prices at this point also had aspects of a commodity bubble. Merchants who had earned large profits in other branches of trade – several of which now stalled – used their funds to buy up rice on speculation. Tokugawa authorities, aiming to secure a sufficient supply of rice in Osaka, liberalized trading regulations to allow the participation of merchants not licensed in the rice trade. These nonlicensed merchants made direct purchases in rice-producing areas. The increase in rice prices fed back into price increases for other foodstuffs, meaning a great fall in the real purchasing power of wages.34 Table 1.1 shows Osaka rice prices month by month. As a point of comparison, rice prices in the mid-1850s, the final period of normal Edo period prices, were around seventy-five to ninety-five monme per koku.35 As rice prices soared, a new wave of “smashing riots” (uchi-kowashi) began in the Osaka region. On June 20, the first riots occurred in Hyō go (Kobe) and spread immediately to neighboring Nishinomiya, Itami, Ikeda, and other villages in Settsu Province (today’s Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures). Significantly, Hyō go was a port and highway town on the Sanyō (or Saigoku) high road from Osaka and Kyoto to western Japan. Hyō go was scheduled to be opened as a treaty port and had been visited by British minister Harry Parkes in 1865. It was thus on the military road to Chō shū as well as on the front lines of the foreign advance into Japan. On June 25, there was a great smashing action in Osaka itself. Rioters destroyed 885 houses, targeting mainly rice dealers and moneylenders. The shogun and his army evidently could not preserve law and order in their own, new headquarter city. In fact, the underpaid troops themselves were a source of crime and disorder. Rioters openly mocked the political authorities. The Osaka riots were followed by smashing riots in villages in the whole surrounding area. In this region of highly diversified and commercialized rural production, the cotton trade was particularly 33

34

35

Totman, Collapse, pp. 187, 191, 193, 197–201; Ishii, “Bakumatsu kaikō ,” pp. 13–14; Suzuki Kō zō , Edo no keizai shisutemu [The Edo Economic System] (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, 1995), pp. 231–234. Yamamuro Kyō ko and Lee Chang Min, “Bakumatsu ni okeru beika no bō tō to bō raku ni kansuru kō satsu” [Examining the Sudden Rise and Decline in Rice Prices at the End of the Edo Period], Nihon bunka kenkyū 49 (2014): 227–231; Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, p. 276. Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, p. 338.

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Table 1.1 Rice prices on Osaka markets, Keiō years 1 and 2 (1865–1866) Gregorian date

Japanese date Rice price† (monme per koku) Other events (mo./day)*

1865 May 25

Keiō year 1 5/1

275 [5/7]

June 23 July 23 Aug. 21 Sept. 20 Oct. 20 Nov. 18 Dec. 18

Int. 5/1 6/1 7/1 8/1 9/1 10/1 11/1

301 285 [6/2] 357 344 [8/2] 370 448 414

398 [12/2]

Feb. 15 Mar. 17 Apr. 15

12/1 Keiō year 2 1/1 2/1 3/1

May 15 June 13

4/1 5/1

753 780 [5/7]

1866 Jan. 17

469 [1/4] 496 [2/4] 585 [3/5]

July 12

6/1

830 [6/2]

Aug. 10

7/1

945

Sep. 9

8/1

1,020 [8/4]

Oct. 9 Nov. 7 Dec. 7 1867 Jan. 6

9/1 10/1 11/1

1,290 880 1,200

12/1

1,290

International fall of cotton prices; financial panic in Bombay (May 17); beginning of deflation in the United States. June 9: shogun and army depart from Edo. Late July: shogun and army arrive at Osaka.

December: shogunal army begins advance toward Chō shū .

Mar. 7: Satsuma–Chō shū secret alliance. May 11: Overend, Gurney failure in London – “panic of 1866.”

June 20–25: Osaka-area riots. July 10–15: Edo-area riots. July 18: Chō shū war begins. July 24: beginning of “world renewal” uprisings in eastern Japan. Aug. 29: death of shogun; end of Chō shū war. Sept. 13–16: great typhoon. Sept.: big fall of tea prices in London.

Data: Daily rice prices given in Mitsui-ke Hensanshitsu ed., Ō saka kin gin bei sen narabini kawase hibi sō ba hyō [Daily Market Charts of Osaka Gold, Silver, Rice, and Zeni Exchange], Vol. 2 (1916), pp. 889–939. Equivalents in the two calendars are based on Nojima Jusaburō , Nihonreki seireki gappi taishō hyō [Japanese Chronological Table Contrasted by Gregorian] (Nichigai Associates, 1987), pp. 284–285. * Prices are given for the first day of each month. When the markets were closed, the next closest date is given (specified in brackets). “Int.” = intercalary month. † Prices are for Kaga rice; Chikuzen rice when Kaga rice price not recorded.

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important. It also seems that land-poor peasants were relatively more dependent on cotton cultivation, and that the Osaka-area cotton harvest was exceptionally poor in 1866. On top of all this, on June 26 a huge storm hit central Japan, causing serious economic hardship.36 On July 10, fifteen days after the great Osaka riot, there was a smashing riot in Shinagawa just outside Edo. The Shinagawa riot inaugurated a wave of urban rioting in the Kanto region. Thus, in the week before the Chō shū war began, political authorities temporarily lost control in the Tokugawa capital itself, from which the shogun and his army had absented themselves a year before. Again the microgeography of this movement is notable, for Shinagawa, just two stations along the Tō kaidō Road from Kanagawa (Yokohama), was another port-and-highway town on the front lines of the foreign advance into Japan. In the city of Edo, rioting reached a peak between July 12 and 15.37 We might also consider the social and political limits now on display. At one level, the riots were a social communication of grievances to political authorities. They were also a way of enforcing commoners’ norms internally within the farming villages and urban wards. When rioters opened rice stores and destroyed debt records, their actions were also an immediate means of food relief and debt relief. These social forms and functions fit into a multigenerational history of similar actions and seemed to be understood on all sides.38 Rioters attacked property, but attacks on persons were rare, and loss of life was very rare. They tended to follow a set script, targeting rice merchants (but sparing those who made charity contributions to the poor), moneylenders, and the new merchants who dealt in foreign goods, who were also blamed for the inflation of prices. In these inauspicious circumstances, the Tokugawa-led coalition began its war against Chō shū on July 18. Things quickly went badly for the Tokugawa side. Militarily and politically, it is a picture of 36

37 38

William B. Hauser, Economic Institutional Change in Tokugawa Japan: Ō saka and the Kinai Cotton Trade (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), pp. 122–126; Aoki, Hyakushō ikki, pp. 139, 248; Totman, Collapse, pp. 224, 299. Aoki, Hyakushō ikki, pp. 139–140. See, among others, Irwin Scheiner, “Benevolent Lords and Honorable Peasants: Rebellion and Peasant Consciousness in Tokugawa Japan,” in Japanese Thought in the Tokugawa Period, 1600–1868, eds. Tetsuo Najita and Irwin Scheiner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), pp. 39–62; Stephen Vlastos, Peasant Protests and Uprisings in Tokugawa Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986); Anne Walthall, “Edo Riots,” in Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early Modern Era, eds. J. L. McClain, J. M. Merriman, and Ugawa Kaoru (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell University Press, 1994), pp. 407–428.

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Tokugawa coalition forces being beaten by better motivated and trained Chō shū forces, who had superior firearms, as Fuess explains in his chapter, and who also enjoyed informal British support.39 If we broaden our sense of politics to take in the “social” and the “everyday,” other dimensions of change become visible. In eastern Japan, the urban rice riots in the Kanto area subsided after mid-July, but a series of rural revolts got underway, part of a wave of peasant uprisings that extended from mid-June to September. These “world renewal” (yonaoshi) uprisings had a radical and millenarian flavor, as peasant rebels veered off the established social script. In land-poor upland villages that relied on silk production, peasants were squeezed by high rice prices in the same way that townspeople were. They were also squeezed by new shogunal taxes on silk producers. The “world-renewal” uprisings began in the Kanto region on July 24 and in Iwashiro (today’s western Fukushima Prefecture) on July 26. Tens of thousands reportedly took part in each. In Chichibu and Tama in the western Kanto, a peasant army, armed with farm implements and flying battle flags bearing the slogan “world renewal,” attacked village rice merchants and moneylenders. They decided to march on the treaty port of Yokohama but were blocked by armed forces of area domains. In Shindatsu, thousands of peasants took part in an uprising whose causes included the new taxes on silk together with the sudden increases in rice prices and interest rates. Climatic fluctuations enforced their own effects, as the region was chilled by extended, cold summer rains at a critical season for both the rice crop and for silkworm rearing.40 On August 29, the twenty-year old shogun Iemochi died in Osaka Castle but his death was not announced until a full month later. The British diplomat, Ernest Satow, reported rumors that he had been poisoned. There was now a major political turn. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, effectively acting as shogun, immediately ended the war against Chō shū , sending Katsu Kaishū to negotiate a settlement. Almost immediately, Yoshinobu also implemented far-reaching reforms along Western lines, advised by the French minister Léon Roches. It was alarm at the prospect of Yoshinobu’s success that would cause Chō shū and Satsuma leaders to see the third year of the Keiō era as a do-or-die moment for their movement. Larger forces seemed to be with them. To anyone inclined to believe in portents, the month between the young shogun’s death and the announcement of it must have appeared 39 40

Albert M. Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961), pp. 329–333. Aoki, Hyakushō ikki, pp. 140–142; Vlastos, Peasant Protests, pp. 114–141.

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highly significant. First and most revealing was the “voice of the people” as expressed on the frontlines of the war against Chō shū . The Iwami Silver Mine Territory, under direct Tokugawa administration, was a historic source of Tokugawa money power. It was also a scene of the “four-front” war against Chō shū . When Chō shū forces attacked at the end of August, officers representing Tokugawa authority fled. From September 2–5, 1866, a reported force of 4,000 to 5,000 peasants armed with bamboo spears began to conduct smashing raids on the houses of village officials and “unjust people.” Between September 14 and 16, another peasant uprising erupted in a neighboring domain.41 A second front in the war was the Kokura domain of northern Kyushu, located across the Straits of Shimonoseki from Chō shū . Responding to Tokugawa orders, Kyushu-area domains gathered 12,000 men for the campaign but refrained from fighting for the shogunate. Kokura forces were defeated by a small but decisively led Chō shū raiding force. The Kokura lord, his retainers, and their families fled on September 9 after setting fire to Kokura Castle. Again, a temporary abdication by the political authorities brought an immediate social revolt. The same day, groups of armed peasants began a series of smashing raids that systematically targeted the houses of village headmen and moneylenders. They made sure to destroy land deeds and debt records. Among the raiders were recently recruited peasant-soldiers carrying guns.42 Next came the monstrous typhoon that hit central Japan between September 13 and 16. It was said to be the worst in decades or perhaps even centuries. The area around Hyō go and Kyoto was severely damaged by storms and flooding, which swept away bridges on the Kamo River and destroyed many buildings. As this giant tropical low-pressure system advanced northward through central Japan, it appears to have sucked in cold Arctic air in its wake, for it was immediately followed on the morning of September 17 by a freak frost reported in Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture). A run of early frosts followed, ruining many unharvested crops. A week later, on September 23–24, a second great typhoon hit central Japan. Thousands of people died in the two storms, which destroyed fields, grain stores, and cargo boats, making a bad food-supply situation much worse.43 These storms came at the end of a summer of cold, wet weather in the northeast of the country. Japanese rice harvests were mostly good in the 41 42

Katsunori Miyazaki, “Characteristics of Popular Movements in Nineteenth-Century Japan: Riots during the Second Chō shū War,” Japan Forum 17, no. 1 (2005): 1–24. Ibid. 43 Totman, Collapse, pp. 299–300.

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1860s, but there were serious crop shortfalls in 1866 and again in 1869. Rice plants need hot summers and do best when mean temperatures in July and August, day and night, are above twenty degrees centigrade. Particularly in the northeast of the country, abnormally poor rice harvests are most typically caused by cold, cloudy, and rainy summers, brought by the yamase winds from the northeast.44 Climate historian Arakawa Hitoshi reports that a northeast wind blew continuously in the summer of 1866, as happened again in the summer of 1869. The US consul at Yokohama reported on September 30, 1866, that the year had been exceptionally cold and wet, with August temperatures averaging six degrees Fahrenheit below those of 1865, but that local cereal crops were nonetheless abundant. Further north and east, however, the 1866 rice harvest appears to have been the worst since the famines of the 1830s.45 Under these combined influences, rice prices in Osaka increased by another 50 percent in August and September, reaching 1,300 monme per koku at the beginning of October.46 There was also a significant monetary element in the price spike. In early August, silver monme and bronze zeni suddenly depreciated by nearly 40 percent in Osaka markets vis-à-vis gold-denominated ryō . Thus prices in silver monme (in western Japan) were significantly higher than prices in gold ryō (recorded for Nagoya and Edo).47 With a truce in the war against Chō shū agreed on October 10, rice prices in Osaka fell back a bit. Amid this ongoing uncertainty, however, Osaka merchants continued to invest in rice. Osaka rice prices held to extremely high levels, around 1,300 or 1,400 monme per koku, through February 1867.48 The records compiled by Aoki also indicate a lull in peasant uprisings in October, followed by a new wave of uprisings in the final months of the year. Poor harvests were now identified as a primary cause. Many of these uprisings also had a hard edge not seen under 44 45

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Yamase are northeasterly winds that blow from the Pacific Ocean to the east coasts of Hokkaido and the Tohoku Region from May to August. H. Arakawa, “Meteorological Conditions of the Great Famines in the Last Half of the Tokugawa Period, Japan,” Papers in Meteorology and Geophysics 6 (1955): 101, 107; “Japan. Kanagawa,” in Commercial Relations of the United States with Foreign Nations for the Year Ended September 30, 1866 (Washington, 1867), p. 450. Price for Chikuzen rice, given in Mitsui-ke Hensanshitsu, Ō saka sō ba hyō . Prices were still higher for other types of rice. Yamamuro and Li, “Beika no bō tō ,” p. 224; Mitsui Bunkō , Shuyō bukka, p. 76. Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, pp. 36–37, 281; Iwahashi Masaru, “Bukka to keiki hendō ,” in Nihon keizai no 200-nen [200 Years of the Japanese Economy], eds. Nishkawa Shunsaku, Odaka Kō nosuke, and Saitō Osamu (Tokyo: Nihon Hyō ronsha, 1996), pp. 61–62. Mitsui Bunkō , Shuyō bukka, pp. 46, 74–76.

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the previously normal conventions of the Tokugawa order. In the Tsuyama domain (today’s Okayama Prefecture) in western Japan, for example, on December 31 peasants conducted a smashing raid on the mansion of the feudal lord and destroyed much of the castle town. Troops killed several rioters.49 In Edo, Tokugawa leaders announced on November 19 the importation of foreign rice, apparently an historic first, in order to relieve domestic shortages. Japanese grain markets were not yet integrated with international markets, but here too connections were being made. In Nagasaki also, rice was imported in 1866 for the first time since the opening of Nagasaki as a treaty port in 1859. The British consul reported that poorer people bought rice imported from India, Siam, and Cochin China, which was much cheaper than Japanese rice.50 The year ended with other strange manifestations. On November 26, when a violent wind was blowing from the northwest, a great fire burned much of Yokohama including many warehouses, destroying large stocks of cloth goods awaiting local sale. (Satow gave an on-the-spot account.)51 These losses notwithstanding, the British consul in Yokohama described a situation of oversupply relative to demand. A similar situation of oversupply prevailed in the Chinese ports, as in England itself. In fact, large stocks of goods were brought from China to Yokohama after the fire, quickly making up for the goods destroyed. The fact that rice was selling at famine prices restricted people’s purchasing power and acted to check demand for other goods.52 Were the fires in Yokohama deliberately set? In late 1866, the country was full of desperate, aggrieved people. Edo itself had a tradition of arson by “kite men” and other workers in the building trades. They were said to call Edo’s fires “world renewal” (yonaoshi) because of the way they simulated business. Whatever the causes, between December 10 and December 22, there were five major fires in Edo. The fire of December 15, again driven by northwest winds, destroyed a large densely populated area extending from Kanda to Kyō bashi. The other fires burned several half-abandoned, lordly mansions.53 49 50 51 52 53

Totman, Collapse, pp. 301–303. Totman, Collapse, pp. 296–297; “Japan. Nagasaki,” Commercial Reports, p. 238 (Consul’s report dated January 31, 1867). Ernest Satow, A Diplomat in Japan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968 (reprint with an introduction by Gordon Daniels, orig. 1921)), pp. 161–164. “Japan. Kanagawa. 1866,” Commercial Reports, pp. 252–254. Suzuki, Edo no keizai, pp. 80–87; Totman, Collapse, pp. 298–299.

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Connecting Global and Local Histories: Spatial and Temporal Scales A premise of this chapter is that co-movements in seemingly separate places and social domains may offer clues to unexpected unities. The local and global contexts of the Restoration invite this kind of approach. The chapter has focused on the temporally concentrated crises of 1866, at a close-up timescale of months and days. How might we connect these events to movements happening on a timescale of decades or a timescale of centuries? In the long run of Japanese history, the turn from Tokugawa to Meiji is a great hinge in social time, consequential in the cultural, economic, demographic, social-ecological, as well as political realms. This great turn is exceptionally visible in the history of prices. During the entire second half of the Edo period, prices fluctuated but remained generally level. Remarkably, Osaka rice prices were no higher in the mid-1850s than they had been 150 years earlier, at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Prices rose in the late 1850s, but remained within the bounds of historical experience. Then came the great ramping-up of prices in the decade after the opening of the ports in 1859. In nineteenth-century Japan, 1866 was the single most inflationary year. It was also the year in which prices more or less reached their new levels. By the end of this price revolution, circa 1870, the overall level of prices, reckoned in the standard gold, silver, and bronze currencies, was four to ten times higher than the level of late Edo times.54 Prices then fluctuated around this new level in the 1870s and 1880s. Japan was not the only country to experience a great inflation in the 1860s. In China, the Qing government adopted inflationary means of war finance in the 1850s and early 1860s. Rice prices in the Yangzi Delta also increased by three or four times, to a peak in 1864–1865. But prices in China then fell sharply in the late 1860s and continued downward to a trough in the early 1880s.55 The US government also financed its civil war expenditures by inflationary means. Prices in the northern United States more than doubled during the Civil War, to a peak in January 1865. US prices then fell sharply from the spring of 1865 and continued to decline as 54 55

Iwahashi, “Bukka,” pp. 61–62; Iwahashi, Kinsei Nihon bukka shi, pp. 461–465; Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, p. 282. Yeh-Chien Wang, “Secular Trend of Rice Prices in the Yangzi Delta, 1638–1935,” in Chinese History in Economic Perspective, eds. Thomas Rawski and Lillian Li (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 35–68.

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a trend into the mid-1890s. Thus, the inflation of the 1850s and 1860s was temporary in both China and America, as it was in Europe. Japan experienced a stepwise price revolution in the 1860s but China and Western countries did not. For Japan, this inflation was also a definite turn away from the deflationary price regime of late Tokugawa times, to a new, inflationary price regime that would persist into the 1980s. In the imperial loyalists’ view of their own place in Japan’s political history, the Meiji Restoration was a turning point on a millennial timescale. Even in the briefer 400-year timespan presented by the price statistics, it was an inflection point in a movement lasting some twenty-seven decades. If one zooms in to a decade-level scale, other dynamic movements become salient. In the international history of the nineteenth century, the panic of 1866 is one of a sequence of international financial panics. There is a strange grandeur to this rhythmic succession, which had already begun in the eighteenth century and became increasingly coherent internationally with the panics of 1837, 1847, 1857, and 1866, to be followed by the panics of 1873, 1882, and 1890. Observers recognized common patterns in these crises, and they developed a common language to describe them, diagnosing a recurring condition of “overtrading” and “overproduction.” These recurring crises were understood to typify a new industrial capitalist order, a view shared by conservative business leaders and by radical socialists. Bakumatsu Japan’s entry into the new “free trade” order was conditioned by a wave of credit creation in the early 1860s followed by economic contraction and debt default in the late 1860s. Involvement in capitalist business cycles thus followed immediately on the opening of the treaty ports in 1859. The initial growth and then temporary leveling off of Japan’s foreign trade was also a matter of structural shifts. International isolation had created large price differentials that could be exploited immediately upon the opening of the treaty ports. By 1866, this situation had already changed for several key commodities. Japan’s balance of trade was in surplus during the first years after the opening of the ports but turned persistently negative after 1866. The composition of Japanese trade also shifted in 1866, as rice and raw cotton were imported rather than exported, reversing the former direction of trade. Saltpeter, for instance, being needed for gunpowder, was also now imported rather than exported. Sugar, too, was now imported, as Japanese sugar production seemed “unable to

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compete with imports from China, principally Canton,” as the British consul at Nagasaki saw it.56 Existing accounts of the “panic of 1866” describe it mainly as a matter of events in London. London’s financial disturbances were certainly impressive enough. In terms of the Bank of England’s lending rate, the biennium 1866–1867 saw the greatest fluctuation of the entire mid- to late nineteenth century, with a record run of high rates (fourteen weeks of 10 percent in the summer of 1866), followed by a record run of low rates (2 percent for sixty-nine weeks after July 1867). A bank rate of 10 percent would not be seen again, for any length of time, until the financial crisis of August 1914. A longer sustained run of high rates (in that case, 7 percent) would not be seen again until 1920 – again coming at the crest of a postwar boom–bust cycle that has many structural features in common with the cyclical turn of 1865–1866.57 It was in response to the panic of 1866 that the Bank of England fully took on the role of “lender of last resort” in the London financial markets – an origin point for present central-bank doctrine. Paired with limited liability for corporations, another innovation of the time, the result was an entirely new level of security for big capital. Marc Flandreau and Stefano Ugolini suggest that 1866 was also a turning point in the formation of an international monetary and financial system centered on London, which had its golden age between 1873 and 1914. The aftermath of the panic of 1866, once things settled down, was actually to confirm London’s emergence as a uniquely central, world financial marketplace.58 Nonetheless, metropolitan observers at the time regularly missed the international interconnection of these movements, especially as they concerned events in Asia. Nationally focused historians have often overlooked them in the years since. London was indeed at the hub of things, but as we have seen, the crisis began in the spring of 1865 on the other side of the world. Weather and climate have their own historical dynamism. Across much of the world, 1866 was a year of anomalous weather, including an excessively cold wet summer in northeastern Japan, a cold wet summer in northwestern Europe, and widespread droughts in many areas typically affected by the El Ninõ–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Japan is outside 56

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Yamaguchi, “Opening of Japan,” p. 3; “Japan. Nagasaki,” Commercial Reports, 1865–66, pp. 235–238. Japan again exported rice after 1872. Steven J. Ericson, “Japonica, Indica: Rice and Foreign Trade in Meiji Japan,” Journal of Japanese Studies 41, no. 2 (2015): 323. Hawtrey, Century of Bank Rate, Appendix I. For structural aspects of the 1919–20 boom– bust cycle, see Mark Metzler, “The Correlation of Crises, 1918–1920,” in Asia after Versailles, ed. Urs Matthias Zachmann (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 23–54, and Metzler, Lever of Empire, chapter 6. Marc Flandreau and Stefano Ugolini, “The Crisis of 1866,” Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Working Paper, no. 10 (Geneva, 2014).

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the area normally affected directly by the ENSO phenomenon, but that area is wide indeed, and the second half of the 1860s stands out for a nearly continuous run of strong ENSO events, in the years 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, and 1869. These events were associated with droughts in Australia, Indonesia, South Asia, and elsewhere. Although William Quinn has listed the El Niño of 1866 as moderate, it was actually accompanied by the most geographically widespread droughts of these years.59 In eastern India, there was drought in 1865 and early 1866, causing famine in Bengal, Bihar, Madras, and especially Orissa. In India’s history, the year 1866 is thus another kind of watershed, for this was the first of India’s great late nineteenth-century famines. It was also a time of record Indian grain exports, which continued even as the famine began. The colonial government’s belated relief effort foundered in monsoon-season transport difficulties after June 1866, compounded by an “unprecedented flood” in Orissa in August. Bidyut Mohanty estimates that in Orissa, 1 million people died out of a population of 3.7 million. The worst time came between April and September of 1866.60 Extreme weather was part of the story in China, too, as the British consul in Hankou in central China reported that the rains in the summer of 1866 were the most intense in living memory.61 How these events interacted with the development of a globalized grain market is another open question. In Britain, after a run of exceptionally good harvests in the first part of the 1860s, the wheat harvest of 1866 was substandard, and the 1867 harvest was even poorer. Wheat harvests were poor in much of Europe in these two years. A smaller British harvest meant larger grain imports, at a time when Britain was by far the world’s largest grain importer. In Britain, economic depression and falling prices for many commodities was therefore combined with food price inflation in 1866–1867. The increase in grain prices was mild compared to what happened in Japan, but it was enough to spark the last of England’s traditional-style bread riots in late 1867.62 59

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William H. Quinn, “The Large-Scale ENSO Event, El Niño and Other Important Regional Features,” Bull. Inst. fr. études andines 22, no. 1 (1993): 13–34; Mark Metzler, “Teleconnections: Globalized Grain Markets, Climate, and Famine during the Great Depression of the Late 19th-Century,” Conference on Global Commodity Flows, Institute for Historical Studies, Austin, Texas, April 17, 2015. Bidyut Mohanty, “Orissa Famine of 1866: Demographic and Economic Consequences,” Economic and Political Weekly 28, no. 1/2 (1993), 55–57, 63; Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World (New York: Verso, 2001). “Hankow,” Commercial Reports, p. 150. “Commercial Review of 1866,” Economist, pp. 7–8; R. F. Crawford, “An Inquiry into Wheat Prices and Wheat Supply,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 58, no. 1 (1895): 75–120; Robert D. Storch, “Popular Festivity and Consumer Protest: Food Price

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As for riots and peasant uprisings in Japan, Aoki recorded a total of thirty-five urban riots and 150 peasant uprisings and riots during the second year of the Keiō era. This was the highest annual count for the entire Tokugawa era.63 Here too, the summer of the year stands out as a peak, both in a short-run perspective of months and in a long-run perspective of centuries. Rice prices remained high in Japan through the spring and early summer of 1867. Rice crops were excellent that year, and by the late summer of 1867, merchants released hoarded stockpiles onto the markets, and prices fell.64 There was a lull in popular uprisings and simultaneously the strange outbreak of ee-ja-nai-ka dancing along the main highways in the late summer and autumn. As divine paper amulets fell from the heavens (for so it was said), dancers tossed depreciated paper money into the air. On November 9, 1867, Shogun Yoshinobu formally declared the return of his deputed governing powers to the emperor, thus beginning the final act of Japan’s Keiō era revolution. The global political synchronicities may be the most mysterious of all. Not only Japan was “refounded” as a new nation-state. The “second founding” of a powerfully reunited United States in 1865 was followed early in 1867 by the second founding of the Mexican Republic and the founding of the Dominion of Canada. In Europe, the “summer war” of 1866 meant the national reconstitution of Germany, Italy, and AustriaHungary, signaling the biggest shift in the European state system since 1815. Other synchronous national reforms could be added to this list. Historians have customarily explained these movements at the level of national histories, but how might these coincidental processes be interconnected? The constitutional regime changes of the 1860s seem manifestly the result of social-political processes happening on long time scales, based on internal dynamics that are distinct from most of the points discussed here. But what if we turn the picture around, and rather than thinking of the whole human world as an aggregation of essentially separate national parts, we instead consider these national reconstructions as parts of a larger human whole, which has its own global dynamics? Historians often refrain from raising questions for which they cannot

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Disturbances in the Southwest and Oxfordshire in 1867,” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 14, no. 3/4 (Autumn, 1982 – Winter, 1998): 209, 231. Aoki Kō ji, Hyakushō ikki sō gō nenpyō [Chronological Table of Peasant Uprisings] (Tokyo: San-ichi Shobō , 1971), Appendix Table 1. The historical record is doubtless biased in that more recent events are more fully recorded, but even if we added generously to the count for earlier decades, 1866 would still stand out. Shinbo, Kinsei no bukka, p. 282; Yamamuro and Lee, “Beika no bō tō .” Shinbo’s composite price index suggests outright deflation in 1868. This was not a general deflation but rather reflects the singular falling back of rice prices.

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produce satisfying explanatory stories. The present chapter demonstrates the value of a different approach: that, as a method of discovery, it is fruitful to take synchrony seriously, to postpone the urge to judge “causes” and “effects,” and to give close attention to the temporal patterning of events.

2

Western Whalers in 1860s’ Hakodate How the Nantucket of the North Pacific Connected Restoration Era Japan to Global Flows

Noell H. Wilson

Hundreds of foreign whaling ships stopped in newly opened Japanese treaty ports between 1855 and the overthrow of the Tokugawa regime in 1868. The demands of the global whaling industry for North Pacific entrepôts not only precipitated US Commodore Matthew Perry’s initial 1853 visit to Edo Bay but continued to influence Japan’s external relations and domestic policy through the end of the century. As historian Adam McKeown observed in his important essay on “Movement” in the Pacific World: “The links created by traders were augmented by whalers, who were perhaps most responsible for the early, ground-up integration of the Pacific.”1 In the early nineteenth century, worldwide whaling interests (including vessels registered not only in the United States but also in Australia, Britain, Denmark, France, and Prussia) built transmarine connections among South Pacific ports in New Zealand, Australia, and Chile. A newly opened Japan was the last Pacific state to join that whaling network as it spread north of the equator. When the North Pacific emerged as the most profitable whaling grounds of the world’s oceans in the 1840s, Western whaling vessels began traveling to the Okhotsk Sea, Bering Sea and beyond, bypassing inhospitable Japanese ports en route. The opening of Japan to Western ships in the 1850s allowed the harbors of Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Hakodate to embrace these same vessels. Perry had been charged to negotiate provisioning and repair privileges for American seamen, but by the mid-1860s, an equally important goal of US whalers became acquiring the right to hire Japanese sailors as crew. The creation of a pelagic, whaling apprentice program onboard Western vessels inserted Restoration era Japan into transnational maritime webs of commodity and cultural flows.2 It also brought Japanese seamen, newly permitted to travel abroad, into global networks of human movement. 1 2

Adam McKeown, “Movement,” in Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People, eds. David Armitage and Allison Bashford (New York: Macmillan, 2014), p. 148. This chapter explores one pilot “pelagic” Tokugawa initiative before the definitive emergence of imperial aspirations outlined in William Tsutsui, “The Pelagic Empire:

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In the mid-nineteenth century, Hakodate was the core site through which Western whalers linked Japan to the Pacific World and beyond. The island of Ezo (renamed Hokkaido by the Meiji government), boasted a long history of interactions with indigenous traders of the Northwest Pacific, shipwrecked sailors, and Western explorers. Over centuries, these contacts had created a maritime zone of interconnectivity and openness to exchange, even if conflict occasionally erupted.3 This tradition of engagement with the non-Ezo world created a receptivity to non-Japanese actors lacking in the other islands of the Japanese archipelago where the shogunate had limited external relations since the early seventeenth century. The Ezo maritime region was culturally complex given the frequent movement across the Okhotsk Sea – to Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and the Kamchatka Peninsula, an area of over 600,000 square miles – making ocean voyages a regular activity in seasonal cycles of trade. This local history of interaction with foreigners, and engagement with the Okhotsk maritime region now teeming with whaling ships, made Ezo, where Hakodate was located, singularly promising as a site through which to ship trainees aboard Western whalers. Hakodate was not merely a receptacle for US whaler demands but also a launch pad for Japanese offshore maritime aspirations, namely cultivating the independent capacity to sail multimasted fishing and trading vessels across the deep ocean. Throughout the Edo period, Japanese sea going vessels had been small, single-masted crafts captained by men without advanced, celestial navigational skills because voyages generally stayed within sight of land.4 Thus the Japanese goal in luring whaling vessels to their ports was not merely to acquire foreign, pelagic whaling technologies but also to cultivate more generic, deep-sea navigation skills that were transferrable to other industries. As historian Torisu Kyō ichi has observed: “US whalers who came to Japan certainly sparked the

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Reconsidering Japanese Expansion,” in Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power, eds. Ian Miller, Julia A. Thomas, and Brett Walker (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2013), pp. 21–28. Important work exploring Ezo’s early modern history as an intricate balance of collaboration and conflict across the greater Okhotsk maritime region includes David Howell, Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Princeton, NJ: University of California Press, 2005); Tanimoto Akihisa, “Kinsei no Ezo” [Early Modern Ezo], Kinsei [Early Modern Japan], Vol. 4, Iwanami kō za Nihon rekishi, vol. 3 [Iwanami Studies on the History of Japan, Vol. 3] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2015), pp. 68–102; and Brett Walker, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800, rev. ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). Douglas Brooks, “Beizaisen, Japan’s Coastal Sailing Traders,” in Sailing into the Past: Learning from Replica Ships, ed. Jenny Bennett (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2009), pp. 134–149, surveys the structural and operational difference between early modern Japanese and Western-style sailing vessels.

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strengthening of Ezo’s coastal defenses but more importantly catalyzed the improvement of local navigational knowledge necessary to operate modern sailing ships.”5 This result first crystallized in the whaler apprenticeship program launched for Japanese sailors in Hakodate in 1867. The interest of the US whaling industry in North Pacific fishing grounds prompted Commodore Perry to request the opening of a treaty port in northern Ezo during initial negotiations with the Tokugawa regime in 1853. US government support for whaling emerged not merely in diplomacy, but also in domestic legislation. The summer before Perry arrived in Japan, the US House of Representatives appropriated $125,000 for a new United States surveying expedition to the North Pacific Ocean to prosecute “a survey and reconnaissance for naval and commercial purposes, of such parts of Behrings [sic] Straits, of the North Pacific Ocean and of the China Seas, as are frequented by American whaleships and by trading vessels in their routes between the United States and China.”6 Whaling preceded commerce in this list, indicating the perceived priority of this industry’s concerns. Although US whalers had been unofficially provisioning on Japanese shores for decades, the first permitted US whalers began to arrive there in early 1855.7 Historians seldom note how whaling concerns drove Perry’s request for the opening of Shimoda (along with Hakodate) in the 1855 Treaty of Peace and Amity. Perry wrote that “[t]he position of this port as a stopping place for steamers and other vessels plying between China and California, and for whaling ships cruising in this part of Japan could not be more desirable.”8 Aboard the US Surveying Expedition’s flagship, Vincennes, anchored at Hakodate in June 1855, just weeks after the close of the first US whaling season in the port, Commander John Rogers wrote: “Our 5

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Torisu Kyō ichi, “Edo kō ki Ezochi ni okeru hogei kaitaku” [The Development of Whaling in Late Edo Period Ezo], in Fukuoka daigaku shō gaku ronsō 43 (1998): 38. For an overview of how US whalers influenced Ezo’s coastal defense system, see Matsumoto Azusa, “Kinsei Ezo ni torai shita hogeisen” [Foreign Whaling Vessels in Early Modern Ezo], in Hokkaido shi kenkyū kyō gikai kaihō 95 (December 2014): 8–11; Matsumoto Azusa, “Kinsei kō ki Ezochi ni okeru ikokusen bō bi taisei” [Maritime Defense against Foreign Vessels in Late Edo Period Ezo], Shigaku zasshi 115 (April 2006): 64–88. Quoted in Allan B. Cole, ed., Yankee Surveyors in the Shogun’s Seas: Records of the United States Surveying Expedition to the North Pacific Ocean, 1853–1856 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1947), p. 5. US House of Representatives appropriation allocated on August 31, 1852. Although the port was to officially open on September 17, 1855, seven whalers stopped in Hakodate between March and August, 1855, with the majority in March and April. Crew size averaged 35 men. Hakodate shishi, tsū setsu hen [History of Hakodate, General Overview], Vol. 2 (Hakodate: Hakodate Shishi Hensan Shitsu, 1990), p. 52. Roger Pineau, ed., The Japan Expedition, 1852–4, The Personal Journal of Commodore Matthew C. Perry in The Perry Mission to Japan, 1853–1854, Vol. 7 ed. W. G. Beasley (London: Curzon Press, 2002), p. 171.

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Whalers have already made arrangements to resort in large numbers to Hakodadi [sic].”9 By August 1855, Townsend Harris, the newly appointed US Consul in Shimoda, emphasized the importance of tariff revisions to the whaling industry. Writing to US Secretary of State Lewis Cass, Harris stressed: “I have drawn regulations with a view to the protection of the revenue and the tariff is arranged with a view first to secure the income of the Japanese Government, and second to enable our whaling ships in the North Pacific Ocean to obtain their supplies on reasonable terms.”10 These observations revealed the growing role of Hakodate, and to a larger extent Japan overall, in supporting US whalers, which now dominated the global whaling industry in the North Pacific. The presence of US whalers in Hakodate escalated, such that, by 1859, thirty-six US whalers called in the harbor, roughly five times the number of 1855.11 As whaling ships outnumbered merchant vessels in Hakodate, Elisha Rice, the US Consular official in Hakodate, discovered that assisting whalers was an important vehicle to justify his presence until commercial traffic increased sufficiently to render more necessary a “US Commercial Agent” (Rice’s title until 1865, when he gained the title of “Consul”).12 Pemberton Hodgson, the British Consul in Hakodate, recalled that during the 1850s “an American commercial agent was installed [in Hakodate], not for commerce, but solely for the protection of the whalers who visited the port.”13 Employing Japanese crew was a core yet elusive goal of US whalers that Rice labored to achieve during his first decade of service in Hakodate. One can comprehend the Japanese interest in mastering this new offshore industry given that the Ezo seas 9 10 11

12

13

Letter of Commander John Rodgers to James Dobbin, Secretary of the Navy, June 11, 1855 reprinted in Cole, ed., Yankee Surveyors in the Shogun’s Seas, p. 61. Tyler Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia: A Critical Study of United States’ Policy in the Far East in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1963), p. 359. These 1859 Hakodate US whaler figures are from F. G. Notehelfer, ed., Japan Through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, Kanagawa and Yokohama, 1859–1866 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 251. Francis Hall detailed activities in Hakodate in a letter of October 29, 1860 published in the New York Daily Tribune, December 29, 1860, p. 8. In 1859 twelve US merchant ships, thirty-six US whalers (ninety-one total ships) called in Hakodate, including twenty-six Russian men-of-war. In 1860, ten US merchant ships, seventeen US whalers (forty-eight total ships) visited Hakodate, including five Russian men-of-war. Rice, in fact, arrived in Hakodate aboard the US whaler Ontario out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. This detail appears in the public diary of Muragaki Norimasa, Hakodate Magistrate at the time of Rice’s arrival. “Muragaki nikki” [Muragaki Diary] in Dainihon komonjo: Bakumatsu gaikoku kankei monjo [Manuscript Sources of Japan: Foreign Affairs in the Late Edo Period] supplement Vol. 4 (Tokyo: Tokyo Teikoku Daigaku, 1926), p. 437. Entry for Ansei 4.4.5 (April 28, 1857). Rice was US Commercial Agent (1856– 1865) and then US Consul (1865–1871). C. Pemberton Hodgson, A Residence at Nagasaki and Hakodate in 1859–1860 (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), p. 98.

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teemed with US whalers, which prompted Rice to remark that Hakodate “reminded me more of Nantucket, than any other place I ever saw.”14 This chapter analyzes the Meiji Restoration era from the global perspective of whaling, framing the 1860s as an epochal decade that transformed Japanese human movement. Although focused on the introduction of Japanese seamen to pelagic voyages, it underscores the broader role of a new geographical mobility – also at the core of Ivings’ chapter on the farmer-soldiers (tondenhei ) – in linking Meiji Japan to global developments. It first examines how Western requests for Japanese sailors helped precipitate the revocation of the long-standing prohibition on overseas travel and the subsequent creation of a modern passport system, which allowed seamen to travel outside Japanese coastal waters. Next, it analyzes the personal histories of the first Japanese sailors to serve on board US and Prussian whaling vessels to identify how their stories illustrate a new stage of individual mobility. Through a microhistory of 1867, the chapter concludes by assessing the legacy of this inaugural cohort of whaler apprentices in promoting pelagic whaling and Japan’s engagement with the deep sea in the Meiji period. The seldom mined empirical evidence undergirding these stories restores Hakodate to the Restoration narrative for reasons other than hosting the final naval battle of the Boshin War. It also underscores the dynamic flow of Japanese of all stations of life as critical in acclimatizing Japan to the worldwide cultural exchange that defined the early Meiji period. Legal Foundations for Japanese Crew on Western Whalers: Treaty Revision and the Passport System Throughout the 1850s, the Hakodate whaling entrepôt benefitted US whalers through repairs, provisioning, and as a site of shore leave, with minimal reciprocal benefit to the Japanese residents of the port city.15 The Tokugawa shogunate attempted to launch Western-style whaling initiatives in Hakodate in the 1850s. These all ended in failure, however, due to insufficient financing for imported equipment and a shortfall in 14

15

Rice letter to US Secretary of State Lewis Cass, October 17, 1859. Reprinted in Hakodate Nichibei Kyō kai, ed., Hakodate kaika to Beikoku ryō ji [The Opening of Hakodate and the US Consul] (Sapporo: Hokkaido Shinbunsha, 1994), p. 69. Hakodate authorities did benefit from minimal port tax/pilot revenue and patronage of local restaurants and brothels. One document co-signed by the Hakodate Magistrate in late 1857 estimated that the money spent by the sailors of a single US whaling ship on prostitutes could add up to as much as 100 ryō . Abe Yasushi, “Bakumatsuki no yū kaku: kaikō ba no naritate ni kanren shite” [Pleasure Quarters in the Late Edo Period: Episodes from a Newly Opened Port City], Hakodate chiiki shi kenkyū , 25 (1997): 16.

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experienced sailors.16 The Hakodate Magistrate nonetheless remained interested in developing an apprentice program whereby Japanese sailors would serve onboard Western whaling ships. The magistrate aimed for sailors not only to learn specific whaling techniques but more importantly to gain training in deep ocean seamanship and the operation of multimasted, sailing vessels. Tokugawa administrators in Ezo managed port activities and trade in Hakodate and oversaw the larger protection and economic development of the island. Deep-sea capabilities would improve their ability to execute all of these responsibilities. Beginning in 1856, the Hakodate Academy of Western Learning started to train young men in open sea navigation, depth sounding, and ship building, in addition to metallurgy and firearms technology, to equip them for large vessel voyages in the Pacific.17 Training excursions for students included an 1859 trip in the two-masted schooner, Hakodate Maru, to the southern Ogasawara Islands, and an 1861 voyage on the Kameda Maru to the Russian port of Nikolayevsk, located in the Amur River delta near the northern tip of Sakhalin Island. The Japanese involved found these training ships challenging first because of their complex sail design. They were also larger than ships used in Japanese waters and required deeper seas to operate in. With the Academy’s closure in 1864, Hakodate’s only official school for maritime training disappeared, forcing the magistrate to explore alternative methods for preparing sailors for deep-sea voyages. One prospective substitute was a whaler apprentice program. This method, however, required travel onboard a foreign vessel operating outside Japanese waters, activities prohibited by the Tokugawa regime. Even before the Academy’s closure, US consular officials in Hakodate had begun to discuss the rights of US citizens to employ Japanese on trips beyond Japanese waters. This discussion framed the “right” for US citizens to employ Japanese, regardless of location, as a privilege guaranteed by the 1858 Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Tokugawa officials, however, hesitated to recognize this interpretation and denied the 1861 request of an American, C. A. Fletcher, to travel to Shanghai with “Koue-ze-ro,” (Kō jirō ) his servant boy. Fletcher set sail with his manservant anyway

16

17

Detailed analysis of these efforts appears in both Torisu Kyō ichi, “Edo kō ki Ezochi ni okeru hogei kaitaku” and Hattori Kazuma, “Bakumatsuki Ezochi ni okeru hogei gyō no kito ni tsuite” [Whaling Enterprises in Late Edo Period Ezo] Yokohama daigaku ronsō 5, no. 2 (December 1953): 77–94. Hakodate shishi, tsū shi hen, Vol. 1, pp. 663–665 and Honda Toshio, “Hakodate shojutsu shirabesho no gijutsu kyō iku to hensen ni tsuite: Kō kaijutsu kara saikō jikin gijutsu e” [The Transition in the Hakodate Foreign Studies Academy Curriculum from Navigation to Mining Technology], Shunki taikai kō enshū , shigenhen 14, no. 1 (2002): 38–45.

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using a “passport” issued by US diplomats in Hakodate. The incident sparked months of tense negotiations between the shogunate and the US mission in Edo. The incident was resolved when US officials apologized for issuing the passport but not for assisting Kō jirō to travel overseas.18 W. R. Pitts, the acting US Vice Consul Agent in Hakodate, invoked Article 3 of the 1858 Treaty in a letter to the Hakodate Magistrate explaining why Captain Fletcher had been allowed to set sail with his Japanese servant. Pitts asserted that, according to the Article 3 of the 1858 treaty, Americans residing in Japan had a “right to employ a Japanese (Man or Woman, boy or girl) as a servant to accompany him to China or elsewhere – not only has he the right to employ a Japanese to accompany him, but he has clearly the right to employ Japanese as sailors to man ships to go the world over . . . A non-resident cannot employ a Japanese at all, but it is only necessary for an American to become a Resident in Japan in order to attain that right, which our treaty so clearly defines.”19 Indeed Article 3 provided that “Americans, residing in Japan shall have the right to employ Japanese as servants, or in any other capacity.”20 Hakodate Magistrate Muragaki Norimasa, perhaps realizing the inevitability of such travel abroad, proposed that the bakufu might agree to issue future travel documents if the United States would guarantee the return of Kō jirō to Japanese soil.21 As similar passport requests emerged, Rice and successive Hakodate magistrates leveraged this shift in the interpretation of US–Japan treaty agreements to discuss placing Japanese sailors on board US whalers. Acknowledging the Japanese interest in securing the return of their subjects, by 1865, Consul Rice explicitly proposed to the Hakodate magistrate that: shipment of Japanese sailors on board all Am. [sic] whale-ships touching here for supplies. The men to be shipped upon the same terms as the Am. sailors, and the Capt. giving bonds according to the usual custom for their safe return to Japan at the close of the voyage. If your Government will do this, you can safely calculate on the yearly arrival of 30 to 50 ships at this port to get supplies. Your Excellency will readily perceive the great advantage to your Gov’t and people, that would arise from such an arrangement.22 18

19 20 21 22

For details on the incident, see Kamishiraishi Minoru, “Meiji ishinki ryō ken seido no kisoteki kenkyū ” [An Analysis of the Meiji Restoration Period Passport System], Shien 73, no. 1 (2013): 165. Letter from Pitts to Governor of Hakodadi, July 11, 1861, in Beikoku raikan hensatsu 62 (1861), Hokkaido Archives, Sapporo. Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and other International Acts of the United States of America, Vol. 7 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1942), pp. 952–953. Kamishiraishi, “Meiji ishinki ryō ken seido no kisoteki kenkyū ,” p. 166. Letter from E. E. Rice U.S. Consul to His Excellency the Governor, May 22, 1865, Beikoku raikan hensatsu, 140 (1865–1869), Hokkaido Archives.

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Yet Hakodate officials hesitated to embrace an agreement until the shogunate lifted the ban on overseas travel the following year. In his analysis of the creation of the modern Japanese passport system, historian Kamishiraishi Minoru observes that previous foreign diplomats had taken Japanese manservants abroad (without passports), but until the Fletcher incident and another case in Yokohama, private citizens had not. This specific expansion of the scope of permitted travel to include accompanying nondiplomats was a first step in allowing Japanese to sail as crew members on Western whalers. As Yamamoto Takahiro suggests, the activities of passport recipients, such as whaler apprentices, placed the “crossborder activities of the Japanese in the late nineteenth century in the global network of human movement.”23 This newfound mobility officially emerged from the Tariff Convention, signed in 1866 by the shogunate and the United States. Elsewhere in this volume, Mark Metzler presents 1866 as a year of momentous global economic developments that influenced the Japanese economy and political events in multiple ways. He urges us to note the synchronicities of the 1860s, of which the Tariff Convention, signed in 1866, offers an example. The convention had a profound impact, particularly in the benefits it afforded Western treaty nations by lowering duties and establishing other favorable trade arrangements. Because the majority of the Convention addressed commerce, scholars seldom explore its final and substantive “Article X,” which allowed Japanese citizens to legally travel beyond Japanese borders. This permission included service as crew on board US vessels. Many historians agree that the depletion of the shogunate’s treasury, which prompted the Tokugawa request to postpone the Shimonoseki indemnity, gave the Western nations attacked by the Chō shū domain in 1864 increased leverage in the 1866 tariff negotiations.24 In return for the rescheduled indemnity payments, Western negotiators pushed not only for more favorable duties, but also for expanded diplomatic ties and privileges only indirectly related to trade. The most significant of these was the permission granted for Japanese to visit foreign countries.25 Thus the resulting 1866 Convention concluded with the following article: Furthermore on being provided with Passports through the proper Department of Government, in the manner specified in the Proclamation of the Japanese 23 24

25

Takahiro Yamamoto, “Japan’s Passport System and the Opening of Borders, 1866–1878,” Historical Journal 60, no. 4 (2017): 1000. Grace Fox, Britain and Japan: 1858–1883 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), p. 82; Payson Treat, “The Return of the Shimonoseki Indemnity,” Journal of Race Development, 8, no. 1 (July 1917): 8. Fox, Britain and Japan, p. 82.

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Government, dated the twenty third day of May 1866, all Japanese subjects may travel to any foreign country for purposes of study or trade. They may also accept employment in any capacity on board the vessels of any nation having a Treaty with Japan. Japanese in the employ of Foreigners may obtain Government passports to go abroad on application to the Government of any port.

This text, which no longer required a foreign employer of a Japanese to be a resident of Japan (as mandated in the 1858 Treaty), provided the final legal underpinnings for Japanese seamen, regardless of class, to serve on US whaling vessels. A new passport system would both legitimize and protect their movement, providing official government approval of their travel and a state-level request to other nations for succor in emergencies. Even though the US Congress did not ratify the document until June 1868, approval was a formality, and all the treaty powers involved agreed for the new terms to take effect on July 1, 1866.26 Thus began a flurry of preparations to equip Japanese seamen for whaler apprenticeships, particularly the process of issuing them passports. The convention went into effect just a few months before another major event of the bakumatsu period: Chō shū ’s defeat of the Tokugawa aligned army in the Summer War of 1866. Conrad Totman concludes that this loss “determined the character of Japan’s future leadership” by cementing Chō shū leaders as core figures in the new regime established in 1868. In his view, it also definitively destroyed the movement for “conservative reassertion” within the shogunate.27 Perhaps overly focused on the political events surrounding the fall of the Tokugawa regime, historians seldom note the Tariff Convention, also agreed to in the summer of 1866, in constructing narratives of the Meiji Restoration. The Convention proved key in establishing the legal foundation for the reciprocal movement of people between Japan and nations with which it had signed treaties. This lifting of the ban on overseas travel proved equally, if not more, significant than internal military conflicts of the same period. Several years before the Convention, domains and the shogunate had repeatedly dispatched elite students to Western nations, ignoring this hallmark of Tokugawa foreign relations instituted in 1635. The Hizen domain (now Saga Prefecture) sent students to Britain, and the Kumamoto domain (present-day Kumamoto Prefecture) dispatched nephews of a samurai advisor to study at Rutgers University and US Naval Academy at Annapolis. The shogunate also secretly sent two Chō shū samurai, Itō Hirobumi and Inoue Kaoru, to study in Britain in 26 27

“Establishment of Tariff Duties with Respect to Japan,” Article XII, US Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/law/help/us-treaties/bevans/m-ust000001-0018.pdf. Conrad D. Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–68 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980), p. 228.

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May 1863.28 In the summer of 1866, the movement of Japanese across emerging national borders became a critical vehicle for integrating Japanese state practice and culture into a globalizing Pacific World. US whaling vessels would carry several such Japanese pioneers. Such vessels typically arrived in Hakodate in the spring, which conveniently lay some eight or nine months after June 1866, allowing time for new measures to be instituted on a bureaucratic level. Consul Rice and the Hakodate Magistrate, who had discussed Japanese whaler-apprentice prospects since 1865, were likely anxious about the ability of the increasingly debilitated shogunate to create a passport system within this timeframe. Edo officials apparently wanted to project that the Convention’s Article X reflected an internal policy change already underway, so roughly a month before the signing of the Convention had issued an edict promulgating permission to travel overseas.29 Within a few days, the shogunate informed the treaty partners of this new position,30 and a month later, the privilege appeared in Article X of the revised tariff treaty.31 The first modern Japanese passport was issued at Yokohama on November 23, 1866 to Sumidagawa Namigorō , a member of a Japanese troupe of acrobats headed to the United States and Europe.32 This action interjected the first member of a generation of newly defined global citizen into trans-Pacific travel. Four months later, the first Japanese whaler-apprentices received their passports when US vessels arrived in Hakodate to prepare for the Arctic whaling season. Western Whalers and the First Japanese Seamen Apprentices Ad hoc apprenticeships for Japanese seamen onboard US whaling vessels had existed since at least the 1830s when US whalers rescued shipwrecked Japanese sailors, such as crew of the Choja Maru, who worked for five months on board the US vessel, James Roper, which picked them up in 1839. Tens, if not hundreds, of Japanese sailors would experience similar exposure to pelagic whaling over the coming decades, including 28

29 30 32

For the 1635 edict, see David Lu, Japan: A Documentary History, Vol. 1 (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), p. 221. For individual travelers, see William Beasley, Japan Encounters the Barbarians: Japanese Travellers in America and Europe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 135; Fox, Britain and Japan, p. 459. Yanagishita Hiroko, “Senzenki no ryoken no hensen” [Developments in the Prewar Japanese Passport System], Gaikō shiryō kan hō 12, no. 3 (1998): 32. Ibid, p. 31. 31 “Establishment of Tariff Duties with Respect to Japan.” Frederik L. Schodt, Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan and Japan to the West (Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2012), p. 240.

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the famous case of John Manjiro, rescued by an American whaler and transported to Fairhaven, Massachusetts in 1841.33 Because travel abroad was still illegal, departures from the Japanese archipelago went unrecorded, but evidence suggests that the first official whaler trainees were three retainers of the Fukuoka domain (present-day Fukuoka Prefecture) who set sail from Nagasaki on a US whaler in 1864. That year, Kuroda Nagahiro, the enterprising lord of Fukuoka, dispatched whaling apprentices as part of an initiative to improve domain finances through the creation of new industries. These men returned to start an enterprise to whale in Kyushu waters but folded it within two years without a single whale caught.34 The reasons for their failure are unclear, but one can imagine the potential friction of introducing new offshore whaling methods in a region like northern Kyushu known for its centuries-old tradition of shore whaling using nets to trap whales in shallow bays. A domain-led project had even less chance of success given the cost of funding an expensive offshore whaling enterprise where Western-style, multimasted barks could cost US$60,000.35 In fact, the Fukuoka experiment used a smaller Japanese-style boat (wasen) propelled by a single mast, a craft unlikely to accommodate the crew and launches needed to handle a thrashing, harpooned whale at sea. More importantly, the Fukuoka lord failed to receive official Tokugawa permission for his men to sail beyond Japanese waters, and without a passport or travel permit system in place, this Fukuoka effort likely never would have expanded to create the critical mass of pelagic whaling experience necessary for success. The Hakodate apprenticeship arrangements addressed each of these hurdles. First, the Ezo maritime region did not have an entrenched history of local whaling, although some villages, particular Ainu communities, relied on drift whales as an occasional source of protein. Throughout the early modern period, tribute products created from drift whales, such as oil and dried whale meat, were exchanged in trade among the Ainu, the Matsumae domain, Russians, and the Tokugawa. By contrast, harvesting whales using lookouts and specially trained crew was not an indigenous custom in Ezo as it was in western Japan and the Wakayama domain (today composed of the Mie and 33 34

35

For estimates of numbers, see Katherine Plummer, The Shogun’s Reluctant Ambassadors: Japanese Sea Drifters in the North Pacific (Portland: Oregon Historical Society, 1991). Miyamoto Mataji, “Fukuokahan ni okeru bakumatsu no shinjigyō ” [New Industries in Late Tokugawa Period Fukuoka Domain], in Kyū shū keizaishi ronshū [Annals on Kyushu Economic History], ed. Miyamoto Mataji (Fukuoka: Fukuoka Shō kō Kaigisho, 1954), pp. 196–197. “Hakodate gō yō dome,” Shin Hokkaidō shi [A New History of Hokkaido], Vol. 7, Shiryō hen [Historical Sources] 1 (Sapporo: Hokkaidoshi Hensankai, 1979), p. 662.

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Wakayama Prefectures).36 Thus the introduction of Western pelagic whaling techniques to Ezo through Hakodate would not spark opposition from local whaling cooperatives as might have been the case with apprentice agreements organized through diplomatic channels in the other two important whaling entrepôts, Nagasaki, close to the whaling center at Hirado, or Yokohama, near the Godaigo whaling operation on the Boso Peninsula.37 Second, both the Hakodate Magistrate, and, ultimately, Edo officials, supported the program. They were no doubt aware of the substantial costs of outfitting vessels for pelagic whaling, a burden that undermined previous whaling attempts mounted by John Manjiro in the Ogasawara Islands and Hakodate. Tokugawa officials must have optimistically envisioned a different outcome, which would include new sources of financing. And finally, with a group of eight sailors, this Hakodate cohort would create a critical mass of crew with whaling skills when previous efforts had included only one or two individuals. The 1867 apprentice “program” included eight Japanese seamen and three whaling vessels: the US whaler, Norman, and the Prussian whalers Oregon and Shorin.38 Norman, a 338-ton bark from New Bedford, arrived in Hakodate in March 1867 and sometime after April 5, the date recorded on the sailors’ passports, took on board four men.39 US Consul Rice wrote that after years of negotiations, he had “this day succeeded in obtaining native sailors [for the first time in Japan] to go onboard the whaleship Norman of New Bedford [this] is a grand step for our shipping interest and I feel that I have not labored in vain . . . whaleships have great difficulty in getting crews of the S.I. [Sandwich Islands] and hereafter 36

37

38

39

Kikuchi Isao, “Ishiyaki kujira ni tsuite: Ainu no kujira riyō to kō eki” [A Study of the Role of Stone Baked Whale in Ainu Culture and Trade], Tō hokugaku 7 (October 2002): 90; Nattori Takemitsu, Funkawan Ainu no hogei [Ainu Whaling in Funka Bay] (Sapporo: Hoppō Bunka Shuppansha, 1945), pp. 1–32. We see this category of opposition in Wakayama Prefecture in the 1880s. Jacobina Arch, “From Meat to Machine Oil: The Nineteenth-Century Development of Whaling in Wakayama,” in Japan at Nature’s Edge, eds. Miller, Thomas, and Walker, pp. 39–55. Only eight seamen sailed as whalers but the magistrate issued nine passports for apprentices because one of the seamen, Yagura Zen’emon (aged 36, from Sanuki Province), fell sick and was replaced. Shorin and Jorin are the transliterations of ships names in the passport documents. A slightly different rendering of the first name, Jauriya, appears in apprentice-whaler Urata Isuke’s biography (see note 51). Gaikokujin goinshō ikken goyō dome, Hokkaido Archives, A1-3–59. Arrival noted in “Quarter ending March 31 1867.” July 15, 1856–December 31, 1869. MS Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hakodate, Japan, 1856–1878, Vol. 1, National Archives (United States), Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Gale Cengage. Details about the ship’s history can be found in Judith Lund, Elizabeth A. Josephson, Randall Reeves, and Tim Smith, eds., American Offshore Whaling Voyages, 1667–1927, Volume 1 Voyages by Vessel (New Bedford, MA: New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2010), pp. 438–439.

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plenty hardy sailors can be had here.”40 US whaling captains welcomed this development that made Hakodate an alternative, more northern source of seamen for voyages in the North Pacific. The prospect of obtaining crew members at Hakodate would allow them to sail with a minimal crew – with fewer mouths to feed – during a voyage between the Sandwich Islands (as the Hawaiian Archipelago was then called) and Ezo. As Rice’s rationale reflects, the large numbers of whaling vessels stopping in the Sandwich Islands in the 1860s, primarily at Lahaina on Maui Island, could create labor shortages there, prompting captains to search for other options. From the perspective of whaling captains, Hakodate, like the Fiji Islands, was attractive because given its remote location and the presence of relatively few foreign vessels, existing crew were less likely to desert than at ports such as Lahaina.41 Hawaiian authorities, which had provided as many as 2000 whaling crews in the mid-1840s and continued to dispatch some 400 men per year in 1866, occasionally complained about the large numbers of promising young men deserting their local communities for life at sea.42 Both the Hakodate Magistrate and the US Consul in Hakodate seemed confident in a whaler-trainee season in the spring of 1867, since the Magistrate’s office selected Japanese sailors, and issued their passports, even before the host whaling vessels arrived in Hakodate. Signaling the interest of bakufu leaders in this initiative, the Hakodate Magistrate, Sugiura Baitan, had written to the Magistrate of Foreigners in Edo on March 16 stating that, “we have prepared twenty passports for (individuals) wishing to go overseas, given that in the waters surrounding Ezo, whalers are numerous, and every year American vessels and those of other countries reap great profits from these waters.” After consultation “with senior councilors (rō jū ), we will send five to seven men per vessel . . . and our plan is to so distribute passport numbers to between twenty and fifty men.”43 In 1867, the magistrate did not meet these figures, but their scale shows his ambitious vision for the project. Providing seamen passports to travel overseas was a new state practice, yet the whaler-apprentice program reconfigured a longstanding history of 40 41

42

43

MS Despatches from from U.S Consuls in Hakodate, Japan, 1856–1878, Vol. 1, p. 251. As Sarah Smythe observed in Fiji in 1860s, captains of US whalers preferred visiting “unfrequented islands for food and water, as they get their supplies cheaper and have less trouble with men.” Sarah Smythe, Ten Months in the Fiji Islands (Oxford: John Henry & James Parker, 1864), p. 47. My thanks to Nancy Shoemaker for bringing this source to my attention. “Hawaiian Seamen on Board American Ships,” The Friend, December 1866, p. 108; Ralph Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, 1778–1853, Vol. 1 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1938), p. 312. Gaikokujin goinshō ikken goyō dome, Hokkaido Archives, A1-3–59, item 5.

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the maritime trades driving a culture of mobility in Edo period Japan. Although most studies of Edo period travel focus on movement across terrestrial spaces, the coastal shipping industry, in particular the network of northbound cargo vessels (kitamae bune), regularly carried to Hakodate itinerant seamen from provinces on the Inland Sea as well as Sea of Japan coast. Some ships even transported men as far as the Kuril Islands as they traded rice, sugar, and wheat from central Japan for dried seaweed, fish fertilizer, and other marine products of the north. These networks had certainly carried many of the 1867 whaler cohort to Hakodate, five of whom (over half) hailed from provinces on the northern vessels’ routes.44 Two men were from northern Shikoku, bordering the Inland Sea, one from the Noto Peninsula, and two from provinces along the southwest coast of Honshu bordering the Sea of Japan. All of these coastal regions contained ports frequented by northbound cargo vessels, which likely transported the men to Hakodate as well as provided them experience navigating waters of the Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea, both frequented by Western whalers. Thus, we can conclude that previous coastal sailing experience was likely a key qualification for selection of whaler seamen. Yet these whaler trainees shipped as “sailor retainers” (suifu ashigaru) in the service of the Hakodate Magistrate, so they did not travel aboard the Western whalers as private citizens but rather as representatives of the Tokugawa regime. Records are unclear if these men possessed the low-ranking samurai title (ashigaru) before sailing as whaler crew. The Hakodate Magistrate likely awarded this rank to help ensure humane treatment by the ship captains and to encourage the men, armed with improved social status, to return home after their voyages and apply their newfound skills. In 1867 Sugiura, the 40-year-old, newly appointed Hakodate Magistrate, possessed little background in maritime affairs, yet had arrived at his post aboard the 300-ton wooden schooner, Hakodate Maru. Thus from his first day in Ezo he sampled travel aboard a sailing ship (his first experience) similar in size to whaling vessels and viewed Hakodate from the perspective of sea captains entering port. During this first year when not negotiating the Sakhalin boundary dispute with Russia, he helped finalize the new passport system critical for the apprentice program. As the first Japanese sailors finally shipped out, Sugiura recorded three observations about the benefits of pelagic whaling. First, he saw the urgent need for Japan to extract profits from the economic space of the proximate ocean, income now reaped by Westerners. Second, he identified an opportunity for Hakodate to develop a successful offshore whaling operation when two 44

The remaining four men came from “Mutsu” or northern Honshu.

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previous attempts (in the Ogasawara Islands and Hakodate) had failed, from his perspective because of insufficient training. Finally, he also stressed the importance of talking with the captains when in port to learn the details of the investment structure used to finance whaling voyages. Perhaps this focus on the economics of whaling portended his appointment later that year as magistrate of finances (kanjō bugyō ) in the Tokugawa regime. Overall, Sugiura’s writings suggest that Tokugawa officials shared the view that Japanese working on US whalers would not only help launch a successful offshore whaling operation but that the navigation skills acquired could transfer to the shipping business, benefitting the broader economy (kokueki ).45 One extant contract, that of two sailors placed on board the whaler, Oregon, reminds us that the pilot program included negotiations not only with US diplomats but also with the Prussian Vice Consul in Hakodate. In 1867, the Oregon was one of a handful of Prussian whaling vessels operating in the Pacific, a small fleet that would halt service in 1870 with the outbreak of war with France.46 Given the fleet’s modest size, it offered limited future opportunities for Japanese sailors. However, because hundreds of US whalers continued to ply the North Pacific, the attraction of the Oregon arrangement was undoubtedly the chance to gain experience on board a US-built and outfitted whaler regarded as model for Japanese pelagic whaling. The Oregon contract, signed at Hakodate on March 20, 1867, with copies in both English and Japanese, specified the conditions of work for two sailors, a Nakamura Shō kichi of Mutsu Province in northern Honshu and Hamada Sakuzō of Iwami Province in western Honshu on the Sea of Japan.47 According to this contract, the two 45 46

47

Sugiura, “Hakodate goyō dome” [Hakodate Official Records] in Shin Hokkaidō shi Vol. 7, Shiryō hen 1, pp. 662–663. Built in Fairhaven, Massachusetts in 1841, the Oregon sailed out of that port on Pacific voyages for two decades until its transfer to Prussian owners in 1862, who operated it from Honolulu. Judith Lund, Elizabeth A. Josephson, Randall Reeves, and Tim Smith, eds., American Offshore Whaling Voyages, 1667–1927, Vol. 1, Voyages by Vessel, p. 453. For a brief overview of Prussian whaling, see Joost Schokkenbroek, Trying-Out: An Anatomy of Dutch Whaling and Sealing in the Nineteenth Century, 1815–1885 (Amsterdam: Aksant, 2008), pp. 49–50. “Hakodate bugyō geiryō denshū sei Puroshiya sen Orikon gō jogumi keiyakusho, Keiō san nen, genpon,” Hakodate City Library, Digitaru Shiryō kan, accessed at archives .c.fun.ac.jp/fronts/detail/reservoir/519c73e61a5572427000280b. The English portion of the document states that the contract was annulled on “2/14.68,” suggesting that perhaps the men were returned to Hakodate on that date. That date is March 7, 1868 in the Gregorian calendar and lines up approximately with the return date of Urata Isuke on the Shorin, which arrived at Hakodate sometime in the second month of the lunar calendar (a date that falls between late February and mid-March on the Gregorian calendar). The passports of these men are located in and Hokkaido Archives, A1-3–59 (see note 43).

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Japanese seamen would not receive wages because they were shipped “only for the learning, in difference with other seamen” although they would be fed as other sailors “after the Customs on board.” The terms of service specified that the two men would be discharged at Hakodate the following year, although, if the vessel did not return, the captain would assist in finding them passage from Honolulu, with the expenses paid by the “Japanese government.” This document allows us to see how details of arrangements discussed in correspondence between US Consul Rice and the Hakodate Magistrate Sugiura had shifted during the many months of negotiations. Rice’s letter to Sugiura of March 1867 revealed that conversations about an apprenticeship had been ongoing since at least the previous year: “Last year you told me you wished some of your men to learn the whaling business. The Capt. of the Whale Ship now here will take 4 men for one year only and pay each man the same wages or lay, that he now pays his American Sailors. The men to be put on shore here next year. The capt [sic] intends to fish for whales in the Japan Sea this spring.”48 This document is interesting for three reasons. First, it pledged to pay the Japanese seamen when the sole extant whaling apprentice contract from 1867, that of the two Japanese on the Prussian whaler, Oregon, specified that the men would not receive wages. Perhaps Sugiura reached a slightly different agreement with the Prussian Vice Consul (with the Magistrate’s office covering the men’s wages), or perhaps Rice made this promise without consulting the whaling captains and discovered, when the vessels entered port, that captains were unwilling to pay greenhands. Whatever the source of the disparity, these discussions over remuneration demonstrate that the apprentice system was a financial arrangement as much as a training program. The second revealing detail is the mention of an anticipated trip to the Sea of Japan. Knowledge of this destination suggests that Rice had discussed the apprentice program with specific captains during the previous season. It also underscores that whaling captains would have been keen to employ sailors with specific knowledge of currents, underwater obstacles, and wind patterns of the Sea of Japan, waters well-traveled by crew from the northbound cargo vessels. Finally, although Rice had promised to have the men returned to Hakodate as the Hakodate Magistrate Muragaki had insisted in 1861 passport negotiations, the Oregon contract did not absolutely guarantee this result. Instead the contract stated that: “To be discharged at this port of Hakodate next year if the vessel however should not return to this port the sailors 48

Rice letter of March 30, 1867, Hokkaido Archives, Beikoku raikan hensatsui (1865– 1869), A1-3, p. 140.

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have to find their own passage from – Honolulu with the assistance of the captain if possible as sailors and Japanese government answerable for any expenses that might be occurred thereof.” In the Japanese version of the document, too, the “Japanese government” promised to cover any expenses related to the homeward voyage. This word choice revealed that the apprenticeship program was one of the first initiatives to identify sailors as Japanese citizens. Although the exact path is unclear, somehow these men returned to Japan, at least the half of them for which we can trace basic life histories after 1868. Archivists cannot locate extant logbooks for these three vessels’ voyages (logs exist for only about one-third of US whaling voyages between the early eighteenth and early twentieth centuries), but other Japanese and English language documents provide revealing evidence. Nakamura Shō kichi (Oregon) and Honma Ryunosuke (Shorin), both from Mutsu province and both 20 years old when they joined whaling crews, become low-level employees in the new Hokkaido government established after the Meiji Restoration.49 Urata Isuke (from Noto) became captain of a Western-style cargo ship, Shō hei Maru, hauling goods along the west coast of Hokkaido. Hakuta Mankichi (from Tajima) helped launch a Western-style whaling operation for the Yamaguchi domain (later Yamaguchi Prefecture) at the Hokkaido port of Rumoi. Urata’s records from the Shorin are the only evidence we have of where these sailors actually traveled to, but this sketch, prepared to justify his appointment as master of the Shō hei Maru, reveals a voyage covering the longitudes of the Pacific.50 Onboard until February 1868 (almost 12 months, as his passport permitted), he sailed near Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands and then as far south as islands home to “naked dark skinned natives” (konrinya).51 The details of his trip do not mention a stop in Hawaii (although the summary does name other unidentifiable islands south of Japan), but apparently the numbers of Japanese sailors at that port was then on the rise. In December 1867, The Friend newspaper of Honolulu reported that “some of the Japanese now in port and attached to whaleships, [sic] wear two swords.”52 Given that the apprentices of 1867 had shipped as low-level retainers of the Hakodate 49 50

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Hakodate shishi, tsū setsuhen, Vol. 2, pp. 1027–1029; Hokkaido Archives, bocho 156, no. 108, Meiji 1.4–Meiji 2.9. I am grateful for the introduction to his life history included in Mori Yū ji, “Shō hei-maru senshi, Urata Isuke no koto” [Urata Isuke and the Ship Shohei-maru], Sapporo bunka shiryō shitsu, Bunka shiryō no nyuusu, 3 (August 2007): 3. Personal communication with Mori of February 1, 2018 suggests that archivists are not aware of documents identifying the whaling journeys of the other seven Japanese apprentices. Hokkaido archives, 6326, Rakugo kaitakushi kaikei shorui, Dai san go, Dai issatsu. “Two-sworded Japanese,” The Friend, December 1867, p. 109.

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Magistrate and used surnames, they may have been granted swordcarrying privileges. We do not know if these individuals were our Hakodate seamen, but if not, greater numbers of whalers than previously thought were now counting Japanese among their crews. Originally hailing from the Noto region on the Sea of Japan coast, Urata had served as a sailor transporting coal off the western Hokkaido coast, and then as a lighthouse guard, before shipping on the Shorin. He was 45-years-old when he boarded (fifteen years beyond the average age of these apprentices), making him more suited to hold leadership positions. Immediately after his return, he served as first mate aboard the Western-style schooner, Hakodate Maru. On a journey into the Okhotsk Sea Hakodate Maru wrecked, forcing Urata to spend the winter on Sakhalin. Returning to Japan, he became master of the Shō hei Maru, and seemed poised to help expand Hokkaido’s growing maritime trades. Sadly, Urata perished when the ship wrecked off the southwestern coast of Hokkaido in February 1870, meeting a fate all too common among sailors of his day. We can also trace a few years of the life path of Hakuta Mankichi (aged 32 when he joined a whaler) who returned to play a core role in Yamaguchi’s attempt to create a pelagic whaling operation in northwest Hokkaido. Records there follow his activities through the 1870s. That initiative, while ultimately a failure, trained a new cohort of Japanese whaler apprentices in skills that were transferrable to other maritime trades even if pelagic whaling took a decade longer to become established.53 In addition to the nine whaling apprentices, the Hakodate Magistrate issued fourteen more passports in 1867, nine to sailors to train aboard the British merchant ship, Akindo, transporting cargo, and five issued to manservants, including one Konokichi who accompanied US Consul Rice to San Francisco. Thus, roughly 80 percent of the first passports issued by the Hakodate Magistrate went to men learning maritime navigation aboard Western vessels. In Nagasaki that same year, of the thirtyeight passports issued, only one or two were issued for maritime training with the majority given for personal servants to accompany foreigners. Of the 109 issued from Kanagawa, only four were issued for purposes other than as a personal attendant: one for a translator and three for traderelated service.54 On the eve of the Restoration, of the three ports granted permission to issue passports, Hakodate was by far the leading site for 53

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For an overview of the Yamaguchi initiative, see Oyama Yoshimasa, “Wagakuni saisho no yō shiki hogei dō nyū : Yamaguchi Hokkaidō shihaichi ni okeru hogeigyo no tenmatsu” [Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Hokkaido Whaling Operations and the Introduction of Western Whaling Methods to Japan], Yamaguchi ken chihō shi kenkyū 54 (1985): 25–34. See Kamishiraiishi, “Meiji ishinki no ryō ken no kisoteki kenkyū ,” pp. 179–183 for passport lists from Kanagawa and Nagasaki.

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launching sailors to train in Western-rigged ships with Western methods of navigation. The other two ports sent greater total numbers of individuals abroad, but even combined, sent fewer men than did Hakodate to train in maritime trades. At least in 1867, Hakodate was the springboard for Restoration Japan’s pelagic knowledge building that would ultimately transform its nonelite citizens into ocean going travelers, migrant laborers, entrepreneurs, and naval sailors during the Meiji period.55 Conclusions During the tumultuous political shift from Tokugawa rule to the creation of an imperial government in the spring of 1868, Japan’s integration into global flows of human movement through US whalers continued apace. Japanese crew were now entering and exiting other Japanese whaling ports, even though some of this mobility continued to be “unofficial” and passportless. In February, 1868, Captain E. F. Nye of the whaler, William Rotch, discovered seven shipwrecked Japanese on Saint Peter’s Island, between Japan and Hawaii, and questioned them through the “Japanese we had on board.”56 Japanese sailors numbered at least two among Nye’s existing crew since he reported that he took “one of my Japanese and one of the wrecked men” on shore to see where they had lived. Nye ultimately placed the shipwrecked seamen on two US whalers bound for Yokohama that he met at the Ogasawara Islands: the Eagle (which transported three men) and Ohio (which transported four). These US whaling vessels provided a microcosm of the culturally interconnected world with which Restoration era Japan engaged.57 Even the fragmentary initial “boarding” crew lists of the Ohio and Eagle reveal that the Japanese on these ships likely sailed with a multicultural (if very 55

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Local microhistories, such as these, provide an important corrective to extant reference works of overseas Japanese travelers in the 1860s such as the three-volume Tezuka Akira, ed., Bakumatsu Meiji kaigai tokō sha sō ran [A Comprehensive Survey of Japanese Travelers Abroad in Late Edo and Meiji Japan] (Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobō , 1992). This (putatively authoritative and comprehensive) source lists forty-four Japanese traveling abroad in 1867 but all of these individuals are elite students sent to train at Western universities or technical institutes. None of the twenty-two men who sailed from Hakodate with passports appears in this list. Nye’s letter recounting the details of this encounter originally appeared in the Hawaiian Advertiser, and were reprinted in the Japan Times Overland Mail, January 13, 1869, pp. 7–8. The editor of the Advertiser appended a concluding note that identified the location of St. Peter’s Island as “some three thousand miles west of this group, in N lat. 30˚29 and east long. 140˚15.” Nye wrote that while nine men survived the original wreck, two died on the island, leaving only seven sailors to repatriate. New Bedford Whaling Museum, Whaling Crew List Database, www.whalingmuseum .org/online_exhibits/crewlist/about.php.

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Atlantic) crew of men from the Azores, Germany, and France, in addition to the United States. Japanese sailors also came on board vessels in Yokohama, the most important Restoration era whaling port after Hakodate. The logbook of the whaler, Saint George, calling at Yokohama in April 1868, noted that at “8AM Capt went on shore to get a Cook and 3 Japponanies [sic] seamen.”58 Competition for crew may have been particularly fierce that spring, because with seven whalers calling at Yokohama between March 10 and April 25, and three of these vessels in port with the Saint George, Western crew were likely in short supply. Japanese seamen therefore could have been Captain George Soule’s only choice for hiring additional hands.59 As the previous examples reveal, captains likely preferred Japanese sailors if they had northern coastal shipping experience, and familiarity with local wind and tide patterns in the Sea of Japan and Okhotsk regions. The shogunate’s interest in forming apprenticeships with US and Prussian whalers was but one manifestation of a growing commitment to engage on a new scale with the globalizing Pacific. The 1866 Convention, although primarily a tariff renegotiation, had not only appended a concluding Article X providing passports for Japanese to work on board foreign vessels, but also an Article XI mandating that the Japanese government equip newly opened ports with “lights, buoys, and beacons” to “render secure the navigation of the approaches.” These markers were critical not only for Western captains entering harbors for the first time without fully developed coastal charts, but also for Japanese seamen increasingly sailing larger, deeper draft vessels built for the open sea, which might be damaged by marine obstacles that shallow draft Tokugawa coastal traders could skim over without incident. Conceptual shifts followed new physical realities. Journeys aboard US whalers, and the passports produced for them, were a core vehicle in the transformation of the meaning of “overseas” (kaigai, literally “beyond the water”), from a primary, Tokugawa specific definition of “travel to a foreign land,” to now also signify deep sea journeys, without a particular terrestrial destination in mind. Magistrate records documenting the Japanese whalers’ apprenticeship specified approval of overseas journeys but these vessels were not headed to a defined, land-based destination such as an 58

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Log of the Saint George, Captain George H. Soule, April 1, 1868, Reel #586 of the Providence Public Library Nicholson Whaling Collection, digital copy accessed online at http://pplspc.org/nicholson/rj5_nicholson_586/pdf/rj5_nicholson_586r.pdf. Dates of whaling vessels in Yokohama during the spring of 1868 compiled from the weekly editions of the Whaleman’s Shipping List and Merchant’s Transcript (hereafter abbreviated as WSL) between May 26 and July 7, 1868.

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US metropolis or European capital, as had the “illegal” Japanese students of the early 1860s. The end goal of whaler apprentices was a successful cruise on the distant, open sea. The “overseas” of Japanese whaler voyages suggested a new connotation for the term that merged the Tokugawa “Small Eastern Sea” (the ocean space closest to Japan) with the deep sea space of the Tokugawa “Large Eastern Sea” (which stretched to the North American continent). The Japanese aboard US and Prussian whaling vessels in the late 1860s therefore helped integrate this previous conceptual division into a consolidated Pacific World.60 Even as the US North Pacific whaling fleet anticipated future cohorts of Japanese seamen, it seemed little concerned about disruptions from the Boshin War as it raged from early 1868 until the summer of 1869.61 The only mention of the conflict in the Whalemen’s Shipping List and Merchants’ Transcript, the US whaling industry’s weekly paper of record, was the 1869 Tokugawa payment of maintenance fees for the CSS Stonewall, the US warship originally purchased by the shogunate, but which Washington maintained possession of until the end of the “Japanese rebellion” in order to remain a neutral party.62 Delivered to the Meiji government in February 1869, the ironclad vessel proved decisive in several engagements against shogunal loyalists during the Battle of Hakodate. These naval firefights occurred in May 1869, after the typical window during which US whalers anchored in port, thus preventing the Boshin War from disrupting US whalers’ long-standing patterns of entering Hakodate harbor on the way to Arctic fishing grounds newly open with the early summer ice melt. Indeed, writing to US Secretary of State Hamilton Fish in December 1869, some six months after these naval firefights, US Consul Rice relayed expectations for the opening of two new ports on the east coast of Hokkaido that “might be a fine resort for whalers during their spring cruises.”63 Hokkaido would remain an important port of call for US whalers over the next decade even as sealing vessels gradually outnumbered those of whalers. Exploring the role of Western whalers in 1860s’ Hakodate recuperates global whaling networks as a critical actor connecting Restoration era 60

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For the origin and interpretation of the concepts of “Small Eastern Sea” and “Large Eastern Sea,” see Marcia Yonemoto, “Maps and Metaphors of the ‘Small Eastern Sea’ in Tokugawa Japan (1603–1868),” Geographical Review 89, no. 2 (April 1999): 169–187. The Friend, the monthly newspaper published in Honolulu that served Western sailors plying the Pacific, often carried news from Japan, but ran no articles about the Boshin War. WSL, June 22, 1869. July 15, 1856–December 31, 1869. MS Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hakodate, Japan, 1856–1878, Vol. 1, US National Archives. Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Gale Cengage.

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Japan to the world. The demands of whalers not only accelerated the creation of a Japanese passport system but also inserted a new category of nonelites into trans-Pacific travel. Yet an equally significant legacy of the inaugural cohort of apprentices was their later contributions to maritime initiatives, including cargo transport in Western-style sailing vessels and pelagic whaling. These enterprises are particularly noteworthy since the 150-year anniversary of the Meiji Restoration was also the sesquicentennial of the reinvention of “Ezo” as “Hokkaido.”64 Initial development plans in Meiji era Hokkaido focused on shoreline areas and harbors, revealing how the island’s integration into the new nation-state was fueled by settler colonialism, as explored by Ivings in this volume, but also one emphasizing the perimeter and connections to the sea, including the construction of whaling ports.65 Nowhere was the early Meiji focus on developing the coastal regions of Hokkaido more apparent than in the map created after the first ever trigonometrical survey of the island in 1876. As this image reveals, one of many regions in which immigration to the coast was critical was Rumoi, which had a large transplanted population, and was the home to Hokkaido’s first postRestoration pelagic whaling experiment undertaken by Yamaguchi Prefecture. Early Meiji Hakodate, Japan’s gateway to larger Hokkaido and the Okhotsk maritime region in the 1870s, would serve as a handmaiden to this whaling venture as the city’s officials brokered purchases of equipment from US suppliers. Japanese sailors and captains trained by US whalers would enter both the Japanese maritime trades and the fledgling national navy, traveling not only throughout the Pacific, but also to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These legacies of the apprenticeship program revealed how the Nantucket of the North Pacific helped launch Meiji Japan as a global maritime nation that would more extensively engage with the outside world.

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The Japanese character ultimately used for the middle syllable of “Hokkaido” was that for sea (umi). Yet the name originally submitted by nineteenth-century explorer Matsuura Takeshiro used a two-character combination for this syllable, also pronounced “kai,” but which was a moniker the indigenous Ainu used to call themselves. Even so, among the six new potential names proposed by Matsuura, two others included the character for sea, demonstrating how decades of surveying Hokkaido topography had revealed to Matsuura the central role of Ezo in connecting a larger Japan to the ocean. Hokkaido archives website, accessed February 12, 2018, www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/sm/mnj/d /faq/faq02.htm. “Hokkaido jissokuzu” (1876), Murray Day and Arai Ikunosuke, collection of the Hokkaido University Library. The perimeter along the coast is intricately mapped while the interior sections of Hokkaido remain largely blank.

3

Small Town, Big Dreams A Yokohama Merchant and the Transformation of Japan

Simon Partner

This chapter links the experiences of an individual merchant to the larger narratives of transformation during and after the bakumatsu period. It takes as its central character a villager from Kō shū province (currently Yamanashi Prefecture), Shinohara Chū emon (1809–1891), who traveled to Yokohama in March 1859 to set up shop in the new treaty port. By examining the activities, decisions, and fortunes of Chū emon in the context of the new global space of Yokohama, the chapter offers an interpretation of continuity and change during the turbulent final years of the Tokugawa shogunate.1 The Road to Yokohama Shinohara Chū emon was a member of the village elite of HigashiAburakawa Village, now part of Fuefuki City. Higashi-Aburakawa was some 130 kilometers from Yokohama: three to five days away on foot over the mountainous Kō shū Highway. The family farmed 2.2 hectares (about five acres) of land, with registered income equivalent to thirty-four koku of rice – roughly the salary of a low-ranking samurai official. They were also hereditary officials in the village administration, sharing the village headship (nanushi) with several other families on a rotating basis. As did many of the wealthier families in the region, they made income by extending loans to small-scale farmers, growing and selling cash crops, and investing in small-scale manufacturing operations. Indeed, it is clear from the high status of the family relative to their landholdings that they were wellestablished as regional merchants, and that they derived most of their income from trading and manufacturing activities. In 1859, more than half of the family’s 25 ryō in cash income was derived from cotton sales. 1

This chapter draws substantially on my book on Chū emon’s life in Yokohama. Simon Partner, The Merchant’s Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017).

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The family’s accounts indicate that they were employing hired labor to process raw cotton into thread and cloth. They were, in effect, merchants and small-scale manufacturers.2 At fifty, Chū emon was old enough to begin considering retirement in favor of his oldest son, Shō jirō . Instead, he applied in early 1859 for a license to open a new business in Yokohama. Chū emon was one of only a small group of merchants from outside the Edo-Yokohama area to apply for a license prior to the opening of trade. In doing so, he displayed the entrepreneurial opportunism that was to characterize much of his career in Yokohama. When Yokohama opened its doors to foreign trade in July 1859,3 about half of the seventy Japanese merchants in the new city hailed from branches of established Edo houses. While the Edo merchants were mostly installed in Yokohama at the invitation and even urging of Tokugawa authorities, the merchants from Kanagawa and the surrounding domains were generally rural entrepreneurs attracted by the prospects for exporting their principal cash crops, notably tea and silk. Unlike the wealthy Edo merchants who established branch stores in Yokohama, they came with very little capital, limited contacts, and no experience with the foreigners with whom they were hoping to deal. They were the merchants whom the shogunal official, Fukuchi Genichirō , described as adventurers (yamashi), men who dreamed of huge profits “as though trees would turn into rice cakes.”4 Ernest Satow, a British diplomat resident in Yokohama in the early 1860s, described the Japanese merchant community as “adventurers, destitute of capital and ignorant of commerce.”5 Challenges The lack of capital was, indeed, the defining feature of Chū emon’s early years in business in Yokohama. In addition to the costs of building and stocking his premises, Chū emon had to take care of his family and staff members (Chū emon had at least seven children, the youngest of whom was still under ten years old in 1859). Everything was expensive in Yokohama. Since the area was heavily farmed, there were limited 2 3

4 5

Ishii Takashi, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo [Yokohama Export Sales – Kō shū Business Correspondence] (Yokohama: Yū rindō , 1984), p. 6. The port was scheduled to open on July 4, 1859, but actually opened on July 1. All dates in this paper are converted to the Gregorian calendar, with equivalent dates in the Japanese calendar noted in parentheses where relevant. Ibid, p. 208. Ernest Mason Satow, A Diplomat in Japan; the Inner History of the Critical Years in the Evolution of Japan When the Ports Were Opened & the Monarchy Restored (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1921), p. 22.

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supplies of lumber, making construction projects much more expensive than they were in Kō shū (Chū emon responded by having lumber floated down the Fujikawa River and transshipped to him in Yokohama). Food was expensive too. James Hepburn, an American missionary, complained that “[w]e pay as much for fish as we did in New York.”6 As a merchant in the heavily controlled community of Yokohama, Chū emon also found himself subject to a variety of exactions. In July 1860, the town threw an extravagant party in honor of the deity of the local Benten Shrine. Chū emon and his family thoroughly enjoyed the festival itself, for which he was called on to dress in samurai clothes and act as one of the managing officials. He was less pleased, however, to get a demand for 40 ryō – more than his entire income for the previous year – as his personal contribution to the cost of the festival. Meanwhile, even after the initial investment of building his premises, in 1860 he had to spend another 70 ryō to build a fireproof warehouse – a devastating fire in January 1860 had shown both Japanese and foreign merchants the peril they faced in the event they should lose their precious inventory. And, on the topic of fire, Chū emon was also called on in early 1861 to contribute 10 ryō toward the rebuilding of the shogun’s castle, which had burnt the previous fall: “I have no choice but to pay . . . It is inconvenient and unpleasant.”7 Although Chū emon does not mention it, it is likely that official corruption also contributed to his expenses. Satow noted that the customs officials who oversaw every transaction were “in the highest degree corrupt,” and a US merchant, Francis Hall, cites numerous examples of bribery and corruption in his diary.8 Ill health also took its financial toll. In the fall of 1860, Chū emon complained to his oldest son, Shō jirō , (who remained in the village) that “at present my skin is suppurating and causing me hardship.” And, two months later, “I have broken out all over my hands and legs, and at present I am not able to perform my official duties; instead I am shut up in my house, lying in bed next to my wife. Naotarō [Chū emon’s second son] too has broken out over his legs and is in pain.” Chumeon’s wife was the worst off. In addition to being unable to eat or walk unassisted to the bathroom, she “has broken out all over her behind.” The medical treatment was, of course, expensive. Meanwhile, neither Chū emon nor 6 7 8

Letter from James Hepburn, November 22, 1859, in J. C. Hepburn and Michio Takaya, The Letters of Dr. J. C. Hepburn (Tokyo: Toshin Shobo, 1955), pp. 21–30. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, April 20, 1861 (Bunkyū 1/3/11), in Ishii, Yokohama Urikomishō Kō shū ya Monjo, p. 31. Satow, Diplomat in Japan, p. 23. Francis Hall and F. G. Notehelfer, Japan through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, Kanagawa and Yokohama, 1859–1866 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), see, for example, p. 184.

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Naotarō could go to the town office where they held official positions, they were not selling anything out of the shop, they could not leave Chū emon’s wife unattended, and they had no money. “It’s hard to get through each day,” wrote Chū emon.9 In these circumstances, Chū emon was forced to ask his son in their home village for help. “No matter how difficult it may be, you must succeed in raising some money on this occasion and send it to Yokohama. I have put my house and land up as security for a loan, but still I need you to send 40 or 50 ryō . If we can just pull through this, we will be safe.”10 With all of these immediate and pressing financial needs, Chū emon struggled just to live from day to day. When it came to stocking his shop with inventory, the costs were truly daunting. The major product in demand in Yokohama was silk thread. Chū emon was well-placed to procure this commodity, which was produced in Kō shū . But silk was one of the costliest items in the Japanese commercial sphere. Depending on market conditions, a single horseload of silk thread on the Kō shū market cost anywhere from 475 to 950 ryō .11 While Chū emon was sometimes able to act as a commission agent for Kō shū merchants shipping silk to Yokohama, it was almost impossible for him to buy a significant quantity on his own account. Instead, he was forced to look for lower-value items, such as cotton thread, fruit, tea, herbal medicines and seaweed. At one point, Chū emon was even running a small factory on the upper floor of his house, with his son’s wife and the maid making traditional Japanese socks (tabi) using Kō shū cotton. However, few of these products commanded a significant premium from the foreign merchant community. Many items, such as the socks, could only be sold to Japanese in and around Yokohama. So severe was the capital shortage in the treaty port that money could only be borrowed at extraordinarily high rates. In late 1860, Chū emon wrote to his son that “here in Yokohama at present it’s possible to borrow any amount of money, but on a loan of 50 ryō the monthly interest is from 6 to 7 ryō , which you could hardly call a good deal. At home, even a socalled high interest rate is only 10 or 20 or at most 30 percent. Please understand this and borrow money even at a high rate.”12 9 10 11

12

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 1, 1860 (Man’en 1/10/19), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 23. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, November 19, 1860 (Man’en 1/10/7), in ibid, p. 22. Yamanashi-ken, Yamanashi kenshi, tsū shi hen [History of Yamanashi Prefecture. General History], Vol. 4, Kinsei 2 [Early Modern Period 2] (Kō fu-shi: Yamanashi-ken Yamanashi Nichinichi Shinbunsha, 2004), p. 791. (Calculated at 178 kin to one horseload and 160 monme to 1 kin.) Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 16, 1860 (Man’en 1/11/5), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 24.

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The shortage of capital was only one of a range of daunting challenges for small-scale Japanese merchants trying to do business in Yokohama. Misunderstandings and disputes with foreign merchants were another. Such disputes appear to have been very common. In part, they must have been caused by the cultural and linguistic barriers that separated the Japanese and foreign communities. Dishonesty and failure to honor commitments also contributed. When disputes did arise, there was little recourse on either side. The treaties prevented Japanese merchants from suing foreigners under Japanese law. Instead, both foreign and Japanese merchants had to rely on the good offices of the Kanagawa commissioners (bugyō ), who undertook the role of mediators in trade disputes. The commissioners could adjudicate in a dispute, but their decision held no sway with the foreigners. Instead, they had to rely on mutual goodwill, and hope to broker a settlement that would at least give some satisfaction to the aggrieved parties. There were numerous grumblings on both sides. Foreign merchants, on learning of price declines on the global market, sometimes refused to pay for shipments of silk they had ordered, falsely claiming that it was not of the same quality as the sample on which the contract was based. By the same token, Japanese merchants often sullied their own reputations. Writing some decades later, Ernest Satow remembered that: Foreigners made large advances to men of straw for the purchase of merchandise which was never delivered, or ordered manufactures from home on the account of men who, if the price fell, refused to accept the goods that would now bring them in only a loss. Raw silk was adulterated with sand or fastened with heavy paper ties, and every separate skein had to be carefully inspected before payment, while the tea could not be trusted to be as good as the sample . . . [T]he conviction that Japanese was a synonym for dishonest trader became so firmly seated in the minds of foreigners that it was impossible for any friendly feeling to exist.13

Very soon after the port opened, Chū emon sold a consignment of silk on commission to James Barber of the English firm, Jardine, Matheson, and Company. Unfortunately, the transaction soon went sour. The details are obscure, but it appears Barber took delivery of a sample worth 80 ryō , and subsequently refused to pay for it. Across the fog of language and status difference, Chū emon tried to reason with the Englishman, but “Barber is obstinate and I’m unable to make any progress with him. I plan to take the matter to the town office, but it’s by no means easy . . . However, I certainly do not plan to lose. The investors can rest easy that I will meet my obligations” (it is not clear whether, in fact, he did).14 13 14

Satow, A Diplomat in Japan, pp. 22–23. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 9, 1859 (Ansei 6/8/12), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 9.

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As if these issues were not enough, Japanese merchants also had to contend with the volatile political situation in Yokohama and Japan more broadly, the impacts of which Hellyer, Ehlers, and Platt examine in their chapters. Ironically for a town in which most residents were far more interested in making money than in settling political scores, the very name of Yokohama was a lightning rod for the political upheavals that roiled the Japanese state throughout the 1860s. As soon as the port opened, opponents of the government coalesced around the goal of closing the port and “expelling the barbarian.” Otherwise law-abiding subjects began plotting violent attacks against the foreigners,15 and although there were relatively few direct assaults within the town of Yokohama itself, there were a number of dramatic attacks on the roads outside Yokohama and on the foreign legations in Edo. Chū emon reported on such attacks in his letters to his son. Sometimes he described the events in considerable detail – they were obviously of great interest to those who depended on the Yokohama market for their livelihood. Chū emon did his best to reassure his investors and suppliers that business would continue, and indeed that it would keep growing. “Regarding Yokohama,” he wrote in early 1861, “I understand that it has a very bad reputation in Kō shū . However, there is nothing out of the ordinary here. Although there are rumors of Mito lordless samurai (rō nin) attacking us, there are no signs whatever of this happening. Indeed, in the [Japanese] New Year they are going to reclaim the Tadaya Shinden marshes and extend the town. You will have to see what prosperity is about to come to this town.”16 The most dramatic attack occurred in September 1862, when a British merchant, Charles Richardson, was murdered by a group of Satsuma samurai. The Richardson incident threw the entire community into a state of high alarm. Chū emon wrote: “This affair will not end quickly, and is causing great upset. As things stand I can’t see any easy way to manage this problem.” Above all, Chū emon was concerned about the impact on the silk market. “With these rumors, the price of silk in Kō shū is sure to fall, and we will suffer a loss . . . I don’t see any easy way to settle this matter; truly this disturbance is worrying.”17 Nevertheless, Chū emon never lost his faith in the money-making potential of the Yokohama market: “Although the reputation of Yokohama is bad at the moment, you should not worry. Mitsui Hachirō emon [Yokohama’s wealthiest 15 16 17

See, for example, Shibusawa Eiichi and Teruko Craig, The Autobiography of Shibusawa Eiichi: From Peasant to Entrepreneur (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1994), pp. 18–22. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, January 31, 1861 (Man’en 1/12/21), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 27. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 14, 1862 (Bunkyū 2/8/21), in ibid, p. 42.

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merchant] is undertaking all sorts of new construction, and he is expanding his storehouses. If things here were really as bad as they say, then surely all this construction would not be taking place. . . . I am making money a little at a time, and I am stouthearted.”18 The political crisis came to a head in May 1863, when British envoy Edward St. John Neale gave a firm deadline for a huge indemnity to be paid for Richardson’s murder. Anticipating the outbreak of full-scale war, Japanese residents of both Edo and Yokohama began packing up their valuables and fleeing the city. Francis Hall wrote in his journal that “the native population are fleeing in the utmost haste . . . Scarcely a native merchant has the nerve to remain, but all offer their wares at any price they can get.” Anticipating the flight or even murder of foreigners who owed them money, some Japanese resorted to extreme measures. An American was “surrounded, thrown down, and beaten severely until his native servants interfered for his rescue.” In other cases, “servants left their masters robbing them as they went.”19 In spite of the exodus he saw going on around him, Chū emon decided to stay put. “While we are keeping an eye on the military situation, we hope we can just live peacefully . . . Naotarō and his wife are working hard at their business and they are making a good living from it, so please be reassured, and tell Mother too. As for me, I am working without taking even half a day of rest. Everyone has fled, but we are prospering.” Chū emon did, however, move his valuables to a nearby village, where some relatives of Naotarō ’s wife lived: “we are just keeping here our clothes, utensils, and other daily necessities.”20 In addition to these major challenges, Chū emon faced a host of smaller, but nevertheless vexing issues as he tried to do business in Yokohama. There was, of course, the language barrier. Bilingual speakers of Japanese and a European language were very few. Many of the intermediaries employed by the foreigners were Chinese, which hardly simplified matters. Then there was the extraordinary complexity of the various systems of weights, measures, and currencies in use in the Edo area in the 1860s. As he calculated his potential profits, Chū emon had to make conversions of the array of currencies used in the treaty port: copper coins, Mexican dollars, silver ichibu and monme as well as gold ryō . He paid for silk by the horseload of 178 kin (235 pounds), but he sold it based on the Chinese picul (about 140 pounds). 18 19

20

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, January 18, 1863 (Bunkyū 2/11/29), in ibid, p. 46. Diary entry for May 5–6, 1863, in Hall and Notehelfer, Japan through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, Kanagawa and Yokohama, 1859–1866, pp. 474–475. In the event, the crisis was resolved when the bakufu paid the indemnity in full on June 24, 1863. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, May 19, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/4/2), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 49.

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Many of these challenges and complexities came together in one of the worst debacles of Chū emon’s career, when he tried to buy a large shipment of charcoal to sell on the Yokohama market. This story, however, also highlights Chū emon’s extraordinary optimism and entrepreneurial spirit, even in the midst of severe difficulties. In the fall of 1860, Chū emon was at a very low ebb. His entire family was sick, none of them able to work. Chū emon was completely broke – so desperate for funds that he even had to pawn his wife’s kimonos. Business was poor, he had no inventory, he owed taxes in his home village, and he was unable to pay his creditors by the traditional year-end settlement of accounts. He had been forced to make large contributions to a variety of civic causes, and also had to pay heavy doctor’s fees for his family’s treatment. In spite of Chū emon’s repeated pleas, his son Shō jirō was unable to send him money from his home village. And yet, in the midst of this dark period, Chū emon saw opportunity. The previous winter, he had noticed the enormous consumption of charcoal by the foreign community, who heated their entire houses with charcoal-burning stoves. Since there was little forest in the area surrounding Yokohama, the price of charcoal was very high – much higher than in Chū emon’s home province of Kō shū . Chū emon was convinced that if he bought a large consignment of charcoal at a good price in Kō shū , he could sell it for a high profit in Yokohama. In spite of his sickness and his financial worries, Chū emon decided to mortgage his entire property in order to raise 40 ryō . This money he sent with his son Naotarō , who set off for Kō shū to meet with a merchant in the charcoal-producing district of Minobu. The interest on the loan was 2.2 ryō a month, and the plan depended on getting the charcoal to Chū emon as soon as possible. According to Chū emon’s plan, the charcoal would be shipped down the Fujikawa River, and then transshipped for ocean passage around the Izu peninsula to Yokohama. Chū emon estimated a month for Naotarō to travel to Minobu, negotiate with the seller there, arrange transport, and for the goods to then make their journey by river and sea to Yokohama. However, more than a month later, Chū emon was still waiting for the shipment to arrive. By the beginning of 1861, it was clear that something had gone seriously wrong. Chū emon had yet to get any clear information on the progress of the shipment. “Is this all on their side? Did they deceive Naotarō ? I can’t really believe that. We had a firm contract, and I had made a deposit. If they were lying to me, then it is a big waste of expenses. Or perhaps it is because the goods have been delayed at sea.”21 Chū emon 21

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, February 14, 1861 (Bunkyū 1/1/5), in ibid, p. 28.

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was already starting to suspect that the problem was not with the seller or with the shipper, but with Naotarō himself. And indeed, later on the same day he was to learn from a returning villager that Naotarō had failed to conclude a contract with the seller, and was staying in his home village, apparently afraid to return home to face his father. The charcoal had not yet been shipped. Furious, Chū emon sent his older son Shō jirō to Minobu to try and sort out the mess. As for Naotarō , Chū emon was ready to disown him completely. “For Naotarō to just go home and play shows a complete lack of responsibility with regard to money and a lack of feeling. This isn’t just regular money. It is at a high rate of interest, and it is unacceptable for it to cost me even one day – or even half a day – of extra interest . . . No matter what happens we will make no profit from this.”22 Shō jirō managed to get the deal back on track, but the shipment was delayed by several months. On June 24, Chū emon reported that 250 bales had finally arrived; but in the summer heat, the price of charcoal had dropped. All Chū emon could do was “hope that prices will go up in the ninth month [October], and then perhaps I can redeem my losses.”23 Meanwhile, “I know people must be getting angry with me,” he wrote to Shō jirō , “but please ask them to be patient a little longer . . . The thirteenth of this month [August 1861] was the deadline for the settlement of all accounts, whether official or private. But as usual I am out of funds.”24 Opportunities In spite of all the difficulties Chū emon experienced getting his business started in Yokohama, he was ultimately successful. The biggest factor working in his favor was the enormous demand from the foreign merchant community for products that were already well-established in Kō shū , particularly silk and cotton. Although he was limited by the high price of silk, Chū emon recognized the opportunity in the booming market and exerted all his powers to strengthen his business network in the Kō shū area and acquire as much silk as possible, whether on commission or by outright purchase. In this he was aided by his son Shō jirō , who was serving as village headman. The status of the Shinohara family as hereditary headmen helped them deepen their ties to the wealthy farmers and merchants in the surrounding region. Chū emon’s share would only be the small percentage he could take as a commission. Nonetheless, he urged 22 23 24

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, February 17, 1861 (Bunkyū 1/1/8), in ibid. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, August 10, 1861 (Bunkyū 1/7/5), in ibid, p. 33. Shinohara Chū emon to Shinohara Shō jirō , August 23, 1861 (Bunkyū 1/7/18), in ibid.

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his son to inform their business associates as quickly as possible about the high prices prevailing in Yokohama and the profits to be made from the immediate dispatch of silk to the Yokohama market.25 Soon, Chū emon was to seize a new opportunity. After the outbreak of the US Civil War in April 1861, the Union Navy blockaded the South’s ports, preventing the export of its major income-producing commodity, cotton. The largest consumers of southern cotton were the textile industries of England and France. So extreme was England’s dependence on American cotton that the Confederate government had hoped Britain would join the war against the North. Instead, British and French producers looked urgently to alternative sources of supply. Chū emon first noticed this development in the middle of 1862. He mentioned to his son that the foreigners were looking to buy large quantities of cotton, from 300,000 to 500,000 kin (400,000 to 660,000 pounds).26 In a series of letters in the latter half of 1863, Chū emon emphasized the enormous opportunity in the Yokohama cotton trade. “If you have goods to supply, the foreigners are repeating that they will buy any number of tens of thousands of kin.”27 Chū emon suggested selling the family’s rice surplus and putting the money into cotton. “Now is the time to put in all of our efforts if we want to make profits.”28 And “if you can buy it all on credit, there will be no loss. I can sell it at a high price, and reinvest the proceeds in another shipment.”29 Recognizing that his own credit would not be enough to take full advantage of the opportunity, Chū emon entered into an alliance with a wealthy Edo merchant, Kojikahara Jihei. In November 1863, Jihei traveled to Kō shū with 1,000 ryō in cash to invest in cotton.30 With his relationship with Jihei, Chū emon initiated a business model that was to stand him in good stead for years to come. Chū emon and his local agent, a Kō shū cotton broker called Matsudaya, offered Jihei access to large supplies of Kō shū cotton, which Chū emon could peddle to foreign merchants. Chū emon, Jihei, and Matsudaya typically split the net profits from their transactions equally among themselves. For example on November 22, 1863, Chū emon arranged for his son, Shō jirō , to buy almost 5,000 pounds of cotton through Matsudaya. Chū emon sold the 25

26 27 28 29 30

Isawa-chō Chō shi Hensan Iinkai, Isawa chō shi [Isawa Town Magazine], Vol. 1, Shizenhen, rekishi-hen [Nature, History] (Yamanashi-ken Higashiyatsushiro-gun Isawa-chō : Isawa-chō , 1987), pp. 922–923. Shinohara Chū emon to Shinohara Shō jirō , October 1, 1862 (Bunkyū 2/intercalary8/8), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 44. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 14, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/8/2), in ibid, p. 52. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 20, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/11/10), in ibid, p. 55. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 23, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/11/13), in ibid, p. 56. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, November 14, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/10/5), in ibid, p. 54.

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consignment in Yokohama for a net profit of 70 ryō (Mexican dollars $163), which the business partners split three ways.31 Chū emon called this process “riding together” (noriai). Eventually, Jihei was willing to invest as much as 6,000 ryō at a time, with which Chū emon was able to buy consignments of up to 300 horseloads (over 70,000 pounds). By the end of 1864, Chū emon was participating in transactions worth as much as 30,000 ryō .32 Chū emon’s business model depended on the rapid circulation of his scarce capital. The faster and more frequently he could buy and sell, the more profit he could make. As he wrote, “no matter how many times we [purchase], it will be to our profit.”33 Chū emon’s profits nevertheless reflect the very high risks that he was willing to take. Well-established firms were more likely to act as brokers, taking a commission of around 3 percent on each transaction and relying on very high turnover for their profits. Entrepreneurs such as Chū emon were more inclined to throw their limited resources into areas where they could maximize returns. Chū emon and his venture partners not only took on the market risk of potential losses from price movements while their inventory was on its way to the market; they also bore transportation costs and the accompanying risk of loss or spoilage, as well as transactional risks in the context of largely unregulated relations with the foreign merchant community. Chū emon understood that his main competitive advantage lay in his upto-the-minute knowledge of the Yokohama market. He repeatedly cautioned his son in Kō shū to keep the information contained in his letters secret. “On no account talk to others about this,” he wrote. “If they should gain knowledge of it, it will become more difficult to buy.”34 Indeed, Chū emon at times asked his son to deliberately disseminate misinformation, telling him, for example, to spread the word that “Yokohama is in the midst of an economic downturn” even as Chū emon and his partners took advantage of rising cotton prices there.35 In the midst of the political disarray that followed the Richardson murder, Chū emon wrote a letter to a group of business associates suggesting they immediately unload their inventory before word got out about the severity of the crisis. They were then to circulate a letter making the situation sound even worse than it was. 31

32 33 34 35

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, November 21, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/10/12), in ibid. See also Isawa-chō Chō shi Hensan Iinkai, Isawa chō shi, 1: pp. 928–929. Calculated at 1.5 kan per ryō purchase price, 180 kin per horse-load, $1.70 per ryō . Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, October 23, 1864 (Genji 1/9/23), in ibid, p. 66. Shinohara Chū emon to Shinohara Shō jirō , December 6, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/10/26), in ibid, p. 55. See also Isawa-chō Chō shi Hensan Iinkai, Isawa chō shi, 1: p. 929. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 6, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/10/26), in Ishii, Yokohama urikomishō kō shū ya monjo, p. 55. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, December 6, 1863 (Bunkyū 3/10/26), in ibid.

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If they spread rumors of a looming war, then “prices will collapse and you can perhaps profit by buying again.”36 On another occasion, when they were exploring the market for selling large quantities of goji berries in the Yokohama market, Naotarō (writing on Chū emon’s behalf) cautioned his brother that “unlike other products these goods are not plentiful, so please avoid talking to others about this . . . If you handle it badly, the price will go up. If anyone asks, tell them that you are buying them as gifts for children.”37 Chū emon also understood the importance of speed. The sooner he could convey instructions to Kō shū , the less likely it was that local merchants would have learned of market movements in Yokohama. Chū emon could thus more quickly turn over his capital. Starting in 1862, Chū emon began using the services of runners (hikyaku) who offered fast delivery service along major highways. At times, he was willing to pay a huge premium to have a hikyaku run nonstop, door-to-door with a large order. In addition to cotton and silk, Chū emon also built a substantial business in silkworm eggs. In the early 1860s Europe was struck by a silkworm blight, and there was strong demand from French and Italian buyers for Japanese silkworms, which were distributed in Japan in the form of eggs pasted to sheets of cardboard. The shogunate refused to allow their export until mid-1865, when it relented under pressure from the French. With the US Civil War now over and the cotton market no longer so attractive, Chū emon quickly seized this new opportunity, alerting Shō jirō more than two months before the export ban was actually lifted to be on the lookout for inventory.38 Once the trade began, Chū emon wrote to one of his business partners that the foreigners were buying up egg cards as fast as they could. “They want to buy as many as a million cards, although I don’t think that many exist in the whole of Japan.”39 Chū emon’s trade in silkworm egg cards grew rapidly, supplanting raw silk as the firm’s main trade item. Demand was so high that prices climbed steadily, from half a ryō per card in the mid-1860s to as high as 3 ryō for topquality cards by the end of the decade. Although Chū emon continued to look to Kō shū as a major source of inventory, Kō shū egg cards were limited in supply, and they were considered to be of inferior quality to those from the Shinshū region (present-day Nagano Prefecture). Increasingly, Chū emon employed buyers to travel in Shinshū and other producing areas in search of 36 37 38 39

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 14, 1862 (Bunkyū 2/8/21), in ibid, p. 42. Shinohara Naotarō to Shinohara Shō jirō , November 13, 1866 (Keiō 2/10/7), in ibid, p. 103. Shinohara Chū emon to Shinohara Shō jirō , May 11, 1865 (Keiō 1/4/17), in ibid, p. 76. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, August 12, 1865 (Keiō 1/6/21), in ibid, p. 80.

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supplies. He provided his buyers with enough capital to buy 1,000 to 1,500 cards at a time. In Yokohama Chū emon could sell them more or less instantly, sometimes even before he took delivery, for a profit of anything from 50 to 100 percent. In 1868 there was a pullback in prices, caused in part by political turmoil and the sudden outbreak of civil war. But after the emergence of the new imperial government in mid-1868, the market quickly recovered. In June 1868, Chū emon boasted that “Every day without fail we are finding more buyers, and soon I will have completely sold out of my stock.”40 With the stability provided by the new government, the market for egg cards expanded rapidly, and prices continued their steep rise. In 1869, top-quality cards from Kō shū were selling in Yokohama for 4 ryō each, and cards from the most famous producing areas in Shinshū were selling for as much as 8 ryō a card. Diversification and Opulence At the end of the 1860s, flush with the success of his rapidly growing business, Chū emon embarked on a wide-ranging program of diversification. In 1867 he traveled to northern Japan to investigate opportunities in the mining business. The following year, Chū emon applied for licenses to diversify into the money-lending and foreign-exchange businesses. He saw such prospects in these businesses that he did his best to persuade his oldest son, Shō jirō , to come to Yokohama and take over their operations. This was an extraordinary gesture, given that Chū emon’s family remained rooted in their village as one of its leading families, and Shō jirō was the heir to the family headship. Chū emon was effectively telling Shō jirō to abandon his farming heritage and come to Yokohama to engage in trade. Chū emon also found opportunities in the worsening political situation. Beginning with the abandonment in 1863 of the alternate attendance system that required lords to keep family members as hostages in Edo, the families of the lords and their samurai attendants began leaving Edo in large numbers. As the ruling samurai class thinned out, the opportunities for commerce and artisanal patronage also declined, triggering a more general decline in Edo’s fortunes. In 1865, Chū emon reported on an opportunity to take over management of one of Edo’s large urban estates. “This place is 6,800 tsubo [more than 240,000 square feet] in size. They are looking for someone to work as the guardian (shugo) of this place, and I have secretly applied for this position. Whoever holds it would have the 40

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, June, 1868, in ibid, p. 8.

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same rank as a senior minister. If I had this position, my status would be very different from that of a minor official in Yokohama! . . . There are roughly 25 rooms of up to 50 tatami mats. Inside the compound there are rice fields that produce 50 bales of rice. There is also a pine mountain, a spring, a plum garden, a cherry garden, stables, and so on. It is truly a huge place. If I moved here, your mother, the children, and others could all come.”41 This particular plan never came to fruition, but eventually Chū emon bought some land in Edo and built himself a house. By the middle of the 1860s, Chū emon, who just a few years earlier had been forced to pawn his wife’s kimonos, could look with satisfaction on a large and growing business operating between Yokohama, Edo, Kō shū , and even further afield. Building on his successes, in 1869 Chumeon constructed a large inn, one of the finest in the Japanese quarter of Yokohama. He invested over 500 ryō in the project, and once it opened he boasted that “my visitors have told me that there are no rooms along the Tō kaidō or in Yokohama that are as fine as mine.”42 By September 1869, Chū emon could report that 40 to 50 guests each night were staying in his hotel, and “at present, if we only had more space available we would have 100 guests a night.”43 However, in a hint of how overextended he was becoming, Chū emon admitted that he was still short of ready cash. “I understand that I need to send 50 ryō [to a business partner in Kō shū ], but at present I have nothing on hand. When I looked into the expense of feeding our guests in the hotel, I found that it comes to 150 ryō [per month].44 Indeed, even as his business prospered, Chū emon chose growth over consolidation, borrowing as much as he could to finance his ever-expanding activities. Perhaps he did not recognize how vulnerable he had become. Collapse The collapse came suddenly, caused by an event that took place thousands of miles away. In July 1870, Napoleon III of France declared war on Prussia, assured by his advisors of a swift victory. Instead, the French army was decisively defeated, and on September 2, Napoleon himself captured at the Battle of Sedan. By the end of the year, the Prussian armies were at the gates of Paris. The French capital, which had sustained the market for luxury products including silk throughout the 1860s, was brought to the brink of starvation. News reached Yokohama on 41 42 43 44

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, January 16, 1865 (Genji 1/12/19), in ibid, p. 73. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, March 26, 1869 (Meiji 2/2/14), in ibid, p. 162. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 24, 1869 (Meiji 2/8/19), in ibid, p. 178. Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, January 18, 1870 (Meiji 2/12/7), in ibid, p. 187.

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September 28. On the 30th, Chū emon wrote to his son that “I still have not been able to sell all the egg cards and the price is falling . . . All of the merchants in Yokohama are suffering. I don’t know how this is going to work out going forward, but at present the business conditions are very poor . . . The Prussian army has defeated the French army in a great battle, and the French king taken prisoner. It is said that 60,000 French troops were killed in the battle. Here in Yokohama, yesterday there was a fight between the nationals of the two countries and one Frenchman was killed. As a result, the market for egg cards is collapsing.”45 And indeed, by the turn of 1871, egg cards that had been selling for 6 ryō or more a year earlier were fetching barely more than half a ryō , a decline of 90 percent. Chū emon was forced to absorb enormous losses from the sudden collapse, compelled eventually to sell both his buildings and land and move into a small house elsewhere in town. Always the entrepreneur, he tried his hand at several other business ventures, including the purchase of imported sugar in 1871 (Chū emon’s son, Shō jirō , was forced to peddle the sugar from village to village in their home province) and the opening of a Western-style tailor shop in 1872. None of these businesses prospered, and in 1874 Chū emon departed from Yokohama for good. He settled in Hachiō ji for some years, before moving in 1879 to Kami Tsuruma Village in Sagamihara City, where he and Naotarō reclaimed 20 hectares of land to farm. Eventually Chū emon returned to his home village of Higashi-Aburakawa, where he died in 1891 at the age of 82. Conclusion Shinohara Chū emon was only one of hundreds of entrepreneurs and small-time businessmen who responded to the opportunities offered in the new port city of Yokohama. What can his experiences tell us about the new transnational space of Yokohama, and the changes that it wrought? And what light can this analysis cast on the broader context of revolutionary change exemplified by the Restoration and the new Meiji government? Chū emon’s story highlights the continuity, strength, and flexibility of many of the institutions and social arrangements that had brought economic and commercial growth to the Kanto area over the course of the preceding century. Farmers had developed extensive crop specialization to supply growing urban centers, particularly Edo, with fresh produce, luxury foods, and commercial crops such as cotton and silk. Small-scale farmers could access highly developed systems of credit, and they could 45

Letter from Shinohara Chū emon, September 30, 1870 (Meiji 3/9/6), in ibid, p. 190.

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sell their produce into a dense network of manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. The class of privileged landowning families (gō nō ) within the villages had increased their wealth and influence, often expanding into manufacturing and commerce as well as moneylending. The gō nō may be seen as a proto-capitalist class that was well-prepared to meet the new demands of the international market. The existence of this highly developed system of regional commerce undoubtedly helps explain Japan’s remarkably rapid adaptation to the opportunities of the global market.46 However, this emphasis on continuity should not hide the radically transformative aspects of Japan’s new situation. These effects can be seen both in Yokohama itself and in the provinces that supplied the export market. First, the opening of the Yokohama port and the expansion of international trade brought substantial economic opportunity that extended to Chū emon’s home province of Kō shū . Silk production, for example, more than quadrupled by volume between 1863 and 1868.47 This expansion meant huge opportunities for growth and new business for merchants and farmers. Some regional brokers even diversified into manufacturing operations reeling cotton and silk thread. Wakao Ippei, for example, opened two silk reeling factories in Kō fu, which together used as many as twenty-five silk-reeling machines, employing local women to operate them.48 Small-scale farmers also benefited from the new opportunities in silk, cotton, and other regional specialties such as tea, as detailed in Robert Hellyer’s chapter. Farmers who had struggled to squeeze a living from inadequate plots of land could now benefit from rising demand and high prices by rearing silkworms and selling their cocoons to local buyers. The result was a significant increase in prosperity among marginal farmers in Kō shū and beyond. Nonetheless, the treaty port system also brought a great deal of disruption. Existing elites often failed to adapt to the rapid transformations of the market. For every aggressive, risk-taking entrepreneur (like Chū emon) who was able to exploit the new opportunities, an established player fell by the wayside. Only one house among

46

47

The argument for Japan’s early modern “proto-industrialization” or “industrious revolution” is, of course, well-established. For notable contributions, see Thomas C. Smith, The Agrarian Origins of Modern Japan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1959); David Howell, “Proto-Industrial Origins of Japanese Capitalism,” Journal of Asian Studies 51, no. 2 (1992): 269–286; Kä ren Wigen, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Edward E. Pratt, Japan’s Protoindustrial Elite: The Economic Foundations of the Gō nō (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999). Yamanashi-ken, Yamanashi kenshi, tsū shi hen, 4, p. 791. 48 Ibid, p. 801.

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the elite Kō fu silk merchants survived the turbulent decade of the 1860s.49 Meanwhile the farmers, artisans, and laborers of Kō shū had to contend with significant, and sometimes extreme, disruptions arising from the political and economic events of the period, trends explored in depth by Mark Metzler in his chapter. Here, it becomes difficult to separate out the effects of political disruption, much of which itself originated with unrest over the opening of Yokohama, from the economic effects of Japan’s plunge into the global market. The most noticeable disruption was the extreme rise in prices during the course of the 1860s, which was, in large part, the result of the currency adjustments triggered by Japan’s exposure to the global gold and silver markets. In the Kō fu market, a one-shō measure of rice that cost 163 mon in 1861 rose to as high as 769 mon in 1867. The problem was compounded by widespread crop failures in 1860, 1861, 1865, and 1866. In 1864, a group of wealthy Kō fu merchants donated hundreds of bales to rice to the city to feed the most desperate. Some 40 percent of the city’s population qualified for handouts from this supply.50 The accompanying political upheavals also placed heavy new demands on villagers as they were called on to provide labor and defense services as well as financial contributions to the struggling Tokugawa regime. For example, due to the enormous increase in official traffic, the villagers of Kō shū were called on repeatedly to provide labor and transport services for the highway system.51 And as regional security deteriorated, the authorities also compelled on the villagers of Kō shū to mobilize for defense. For example, when the “Tengu faction” of Mito samurai began a march on Kyoto at the end of 1864, the Kō shū government summoned five villagers for each 1,000 koku of assessed production to present themselves for military service. Then in 1865, when the Edo government began raising large amounts of money for its second expedition to chastise the recalcitrant domain of Chō shū , it called on Kō shū residents to provide financial support. The townsmen of Kō fu alone were forced to provide almost 6,000 ryō to the government, allocated based on their wealth. Hayashi Village, a poor mountain village with twenty-seven households and an assessed production of only twenty-eight koku, was required to contribute 70 ryō to the shogun’s military campaign. Its normal annual tax burden was only 45 ryō .52 Just as the effects of global trade disrupted merchant hierarchies in Kō shū and other provincial centers of production, so also the new conditions of uncontrolled trade and foreign residence in Yokohama 49

Ibid, p. 799.

50

Ibid. pp. 823–824.

51

Ibid, p. 810.

52

Ibid, p. 820.

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disrupted existing hierarchies of class, status, and institutional affiliation closer to the capital. Tokugawa authorities had planned to give much of the Yokohama business to established Edo merchant houses, such as the famed house of Mitsui, Japan’s largest textile retailer and financier. Mitsui, however, was reluctant to risk involvement in this unknown, new business, and ultimately it only opened a branch in Yokohama under pressure from the shogunate. It never developed a significant export business, relying instead on its role as customs collector and foreign-exchange broker.53 By contrast, the dominant Japanese silk merchants by the end of the 1860s – Hara Zenzaburō , Mogi Sō bei, and Yoshida Kō bei – all came from provincial or rural backgrounds, and none was especially wealthy or privileged at the outset. Rather, they displayed the qualities demanded by the rapidly changing times: flexibility, entrepreneurship, and bold decision making. Chū emon, an extremely undercapitalized merchant with few inherent competitive advantages, prospered precisely because of his neediness, his determination to take advantage of any opportunity, and his high appetite for risk. Of course, it has long been known that the realities of social relations in the late Edo period were far removed from the rigid theory of class hierarchy. Nevertheless, the Yokohama trade opened new fissures in existing hierarchies. For Chū emon and others like him, Yokohama offered an unprecedented opportunity for economic and social advancement. Chū emon’s dream of installing his family in one of Edo’s great mansions is emblematic of his rise to wealth and status. Meanwhile, many members of the established elites of Edo were ruined by the rapid decline of the shogunal capital, which lost more than half its population during the decade of the 1860s. The contrast with the rapidly growing Yokohama, which quickly grew into a thriving city with tens of thousands of new residents, could hardly be more stark. Underlying this reversal was the shogunate’s unwillingness (or inability) to embrace the opportunities presented by expanded foreign trade. The Edo/ Tokyo economy began to thrive again only after 1868 when Japan's new leaders took greater advantage of foreign trade. For the following century, Tokyo and Yokohama operated in tandem, combining political power and foreign trade. By the mid-twentieth century, Tokyo had become a global economic powerhouse (and the imperial capital, as

53

See John G. Roberts, Mitsui: Three Centuries of Japanese Business, 2nd ed. (New York: Weatherhill, 1989), pp. 45–72; Yokohama shishi [History of Yokohama City], Vol. 2 (Yokohama: Yokohama-shi, 1999), pp. 205–208.

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Takagi Hiroshi outlines in his chapter), and Yokohama had grown to become the second largest city in Japan (which it remains today). This portrait of a complex, transformative process that encompasses both vital continuities of economic growth and development, and severe disruptions caused by Japan’s sudden integration into global capitalist markets, is consistent with studies by Kären Wigen, Edward Pratt, and David Howell among others.54 In this sense, Chū emon’s story confirms and conforms to an increasingly confident historiography of continuity and change in nineteenth-century Japan. However, the transformational impact of Yokohama is also discernable in more subtle manifestations that are not so easily captured by the balance sheet of continuity versus change, and that perhaps point to new directions in the study of urban space and its transformational potential. With Japan’s sudden integration into global markets, both the perceptions and realities of space and time shifted in complex but ultimately momentous ways. For example, the global connections of Yokohama often emphasized the importance of distant events over local ones. Chū emon’s letters frequently dwell on changes in the Yokohama market. Perhaps Chū emon himself was unaware of the global currents that dictated market prices in Yokohama (certainly he seldom mentions international events); but he was intensely aware of the disparity between Yokohama prices and those in his home province, and when those disparities brought opportunities, he seized them. By contrast, while the great drama of the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate brought Chū emon much personal anguish, it affected his business remarkably little. Ultimately, Chū emon was undone not by domestic politics, but by a conflict taking place 6,000 miles away. Neither was Chū emon alone. Even village families living in remote mountain valleys were now – via the global node of Yokohama – dependent on the consequences of events taking place far away. The new transnational space of Yokohama also acquired an enormous symbolic importance in Japan, which was, in some ways, quite out of proportion to its political or even economic weight. From Mito to Chō shū , clashes took place in the name of “expelling the barbarian.” One of the key moments in the agonizing, slow-motion collapse of the shogunate was its acquiescence to the Emperor Kō mei’s command to set a date for expelling the foreigners from the realm and close the port of Yokohama. When the shogunate failed to execute the latter, high-spirited 54

Wigen, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750–1920; Pratt, Japan’s Protoindustrial Elite: The Economic Foundations of the Gō nō ; for Howell, see, in particular, David Howell, “Hard Times in the Kanto – Economic Change and Village Life in Late Tokugawa Japan,” Modern Asian Studies 23 (1989): 349–371.

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samurai and even villagers dreamed of taking matters into their own hands, and launching attacks on Yokohama to slaughter the foreigners. All of this contrasts with the relative banality of daily life in Yokohama, where, as Chū emon’s letters and other records attest, the residents’ main concerns were moneymaking and pleasure seeking. Nevertheless, this symbolic importance contributed to tangible results that were to have farreaching consequences for Japan’s social and political landscapes. The undermining of Tokugawa authority caused by the regime’s inability to “expel the barbarian” contributed to the collapse of Edo’s elite governing class. Ultimately, the powerlessness of the samurai class to repel the foreign threat helped pave the way for the abolition of the feudal system, and the replacement of hereditary samurai elites by a bureaucracy better adapted to a modern, globally connected society. In addition to the effects of new spatial configurations, it is also possible to discern in the case study of Shinohara Chū emon the beginnings of a powerful, new temporal dynamic. From relatively early in his business career in Yokohama, Chū emon understood the value of rapid communication. In letters to his son that emphasize the importance of speedy communications and information security, Chū emon shows his grasp of the financial implications of information advantage. Indeed, Chū emon’s success was largely based on his ability to take advantage of inefficiencies in communication and transport that prevented news being disseminated in a timely way, and that hindered prices and the movement of goods from responding quickly to information flows. Chū emon’s advantage came from his knowledge of global market movements, and his use of the best available communication channels, mainly in the form of special messenger services. This turned out to be a very short-term advantage, and its evanescence may indeed have contributed to Chū emon’s downfall. Throughout the mid-nineteenth-century world, the imperative to employ new technologies of communication and transportation led to the rapid implementation of railway, telegraph, and other communication systems. Starting in the 1870s, the spread of telegraph and railways brought about a radical reconfiguration of Japan’s provincial landscape. News that might have taken days or weeks to travel on foot or horseback along Japan’s mountainous highway system could now be transmitted instantaneously. Goods could be moved in a matter of hours along routes that previously took weeks. The introduction of radically new transport and communication technologies would within the next few decades tie the Kanto hinterland into a powerful capitalist and imperialist ecosystem that would play a dominant role in Japan and East Asia for generations to come.

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The revolutions in information and transportation technologies during the Meiji period would bring new elites to the fore. During the coming decades, ambitious and entrepreneurial newcomers – men who were in many ways like Chū emon himself – would make vast fortunes in railways, banking, shipping, trade, and commerce. Chū emon, however, was not destined to be included in their number. Returning to the role of a small-scale farmer, he lived out his final days in his birthplace of Higashi-Aburakawa, where his descendants remain to this day.

4

The Global Weapons Trade and the Meiji Restoration Dispersion of Means of Violence in a World of Emerging Nation-States

Harald Fuess

The Meiji Restoration initiated a radical change in the governance of Japan through a process that contemporaries in 1868 had already called a “bloodless revolution.”1 Japan thereby contained Western powers and embarked on a path to realize visions of a rich nation and strong army that led to modernization at home and empire abroad. This simple story of the Meiji Restoration has continued to appeal to scholars and the public alike. Whether praising or condemning its effects, they seldom deny the centrality of the Meiji Restoration in national historical narratives. Moreover, the Meiji Restoration has served as a template for progressive change in other countries eager to “catch up” with those countries that had come to dominate the world since the nineteenth century. The circumstances, contexts, and consequences of the Meiji Restoration were less unique than is commonly assumed. After all, modern state formations took place around the world in the nineteenth century and more often than not, they were accompanied by major ruptures and violent processes. Charles Maier has recently argued for a global perspective on the formation of the modern state. He contends that the 1850s inaugurated a “long century of modern statehood” based on the ideals of the Westphalian order of 1648. According to Westphalian structure, rulers often claimed absolute authority at home and independence from outside intervention. By the mid-nineteenth century, that concept of statehood was strengthened by new and unprecedented technological innovations in the form of rapid-firing guns, steamships,

1

The North China Herald and Market Report, January 31, 1868, p. 44, citing Japan Times when discussing the resignation of Tokugawa Yoshinobu as shogun prior to the 1868–1869 civil war. The North China Herald eventually altered its name in 1870 to The N.N. Herald and S.C. & C. Gazette and is referred to in this chapter as NCH.

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and railways that effectively extinguished alternative forms of governance.2 This chapter shows how the new and violent world order, introduced by expanded links to global trade that brought more advanced weapons and other technologies to Japan, helped to bring about the transformation of the Meiji Restoration. It does so by exploring in detail the import and trade of Western-style weapons. Focusing on the flow of infantry firearms and the Western merchants based in Japan, it reveals the global intersections of the Meiji Restoration by tracing multiple connections between violence in the world, the international arms trade, and what became an arms race in Japan during the late 1860s. In Western Europe, the nineteenth century was a relatively peaceful period between the bloody Napoleonic Wars and the trauma of World War I. In other parts of the world, political violence seemed to be far more common to the extent of appearing “endemic.” As noted in the introduction to this volume, Michael Geyer and Charles Bright counted 177 warlike confrontations between 1840 and 1880 alone. Europe experienced some conflicts, notably the Crimean War (1853–1856), intermittent fights surrounding Italian unification (1859–1871), as well as the German Unification Wars (1864, 1866, 1870–1871). Wars in the Americas proved even more disruptive to the social fabric and generated higher death tolls. The US Civil War (1861–1865) in which over half a million people perished is the most well-known but wars in South America also brought much bloodshed.3 Western imperial powers reshaped the status quo especially in Asia. Great Britain fought several wars with China and extended direct control over India in conflicts waged from 1857 to 1859. The most devastating civil war in the nineteenth century, the Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864), cost the lives of at least two million people in China.4 After centuries of peace, Japan also experienced Western gunboat diplomacy beginning in 1853. US Commodore Perry displayed his superior naval force with black, smoke-belching steamships and imposing cannons. These symbols of violence were more than empty threats. A decade later foreign warships proved their devastating firepower in 2

3

4

Charles S. Maier, “Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood,” in A World Connecting: 1870–1945, ed. Emily S. Rosenberg (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 34–39. The wars in South America were the Franco-Mexican War (1862–1867), the Triple Alliance War (1864–1870), which caused a high death toll in Paraguay, and the Pacific War between Chile, Bolivia, and Peru (1879–1884). Michael Geyer and Charles Bright, “Global Violence and Nationalizing Wars in Eurasia and America: The Geopolitics of War in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 38, no. 4 (1996): 623–627.

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combat. In August 1863, a British naval squadron bombarded Kagoshima, the castle-town of the Satsuma domain. Roughly a year later, British forces tested the effectiveness of their new Armstrong guns on the port town of Shimonoseki in Chō shū .5 These so-called punitive expeditions got the message across to politically savvy Japanese that for the time being Western military technology could not be beaten. The foreign threat led to political tensions in Japan over foreign and domestic policy, which turned violent. Chō shū samurai openly rebelled against the Tokugawa order and attacked the Kyoto Imperial Palace on August 20, 1864. In 1865, Chō shū purchased 7,300 Western-style rifles at Nagasaki and reorganized its troops along Western lines.6 In 1866, Chō shū upset the existing balance of power by singlehandedly defeating an alliance of Tokugawa forces, thereby exposing the weakness of the central government. When Yoshinobu submitted his unprecedented resignation as shogun in November 1867, it marked the beginning of the end of the Tokugawa. The coup d’état on January 3, 1868 seemed almost an expected outcome of Japan’s exposure to a wider world of violence where political differences would be settled by military means. The Tokugawa regime then collapsed. The three-day battle at TobaFushimi on the outskirts of Kyoto in late January 1868 resulted in a critical victory for the better-motivated and organized insurgents. Both sides employed units with modern arms. Conrad Totman concludes that the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance won “in having their best weapons at the right place at the right time.”7 Nevertheless, more bloodshed occurred subsequently during the Boshin War. Estimates of the death toll for the Boshin War and the Satsuma Rebellion vary from the low thousands to more than 10,000. The Battle of Toba-Fushimi left 500 dead and perhaps up to 1,500 soldiers wounded.8 By the standards of the nineteenth-century world’s most violent wars, Japanese causality figures remained low. Historians usually identify the Boshin War as the most significant period of internal strife. As many chapters in this volume explore, however, the years between the first Chō shū Expedition in 1864 extending to the Meiji government’s victory in the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, formed a broader period of internal conflict that brought military destruction and political creation. 5 6 7 8

Augustus Kuper, “Armstrong Guns,” in Japan Vol. 2, British Parliamentary Papers, 1864, pp. 141–150. Albert M Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 316. Conrad Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980), p. 433. Ibid, p. 430. See also figures by Mitani Hiroshi noted in the Introduction.

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The Japanese Arms Race and the Global Weapons Trade In his chapter, Hō ya Tō ru shows how modern rifles disrupted the political order of Japan at multiple levels. These arms shifted the balance of power between the Tokugawa and outside (tozama) lords. Throughout the fights of the 1860s, units trained in Western-style military organization with rifle firepower supported by field artillery proved far more effective than samurai swords, pikes, or old-style Japanese-made muskets. The introduction of the rifle triggered military reforms that had far-reaching implications for the political order at large and the social fabric in general. Samurai were often reluctant to take up these new weapons, which they saw as lowering their social rank and allegedly called “the weapon of cowards.”9 As Hō ya and Brian Platt explain in their respective chapters, warring factions, to various degrees at different times of distress, began to recruit peasants for military service, thereby substantially eroding the hereditary status system. Despite the political, social, and military centrality of these imported rifles in the Meiji Restoration, the international trading routes that brought these weapons to Japan have yet to receive systematic, scholarly attention. The key facilitators of the weapons trade, Western merchants, feature almost en passent in classical narratives of the Meiji Restoration. Totman summarized the generally negative consensus of “foreign gunrunners” who worked “feverishly to profit from Japanese distress.”10 One undisputed exception is the central role attributed to Thomas Glover, the young Scottish trader in Nagasaki who, with the tacit support of the British Minister Sir Harry Parkes, supplied arms to the southwestern domains.11 The relatively rapid organization of a new type of rifle unit in Chō shū , Satsuma, Saga, and Tosa proved a decisive advantage in domestic military conflicts after 1866. By contrast, military reforms on the Tokugawa side supported by the French diplomat, Léon Roches, only began to be effective with the arrival of the French military mission in January 1867, which was too late to have a transformative impact on the subsequent battlefields. As Hō ya shows, even in the moment of existential

9 10 11

John Reddie Black, Young Japan: Yokohama and Yedo, 1858–79, Vol. 2 (London: Trubner & Co., 1881), p. 33. Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, p. 539. For scholarship on Glover, see Shinya Sugiyama, “Thomas B. Glover: A British Merchant in Japan, 1861–70,” Business History 26, no. 2 (1984): 115–138; Alexander McKay, Scottish Samurai: Thomas Blake Glover 1838–1911 (Edinburgh: Canongate Press, 1997); Michael Gardiner, At the Edge of Empire: The Life of Thomas B. Glover (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2007).

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crisis in early 1868, Tokugawa leaders were still reluctant to commit to a radical overhaul of their military organization. Domestic Demand and Worldwide Supply The treaty port trading regime, initiated in 1859, had a transformative impact on Japan’s domestic economy as Mark Metzler and Simon Partner compellingly show in this volume. In the Ansei treaties, the Tokugawa state explicitly kept its monopoly over the purchase of warships, cannons, and guns. Despite its wariness of domains arming themselves, the shogunate lifted the import ban in 1862. Tokugawa officials, through various channels including its network of informants and spies in Nagasaki, kept track of arms deals. When they suspected illegal arms were flowing to Chō shū , Tokugawa officials asked foreign diplomats to stop such “smuggling.” British officials responded by issuing warnings to their merchants without apprehending a single gunrunner. Meanwhile, the Tokugawa placed an order with Glover, one of the foremost smugglers, for thirty-five Armstrong guns and ammunition costing $183,847 in June 1865.12 Especially after the Second Chō shū Expedition (1866), demand soared and Western weapons began to circulate widely. When domestic tension rose further in 1867, firearms became Japan’s single most important import good. British official trade figures show the high level of demand. Total recorded small arms imports from 1863 to the end of the fighting in 1869 exceeded half a million. In addition, import statistics recorded ammunition cartridges, percussion caps, fittings, and sundry equipment. When small arms imports to Japan peaked in 1867, the amount spent on guns overtook the total for ships, which were far more capital-intensive (see Figure 4.1). Foreign diplomats deplored this change in the composition of commerce but recognized its economic significance. British Consul Marcus Flowers stressed the “great demand for arms and ammunition” due to the “troubled state of the country” in his trade report for Nagasaki. Since imports exceeded exports by $4.3 million, there was “great difficulty . . . in finding the means of remitting so large a surplus.”13 On the eve of the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance’s military campaigns in northern Honshu in 12

13

The only Western gun smuggler who received a penalty was the captain of the US steamer Anna Kimball, who was fined $1,000 in the US Consular Court in May 1866. McKay, Scottish Samurai, pp. 40, 70–71, 73. Consul Flowers April 15, 1868, Trade Reports on Nagasaki, 1867–1868, in Commercial Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls in China, Japan, and Siam, 1866–68. Presented to Both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty. July 1868 (London: Harrison & Sons, 1868), p. 288.

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16,00,000 14,00,000 12,00,000 10,00,000 8,00,000 6,00,000 4,00,000 2,00,000 0 1863

1864

1865 Ships

1866

1867

1868

1869

1870

Arms & Ammunition

Figure 4.1 Imports into Nagasaki (in Mexican dollars): ships versus arms and ammunitions, 1863–1870 Sources: Foreign Office: Consulate, Nagasaki, Japan: General Correspondence and Consular Court Records, Nagasaki, 1859–1870 and Shinya Sugiyama, “Thomas B. Glover: A British Merchant in Japan, 1861–70,” Business History 26, no. 2 (1984): 120

June 1868, a Yokohama colleague concurred that demand for weapons there had become so large that it had crowded out all other commercial activities: Arms . . . have, in most instances, been profitable investments to the individual importer, still such business only tends to fritter away the energies of the people and to turn their attention from proper objects of industry . . . Respectable English firms, until very recently, abstained altogether from participating in this trade; but they found they could not afford to stand aloof any longer, and during the past year all nationalities have been eager competitors in the field, and upwards of 100,000 stand of rifles were imported, all of which found a ready market.14

In fact, Yokohama attracted a larger stream of imported weapons than Nagasaki, a point neglected by previous studies (see Table 4.1). Contraband trade was presumably higher in Nagasaki than elsewhere 14

Consul Fletcher May 31, 1868, Trade Reports on Kanagawa 1867–1868. Ibid, p. 308.

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Table 4.1 Small arms imports by harbor, 1863–186916 Year

Yokohama

1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 Total

5,817 11,568 56,843 53,000 (est.) 102,333 106,036 58,613 394,210

Nagasaki

25,850 21,620 65,367 36,514 19,163 168,514

Kobe

Japan

7,120 7,120

5,817 11,568 82,693 74,620 167,700 142,550 84,896 569,844

Note: Due to a Yokohama Custom House fire in 1866, no official total remains for the entire year. Yokohama figures from May to December were 35,427; at a constant rate, annual imports would have amounted to 53,140. Considering that the previous year and the following year imports were higher, this is a rather conservative estimate.

but the official aggregates suggest that the Kanto Plain could have outgunned western Japan at a ratio of almost two to one. It is an oversimplification to assume that Nagasaki arms imports mostly supplied future “southern” rebels and the Yokohama trade led exclusively to a strengthening of the shogunate and its allies. Nevertheless, arms trade figures imply that the Kanto region and the Tokugawa seat of government were being strengthened over the peripheries and in due time should have had the upper hand in military clashes, if under a comparable level of leadership. The Keiō reforms (1866–1867) instituted by the bakufu, had quantifiable results in raising demand for arms. Moreover, French diplomat Léon Roches had started to have such an impact that the US merchant Eugene Van Reed complained in the summer of 1866: The French influence with the Japanese is astonishing to me, the more so as when I left there were but half a dozen merchants and no trade to make us feel their presence. Now everything is French, and they possess the very key to the power of the Tycoon.15

The arrival of French military advisors in 1867 further spread the fear – also dissipated by the British – that the Tokugawa were about to gain 15 16

Augustine Heard & Co. Collection 39 88, Letter Van Reed to Heard, July 12, 1866, p. 66. Yokohama Kaikō Shiryō kan (hereafter YKS). Hō ya Tō ru, Boshin sensō [The Boshin War] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007), p. 99.

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stronger control over the country and possibly remodel it in a centralized French way. Trade figures point to other issues often offered as reasons for the collapse of Tokugawa order: widespread lack of commitment and disengagement. When Scottish journalist John R. Black reported rumors that the shogunate had up to 300,000 rifles but only 10,000 men ready to use them, he noted a central problem in the acquisition of the new technology.17 Distributed evenly among the male population of Japan, the number of gun imports would have meant that about 3 percent of the population could have carried one by the end of the Boshin War. By comparing import figures to the number of actual fighters in any one Boshin theater, which often ranged from a few hundreds to tens of thousands, we can conclude that many imported arms were employed not in combat but in local defensive or policing activities. During the summer campaign of 1866 against Chō shū , the bakufu confronted a “massive daimyo betrayal” with many domains refusing to dispatch troops to the battlefield.18 The commander of the Chō shū campaign, the daimyo of Wakayama, Tokugawa Mochitsugu, withdrew his support of Yoshinobu before the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. This removed a domain force that had initiated a large-scale military reform plan with Western rifle units.19 Other domains purchased rifles for a fight that never occurred. In the Tohoku region, the Nanbu domain bought boxes of rifles in preparation for the Boshin War. Eventually domain leaders transshipped the unopened cases to Hakodate after they had worked out a political settlement with the new Meiji government. Foreign merchants rarely sold single rifles, but rather orders in the hundreds. Treaty port foreigners used rifles for sport and the Yokohama rifle unit, a militia protecting the treaty port, was a tiny force. Japanese commoners could have potentially acquired arms. For untrained commoners, however, their defensive value was questionable given that Japanese had been accustomed to view guns as hunting devices subject to a strict licensing system.20 During the early 1870s, as it was moving to abolish the domains and establish prefectures in their place, the Meiji government surveyed domains for their military holdings. It counted 6600 cannons (taihō ) and 370,000 small arms (shō jū ).21 The number of small arms recorded 17 18 20 21

Black, Young Japan, Vol. 2, pp. 32–33. Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, p. 231. 19 Ibid, pp. 406, 420, 431. David Howell, “The Social Life of Firearms in Tokugawa Japan,” Japanese Studies 29, no. 1 (2009): 65–80. Nanbō Heizō , “Meiji ishin zenkoku shohan no teppō senryoku” [The Firearm Strength of All Domains during the Meiji Restoration] Gunjigaku 13, no. 1 (1977): 77.

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in these surveys is lower than the British import figures of the 1860s by about 200,000, suggesting much undercounting.22 Even several years after the end of the conflicts, over 80 percent of small arms were singleshot, muzzle-loading rifles like the Enfield or Minie. Less than 8 percent fell into the categories of more advanced arms such as breech-loaders. Even old-style matchlock muskets and smoothbore guns appeared in local military collections. Based on these surveys, Nanbō Heizō estimates from the average density of guns per koku that the defunct Tokugawa military alliance would have possessed around 75,000 firearms. By contrast, Chō shū and Satsuma each had over 20,000 firearms. Including other domains in their coalition, such as Saga and Tosa, the figure rises to over 60,000 guns. Based on these estimates, on the eve of the Restoration, the Tokugawa held twice as many advanced breechloaders as its closest domain rival, Chō shū , and more combined firearms than the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance overall. The surveys also showed an uneven distribution of gun holdings in Japan. The top ten domains held three-quarters of the country’s firepower. By contrast, most of the 258 domains held hardly more than a few hundred guns. A regional entity could not resist larger centralized forces, as was illustrated in the case of the Aizu domain. When it surrendered Wakamatsu Castle in November 1868 after a month of fighting, Aizu handed over 2,845 firearms and 51 cannons.23 Despite its defeat, Aizu offers an instructive example. If so few weapons had such a noteworthy impact, one wonders how a more concentrated and coordinated Tokugawa regime, willing to fight and armed with Western military technology, could have shaped the course of the Meiji Restoration. Western Arms Traders in Nagasaki and Yokohama Thomas Glover exemplifies the iconic young, risk-taking bakumatsu arms dealer. This chapter does not diminish his leading stature in the Nagasaki arms trade but argues that there were other merchants like him. By the late 1860s, Dejima, the former outpost of the Dutch East India Company, turned into an island of Dutch and German gun merchants. Prominent among the twenty-six lotholders was Albert Johannes Bauduin, the representative of the Netherlands Trading Society and Dutch merchant consul. Another firm of note is Louis Kniffler & Co., which several times staffed the position of Prussian consul in Nagasaki. 22

23

British import numbers included revolvers in the numbers of small arms tallied, another possible reason for the statistical discrepancy. Moreover, after the Boshin War guns were resold abroad as domestic demand had declined precipitously. Ibid, p. 83.

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Other Dejima merchants dealing in arms were the Germans Carl Hermann, Oscar Hartmann, and Carl Lehmann. The Nagasaki Foreign Settlement also included Western traders in arms such as the Britons Thomas Glover, William Alt, and Frederick Ringer. The US firm, John Walsh and Company, was also very active along with Jose da Silva Loureiro, who also served as Portuguese merchant consul.24 From 1866 to 1867, the vast majority of the official weapons trade in Nagasaki (85 percent) went through British or Dutch/German hands.25 From domain contracts, we can trace transactions for 33,875 small arms, which amounts to about 40 percent of the Nagasaki import figures and thus constitutes a well-documented proportion of the international trade (Table 4.2). The top two traders, Glover and Kniffler, had more than half the sales and the top five merchant houses held 72 percent of the market share in guns, indicating a rather high level of economic concentration. As for their national backgrounds, Glover and the British took the lead (53 percent), followed by Kniffler and a group of Germans (Prussia/ Hamburg) and Dutch (32 percent). Loureiro, with 1,780 small arms sold, held the fifth position among all traders. Surprisingly low is the share of US traders, who together did not sell many more guns than this single Portuguese merchant house. The only “French” was William F. Gaymans, claiming Swiss citizenship and French protection, but who had been born in the Netherlands and died in Germany.26 Overall, European traders were responsible for over 95 percent of the small arms flowing into southwestern Japan. As discussed in detail below, they procured arms mostly through existing trade networks with European merchants in Asia or directly from Europe.27 In Yokohama, US and French merchants played a larger role with British, Dutch, German, and Swiss firms also active arms importers. At that port, 24

25

26

27

Document 14 34–7 2 “Shoka todoke ukagai senkaiire otsukefuda gojō yakugai no fune toraitachidome” [Replies to Correspondence from Various Houses on Purchases of Ships; Record of Announcements Regarding the Arrival of Ships from Countries without a Treaty] 1866 and Document 14–171-3–1 “Shoka kaiiremono ukagai otsukefuda” [Replies to the Inquiries from Various Houses on Purchased Good] 1867. Nagasaki Magistrate and Customs House Records preserved in Nagasaki Rekishi Bunka Hakubutsukan (Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture) (hereafter NRBH). Prior to the foundation of the German Empire in 1871 German merchants from Hamburg usually registered as Dutch nationals or sought the protection of other treaty nations such as Prussia. Born in 1836, Willem Frederik Gaymans also acted as the Italian Consul in Nagasaki after 1868 until he left in 1870 revealing the fluidity of the concept of nationality. Oura Biographies, “Nagasaki: People, Places and Scenes of the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement, 1859–1941,” www.nfs.nias.ac.jp/page019.html (accessed August 2, 2017). Percentages calculated from Takeo Shigefuji, Nagasaki kyoryūchi to gaikoku shō nin [The Foreign Settlement in Nagasaki and Foreign Merchants] (Tokyo: Kazama Shobō , 1967), p. 458.

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Table 4.2 Major small arms importers in Nagasaki, 1866–186728

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Trader

Nationality 1866 (1/2 year)

1867

Total

Glover Kniffler Alt Hughes Loureiro Lehmann Bauduin Gaymans French Bohlens

British German British British Portuguese German Dutch French USA German

12,140 1,901 2,829 1,810 1,780 526 300 1,120 366 500

12,825 5,001 3,079 1,810 1,780 1,452 1,300 1,120 866 768

685 3,100 250

926 1,000 500 268

the connection between foreign state diplomacy and government-induced trade was more apparent than in Nagasaki. The most glaring example of a diplomat who combined personal and public interest was US “General” Robert Pruyn. President Lincoln appointed him minister to Japan in 1861, and during his four-year tenure, members of the US Senate became suspicious of his “mercantile and business speculations.” Between 1862 and 1863, he promised to deliver three warships for which he obtained from the shogunate $637,000 in Mexican silver dollars, which was a vast sum amounting to almost two years of Yokohama custom revenues. In early 1868, the CSS Stonewall, originally built in France and procured from the defeated Confederate fleet, was delivered to Yokohama. The new Meiji government renamed it Kō tetsu and deployed it against the remnants of the Tokugawa fleet in the Battle of Hakodate in May 1869. European diplomats also played a central role in the arms trade. French Minister Léon Roches advised the shogunate between 1864 and 1868.29 The trading company of Jacques Coullet, backed by the Société Générale, sent arms to Japan via Paul Fleury-Hérard, a banker and merchant in France named honorary consul of Japan. When sixteen French cannons arrived in Yokohama in June 1865, they presented such a conspicuous shipment that it alarmed envoys from other Western nations, especially British officials, afraid of an increase in French influence on the domestic scene. Some domain leaders also viewed the shipment as a substantial strengthening of 28 29

Ibid. Richard Sims, French Policy towards the Bakufu and Meiji Japan 1854–95 (Richmond: Japan Library, 1998), pp. 48–72.

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the central Tokugawa authority.30 By the summer of 1867, the bakufu had outstanding orders for 40,000 breech-loading chassepot rifles and 300 field cannons for its troops who were to be trained by French military officers.31 French imports to Japan soared from 546,000 francs in 1865 to 7,480,000 francs in 1867, half of the orders received by Coullet’s firm.32 Despite an inquiry of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce in 1866 against Roches, there is no evidence of personal financial interests propelling his involvement in the French weapon business.33 By contrast, merchant consuls benefitted from their access to Tokugawa inner circles to engage in the arms trade. The Swiss Consul General, Caspar Brennwald, exported silk and silkworms and enjoyed the privilege of traveling freely in the interior thanks to his diplomatic status. From September 1866 to August 1867, he noted in his diary negotiations over rifles, cannons, gunpowder, and military uniforms. His trading counterparts were high-ranking Tokugawa officials and representatives of Matsuyama, Shimō sa, Owari, and Satsuma. Successful deals with the shogunate included 3,000 barrels of gunpowder and American carbines. In the spring of 1867, samples of Swiss-made breech-loading guns were testfired. The head of the Tokugawa forces, however, told Brennwald that they would not proceed with an order since the soldiers had not yet received sufficient training in such advanced weapons.34 Yokohama as a weapons entrepôt was subject to the shift in political power in 1868. Following news of the outcome of the Battle of TobaFushimi, Yokohama traders began to doubt that the Tokugawa regime would survive. Already on February 6, 1868, F. Piguet of the French Société Générale refused to deliver 1,000 chassepot rifles and ammunition to the bakufu official, Oguri Tadamasa, unless he was paid $80,000.35 Thereafter, demand for rifles, including breech-loaders and repeating rifles exploded. Northern domains arming for their potential defense scrambled to obtain all available weapons on the Yokohama market. In the spring of 1868, domains in the Tohoku region actively imported Enfields, as well as American-made Springfields, Sharps, and 30 31 32 34

35

Meron Medzini, French Policy in Japan during the Closing Years of the Tokugawa Regime (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1971), pp. 125–126. By the end of 1867 not more than 3,000 chassepot had arrived in Edo but they were not used in the conflict. Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, p. 334. Sims, French Policy, p. 221. 33 Ibid, p. 68. Yokohama Kaikō Shiryō kan, ed., Burenwarudo no Bakumatsu Meiji Nippon nikki [Brennwald’s Diary of Bakumatsu and Meiji Japan] (Tokyo: Nikkei BP-sha, 2015), pp. 100–102, 241–242. M. Kanai, “Oguri Tadamasa no taieifutsu shakkan ni kansuru Kishigawaka denrai bunsho no saihyō ka” [Reassessment of the Documents of the Kishigawa House in Regards to the Anglo-French Loan of Oguri Tadamasa] Tokugawa rinseishi kenkyū jo kenkyū kiyō (1971): 401–403.

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Snider rifles.36 Several domains with a doubtful future in a new political system formed a Northern Alliance under the formal leadership of house elders from Shō nai and Yonezawa. Two affiliated members, Aizu and Sendai, possessed the largest military forces. Hoping to procure advanced Western arms, these domains prepared for a fight for their political survival. For a brief moment, the division of Japan into two separate autonomous regions seemed conceivable when Roches in early 1868 tried to mediate in the civil war so that the Tokugawa and their allies would retain control of eastern Japan.37 Procuring from Global, Regional, and Local Arms Markets Western traders in Nagasaki and Yokohama sourced their arms globally, regionally, and locally. Popular narratives credit the US Civil War as providing a ready supply of arms for the Boshin War.38 US firms and the US government did indeed sell military equipment to Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.39 Between 1865 and 1870, the United States exported over 1.5 million rifles, especially to the Ottoman Empire.40 Remington, the largest private arms manufacturer in the United States, exported breech-loading rifles to China and Japan.41 The firm of Schuyler, Hartley, & Graham became one of the largest arms merchants in the United States during the 1860s. In August 1868, it sent 200 Austrian muskets with bayonets, 200 Spencer rifles with bayonets, as well as 300 bayonets and scabbards to Japan.42 US merchants in Yokohama also served as intermediaries. In late 1864, the representative of Augustine Heard & Co. wrote about Satsuma leaders’ desire for Enfields and their search for ships armed with rifled 36

37 38 39 40 41

42

Kunio Maruyama, “Ishin zengo ni okeru tohoku shohan no buki kō ’nyū mondai” [On the Issue of Arms Purchase by Several Tohoku Domains after the Restoration] Rekishi chiri 71, no. 1 (1938): 15–38. Sims, French Policy, p. 71. See the opening scenes of the 2013 NHK Taiga drama “Yae no Sakura.” Top-five small arms firms were Remington, Colt, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and Providence Tool Company. Remington alone exported more than 500,000 arms. Jonathan A. Grant, Rulers, Guns, and Money: The Global Arms Trade in the Age of Imperialism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), pp. 15–17. “The Colt Papers” in the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut, mention 114,500 Remington rifles sold to China before the Franco-Prussian War. Sales figures for Japan are unknown. Geoffrey Shannon Stewart, The American Small Arms Industry: In Search for Stability, 1865–1885 (MA thesis, Brown University, 1973), pp. 64, 70, 133. “Folder 9: August 1868, 08/01/1868 – 08/31/1868” from Schuyler, Hartley & Graham Papers, 1868–1963, McCracken Research Library, Cody, Wyoming, http://centerofthe west.libraryhost.com/?p=collections/findingaid&id=35&q=&rootcontentid=16688 (accessed March 22, 2018).

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cannons.43 During the summer of 1868, the US firm received from San Francisco breech-loading Spencer rifles “most favorably known by the Japanese” and sold them to Favre-Brandt, a Swiss merchant house in Yokohama. When offered Smith & Wesson’s revolvers with cartridges from its partners in Boston, it purchased them as well, expecting a ready market in Japan. By contrast, Heard & Co. had difficulty disposing of 1,000 French chassepots that had arrived in July 1868 and sold them only in April 1869.44 In rare cases, Japanese representatives would interact directly with producers and military arsenals in Europe. In January 1863, “the Japanese ambassador” inspected the innovative mass production methods of the Royal Small Arms factory in Enfield.45 A “Japanese commissioner” in 1865 had ordered twelve cannons and shells from the Fonderie Royal in Liège. Upon hearing the news, the French government inquired why Japanese were purchasing from Belgium and not from France. Tokugawa officials responded that this must have been an acquisition by a Japanese lord. Their response shows how much the Tokugawa had lost control over these unprecedented armament purchases.46 German manufacturers provided cannons and rifles. A Japanese delegation contacted the German Krupp steel works in Essen to arrange a visit in July 1862. From Krupp the Japanese contingent also ordered sixteen-inch barrels in 1864 and received twenty-four breech-loader cannons in 1865.47 After the Prussian victory over Austria in 1866, German gun technology received increased attention in Japan. Representatives of the Kii domain in Wakayama and of Aizu signed contracts in April 1867 with the German trading firm of Lehmann, Hartmann, & Company, which was established as a partnership in Nagasaki in 1866. Carl Lehmann then went to Germany to obtain Dreyse needle guns (Zündnadelgewehr) made in the small German town of Suhl, famous for its weapons industry. In December 1868, the arms were loaded in Hamburg and the last shipment finally arrived in Kobe in June 1869, which was long after the defeat of Aizu.48 Carl Lehmann then 43 44 45 46 47 48

A. Heard & Co. Collection, 39 88 Letters received 1863–66, Van Reed to Heard, December 17 and 22 1864, pp. 43–44, YKS. A. Heard and Co. 39 142 Volume 461 Letters Sent – Yokohama, various letters 186869, YKS. David Owen Pam, The Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, & Its Workers (Enfield: David Pam, 1998), p. 61. Medzini, French Policy in Japan, pp. 144–145. “Krupp – Japan ausführliche Zusammenstellung vom 10. August 1983” [Krupp Japan Detailed Summary August 10, 1983]. Krupp Archive, Essen (Germany). Lehmann also had three iron coastal steamships made in Hamburg for the Japanese government. Gerd Hoffmann, “Rudolph Lehmann (1842–1914) – ein Lebensbild” [Rudolph Lehmann (1842–1914) – a Life Portrait] OAG-Notizen, Vol. 9 (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens) (September 2006): 20–21.

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sued the representatives of the former Aizu domain about contract fulfilment.49 By contrast, Kii, under new leadership, gladly took the consignment of 3,000 rifles and hired the German Carl Köppen as military instructor. By December 1871, Kii had obtained 13,970 rifles from Germany and was one of Japan’s technological trendsetters.50 Throughout the 1860s, ports in India and China were also potential hubs for trade in small arms, especially prior to the end of the US Civil War in 1865. The Sepoy Mutiny in India (1857–1859) had erupted over the introduction of the Enfield rifles and their related drill practice of biting off cartridges, which were allegedly greased with animal fat and thus contrary to many local religious practices. Furukawa Manabu suggests the Enfield rifles collected by the British during and after the conflict in India may have been sold at a profit in Japan, which had just been opened to trade.51 Moreover, the arsenals of the English East India Company produced gun carriages, percussion caps, bullets, and munitions that may also have supplied other Asian markets.52 The guns of India could have made it to Japan via China. Singapore had also turned into an arms trading hub, illustrated by its governor’s complaints, issued as early as 1858, about local militias armed with Enfields.53 China itself served as a source of arms, gunpowder, and gun parts. By the early 1860s, both sides in Taiping Rebellion were using Western firearms. Americans in Shanghai were accused of selling to the Taipings since a single musket could fetch the “fabulous sum” of $100. In 1862, a Shanghai trading house supplied the Taipings with 3,000 muskets, rifles and shotguns as well as 18,000 cartridges.54 The Qing government also eagerly bought foreign military equipment. In 1867 authorities in Tientsin imported 419 foreign cannons, “220 muskets, 2,000 revolvers, 27,675 lbs. of gunpowder, and 1,300,000 percussion caps.” Moreover, the Qing aimed to construct military arsenals for gunpowder or the production of gun parts, and hoped to initiate production of modern rifles.55 49 50

51

52 54 55

Shigefuji, Nagasaki kyoryū chi, pp. 276–288. Margaret Mehl, Carl Köppen und sein Wirken als Militärinstrukteur für das Fürstentum KiiWakayama (1869–1872) [Carl Köppen as a Military Instructor for Kii-Wakayama Domain, 1869–1872] (Bonn: Förderverein “Bonner Zeitschr. für Japanologie,” 1987), pp. 34–35, 52. Oscar Hartmann left the partnership in late 1871 and returned to Hamburg. Manabu Furukawa, “Indo daihanran to bakumatsu seiyō jū ” [The Indian Mutiny and Western Arms in the Bakumatsu Period] Shigaku 56, no. 1 (1986): 11. However, the evidence is circumstantial since no direct trade and transport links existed then between India and Japan. Chew, Arming the Periphery, p. 235. 53 Ibid, p. 183. Ian Heath, The Taiping Rebellion 1851–66 (London: Osprey, 1994). Unlike their reports on Japan the British customs reports on China ignored the flow of weapons that were exempt from customs duties. A rare exception was a reference in 1867 “Report on the Trade of Tient-tsin for the Year 1867” Commercial Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls in China, Japan, and Siam, 1866–68, pp. 167, 173.

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In the 1860s, Shanghai newspapers carried European and US manufacturers’ advertisements for military goods. Merwin & Bray of New York praised its Ballard breech-loading rifle and carbine as being of “high character.”56 Colt’s FireArms Company boasted about supplying the British, US, Russian, and Prussian governments and warned potential buyers of counterfeits, identified by the absence of the company’s trademark. Besides selling directly from London, the company also mentioned the possibility of ordering “through any India or Colonial Agency.”57 Advertisements often alluded to the dual usage of guns for sport and the military but one firm, Joyce’s Ammunition, invoked its status as contractors to Her Majesty’s War Department and thus targeted armies in need of supply.58 Eley Brothers of London advertised its ammunitions for several years as wholesale only. In 1866, the company publicized its ball cartridges for Enfields and Westley Richard’s as “Bullets of uniform weight, made by compression from soft Refined Lead.”59 By the end of the decade, it had kept pace with military progress in ammunition and rifle technology. It now wanted to sell metallic boxer cartridges explicitly suited for military rifles.60 All the while, the North China Herald followed the state of Japanese armed conflicts and the importance of advanced military equipment in them, claiming in 1866 that one could say that Chō shū boasted five rifles to the shogun’s one and was gaining easy victories “by mere force of superior arms.”61 The treaty port merchant community in Shanghai was thus alert to Chinese and Japanese market opportunities. Shanghai served as marketplace for both sides in the Boshin War. In May 1868, the British merchant house, Lane Crawford & Company, promised to deliver 2,000 stands of short Enfields to George Porter in Hakodate for the sum of $37,686. The company delayed the contracted delivery for half a year and expected a profit of over $10,000 for the deal. These two factors indicate the high demand for merchandise as well as the fact that it was not locally available in Shanghai and thus imported from elsewhere. A later court case over payments further reveals how the international rifle trade was subject to changing political fortunes and mercantile circumstances in Japan. In December 1868, Hakodate authorities refused landing of an arms shipment, which was then returned to 56 57 58 59 60 61

“Merwin & Bray Fire-arms Co.’s” advertisement in NCH January 20, 1866. Supplement. “Colts’ Revolvers” NCH March 24, 1866, 48. “Joyce’s Ammunition” NCH August 18, 1866, 132. “Ammunition” NCH January 20, 1866. Supplement. “Eley’s ammunition” NCH February 1, 1870, 89. See also advertisement by Colt’s Fire Arms Company, London, NCH May 5, 1870, 333. “War in Japan” NCH October 6, 1866, pp. 159–160, reprint from Japan Times.

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Shanghai for Glover & Company to “hold as security” until full payment. In the meantime, Glover pawned the rifles to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. By 1870, their commercial value had declined and a lawyer for Lane Crawford & Company complained that the arms could have been sold for a good price in Osaka in early 1869 had they been shipped there.62 Mercantile Alliances in the South and the North Much scholarship has examined the large, well-known trading houses such as Jardine Matheson & Company and Walsh, Hall, & Company. This section explores instead the activities of two, middling trading houses that, in fact, imported the bulk of arms provided to the domains. Despite or because of their German-Dutch background, which represented none of the three most important foreign powers in Japanese diplomacy of the late 1860s, the firms of Kniffler and Schnell became significant arms dealers. One supplied southwestern domains, especially through Nagasaki, and the other supported the Northern Alliance through Yokohama and later Niigata. Kniffler & Company: “Top Arms Dealer after Glover” Kniffler & Company was the top weapons dealer after Glover in the Nagasaki trade.63 The firm started in general merchandise in Nagasaki in July 1859. Its founder, Louis Kniffler, grew up in a town in Prussia and became an apprentice in Hamburg. Later he moved to the German firm, Pandel & Stiehaus, operating in Dutch Batavia. When he heard about the opening of Japan, he left the firm to explore Nagasaki. Kniffler was one of the first foreign merchants to open shop in Yokohama and Fukuzawa Yukichi records buying two English-Dutch dictionaries from the Kniffler store.64 Kniffler originally planned to sell wool and cotton textiles, glassware, medicines, and arms. In letters to supporters in Hamburg, these goods were praised as of “increasing relevance for German industry.”65 The firm initially started trades with Batavia, Manila, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Most lucrative proved the seasonal export of kelp such as in 62 63 64

65

NCH “Law Reports” January 18, 1870, pp. 45–48. Shigefuji, Nagasaki kyoryū chi, p. 458. Yukichi Fukuzawa, The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa, ed. and trans. Eiichi Kiyooka, Unesco Collection of Representative Works (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), p. 97. Regine Mathias-Pauer and Erich Pauer, Die Hansestädte und Japan, 1855–1867: ausgewählte Dokumente [The Hanseatic Cities and Japan, 1855–1867: Selected Documents] (Marburg: Förderverein Marburger Japan-Reihe, 1992), pp. 53, 80.

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1865 from Wilkie & Gärtner of Hakodate to a Chinese merchant in Shanghai.66 Just as other merchants, the firm engaged in miscellaneous trades. It exported silk from Yokohama, and it may have maintained a teafiring plant in Nagasaki.67 By 1866, Kniffler’s company rented one-third of the island of Dejima for its storehouses and its cargo amounted to about half of the volume of Prussian shipping to Yokohama.68 The firm had established a respectable position in the volatile markets of the Japanese treaty ports when Louis Kniffler left for Germany in late 1865, possibly to deepen his contacts to German industry. Kniffler & Company gradually expanded its weapons business. In 1862, the company received a shipment of rifles from the Bremen company of Joh. Lange Sohn’s Witwe & Company.69 In September 1863, Louis Kniffler observed the high prices obtained for American-made revolvers in Japan.70 In July 1865, a corporate letter notes that throughout the previous year the domains have been assembling significant positions in “fine weapons” with the French minister actively recommending the purchase of French arms.71 By 1866, the Kniffler firm was fully involved in arms deals, selling a total of at least 8,000 small arms, as well as ammunition and gunpowder over the next two years. Most of its trading partners were domains in Kyushu. By September 1866, the company had supplied Satsuma (1,820 Enfields), Saga/Hizen (2,990 Enfields and 500 other rifles), Kumamoto (500 Enfields), Kokura (200 Enfields), Ō mura (320 Enfields). Northern domains such as Yonezawa (Yamagata), Kubota (Akita), and Sendai were also customers. The Nagasaki Magistrate kept the receipts of payments for arms deals conducted by “L. Kniffler shō kai [company].” Often receipts were addressed to the Nagasaki Customs House and included a sum and the number of arms – for example 9,000 ichibu for “150 Enfield Rifles” on March 18, 1867, without naming the Japanese counterpart of the deal.72 Kniffler & Company also shipped the first Krupp cannons to Japan.73 In 1871 the firm took an order from Kii for twenty pieces of Krupp field artillery that had proved devastating in the Battle of Sedan during the 66 67 68 69 70 72 73

Kikkawa Takeo and Eisenhofer-Halim Hannelore, Irisu 150 nen: reimeiki no kioku [150 Years of Illies: Memories of the Period of Dawn] (Tokyo: Irisu, 2009), pp. 70–73. Ibid, p. 71. Martin Hermann Gildemeister, Ein Hanseat in Japan 1859–1868 [A Hamburg Citizen in Japan 1859-1868] (Hamburg: Hanseatischer Merkur, 1993), p. 32. Johannes Bähr, Jörg Lesczenski, and Katja Schmidtpott, Winds of Change: On the 150th Anniversary of C. Illies & Co. (Munich: Piper, 2009), pp. 35–36. Ibid, 46. 71 Gildemeister, Ein Hanseat, pp. 247–249. NRBH, “Shoka kaiiremono ukagai.” Michael Rauck, “Die Beziehungen zwischen Japan und Deutschland 1859–1914 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Wirtschaftsbeziehungen” [Relations Between Japan and Germany 1859–1914 with Special Consideration for Economic Relations] (PhD

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Franco-Prussian War.74 Gustav Reddelien was the key dealmaker for Kniffler & Company. Like Glover but different from many other traders, he apparently acquired sufficient Japanese competency to negotiate without a translator with the Tosa domain representative Gotō Shō jirō .75 Tosa was its most valuable customer to which it delivered two English warships (Rattler, Leopard) between 1866 and 1867. As Tosa lacked funds these were high-risk deals consisting of a mixture of cash, barter, and promises for future payments. The first transaction in April 1866 consisted of 300 rifles, 140 bales of wool, and 9,915 ryō for 900 tons of camphor. In November, Tosa exchanged 180 tons of camphor for 500 breech-loading rifles. In March 1867, Tosa bought the steamer, Hiogo, for $70,000 and, as part of the deal, Kniffler received the Shanghai valued at $30,000. At that time, about two-thirds of Japanese camphor exports came from Tosa, a product used in many ways, including by Europeans to treat rheumatism. Kniffler hoped to set European prices and reap a monopoly profit. Relations with Tosa worsened over nonpayments and the desire to renegotiate terms of the deal. This souring was partly due to turmoil within Tosa and ensuing leadership changes but also due to Japanese awareness of the profits Kniffler was making. Richard Lindau, the Prussian consul at Nagasaki, arbitrated the disputes, while simultaneously informing his American employer about the lucrative nature of the camphor trade.76 Still, in December 1867, Kniffler demanded the confiscation of Tosa ships in the Nagasaki harbor as the domain still owed $80,000. Eventually Iwasaki Yatarō , the future founder of Mitsubishi, negotiated an installment plan on behalf of Tosa.77 Frictions with Kniffler or sheer lack of funds induced Tosa representatives to look for alternative arms suppliers willing to sell on credit. Sakamoto Ryō ma’s trading organization, the Kaientai, which was loosely

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diss., Erlangen, Nürnberg University, 1988), p. 434; Kikkawa, Irisu 150 nen, 76; Bähr, Winds of Change, p. 47. Kasai Masanao, “Meiji zenki heiki yu’nyū to bō eki shō sha: rikugun kō shō to no kanren ni oite” [Weapons Imports in the Early Meiji Period and Trading Firms: the Connection to the Army Arsenal] Keizai kagaku 34, no. 4 (1987): 384. With his Japanese wife, Ozone Fukui, he had three children. Rudolf Beisenkötter, “Gustav Reddelien und der Beginn des deutsch-japanischen Handels” [Gustav Reddelien and the Beginning of German-Japanese Trade] OAG Noitzen vol. 11 (November 2001): 9–10. Richard Lindau worked for Walsh & Company until 1867, then for Alt & Company until 1870. Arthur Richard Weber, Kontorrock und Konsulatsmütze [Business Dress and Consular Cap] (Tokyo: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens, 1973), pp. 142–143. “Nagasaki Tosa shō kai kankei bunsho: Nagasaki bugyō sho kiroku” [Documents Relating to the Tosa Trading Company in Nagasaki: Records of the Nagasaki Magistrate’s Office] in Kō chi chihō shi kenkyū kai, ed., Tosa gunsho shū sei [Collection of Records from Tosa], Vol. 19. (Kō chi: Kō chi shiritsu shimin toshokan, 1969).

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affiliated with the Tosa domain, purchased 1,300 rifles from Oscar Hartmann with a down payment of 4,000 ryō with 12,000 to follow. Sakamoto’s good relations with Satsuma and mutual interests to arm a strong, anti-Tokugawa coalition made the deal possible. Sakamoto brought the rifles with him to Kyoto in early November 1867 only to be assassinated a few weeks later.78 At Nagasaki, Kniffler & Company traded in many types of small arms, the majority not made in Germany.79 The firm procured most of its weapons in Chinese treaty ports. Extant correspondence with its German partner in Shanghai, Telge Nölting & Company, suggests Kniffler & Company conducted opportunistic arms trading in response to supply and demand. In June 1865, Telge offered 600 rifles stored in Shanghai.80 Correspondence in January 1866 discussed an order for 200 picul of saltpeter from Hong Kong, a deal related to the possible purchase of 2,350 muskets. Moreover, company records mention the sale at a profit to Walsh & Company of the remainder of a shipment of Enfields for which there was “lively demand” in Yokohama.81 After 1866 the firm also expanded its international network and corresponded directly with business partners throughout Western Europe. It also dealt with firms in San Francisco and New York. Despite its role as a weapons importer in the 1860s, Kniffler continued its trade in silk and textile fabrics, deals that allowed the firm to be involved in other kinds of transaction.82 As with other Western merchants in Japan, we can effectively trace the connections between Japanese and Chinese treaty ports as well as to other points within China. Kniffler & Company provided domains with weaponry in the years surrounding the Meiji Restoration and thrived thereafter. Yet this was not an automatic outcome for Western arms traders of the 1860s. Glover & Company famously declared bankruptcy in 1870 due to unpaid debts when the arms market collapsed and its ambitious mining venture failed. Kniffler & Company continued to profit from arms deals with the new Meiji government’s Department of Military Affairs in Tokyo. A sale of Enfields was its first such contract in the 1870s.83 In 1871, it delivered 5,700 Dryse needle guns and carbines for $74,355 and twenty Krupp cannons.84 As head of the biggest German merchant firm in Japan, Louis Kniffler accompanied 78 79 80 81 82 84

Marius B. Jansen, Sakamoto Ryō ma and the Meiji Restoration (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), pp. 310, 326. Kniffler’s only documented involvement in a rifle deal with a German manufacturer was arranging for the payments for the Dreyse needle guns on behalf of the Kii domain. Letter Telge to Kniffler, June 21, 1865. Illies & Company Corporate Archive (hereafter ICA), Hamburg. Letters Telge to Kniffler, January 10, 1866, January 22, 1866 and January 24, 1866. ICA. Bähr, Winds of Change, pp. 53–54. 83 Ibid, p. 57. Kasai, “Meiji zenki heiki yu’nyū ,” pp. 362, 367, 382.

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the Iwakura Mission on its visit to Germany where it also inspected the Krupp facilities in Essen. Over the long term, Kniffler & Company profited from its intermediary role between German industry and the Japanese government. Between 1880 and 1910, the company served as the main Krupp representative in Japan, during which time the Japanese government ordered Krupp cannons.85 Upon the retirement of the childless Louis Kniffler, a younger partner took over the firm and, in April 1880, renamed it Carl Illies & Company, which still exists today as a German family-owned enterprise with businesses in Japan. Schnell & Company: “Glover of the North” The Schnell brothers, specialized arms dealers in Yokohama, continued to supply northern domains even after it became politically dangerous. Harold Bolitho called Edward Schnell the “Glover of the north” thereby reifying the British trader as the key reference point for a successful arms dealer.86 Ishii Takashi’s characterization of him as a “merchant of death” (shi no shō nin) also testifies to the importance of Schnell.87 The parents of the Schnell brothers were born in Kurhessen, which became part of Prussia in 1866. Because their father joined the Dutch colonial army, Henry (Johann Heinrich) and Edward (Friedrik Hendrik Eduard) Schnell grew up in Batavia.88 Both brothers came to Yokohama in the early 1860s and acquired a working knowledge of the Japanese language as well as broad contacts within the treaty port community. The younger brother, Edward, collaborated with a Swiss merchant, François Perregaux, from 1862 until 1867 selling watches and in 1869 began to partner with his brother.89 The aforementioned Swiss Consul Brennwald recorded the presence of Edward Schnell in arms negotiations with 85

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“Verzeichnis der von der Gußstahlfabrik und dem Grusonwerk von 1847 bis 1912 gefertigten Kanonen (Geheim)” [List of Cannons (Secret) Made by the Cast Steel Factory and the Gruson Factory from 1847 to 1912] Krupp – Japan ausführliche Zusammenstellung vom 10. August 1983. Historisches Archive mit Fußnoten,” Krupp Archive. In the 1870s, Krupp paid its agents in Japan like Bair & Co. and Ahrens & Co. a commission of 10 percent for cannons and 5 percent for other materials. Concerning the Iwakura Mission and military contacts with Meiji Japan, see following files: Documents WA I 584, FAH II/B/337, and WA 7 f 862, Krupp Archive. Harold Bolitho, “The Echigo War 1868,” Monumenta Nipponica 34, no.3 (1979): 266. Takashi Ishii, Ishin no nairan [Civil Wars of the Restoration] (Tokyo: Shiseidō , 1968), p. 142. Fukuoka Mariko, “Boshin sensō ni kan’yo shita Shyuneru kyodai no ‘kokuseki’ mondai,” [The Nationality Problem of the Schnell Brothers in the Boshin War] in Boshin sensō no shiryō gaku, ed. Hakoishi Hiroshi (Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan, 2013), pp. 116–117, 121. Kurt Meissner, “‘General’ Eduard Schnell,” Monumenta Nipponica 4, no. 2 (July 1941): 71–72.

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bakufu officials conducted in October 1866.90 In 1866, Schnell began arms trading in Edo with Ō kura Kihachirō , who was a native of Echigo province and later founded the Ō kura zaibatsu.91 From his Yokohama base in 1867, Edward developed links with the northern Honshu domains of Echigo, Dewa, and Mutsu. Unlike other Yokohama merchants, the Schnell brothers, especially Henry, apparently became involved in the Boshin War out of personal and not simply commercial interest.92 After 1863, Max von Brandt, the Prussian diplomatic representative, employed Henry Schnell as secretary and translator.93 Henry was still working for the Prussian government when a samurai threatened him and Edward on their way from Yokohama to Edo in August 1867.94 This incident caused von Brandt to ask for the death penalty of the offender, who had admitted that he wanted to kill the brothers. It is not surprising that many viewed the Schnell brothers as supporting Prussian diplomacy in arming northern domains. A British cartoonist, writing in the Japan Punch, bluntly portrayed a Western male figure as Faust, who looked like Schnell, with the word “arms” written on a silkworm box offered to a coy Japanese female, Margerite, as dealing with the Faustian German devil (see Figure 4.2). Readers no doubt could identify the devil, who was watched indulgently by the figure of Max von Brandt with a Japanese castle tower appearing in the background. After the demise of French influence in Japanese politics with the resignation of Roches in 1868, Prussia seemed to have turned into potentially the most formidable local opponent of British policy. In the controversy surrounding the opening of Niigata as a treaty port, Harry Parkes decided to postpone trade, while German, Italian, and Dutch diplomats insisted that the start of commercial relations not be delayed beyond midJuly 1868. The desire for access to silkworms and silkworm eggs in the hinterland of Niigata were the official commercial matters of dispute but the core political issue was whether to open an international maritime arms supply route to the north. Max von Brandt was skeptical about the advance of the southern domains. Ferdinand von Richthofen, a German visitor to Yokohama, 90 91 92

93 94

Yokohama Kaikō Shiryō kan, ed., Burenwarudo, pp. 100–102. Ō kura Zaibatsu Kenkyū kai, ed., Ō kura zaibatsu no kenkyū : ō kura to tairiku [Studies on the Ō kura Zaibatsu: Ō kura and the Continent] (Kintō Shuppan-sha, 1977), pp. 21–22. Leysner & Company, Textor & Company, Adrian & Company, Siber & Company, and C. & J. Favre-Brandt & Company are some of the other German-Swiss merchants with known connection to northern domains. In 1869 he left the country with a Japanese wife and two young daughters; see Meissner, “‘General’ Eduard Schnell,” p. 397. Black, Young Japan, Vol. 2, pp. 78–79.

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Figure 4.2 “Faust and Margerite” Arms Sales, Japan Punch (1868): no. 2. From Fukkoku-ban: Japan panchi [Reprint Edition: Japan Punch] Volume 2 (Tokyo: Maruzen-Yushudo Company Limited, 1999), p. 113. Used with permission of Maruzen Yushudo Company Limited

reported in his diary in August 1868 that von Brandt expected a permanent partition of Japan into northern and southern halves with a few independent princes in the middle.95 Moreover, we know that von Brandt had proposed a Prussian takeover of Hokkaido to Chancellor Bismarck in 1865 and again in January 1867. Instead of migrating to the United States, he argued that one and a half million Germans should instead come to Japan to establish an agricultural colony. To protect the enterprise, an armed force of 5,000 German soldiers would suffice, as Hakodate had weak defenses. Chancellor Bismarck ignored the suggestion but his local representative might still have been exploring such opportunities. In July 1868, von 95

E. Tiessen, ed., Ferdinand von Richthofen’s Tagebücher aus China [Ferdinand von Richthofen Diaries from China] (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 1907), p. 5. Fabian Drixler has explored the possibility of a more permanent division of Japan during the Boshin War in an unpublished essay “Alternative Japanese Nations in the Meiji Restoration: The Lost History of Azuma,” paper presented at “Global History and the Meiji Restoration,” conference convened at Heidelberg University, July 3–5, 2015.

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Brandt seemed to be close to realizing his dreams of gaining an East Asian foothold for the German empire. He excitedly reported home about an offer from a northern domain, possibly drafted under the advice of Henry Schnell: The daimyo of Aizu and Shō nai in the North of Japan have told me secretly that they are wishing to sell their territories on Yezo [Hokkaido] and the West coast to Prussia.96

For the Schnell brothers, 1868 proved a watershed year. They were willing to supply weapons and desperately needed ammunition to northern domains when others refused or failed do so. Moreover, they left the safety of Yokohama to personally deliver goods in the northern regions. One of their first transactions took place in the spring of 1868 with Kawai Tsugunosuke, the house elder of the Nagaoka domain. When the domain traded its Edo mansion and treasures for military equipment from merchants such as Schnell and Favre-Brandt, it established the basis for the later Echigo wars of resistance, especially with the acquisition of two, rare rapidfiring American Gatling guns, purchased for 10,000 ryō . In July, Eduard Schnell moved his business base to Niigata and barely escaped when the city was occupied by Satsuma-Chō shū forces on September 15.97 His brother, Henry, had resigned his post in the Prussian legation in January 1868.98 This act may have served to disassociate his intended military activities from official Prussian diplomacy.99 Henry then traveled to Wakamatsu and functioned as a kind of military, diplomatic, and commercial advisor to the domains of the Northern Alliance. During this time, Henry became known as the “Prussian General” and took up the Japanese name of Hiramatsu Buhei, the surname formed by the inversion of the two characters of the family name of the Matsudaira daimyo of Aizu.100 When Aizu fell, Henry continued to believe in the cause. He went to Shanghai to procure additional arms and tried to convince Shibusawa Eiichi and the younger brother of Tokugawa Yoshinobu to come to Hakodate to continue the fight. We do not know much about him afterwards, except that in spring 1869, he left with his wife (a woman from northern Japan) and their children, leading 96

97 98

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Rolf-Harald Wippich, Japan als Kolonie? Max von Brandts Hokkaidō -Projekt 1865/1867 [Japan as a Colony? Max von Brandts Hokkaidō Project 1865/67] (Hamburg: AberaVerlag, 1997), p. 25. Ishii, Ishin no nairan, pp. 134–135, 144–145, 155; Bolitho, “The Echigo War 1868,” p. 276; Meissner, “‘General’ Eduard Schnell,” pp. 90–91. Holmer Stahncke, Die Brüder Schnell und der Bürgerkrieg in Nordjapan [The Brothers Schnell and the Civil War in Northern Japan] (Dt. Ges. für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens, 1986), p. 19. Masahiro Tanaka, “Tō hoku sensō ni katsuyaku seru Suneru no sujō ,” [The Identity of Schnell: A Man Active in the Tohoku Wars] Kokugakuin zasshi 74, no. 5 (May 1973): 23. “Aidzu’s General,” Japan Punch (third issue 1868), in Japan Punch, 1867–1869, Vol. 2 (Tokyo: Yū shō dō Shoten, 1975), p. 118.

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a group of Japanese migrants to California to establish the tea farm “Wakamatsu,” which failed after two years. Edward remained in Yokohama for another five years despite or because of continuous litigation with the new government. On December 6, 1868, the Kanagawa governor, Terashima Munenori, brought Edward to the Dutch Consular Court for having illegally traded with rebel groups. The plaintiffs introduced a contract with Schnell discovered on the body of Ishihara Kuraemon, a leading vassal of the Shō nai domain. Schnell was supposed to deliver within a month rifles, ammunition, revolvers, trumpets, gunpowder, and five maps of the Sea of Japan for $51,131. Because the goods were brought from San Francisco, the delivery period was extended to 100 days. Schnell was asked to return the down payment of $13,032. In 1869, the presiding judge, the Dutch Consul Dirk de Graeff von Polsbroek, cofounder of the firm of Textor & Company that had later sold arms to the Schnell brothers and the Sendai domain, dismissed the government claim on the grounds that trade at a treaty port was not illegal and that Schnell never received the payments in question. Moreover, foreign nations had declared their neutrality in the domestic conflict and since Schnell’s firm was permitted to sell to the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance, it should also have been legal to sell to the Northern Alliance. In 1872, Edward in return sued the Meiji government for compensation for the losses he bore when his storehouse in Niigata was captured. From his own firm in Yokohama he had received goods worth $144,000 from July to September, mostly textiles, rifles, and ammunition procured especially for Aizu and Yonezawa. He also brokered a munitions deal for E. Wyttembach of Yokohama for $56,250. As payment, Schnell received cash, raw silk, and silkworm egg carts. The wealthy Sakata merchant house of Honma Tomosaburō would act as guarantor. Northern Alliance domains had even pawned the proceeds of copper mines to Schnell in a desperate attempt to get more arms. Peshan Smith, the foreign legal counselor of the Meiji government, argued that the official prohibition to trade with rebels was well-known. Therefore, the Meiji government should not reimburse Schnell for the goods worth $60,410 sent to Yonezawa between August and September 1868. Schnell insisted that he wanted to be treated like other merchants engaging in legitimate business and asked for compensation, including a four-year interest payment totaling approximately $150,000. In April 1873, a settlement was reached for $40,000 and within a year, Edward had left the country.101 The Meiji government had resolved the Schnell case as part of a more general foreign debt 101

Meissner, “‘General’ Eduard Schnell,” pp. 90–92, 99–100.

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settlement. The step was necessary for international legitimacy given that in 1872 twenty-eight domains were indebted to forty-four foreign traders for a total of 4,000,000 yen.102 Conclusion The armed conflicts that surrounded the Meiji Restoration were part of a worldwide experience that coincided with the advent of the modern and sometimes violent nation-state. In the mid-nineteenth century, Japan was connected via an international arms trading network to other civil war theaters in the United States, India, and China, which were all exposed to the industrial arms production revolution that unfolded in Europe and the United States. Industrial production of weaponry meant that new means to perpetuate large-scale violence were disseminated through international trade on an unprecedented scale. The introduction of rifles proved highly disruptive in military affairs and upset the sociopolitical fabric, while altering the balance of power between domains and the central Tokugawa authority. More fundamentally, modern weapons like the rifle challenged the rights and prerogatives of the samurai aristocracy as a whole. Without foreign rifles, the Chō shū challenge would have been more difficult to implement and the victory against northern domains less complete. Nevertheless, some counterfactual questions are useful: what would have transpired if weapons ordered in Europe by the Tokugawa and their allies would have arrived sooner to the battlefields of Japan? Or, if the firearms assembled by the Tokugawa side had been used more quickly and effectively? Would this have changed the outcome by enabling a different group to run the state, or brought about a political stalemate that might have exposed parts of Japan to colonial annexation, as desired by the Prussian minister? What we know for sure is that the trend in arms imports toward Yokohama was about to strengthen the Tokugawa and the Kansai region under Tokugawa control. Leaders of the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance were aware of the existence of the French military mission in Edo and through hearsay probably understood the effect of the weapons trade in which they themselves were prime participants. If they were afraid of losing their political and military momentum, they would have had to act quickly and decisively, making the Meiji Restoration akin to a preventive coup d’état in anticipation of a military backlash. Regardless of the eventual outcome, the rising supply and demand of arms beginning in 1866 102

Kevin C. Murphy, The American Merchant Experience in Nineteenth-Century Japan (London: Routledge Curzon, 2003), p. 240.

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indicates an arms race resulting from widespread domestic tensions and a budding consensus that military force offered the most appropriate means of resolving a political impasse in Japan. In the 1860s, Western merchants and consuls played a crucial intermediary role in connecting Japan to international arms markets. Without them, domains would not have had access to Western military technology. Traders such as Kniffler & Company contributed to the military mobilization for civil war while Schnell & Company helped prolonged the Boshin War. Consular courts and extraterritoriality served to protect foreign economic interests from political retribution and thus minimized business risk. During the bakumatsu period, import and export trades shifted away from Nagasaki to Yokohama and, later, to Kobe. Following the Restoration, arms traders converted back to dealing in mainstream merchandise such as textiles, silk, and tea. Meanwhile, Japan began producing its own rifles. Some foreign merchants continued to supply military goods to the Japan but, increasingly, Japanese companies such as the Ō kura zaibatsu, which started as a Japanese counterpart of Western arms traders, took over control of that crucial connection between Japan and the outside world.

Part 2

Internal Conflicts

Figure 5.1 “Japanese military,” 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library

5

Mountain Demons from Mito: The Arrival of Civil War in Echizen in 1864 Maren A. Ehlers

The Ō no Plain in Echizen Province (today a part of Fukui Prefecture) is surrounded by high mountains and can only be reached through passes and narrow valleys, including the somewhat larger Kuzuryū River Valley in the north. In late 1864, the residents of this remote area learned that a large army of battle-hardened warriors was approaching through the mountains and would soon descend upon their peaceful homes. Although not knowing the army’s exact size or intentions, the people of Ō no were aware that these warriors were enemies of the shogunate – masterless samurai from Mito, a prominent domain in eastern Japan. The Tengu Insurrection of 1864, of which this band was a part, constituted the first military clash between shogunal armies and self-proclaimed, pro-imperial forces. Although the shogunate was able to suppress the insurrection, the conflict left a deep impression on bakumatsu popular consciousness. The Tengu warriors had not only challenged the shogunate’s long-held hegemony but also brought the experience of war back into the lives of the Japanese people. This was significant because during the previous 250 years, the Japanese state had experienced only peasant uprisings and urban unrest – large and violent in some cases, but not disruptive enough to destroy the notion that a “Great Peace” under Tokugawa rule still prevailed. Thus for most Japanese living in the nineteenth century, confrontations between warrior armies, commonplace during the sixteenth century, had become the stuff of romantic legend. This chapter illustrates the return of warfare to Japanese society by zooming in on one locality – Ō no – and examining the encounter of local people with the Mito rebels through source materials written by a variety of contemporary observers. Although this particular encounter ended with little bloodshed, it demonstrates the disruptive nature of the military conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration. Such conflicts resulted not only in the destruction of life and property, but also raised questions about the social role of the samurai class, the idea of the domain as a defensive community, the effectiveness of military mobilization, and 113

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the political legitimacy of the Tokugawa regime. The microscopic perspective highlights the open-endedness of this moment of rude awakening, when warfare – both real and anticipated – gradually crept back into people’s lives and elicited a variety of reactions. In retrospect, these reactions prepared the ground for later reforms such as military conscription and the abolition of samurai status, but these outcomes were still far from evident in 1864.1 This chapter describes how the political shocks of the bakumatsu era played out in the context of local society. Although not all of these shocks were external in nature, Japan’s greater engagement with Western nations in the 1850s was the trigger that set into motion the chain of events leading to the antiforeign Tengu Insurrection of 1864. Even in places like Ō no, which were located far from the treaty ports and never received visitors from abroad, residents were aware of the foreign presence and of the antiforeign movement advocating their expulsion. In 1860, for example, Ō no’s townspeople almost rioted when the shogunate debased Japan’s gold currency to balance the effects of the unequal trade treaty with the United States, which caused inflation throughout the Japanese state.2 Already in the 1840s and 1850s, Ō no’s seventh lord, Toshitada (r. 1829–1862), had begun to reform the domain’s military to incorporate Western-style musketry and gradually expanded its investment in Western military science and other fields of Western learning. Ō no’s case thus confirms Brian Platt’s observation in this volume that fear of foreign invasion and domestic unrest mattered more than the actual experience of warfare in spurring administrators to experiment with new forms of military mobilization. Among domain subjects, educated elites proved relatively well informed of current events, thanks to their cultural and business networks that allowed them to obtain information from other parts of the realm.3 Yet, as this chapter will show, even well-connected elites did not immediately grasp the significance of the political events that unfolded in Edo, Kyoto, and beyond, and their understanding continued to depend on their personal experiences and interests, which were, in turn, shaped by local circumstances and the 1

2 3

One immediate result of the Tengu Insurrection was the shogunate’s decision to improve the training of its infantry by hiring foreign advisers and learning from Western models other than the Dutch. D. Colin Jaundrill, Samurai to Soldier – Remaking Military Service in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016), pp. 55–58. Maren Ehlers, Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018), pp. 261–272. Miyachi Masato, “Fū setsudome kara mita bakumatsu shakai no tokushitsu – ‘kō ron’ sekai no tanshoteki seiritsu” [The Character of Bakumatsu Society as Seen in Records of Hearsay: The Inception of a World of “Public Opinion”], Shisō 831 (1993): 4–26. On the role of broadsheets in influencing and expressing popular opinion on foreigners in Edo, see William Steele, Alternative Narratives in Japanese History (New York: Routledge Curzon, 2003), pp. 4–18.

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contours of collective memory. When loyalist invaders appeared at their doorstep, the people of Ō no were taken by surprise. Overwhelmed by fear of impending warfare, they turned to sometimes centuries-old precedents and experiences to make sense of their situation. Domain officials, administrators of commoner status, as well as village and town elites from the Ō no area kept a variety of records that relate details about the insurgency. Among these, the house journals of three wealthy commoners offer especially detailed descriptions of popular reactions to the events. Nojiri Gen’emon, a large landowner in Yokomakura, a village on the plain somewhat removed from the castle town, kept journals that reveal his keen interest in contemporary political affairs and his often critical stance toward the domain leadership.4 Miyazawa Yoshizaemon, a merchant and domain financier in the castle town with close business ties to mountain villages, also kept a journal,5 as did Suzuki Zenzaemon, one of several wealthy farmers in Nakano, a village directly adjacent to the castle town. In 1864, Zenzaemon was serving in the town as one of two village group headmen and might have been responsible for keeping the headmen’s official journal in addition to his own house journal.6 Besides the journals of these individuals, this chapter relies on domain and other miscellaneous records from the area to explore the widest possible range of experiences. It also draws on the insights of local scholars such as Sakata Tamako and Yoshida Mori. The Tengu Insurrection and Ō no Domain Although the Tengu Insurrection did not involve any of the domains that later toppled the Tokugawa regime, it constituted the shogunate’s first open confrontation with opponents on the battlefield. It was preceded by many violent antiforeign incidents in the wake of the shogunate’s signing of treaties with Western nations in 1858, but none of these had resulted in the mobilization of armies. In the spring of 1864, a pro-imperial, radically antiforeign faction of Mito domain vassals took up arms in response to an imperial edict of 1863 that called for the expulsion of foreigners from the 4

5

6

“Shoyō dome” [Record of Miscellaneous Business], 1864 and “Shoyō dome,” 1865, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo, privately owned. Photographs are accessible at the Cultural Properties Division of Ō no City. “Goyō ki” [Record of Official Business], 1840–1865, Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo, privately owned. Photographs are accessible at the Cultural Properties Division of Ō no City. “Shichiban kiroku” [Record Number Seven], 1863–1869, Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo, privately owned; “Goyō dome” [Record of Official Business], 1864, Fukui Daigaku Toshokan monjo, Fukui University Library. Photographs of both records are accessible at the Cultural Properties Division of Ō no City.

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country. This loyalist faction had emerged from an earlier camp of reformist vassals during the reign of lord Tokugawa Nariaki (r. 1829–1844), which drew on Mito’s long tradition of pro-imperial scholarship. The imperial loyalists in Mito gained the derisive nickname “Tengu [mountain demons] Party,” after the long-nosed mountain demons of Japanese folk belief. Lord Nariaki once claimed that the name referred to the superhuman loyalty and determination he personally associated with this faction, but in the Edo dialect, Tengu was also an epithet for arrogant, “long-nosed” boasters, and it is likely that the name was, in fact, invented by the group’s opponents.7 The name “Tengu Party” is absent from most contemporary records from the Ō no area, except for a report from the Kanto region that had been copied by a local village group headman.8 If they had been more familiar with the name, the people of Ō no might have made a more literal association that reflected their own encounter with the rebels: frightening, seemingly superhuman creatures who descended from impenetrable mountains. Because the leadership of Mito domain had disintegrated into several opposing factions, the shogunate had to mobilize its immediate vassals and men from nearby domains to quash the insurrection. In late November 1864, following more than two months of intense fighting in Nakaminato, about 1,000 rebels regrouped under the leadership of former domain elder Takeda Kō unsai and embarked on a journey to Kyoto along the Nakasendō inland highway. They planned to offer appeals to the emperor through the offices of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the son of Mito’s former lord, Nariaki. At the time, Yoshinobu served as defender of the imperial palace in Kyoto and as guardian of the young shogun, Iemochi. The shogunate ordered all domains between Mito and Chō shū to stop the insurgents,9 but the rebels were able to make it as far as Mino Province (today part of Gifu Prefecture) before being forced to take a detour to the north. The desperate warriors decided to cross the mountains into Echizen Province and march to the Sea of Japan, despite warnings that they might freeze to death in the snowy, mountainous terrain. Wherever they went, the Mito radicals challenged administrators to formulate an appropriate response. They forced all domains along the 7 8

9

Yoshida Toshizumi, Mitogaku to Meiji ishin [Mito Learning and the Meiji Restoration] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2003), p. 179. “Yashū furō tengu no to ranbō ikken” [Violent Incident Caused by the Tengu Rebels from Yashū ],” copied while on duty in Shigaraki, 1864, ninth month, Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo, in Okuetsu shiryō 2 (1971), 6–9. Shidankai, ed., Basan shimatsu [Account of the Events of Mt. Tsukuba] (Tokyo: Itō Iwajirō , 1899), p. 103.

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Nakasendō to mobilize their retainers and take steps to protect their respective territories. This often proved a difficult balancing act, complicated by the fact that domain officials had scant experience handling a military emergency. Second, the Mito rebels insisted on the righteousness of their cause and rejected the label of “bandits” (zokuto) attached to them by the shogunate, thus pushing people along their path to make up their minds regarding the band’s antiforeign, pro-imperial agenda. Previous scholarship has emphasized the galvanizing effect of the rebels’ passage on certain commoner elites, particularly in Shinano Province (present-day Nagano Prefecture). Set in Shinano, Shimazaki Tō son’s 1930s’ novel, Before the Dawn, portrays poststation elites as sympathizers of the rebel army.10 As Anne Walthall and Miyachi Masato have shown, wealthy commoners in Shinano’s Ina Valley, influenced by the scholar of National Learning, Hirata Atsutane, actively supported the Mito force and found their beliefs reinforced by the encounter.11 In Mito itself, considerable numbers of wealthy peasants and Shinto priests joined the ranks of the insurgents,12 and many common people along the army’s route worshiped at the graves of fallen rebels and prayed on behalf of their executed leaders.13 Such support was, however, only one of several possible reactions. In Mito and surrounding areas, the rebels became notorious for harassing peasants and townspeople, pressuring them into porter service, extorting funds and provisions, and burning down the houses of reluctant “donors.” Combatants on both sides treated commoners and their property with callous disregard.14 The war in Mito triggered a wave of popular protests against wealthy merchants and peasants that touted the millenarian goal of “world renewal” (yonaoshi) and, in some cases, specifically targeted village elites known to be sympathetic to the “mountain demons.”15 Such reactions 10 11

12

13

14

15

Shimazaki Tō son, Before the Dawn, trans. William E. Naff (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1987), pp. 253–297. Anne Walthall, The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998); Miyachi Masato, Bakumatsu ishin henkakushi [The History of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration Transformations], Vol. 2 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012), pp. 86–106. J. Victor Koschmann, The Mito Ideology: Discourse, Reform, and Insurrection in Late Tokugawa Japan, 1790–1864 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 130–151. Yasumaru Yoshio, “‘Yonaoshi jō kyō ’ ka no minshū ishiki” [People’s Consciousness in a State of World Renewal], in Minshū no rekishi 5: Yonaoshi [People’s History 5: World Renewal], ed. Sasaki Junnosuke (Tokyo: Sanseidō , 1974), pp. 219–220. Koschmann, The Mito Ideology, pp. 157–162; Saitō Yoshiyuki, “Tengutō sō ran-ka no minshū tō sō to yonaoshi” [People’s Struggles and World Renewal at the Time of the Tengu Party War], Shikan 121 (1989): 31–52. Takahashi Hirobumi, Bakumatsu Mito-han to minshū undo – sonnō jō i undō to yonaoshi [Mito Domain and Popular Movements in the Bakumatsu Era: The Anti-Foreign Movement and World Renewal] (Tokyo: Seishi Shuppan, 2005); Saitō , “Tengutō sō ran-ka”;

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suggest that despite the cases of political activism, many people outside the warrior class viewed the conflicts around the Meiji Restoration as abhorrent and destructive.16 David Howell explains that many villagers in the Kanto region dreaded the violence of any party, whether loyalists, shogunal forces, foreigners, bandits, or rioting peasants, and obtained guns and engaged in military training for self-defense, sometimes with the encouragement of the shogunate.17 Yet, as we shall see, peasants – and warriors for that matter – could not always be counted on to effectively engage in mortal combat, even if they possessed arms and training in their use. At 40,000 koku, the Ō no domain was much smaller than Mito (250,000 koku). Moreover, the lord’s lineage – the Echizen Doi, a shogunal vassal family – was much less illustrious than that of the Mito rulers, who, as a collateral house of the Tokugawa, supplied shogunal successors. The Ō no domain sported only one town – a castle town also known as Ō no – and did not even cover the entirety of the Ō no Plain, which was composed of a patchwork of scattered fiefs. Whereas the villages on the western side of the plain belonged to Ō no domain, various domains and the shogunate administered those in the east and south. Among area domains, Ō no took the lead against the Mito army, at least initially, because it held a castle directly on the plain and governed the villages through which the insurgents first entered the province. Other domains in the region also mobilized troops against the intruders, and once the rebels departed, the more powerful domains of Kaga and Fukui took over the pursuit, receiving reinforcements from Ō no and other area domains. Ō no conducted reforms during the bakumatsu period that differed in important ways from those implemented in Mito. Whereas Nariaki emphasized a pro-imperial doctrine, Ō no’s lord, Toshitada, and his reformers actively and often enthusiastically promoted Western learning and culture. One must be careful not to overstate these differences for, in spite of his advocacy of foreign trade, Toshitada did not support foreign contact at all cost. For his part, Nariaki promoted Western, utilitarian learning in the military and medical fields.18 Yet the intellectual climate in

16 17

18

Suda Tsutomu, Bakumatsu no yonaoshi – bannin no sensō jō tai [World Renewal in the Bakumatsu Era: The Masses in a State of War] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2010), pp. 113–123. For examples from the Boshin War, see Hō ya Tō ru, Boshin sensō [The Boshin War] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007), pp. 74–75, 196–201. David Howell, “Busō suru nō min no naiyū to gaikan” [“Troubles from Within and Without” of Self-Arming Peasants], in Kō za Meiji ishin 1: sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [Studies on the Meiji Restoration 1: The Meiji Restoration in World History], ed. Meiji Ishinshi Gakkai (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010), pp. 84–107. Fukui-ken, ed., Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen [The History of Fukui Prefecture: A Narrative Overview], Vol. 4, Kinsei 2 [Early Modern Period 2] (Fukui, 1982); Koschmann, The Mito Ideology, pp. 81–129.

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these two domains seems to have differed dramatically. Ō no never experienced the vicious factional infighting that tore Mito’s leadership apart after Nariaki’s death in 1860. Some confrontations with conservatives notwithstanding, Toshitada’s reform faction dominated domain politics from 1842 until the Meiji Restoration, and Toshitada remained influential, even after retiring in favor of his teenage son in 1862. As a cousin of Ii Naosuke, an antiloyalist bakufu official, Toshitada was less inclined than Mito’s lord to challenge the shogunate, and his domain never became a hotbed of loyalist activity. Nevertheless, his successor eventually threw in his lot with the imperial side during the Boshin War by dispatching troops to the final siege in Hakodate. Toshitada took a deep interest in the modernization of his military, so much so that his domain came to be considered one of the most progressive in the Hokuriku region.19 Ō no’s military reforms began in the 1840s, when the domain sent a vassal for training in the Takashima school of musketry.20 In 1853, the year of Commodore Perry’s first intrusion, Ō no succeeded in casting its first cannon, and Toshitada employed a gunsmith and a metal caster to produce firearms and gunpowder. The following year, he held a grand military exercise that mobilized 700 people, including 200 porters (ninsoku) of commoner status – the domain’s largest military mobilization since 1695.21 With six infantry units and eight cannons, Ō no’s small force put a heavy emphasis on Western weaponry and strategy.22 In 1855, Toshitada received permission to arm his entire retinue in Western fashion when traveling to and from Edo to fulfill his duties of alternate attendance. He subsequently established an Academy of Western Learning where vassals received linguistic training in Dutch and English and studied and translated Western texts on military subjects such as artillery, gunnery, and fortressbuilding. Because Ō no’s lands included an exclave of two coastal villages, the domain participated in the shogunate’s coastal defense plans, and in 1859 obtained Tokugawa permission to establish a colony on Sakhalin, a potential flashpoint in the defense of the Japanese realm. As these initiatives show, Ō no’s leaders were more than eager to shake off the slumber of 250 years of Pax Tokugawa, but in 1864, the reality of civil war caught them completely unprepared. 19 20 21

22

Fukui-ken, ed., Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4. On the Takashima school as a reaction to the growing Western threat and as a steppingstone for subsequent military reforms, see Jaundrill, Samurai to Soldier, pp. 20–46. Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4, pp. 827–833. In 1695, Ō no’s lord was ordered to serve as a temporary caretaker of Maruoka Castle and mobilized more than 1,600 men for that purpose. See Fukui-ken, ed., Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 3, Kinsei 1, pp. 186–187. Especially when compared to other domains in the region, see Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4, p. 832.

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A Record of the Encounter In the final month of 1864, Ō no domain officials still confidently believed that the Mito army would bypass their territory given that Echizen Province was not located on the standard route to Kyoto. When the insurgents reached Gifu in Mino Province, however, they found their advance blocked by shogunal troops as well as units of the Hikone and Ō gaki domains. In late December 1864, Takeda Kō unsai and his men abruptly changed course and marched north with the intention of crossing Haeboshi Pass and traveling on to Kyoto (or perhaps even Chō shū ) via Tsuruga in Echizen Province.23 On the same day, Ō no’s officials received an express communication from the lord of Ō gaki that described the rebels as “brutal marauders driven to utter desperation” and warned that they might try to cross the mountains.24 Domain leaders must have been shocked to receive this missive because the young lord, Toshitsune, and his retired father were in Edo along with many of their 540 vassals.25 Ō no’s forces were thus vastly outnumbered by the rebels. According to scouts, the Mito army numbered over 2,000 men, although the actual number was probably closer to 800. Yet even the prospect of confronting this smaller number of battle-hardened warriors would have been more than daunting for such a small domain. The rebels were equipped with about eighty-nine horses, dozens of boxes of armor and gunpowder, many guns, and nine cannons.26 The rebels fortuitously found Haeboshi Pass almost snow-free. If they had crossed only a few days later, they might have been stuck in masses of fresh snow in an area prone to deadly avalanches. Nonetheless, the force apparently lost five men and one horse during this perilous passage.27 On December 31, 1864, Ō no’s soldiers intercepted three rebel scouts, one of whom, to their surprise, was a former Ō no vassal, earlier expelled from the domain due to a family conflict.28 23

24 25

26 27 28

Ō no officials interrogated two rebel scouts who reported that the rebels planned to travel to Chō shū by ship. Sakata Tamako, “Tengutō jiken, muttsu no hanashi” [Six Stories Regarding the Tengu Party Incident], Okuetsu shiryō 10 (1981): 87. Ibid, pp. 72–73. In 1871. See Funazawa Shigeki, “Ō no-han kashindan no shokusei to kyū roku” [System of Official Appointments and Stipends of the Ō no Domain’s Vassal Band], Fukui kenshi kenkyū 9 (1991): 53–74. Yoshida Mori, Nishinotani sonshi, jō [Nishinotani Village History, Vol. 1] (Ō no-gun Nishinotani-mura, 1970), p. 391. Ibid, p. 394. Sakata, “Tengutō jiken,” pp. 80–92. On this man (Matsuzaki Teizō ), see Nagami Shigeo, “Mito Tengutō to Ō no-han e kijun shita Miyao Tamenosuke to Shibata Teizō ” [Mito’s Tengu Party and Miyao Tamenosuke and Shibata Teizō , Who Surrendered to the Ō no Domain], Okuetsu shiryō 24 (1995): 45–79.

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The following day, more rebels trickled into Ō no’s “Western Valley,” lodging in Akiu, a village of the domain. A few villagers had opted to remain and hosted the rebels in their homes. According to village lore, the rebels reimbursed the villagers for their hospitality, leaving behind a piece of armor, which the village headman’s family still owns today.29 These accounts appear credible given that Takeda Kō unsai had issued a code of conduct prohibiting his men from looting and committing violent acts against uninvolved commoners, probably to prevent a recurrence of earlier brutalities and to secure much-needed support along the way.30 Although the rebels had little incentive to provoke unnecessary clashes, there is evidence that in Shinano Province, they coerced many men into porter service and extorted money from wealthy commoners, claiming they would use the funds to expel foreigners from the Japanese realm. Even commoner converts to the loyalist cause probably did not make entirely voluntary contributions.31 The shogunate’s instructions were unambiguous. In a letter circulated in Echizen Province, Tokugawa leaders ordered lords to stop and apprehend the rebels as quickly as possible.32 This command put Ō no’s ruler in a quandary because he was expected to fulfill his duties as a Tokugawa vassal, but also knew that domains along the Nakasendō had already engaged the rebels and met defeat.33 The administrators of several smaller territories had either retreated or negotiated with the rebel leaders. In Iida, a small domain in Shinano, the domain leadership used two local followers of Hirata Atsutane as mediators, convincing the rebels to bypass the castle town in exchange for a payment requisitioned from the townspeople.34 Local guides led them to a lesser-known path, and the domain fired some perfunctory cannon shots in their direction. Ironically, Iida’s lord was then serving as governor of the shogunate’s Military Academy in Edo, and when the shogunal commander, Tanuma Okitaka, learned of this charade, he 29 30

31 33

34

Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , p. 399; Fukui-ken, ed., Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4, p. 878. Nagano-ken, ed., Nagano kenshi, tsū shi-hen [The History of Nagano Prefecture: A Narrative Overview], Vol. 6, Kinsei 3 [Early Modern Period 3] (Nagano: Nagano Kenshi Kankō kai, 1989), p. 825. Ibid, pp. 833–837. 32 Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , p. 398. When Takasaki domain men attacked the rebels at Shimonita, thirty-six vassals were killed, ten captured, and many weapons taken. Men from Matsumoto and Takashima domains confronted the rebel army with a much greater force at Wada Pass, but were tactically outwitted and lost a total of eleven vassals (with eight more captured) while the rebels lost only six of their men. Nagano-ken, ed., Nagano kenshi, tsū shi-hen 6, pp. 826–828. These two men were cousins of famous loyalist woman, Matsuo Taseko. Nagano-ken, ed., Nagano kenshi, tsū shi-hen 6, pp. 830–833; Walthall, The Weak Body of a Useless Woman, pp. 234–237.

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became very upset and later had Iida’s lord punished by dismissing him from his Edo post and reducing the value of his fief. Ō no leaders thus needed to tread carefully in their response. Although loath to risk the destruction of their town and military, they had to present the lord as a dutiful Tokugawa vassal. In the morning of January 1, 1865, after the arrest of the scouts, Ō no officials sent three battalions into Nishinotani. Finding the rebels already in Akiu village, the commanders implemented a scorched-earth tactic that incurred a terrible price on the villagers. They ordered the burning of seven outlying villages of Nishinotani, evacuating the inhabitants on short notice. To make things as inhospitable as possible for the rebels, they even burnt the villagers’ food reserves for the winter. When learning of these actions, village group headman, Suzuki Zenzaemon, conveyed his horror.35 Around dusk on the same day, the vanguard of the masterless samurai eventually reached Kami-Akiu. Due to that, five or six houses in this village were burned, and because it seemed that the masterless samurai had already begun to arrive, the whole force withdrew and burnt down Shimo-Akiu in its entirety as well as the two Sasamata villages and Nakajima. The villagers were taken by surprise. Young and old as well as children were crying and screaming and fleeing up the mountains; it was an unbearable sight to behold.

The burning of Kami- and Shimo-Akiu was especially distressing because the rebels had already passed through these villages when the houses were put to the torch. The ungrateful task of setting the villages on fire fell upon a mining official of the domain, who insisted on carrying out his order against the villagers’ desperate pleas. According to one account, when the villagers resisted, he committed ritual suicide to atone for his “disobedience.” The author of Nishinotani’s village history speculates that angry villagers may have killed the official.36 Ō no’s commanders withdrew their force to Sasamata Pass and enlisted the help of carpenters, firefighters, and lumberjacks from the castle town to barricade the road with trees and fences.37 They also tore down bridges, lined up big rocks on top of slopes, set up cannons, and made cuts into tall trees, readying them to be toppled on the invaders. They 35 36

37

“Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. This incident is reported in a source in Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo, which is now lost but excerpted in Ō no Chō shi Hensankai, ed., Ō no chō shi [History of Ō no Town] Vol. 5 (Ō no: Ō no Chō shi Hensankai, 1951–1952), p. 505. See Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , pp. 401–402. “Kyū -Ō no-han ni kan suru shorui, part 7: Bō dō ni kan suru tsuzuri” [Documents Regarding the Former Ō no Domain, part 7: File on Uprisings] 1865, 1/28, in Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi [The History of Ō no City], Vol. 5, Hansei shiryō hen 2 [Material on Domain Administration 2] (Ō no: Ō no-shi, 1984), pp. 377–383.

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called in more troops from Ō no and requested reinforcements from neighboring domains.38 The following day, about one hundred soldiers from Katsuyama domain began to climb up to Sasamata. The Fukui domain also dispatched another fifty men, whose deployment Ō no leaders had originally deemed unnecessary.39 That evening, the first rebels reached Sasamata while the remainder camped in two of the destroyed villages.40 Instead of attacking the rebels, Ō no’s commanders suddenly decided to withdraw their forces to the plain. In two communications with the shogunate, Ō no’s lord based the justification for this decision on the small size of his army and requested permission to interrupt his tour of duty in Edo to travel home to his domain: Officials at home notified me through express messenger that [. . .] they had made preparations to beat them [the rebels] in one stroke and everyone was ready to die in bloody combat. But they also said that our force was small due to my [the lord’s] absence and that they were deeply worried about this.41

In an internal report, domain commanders also explained that a bad snowstorm had raged that evening and “no one could see anything front or behind.”42 They mentioned the exhaustion of the warriors, who had gone without sleep for several days with their hands and legs becoming numb in the icy winds. Although their fighting spirit was beyond reproach, “it is natural that their bodies would get exhausted.” The enemies, meanwhile, had been restlessly running up and down steep mountains and might be capable of just about anything, including a sneak attack on the castle town. Therefore, the report concluded, it would be necessary to change strategy and fully focus on the defense of the castle town. The weather that night was clearly unfavorable for a military battle, but if anything, the men from Ō no would have been the ones to benefit due to their intimate knowledge of the climate and terrain. As Ō no officials explained to their peers in Fukui, although fiercely determined, they were reluctant to engage this large rebel army 38 39

40 41 42

“Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. “Jō ya dassō no rō to Echizenji e ochiiri go-tsuitō ikken” [The Case of the Pursuit of Rebels Escaping From Hitachi and Shimotsuke to Echizen], in Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi, Vol. 5, p. 339; “Mito rō shi on-ryō nai rannyū no setsu tairyaku shimatsusho” [Account of Grand Strategy at the Time of the Mito Samurai’s Invasion of the Domain] copied by Morimoto Kintarō , “Iioka Hikobei-ke monjo” [Archives of the Iioka Hikobei Family], in Okuetsu shiryō 2 (1971): 6–9. “Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo. “Jō ya dassō no rō to Echizenji e ochiiri go-tsuitō ikken,” p. 315. Ibid, p. 339. The snowstorm is corroborated by other sources such as “Mito rō shi onryō nai rannyū no setsu tairyaku shimatsusho,” p. 11; “Chō nai yō domeki” [Record of Neighborhood Business], Honmachi kuyū monjo, privately owned. Photographs are accessible at the Cultural Properties Division of Ō no City.

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with a small force while their lord was away.43 After their retreat from the mountains, the Ō no units took up positions in the castle town and anxiously awaited the rebels’ arrival.44 Rebel records show that the mountain passage had, in fact, taken a heavy toll on the rebels’ bodies as well.45 Now free to enter the more forgiving landscape of the plain, they arrived in Konomoto, a village on the southern edge of the plain about six kilometers from the castle town under the jurisdiction of the Sabae domain. As the local headman was temporarily absent, peasant elites of other nearby, Sabae-administered villages handled the situation in his stead. They assigned warriors to each of the houses in Konomoto as well as neighboring Moriyama and allowed Takeda Kō unsai to hold court in the main reception room of the headman’s large residence.46 After spending the previous night camped outside in icy-cold weather, the rebels must have been quite relieved at this friendly reception. While the rebels rested in Konomoto, Ō no officials reached a secret deal with the rebel commander. By that point, Kō unsai had officially requested free passage by delivering a letter to a domain checkpoint.47 Nunokawa Genbei, a town elder and practitioner of Japanese waka poetry – a hobby that might have predisposed him to favor the imperial cause – rode to Konomoto to negotiate with the rebels.48 Genbei obtained Kō unsai’s promise that the rebels would exit the plain through a mountain pass in the direction of Ikeda and not enter Ō no’s castle town. Most likely, this agreement involved the payment of a large monetary sum.49 Because Ō no officials were not in a position to talk to the rebels directly, they needed a commoner to resolve the situation through negotiation. Genbei’s descendants still own a calligraphic inscription by Kō unsai’s hand – izukunzo utagawan ya (“How could I doubt you?”) – implying that this deal involved risk for the rebels as well.50 In the morning of January 4, 1865, the rebels departed Konomoto and entered the Ikeda Valley, leaving behind another token of their presence: two sections of a room-sized map of Japan still preserved in 43 44 46 47 48

49

50

“Mito rō shi on-ryō nai rannyū no setsu tairyaku shimatsusho,” p. 11. See “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. 45 Basan shimatsu, p. 112. “Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo. Fukui-ken, ed., Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4, p. 880. “Genji Taiheiki” [Chronicle of the Great Peace of the Genji Era], 1864, Nunokawa-ke monjo, privately owned. Photographs are accessible at the Cultural Properties Division of Ō no City. Perhaps as much as 26,000 ryō . Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , pp. 410–411; Nagami, “Mito Tengutō to Ō no-han e kijun shita Miyao Tamenosuke to Shibata Teizō ,” pp. 63–64. Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi, Vol. 7, pp. 155, 174–175.

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Konomoto.51 They eventually reached Imajō , a poststation on the Hokuriku Highway, and after resting a few days, marched to the poststation of Shinbo. In the meantime, large troop contingents from Hikone, Kaga, Fukui, and other domains had begun to arrive and prepare a counteroffensive. After making a final, unsuccessful appeal to Tokugawa Yoshinobu, Kō unsai surrendered to the commander of Kaga domain troops on January 14, 1865. The Ō no domain participated in the pursuit’s final phase. It dispatched troops to prevent the reentry of the rebels into the domain and joined the siege at Shinbo under the command of the lord of Fukui, although none of these engagements involved any actual fighting.52 Nevertheless, it is possible that Ō no’s relatively robust participation in the Shinbo campaign helped Toshitsune evade the fate of his colleague in Iida. Days of Fear When the Mito rebels had arrived in their domain, the vassals and commoners of Ō no grew petrified because they lacked a clear sense of the band’s intentions. Literate and well-connected commoner elites had reason to fear the rebels because they had read reports about the insurgents’ past atrocities in Mito. In October 1864, for example, Suzuki Zenzaemon’s son copied a detailed report of the band’s previous military actions in eastern Japan that stressed the suffering of commoners and the violent behavior of the rebels.53 The year before he had experienced extortion by a masterless samurai while traveling as part of a domain delegation near Kyoto.54 Nojiri Gen’emon gave a brief history of the rebellion in his journal in which he mentioned the hardships the rebels had inflicted on the common people: One hears that this summer, a great force of masterless samurai from Mito barricaded themselves on Mt. Tsukuba in Hitachi Province and frequently ventured out into the nearby towns and villages and committed violence. The peasants around there were entirely unable to practice agriculture, and the town households could not engage in trade at all. It came to Edo’s attention that the 51 52 53 54

Fukui kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 4, p. 880; Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi, Vol. 7, pp. 191–192, 206. For example the village group headmen’s office journal, “Goyō dome,” 1864, Fukui Daigaku Toshokan monjo. “Yashū furō tengu no to ranbō ikken,” ninth month, 1864, Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo, in Okuetsu Shiryō 2 (1971): 6–9. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo.

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houses in a town called Tochigi near Mt. Tsukuba went up in flames with their household goods and tools still piled up.55

Needless to say, Zenzaemon and Gen’emon were both wealthy peasants with money to spare and would have made perfect targets for extortion. The news of the rebels’ approach threw the entire castle town into a panic. The townspeople could see the fires burning in Nishinotani, and according to Miyazawa Yoshizaemon, “the townspeople became greatly agitated, not knowing whether this fire had been started by the masterless samurai or by our own side. But when I asked a porter who had returned from Sasamata, I learned without a doubt that it had been our own side that started the fire.”56 On the second or third day following the rebel entry, most townspeople and vassals began to send their families into the nearby countryside and evacuated cabinets and chests filled with their most valuable possessions.57 Yoshizaemon, for example, sent his two daughters, his younger brother, and a maid to nearby Kanazuka village and stayed behind in the town with only a few servants.58 The staff of the village group headmen’s office transported all official documents to three different villages on the plain. A village headman noted in his journal: Around the fourth hour in the daytime, there were no vassals in the town except for the fighters, and all sounds died down for a while; it was an eerie situation.59

According to Suzuki Zenzaemon, “only the household heads were present, one per house, and strangely, there was not a single dog out; it was completely quiet.”60 When the news of the rebels’ departure reached the town, “everyone breathed a little sigh of relief.”61 Suzuki Zenzaemon was especially outspoken about his fears because his son, Kyō suke, had entered the service of the lord as a retainer. The year before the Mito incident, Zenzaemon proudly noted that Kyō suke had been rewarded with the lifetime rank of foot soldier (kachi) for his progress in gunnery training.62 In the 1860s, Ō no had begun to recruit commoners for its new Western-style infantry units, in exchange granting them low-ranking warrior status. In this step, Ō no 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

“Shoyō dome,” eleventh month, 1864, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. “Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. “Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo. Village group headmen’s office journal “Goyō dome,” 1864, Fukui Daigaku Toshokan monjo. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. Village group headmen’s office journal “Goyō dome,” 1864, Fukui Daigaku Toshokan monjo. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo.

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officials followed the example of the shogunate and other domains, as outlined by Platt in his chapter. Nonetheless, Zenzaemon lost enthusiasm about his son’s new status when Kyō suke was mobilized to employ his skills in actual combat. He wrote: They were sending the vassals to the military parade ground, and I heard that Kyō suke was part of the first battalion that was about to go into the field, and that they were sending every single one of them. That is, I heard from a vassal that they were immediately going to leave for Minami Yamanaka [= Nishinotani], and I was terribly shocked. When I went out to Hirokoji, the vassals stood there assembled in field uniforms and with guns and spears. I was frightened out of my wits.63

Following his return from the mountains, Kyō suke received another assignment related to the defense of the castle town. He arranged a secret meeting with his father to exchange what could have been a final farewell. Kyō suke explained to his father that his unit had received orders to take a defensive posture and avoid shooting at the rebels unprovoked. Zenzaemon anxiously advised his son to “shoot quickly, and if things ended up getting tight, aim at them without hesitation.” The prospect of his son and heir dying in the field so depressed Zenzaemon that he even lost interest in evacuating his property: Regarding my own house, I told my family that if things went so far that the castle fell and the town burnt down, Kyō suke would inevitably be killed. In that case, our various furnishings and household effects would no longer be of use to us anyway, so they should not bother putting anything away. But while I was away at the office, they took the cabinets and chests and so on out of the storehouse and placed them in the rice fields north of the house. With this, they intend to take them to Sō emon’s in Ya village or to the mountains if the town does eventually catch fire.64

Clearly, Zenzaemon had not expected a military emergency to arise at his doorstep. If anything, he had probably anticipated a foreign invasion, but instead of contributing to the Japanese realm’s defense, the Ō no domain now confronted an internal enemy almost alone, with minimal reinforcements from other domains. The Involvement of Lower-Class Commoners The sentiments of lower-class subjects are more difficult to gauge because commoner elites penned most records of the incident. The domain drafted a large number of people into service over the course of the 63

Ibid.

64

Ibid.

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incident. In a span of several weeks in late December 1864 and early January 1865, the domain mobilized nearly 14,000 porters from among the villagers and townspeople, primarily to assist and supply deployed units. The domain assigned another roughly 6,000 to transport aid to the victims of the fires in Nishinotani and to provide highway porter services to the troops of other domains.65 These figures counted labor units rather than individuals. Because the domain constantly replaced the helpers, many individuals likely served multiple times. Suzuki Zenzaemon, in his position as village group headman, recorded the traffic for later reimbursement, but found it difficult to keep track: On the fourth, fifth, and sixth day, the situation was similar to a great fire; of course we could not keep up with the register, nor could we write down what we gave [to the helpers]. It is the same in the villages, and we are really in trouble.66

According to the official journal of the village group headmen, The helpers for transportation to Imajō and Ō hida were being replaced again and again and again. Rokuzaemon was tirelessly handing out rations of one shō of rice per day per helper, day and night – without even a moment to wipe the dust from his eyes. One hears that the turnover of helpers was extremely complicated and chaotic.67

Consistent with the Edo period feudal structure, peasants and townspeople bore the cost of these helpers, so-called “corvée laborers” (funinsoku). The village group headmen applied the same formula normally used for mobilizations at times of fire and divided one half of the expenses for a total of over 20,000 porters by household and the other half by productive capacity of village land, except for the villages that had been burnt. Ō no’s lord offered to step in and pay the bulk of the helpers’ expenses. Zenzaemon pointed out that the lords of nearby domains had not been so generous.68 Nojiri Gen’emon was less satisfied with the domain’s response.69 As he explained, the incident had caused area domains to postpone the New Year’s celebrations by an entire month. Although other domains extended their deadlines for tax payments to bring them in line with the festivities, Ō no strictly enforced the usual deadline, making exceptions only for private rent collection on land and town houses. According to 65 67 68

69

“Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. 66 Ibid. Village group headmen’s office journal “Goyō dome,” 1864, Fukui Daigaku Toshokan monjo. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. Zenzaemon criticized the selfishness of the town officials, who bargained hard for the highest possible reduction on behalf of taxpaying house owners in the castle town. “Shoyō dome,” 1865, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo.

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Gen’emon, this decision caused economic hardships for peasants, especially, one should add, wealthy peasants such as himself who had to pay land tax but could no longer collect rent from their tenants on time. He also resented the deviation from popular custom: “[In each of these months] there were people who pounded rice cakes [to celebrate the New Year] and those who did not.” Such chaos reoccurred in the early 1870s when the new Meiji government adopted the Gregorian calendar. The true victims of the domain’s response were, of course, the residents of Nishinotani. The domain decision to burn its subjects’ homes caused deep and lasting resentment in the affected communities. In 1911, the head of the Nishinotani elementary school submitted a report on the invasion to the Ō no county office to contribute material for a new county gazetteer. At that time, some of the witnesses of the event were still alive, and recalled that the Ō no domain did not fulfill its promise of compensating them for the lost buildings and food reserves and supplied them with only a small amount of food. The villagers ended up without houses, charcoal, firewood, and heavy clothing in the depth of winter. As late as the postwar era, the compiler of a local history noted that Nishinotani villagers had related a vow they had exchanged never to worship at the shrine for Lord Toshitada, erected in 1882 by former vassals.70 As Robert Hellyer shows in his chapter, after the Meiji Restoration former Tokugawa vassals often upheld the memory of their lords as an anchor for their identity and social networks. Such nostalgia, was lost on commoners victimized by warfare during the turbulent 1860s. The villagers were understandably shocked by the domain’s ruthless and ultimately unnecessary measure, but other accounts suggest that the domain’s relief efforts may have been a bit more substantial than villagers remembered. In early February 1865, domain officials announced a plan to establish a loan society to help villagers rebuild their homes: Because the bandits came and entered [the domain] from there, and also because of the order we had previously received from the shogunate, the seven villages of Nishinotani were set on fire by us in this manner – a merciless but inevitable act. One can say that these seven villages have taken on a great calamity on behalf of the entire domain.71

According to the same statement, the lord chose the format of a loan society because duties demanded by the shogunate prevented him from extending much direct assistance. He also sought not to impose further 70 71

Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , p. 387. Machidoshiyori goyō dome [Administrative Journals of the Town Elders] 1/10, 1865, no. 1297 in Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi, Vol. 9, Yō dome-hen [Administrative Journals Volume] (Ō no: Ō no-shi, 1995), p. 929.

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duties on wealthy commoners. Instead, he called upon all his subjects to make a one-time contribution appropriate to each household’s economic standing. He announced that he would add annual interest and use the fund to disburse grants to future disaster victims. The first beneficiaries were the villagers of Nishinotani, who were exempted from the initial payment. Donors received assurances that membership in the fund would protect them from poverty, loss of business liquidity, and crop failure.72 An insurance-like mechanism such as this one had the advantage of guarding its members against future disasters, and the domain in the 1860s showed a general preference for self-perpetuating funds.73 Nevertheless, the domain leadership also used the scheme to distract from its own responsibility for the conflagration and to portray the domain as a unified social body whose members sacrificed themselves for each other during times of war. The scheme was named Sekizenkō – Society to Accumulate Good – and embodied the vision of the domain as a united, mutually supportive community. To emphasize the spirit of mutuality, even vassals were required to contribute. In the statement cited above, the lord attributed some of the responsibility for the fires to the shogunate and in one rendition of the text, even mentioned its duty to the imperial court. The statement also implicitly compared the burning to a natural disaster. Such disregard for commoners’ property, which built on precedents of the Warring States period, was not uncommon among military strategists in the 1860s. In what appears to have been an internal report, a Fukui domain commander noted matter-of-factly that when the rebels were withdrawing from the Ō no Plain, his men set up camp in a draw on the way from Ō no to Fukui and prepared for defense “by cutting down a few big trees, blocking the road, destroying bridges, and burning down one village.”74 Apparently, the Fukui forces also informed the headmen of some of Ō no’s villages that they intended to burn them down, and spared them only because their headmen lodged a protest with Ō no’s government.75 Other cases occurred later in the decade, for example after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in 1868, when the retreating Tokugawaallied forces set many villages ablaze to obstruct the progress of enemy forces.76

72 73 74 75 76

“Shichiban yō dome,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. Ehlers, Give and Take, pp. 286–287. “Mito rō shi on-ryō nai rannyū no setsu tairyaku shimatsusho.” “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo. Hō ya, Boshin sensō , p. 75. See also Nagano-ken, ed., Nagano kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 6, p. 827.

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The Society to Accumulate Good attracted many donations from vassals, merchants, and peasants as well as various bureaus of the domain administration. Many wealthy individuals gave substantial sums that allowed dozens of other people to subscribe to the scheme. In total, the fund attracted over 12,400 subscriptions at one ryō of gold each, and dozens of people donated directly to the affected villages.77 It remains unclear to what extent the Nishinotani villagers benefited from the fund, but according to surviving records, the scheme operated at least until 1869. The domain seems to have lent out some of the money and made regular disbursals from the fund, although the specifics are difficult to gauge.78 Reconstruction progressed quickly, and around the time of the spring equinox the victims were finally able to return to their homes.79 Observations on War and Valor The Mito rebels denied any intention of seeking to topple the Tokugawa regime, but took a stance in the shogunate’s factional struggle and insisted on the absolute righteousness of their antiforeign, pro-imperial cause. How did the people of Ō no perceive this agenda? Did they see the confrontation with the Mito rebels as the start of a civil war or rather as an invasion of bandits? Surviving materials allow for two larger conclusions. First, whether they supported the rebels’ cause or not, people in the Ō no area did regard the standoff as a war situation and observed it with fascination and a good deal of historical awareness. Second, to a certain degree, the people of Ō no did admire the rebels for their martial skills and high status, and some, such as Nojiri Gen’emon, extolled the fighting spirit of the Mito army to denigrate their own domain leaders. On the other hand, loyalist activism in the Ō no area remained low, and other local commoners portrayed themselves as bystanders and mediators in this conflict within the warrior class. As frightened as Ō no’s commoner elites certainly were, the events also piqued their curiosity, a situation similar to what Hellyer describes concerning locals viewing the Battle of Yanada during the Boshin War. Miyazawa Yoshizaemon marveled at the sight of the “beautiful” light armor donned by troops from Katsuyama domain as they marched 77 78

79

“Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo; Ō no Chō shi Hensankai, ed., Ō no chō shi, Vol. 5, pp. 511–512; “Shoyō dome,” 1865, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. “Sekizenkō honcho” [Basic Register of the Sekizenkō ], 1865; “Sekizenkō hibarai” [Daily Payments of the Sekizenkō ], 1865; “Risoku jō nō chō ” [Register of Interest Collection], 1865; “Sekizenkō genri shirabechō ” [Register of Sekizenkō Principal and Interest], 1865, in Ō no Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Ō no shishi, Vol. 5: Hansei shiryō -hen 2, pp. 581–594. “Shoyō dome,” 1865, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo; Yoshida, Nishinotani sonshi, jō , p. 423.

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through his neighborhood.80 After the event, Nojiri Gen’emon composed a lengthy account of the rebellion and inserted copies of several key documents that must have been circulating among the region’s educated people at the time.81 He showed himself quite impressed by the military capacities rolled out during the war in the Kanto. In his description of the shogunate’s forces, he emphasized that there were fifty thousand troops overall, who “were each wearing armor and helmet and were rigorous.” He remarked that “during the big battle of the twenty-second day” [probably the Battle of Nakaminato in October 1864], “day turned into night from the smoke of cannons; the battle was so big that one was reminded of the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.” Gen’emon thus drew a direct parallel to the civil wars of the sixteenth century, his closest referent for what a civil war might look like. He also took a particular interest in the exact length and width of the lord of Sakura’s new Westernstyle cannons. One of these giants, he noted, could fell 100 or 200 masterless samurai with a single blow. It is clear that he regarded the scope of the confrontation as unprecedented. He did not consider his local domains as serious players in this war: Later, the lord of Katsuyama sent over six hundred troops [for the defense of the Ō no Plain], but these were not samurai but provisional fighters such as swordbearing townspeople, and they had also mobilized peasants for porter duty. The number of actual samurai might have been around fifty. One hears that they even gathered foot soldiers (ashigaru) and minor officials; they are a laughing stock.82

Gen’emon did not mention that Ō no also mobilized an armed peasant unit (nō hei) on at least one occasion during the conflict, although the exact numbers and circumstances are unclear.83 He might not have been aware of the extent to which all Japanese armies in the 1860s relied on the mobilization of commoners as soldiers. Gen’emon’s sympathies clearly lay with the loyalists. Takeda Kō unsai, he wrote, “is the house elder of Mito’s lord Zō -Dainagon Keizan [Nariaki] and is a man of benevolence; therefore, he also has [Nariaki’s] last will. Those of Mito’s vassals who seek to fulfill [Nariaki’s] last will to expel the foreigners have thus chosen Takeda Iga no kami as their general.” He condemned Mito’s pro-foreign-trade faction, whom he saw as “sucking up to the shogunate.” But Gen’emon also measured the rebels by the moral standards of a wealthy commoner. He denounced one of the rebels’ earlier generals, Tamaru Inaemon, a former town governor of Mito who had frequently extorted money from commoners in the 80 81 83

“Goyō ki,” Miyazawa Yoshizaemon-ke monjo. “Shoyō dome,” 1864, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. “Shichiban kiroku,” Suzuki Zenzaemon-ke monjo.

82

Ibid.

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Kanto region, as “a thoroughly problematic character.” He emphasized that Kō unsai had initially refused to ally with Inaemon because of his extortionist ways.84 Gen’emon also seems to have been impressed by the rebels’ dignified and valorous comportment during their passage through the Ō no Plain. He relayed rumors regarding Kō unsai’s stay in Konomoto village: I heard that when Takeda Iga no Kami stayed there, he wrapped the central reception room in a curtain of bright-red chirimen, and not even the head of the household would go by his side. I also heard that they displayed the mortuary tablet of Zō -Dainagon Keizan, the lord of Mito, in the alcove. On the road, they were carrying it on a rod in a box decorated with the crest of the triple hollyhock. I heard that Takeda was in a palanquin and not exposed to the eyes of the ordinary people, and each of [the leaders] were passing in palanquins like generals [. . .] There are rumors that all these weapons and field garments were better than what any provincial governor (kokushi) or daimyo could have mustered; they were not even inferior to the retinue of the lord of Kaga, ruler of one million koku.85

In other words, Kō unsai was rumored to be comporting himself like a legitimate leader. He acted in the name of a prince of Tokugawa blood, and his men were valorous like real warriors. Gen’emon claimed that the rebels “had a good reputation,” performing martial arts and equestrian stunts during their stay in Konomoto. They also possessed the determination and endurance that had been so sorely lacking among Ō no’s own retainers: [The rebels] arrived with horses by way of Haeboshi Pass, which has been impassable to oxen and horses since ages past. They also went from Hō kyō ji to Ō moto and passed through Ikeda and Takuranoyama Pass on horseback. People are rumoring that this was not a feat appearing possible to humans, and they regard these men as heroes – the kind of warrior who can take on a thousand enemies all by himself.86

According to Gen’emon, the rebels had killed or divorced their wives and children before leaving Mito, thus freeing themselves to die in battle to fulfill their deceased lord’s final wish. By contrast, none of the fighters sent out by the various daimyo had severed bonds with their loved ones.87 Apparently, the rebels had left a Chinese-style poem on the paper door of a peasant’s house in Shinbo that expressed their fierce sense of loyalism. Gen’emon cited the poem and concluded: “Even when compared to the

84 87

“Shoyō dome,” 1864, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. 85 Ibid. 86 Ibid. In reality, some of the rebels were traveling with their families. Nagano-ken, ed., Nagano kenshi, tsū shi-hen, Vol. 6, pp. 825, 835.

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loyal and righteous samurai of old, they have nothing to be ashamed of. The people are overflowing with feelings [of admiration].”88 Gen’emon repeatedly claimed to be relaying hearsay from “the people.” We cannot know to what extent this was true because he probably selected rumors that resonated with his own point of view. Neither should one conclude that he was a supporter of feudal rule – on the contrary, one of his journal entries of 1873 celebrated the demise of the “useless warrior” class.89 For him, the rebels’ warrior spirit was worth mentioning primarily because it highlighted the corruption of the old order and underscored the need for groundbreaking social and political change. Yet not all Ō no records related to the Tengu Insurrection were as biased toward the rebels. A few days after the conclusion of the incident, Fujita Mosaburō , an educated villager, wrote the account, “Genji Taiheiki” (Chronicle of Great Peace of the Genji Era; appropriating the title of a fifteenth-century warrior epos) to remind his descendants of Nunokawa Genbei’s heroic intervention with Takeda Kō unsai.90 He credited Genbei with saving Ō no town and the valleys between Ō no and Fukui (including his own) from “violence and fire” by persuading the rebels to leave the plain. According to his own postscript, Mosaburō had personally guided the rebels along the Ikeda Valley and scouted them out on behalf of Ō no domain. To Mosaburō , the armies on both sides were equally valorous and splendid. He inserted plenty of poetic references to such classic texts as the Tale of the Heike and the Man’yō shū and even included full poems – both the rebels’ and his own. He thus romanticized the encounter, situated it in Japanese history, and highlighted the impact of Genbei’s mediation. The whole narrative stressed the value of deescalation. Mosaburō admired most the warriors’ ability to avoid unnecessary fighting that destroyed commoner property. He commended both the rebels and Ō no’s commanders for canceling their exhausting battle in the snowstorm, and applauded Kō unsai’s decision to respond to Genbei’s offer and focus on reaching Kyoto rather than bringing pointless destruction to Ō no town and its surrounding villages. He also praised the rebels for surrendering without a fight in Shinbo, thus saving the local poststation from warfare. Although Mosaburō took pains to explain that all these choices were compatible with the group’s own priorities, his main 88 89 90

“Shoyō dome,” 1864, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. “Shoyō dome,” 1873, Nojiri Gen’emon-ke monjo. “Genji Taiheiki,” Nunokawa-ke monjo.

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interest was in seeing the conflict resolved in a nonviolent manner. He had, however, surprisingly little to say about the suffering in Nishinotani. Conclusion The passage of the Mito rebels through Ō no ended without bloodshed, thanks in part to the prudent decision of the domain leadership not to provoke the rebels from a position of weakness. Ō no domain subjects were terrified of the prospect of war and relieved by the event’s anticlimactic outcome. Yet, the passage of the rebels was also an embarrassment for the domain because after more than a decade of ambitious military reform, it had failed to confront an army of battle-hardened warriors. The lords in the area struggled to coordinate their response, and the number of available troops was low – a performance that did not bode well for a possible future confrontation with a more aggressive enemy. What is more, Ō no domain leaders had not hesitated to sacrifice the well-being of their subjects while protecting their warrior band. After more than 200 years of “Great Peace,” the people of Ō no suddenly felt thrown back into the era of Warring States. Subjects showed a keen interest in the warriors’ armor and status symbols and praised what they considered conventional samurai virtues such as martial arts, fighting spirit, loyalty, and endurance. Some imbued the Mito rebels with a supernatural aura because the men displayed the physical and mental strength associated with warriors of old. Ō no leaders seem to have been more forward-looking in their adoption of Western military practices and recognized the need to construct an imagined community in which all social groups in the domain sacrificed themselves for one another in war. Nonetheless, the domain leadership treated its villagers like a sixteenth-century warlord when it came to preparing its territory for defense. By 1864, the people of Ō no already knew they were living in turbulent times. Although far from the treaty ports, they were aware of the foreign presence and had witnessed their domain’s bold experiments in military modernization. They were suffering the same economic instability as the rest of the Japanese realm as a result of the unequal treaties and eagerly absorbed reports about political upheavals. But until the arrival of the Mito rebels, the people of Ō no had not experienced what it meant to actually be at war, to be drafted into the military, and to risk their lives for leaders whose decisions they could not control. Even people such as Suzuki

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Zenzaemon, who supported the domain’s military reforms, cringed at the thought of sending their own flesh and blood into battle. Only a few years after this incident, in 1868, Zenzaemon’s son, Kyō suke, had to put his life on the line again during the Boshin War in the imperial army’s siege of Hakodate. The field journal he kept during that campaign frankly conveys the horrors of the battlefield,91 testifying once again that it took Japanese soldiers some time to take self-sacrifice and killing in the name of the nation-state for granted.

91

Sakata Tamako, “Hakodate sensō shiryō ” [Documents from the Hakodate War], Okuetsu shiryō 9 (1980): 48–105.

6

“Farmer-Soldiers” and Local Leadership in Late Edo Period Japan Brian Platt

A number of historians working in the field of global history have argued that the mid-nineteenth century should be seen as a watershed moment of military conflict around the world. These scholars have characterized the middle decades of the nineteenth century as a distinctive era of warfare, in terms of both the volume of conflict and its significance. In so doing, they have challenged the tendency among military historians to focus on the eras of warfare that bookended the nineteenth century – the revolutionary wars in Europe and the Atlantic on the front end, or the global conflicts among nation-states that began in the twentieth century. Similar to the research of Geyer and Bright noted in the Introduction, David Armitage has also surveyed conflicts throughout the world during the midnineteenth century. He identifies the period between 1850 and 1871 as a period of “world crisis” and argues that conflicts such as the Crimean War, the Taiping Rebellion, the Indian Rebellion, and the FrancoPrussian War constituted a new phase of “large-scale militarized violence.”1 There are a number of commonalities among these midnineteenth-century conflicts, in particular their shared origins in the protracted breakdown of large, early modern empires and the concomitant ushering in of an era of nationalized state-making.2 Most parties in these conflicts also confronted the common challenge of assembling armies despite lacking both the precedent and the administrative infrastructure to accomplish large-scale military mobilization. In other words, the wars that gave rise to the political formation that Charles Maier calls “Leviathan 2.0” could not draw upon Leviathan 2.0’s machinery or its ideological foundations to amass and equip armies. 1

2

David Armitage, “Interchange: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Era of the Civil War,” Journal of American History 98, no. 2 (September 2011): 461; Geyer and Bright, “Global Violence and Nationalizing Wars in Eurasia and America,” p. 622. Charles Maier, Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 79–150; C. A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1750–1914 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), pp. 148–169; and Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015), pp. 543–558.

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In this volume, Harald Fuess and Hō ya Tō ru demonstrate how these global military and political contexts, particularly Western military technologies and tactics, shaped Japan’s mid-century conflicts – and, by implication, the Tokugawa-Meiji transition. In a related vein, Noell Wilson and Mark Metzler examine how global economic contexts set the stage for the political and military conflicts of the Restoration era. This chapter takes an alternative approach by focusing instead on the internal dynamics of those conflicts while placing them in a comparative framework. When comparing Restoration era conflicts to contemporaneous wars elsewhere in the world, we can identify at least one obvious point of difference: in Japan, no large-scale conflicts necessitated the mobilization of massive armies. In fact, the Restoration conflicts were relatively small-scale affairs. Moreover, in Japan those conflicts were not, at least initially, the impetus for new forms of military mobilization: by the time the conflicts occurred, authorities had been discussing and experimenting with new models for military mobilization for several decades. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, many officials throughout the Japanese state came to believe that their existing military and security forces were not sufficient to meet the challenges they faced first, from foreign powers, and then, increasingly, from domestic disorder. In response, some proposed reaching beyond the existing pool of soldiers formed exclusively from the samurai military caste and mobilizing commoners for military service, to serve either alongside samurai or in commoner-only auxiliary units. This was a radical proposal that stood against basic assumptions undergirding the social and political order, and those who championed it were motivated by the perception that the nation faced unprecedented crises. While it was never implemented on a mass scale, at least in comparison to what occurred during the Taiping Rebellion or the US Civil War, it became a widespread administrative experiment in the last several decades of the Edo period. Many historians in Japan, although surprisingly few in the United States and Europe, have ascribed great significance to commoner military mobilization, albeit more due to its symbolism than its historical impact. I will argue for its significance from a different perspective by taking it as an example of a larger trend in local governance in the late Edo period. Although the issue of mobilizing commoners for military service was first raised in elite circles in domains and within the bakufu, the momentum for its implementation came from all levels of political administration, including village- and town-level commoner elites. In this sense, it was an example of a broader trend in which local social and political elites attempted to take on new functions and intervene in new areas of public life. This phenomenon fits the global nineteenth-century pattern in which

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governments brought additional functions under their administrative purview, pointing to the formation of expansive, administratively integrated nation-states, although not in a continuous, predictable fashion.3 In the case of Japan, however, it was the perception of crisis, rather than the experience of large-scale military conflict, that drove this process. This chapter will first outline the development of efforts to mobilize commoners for military service during the last several decades of the Edo period. It will then detail specific examples of local elites pursuing military mobilization as part of broader efforts to address the problems of local society by expanding the administrative scope of their local leadership. Commoner Mobilization and the Late Tokugawa Context Historians of Japan often discuss commoner mobilization using the term “farmer-soldier” (nō hei), justifying its use based upon its ubiquity in lateEdo period sources.4 Twentieth-century scholars surely also are attracted to the term in part because of the provocative notion of armed farmers appearing in an Edo period state that had been disarmed for over 200 years. The initial disarming was undertaken famously in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s 1588 “Sword Hunt” and then implemented thoroughly by the Tokugawa bakufu, both for its practical value in monopolizing the means of violence and its symbolic significance in distinguishing the samurai status group.5 For historians, the notion of armed peasants has also been provocative in helping them to place late Tokugawa phenomena into broader historical schema. Marxist historians, in particular, have used nō hei to discuss the potential for revolution at the end of the Edo period. This perspective can be seen in what is still after seventy-five years the most extensive treatment of nō hei in English-language scholarship: E. H. Norman’s two-part article, “Soldier and Peasant in Japan.”6 Because Norman viewed Edo period society in terms of a division 3 4

5

6

Maier, Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood, pp. 94–102; Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1750–1914, p. 162. As explained in the Introduction of this volume, the “farmer-soldiers” (nō hei) explored in this chapter emerged in the late Edo period and are distinct from the later “farmersoldiers” (tondenhei) examined by Steven Ivings in Chapter 9. Hideyoshi was not the first to attempt the disarmament of farmers. Oda Nobunaga issued a command in 1576 requiring farmers to return to the land and give up their arms. See George Elison, “The Cross and the Sword: Patterns of Momoyama History,” in Warlords, Artists and Commoners: Japan in the Sixteenth Century, eds. George Elison and Bardwell L. Smith (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1981), pp. 68, 299. E. H. Norman, “Soldier and Peasant in Japan: The Origins of Conscription,” Pacific Affairs 16, no. 1 (March 1943): 47–64; and 16, no. 2 (June 1943): 149–165. Other

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between a feudal military class and a “disarmed and oppressed” peasantry, the mere fact of peasants taking up arms necessarily carried the implication of revolutionary, antifeudal resistance. He ultimately argued that this revolutionary potential was unfulfilled, as samurai elites “canalize[d] the power of peasant insurrection, diverting it from its narrow class economic motivation” toward the political struggle against Tokugawa hegemony.7 For several decades after World War II, Japanese scholars similarly built analyses of nō hei around the question of their revolutionary potential, and continued to cite Norman’s work prominently.8 This shared emphasis is not surprising, considering the Marxist thrust of early postwar Japanese scholarship and its tendency to focus on the nō hei forces in Chō shū , which often has the result of tying the nō hei to the overthrow of the bakufu. In the past two decades, historians have begun to approach the nō hei with other questions in mind. Some have looked at nō hei as part of a reexamination of late Edo period diplomatic history, pointing out the role of debates about national defense in proposals for nō hei mobilization.9 Others, such as Hō ya Tō ru and D. Colin Jaundrill, have looked at nō hei as part of larger examinations of military reform.10 David Howell has used nō hei as a lens to consider issues of status, violence, and social order during a time of perceived crisis.11 research on nō hei in English includes Albert Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961), pp. 281–295. 7 Norman, “Soldier and Peasant in Japan,” 16, no. 1, p. 62. 8 For example, Inoue Kiyoshi, Nihon no gunkokushugi [Japanese Militarization], Vol. 1, Tennō sei guntai to gunbu [The Forces of the Imperial System and the Military Authorities] (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1953); Aoki Michio, “Bakumatsu ni okeru nō min tō sō to nō heisei” [Bakumatsu-era Peasant Conflicts and the System of Conscripted Farmers], Nihon shi kenkyū 97 (1968): 104–125; Shigeki Yō ichi, “Bakumatsu-ki bakuryō nō hei soshiki no seiritsu to tenkai” [The Establishment and Development of FarmerSoldier Organizations in Tokugawa Lands During the Bakumatsu Period], Rekishigaku kenkyū 464 (January 1979): 18–26; Ozaki Yukiya, “Bakufu-ryō ni okeru nō hei soshiki” [Farmer-Soldier Organizations in Tokugawa Territories], Shinano 20, no. 10 (October 1968): 22–32; 20, no. 11 (November 1968): 37–49. 9 Kamishiraishi Minoru, Bakumatsu taigai kankei no kenkyū [Studies in Bakumatsu-era Foreign Relations] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2011), especially chapters 1–3. 10 Hō ya Tō ru, “Bakumatsu Ishin no dō ran to gunsei kaikaku” [Upheaval and Military Reform during the Bakumatsu Period and the Meiji Restoration], in Nihon gunji shi [Japan’s Military History], eds. Takahashi Noriyuki, Yamada Kuniaki, Hō ya Tō ru, and Ichinose Toshiya (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2006); D. Colin Jaundrill, Samurai to Soldier: Remaking Military Service in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Cornell, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016), pp. 58–66. 11 David Howell, “Nō hei no rekishiteki igi: bō ryoku no renzokutai e no ichizuki o megutte” [The Historical Significance of Peasant Militias and Their Place in the Continuum of Violence], Shidai Nihonshi 16 (May 2013): 1–11; David Howell, “Busō suru nō min no naiyū to gaikan” [Troubles at Home and from Abroad Through the Lens of Armed Peasants] in Kō za Meiji ishin: Sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [Studies on the Meiji Restoration: The Meiji Restoration in World History], eds. Kimura Naoya and Mitani Hiroshi (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010), pp. 84–107.

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While the Japanese historiography on nō hei has been focused (perhaps excessively so) on the question of their revolutionary potential, it has yielded an increasingly fine-grained picture of both the late Edo period debates concerning nō hei as well as the actual process of mobilization. My own analysis here leans heavily on that scholarship. Discussions about the role of nō hei began in earnest in the 1820s amidst growing concerns about encroachments by Russia from the north and the British from the south. Particularly troubling were two incidents that occurred in 1824. Both involved British whaling ships, which, as Noell Wilson notes in her chapter, had proliferated in the North Pacific due to growing demand for lamp oil in Europe and the United States and the thinning of the whale population in the Atlantic. One ship landed in Ō tsuhama, a village on the northern coast of Mito, prompting officials from the bakufu, Mito, and other nearby domains to descend upon the area before determining that the ship could be released after they had instructed the crew on the laws prohibiting unauthorized landing on Japanese shores. In the second incident, a British whaler approached a coastal village in southern Kyushu to load provisions. The situation turned violent when the sailors attempted to seize livestock, prompting samurai from the Satsuma domain to attack the crew, killing one.12 These incidents seem to have led the bakufu to issue new orders in 1825, directing coastal authorities to expel “without hesitation” foreign ships appearing off the Japanese coast (the “Law on the Expulsion of Foreign Ships”). It was in the response to this exclusion order, and to the general sense of crisis surrounding coastal defense, that the idea of commoner mobilization became a matter of widespread discussion. Historian Kamishiraishi Minoru identifies some early proposals concerning the formation of nō hei, all of which emerged in the context of broader proposals for military reform in an effort to strengthen coastal defenses. One proposal came from Tō yama Kagekuni, a superintendant of finances (kanjō bugyō ), who had been deeply involved in navigating the bakufu’s response to Russian demands to open commercial relations during the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Tō yama anticipated that the two incidents involving British whalers were a sign of things to come, and worried that the Japanese state would be weakened if the populace began to trade freely with foreigners. As part of an aggressive response to such overtures for trade, he called for fishers and farmers to form militia units

12

Conrad Totman, Early Modern Japan (Berkley: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 500–502.

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of twenty to thirty, under the direction of samurai dispatched by nearby daimyo.13 A second proposal came from Takahashi Kageyasu, an official who had previously headed the Tokugawa Institute for the Translation for Barbarian Books (Bansho shirabesho) and served as interpreter during the Ō tsuhama incident in Mito. Takahashi advocated for the construction of fortifications along the eastern coast of Honshu, to be coordinated by area domain and bakufu intendants and staffed by village officials and other wealthy farmers. These recruits, he proposed, would build and staff coastal fortifications equipped with empty cannons in order to deter whalers from coming ashore.14 Also in the wake of the two incidents involving whalers and the 1825 expulsion law was a domain plan to recruit fifty commoners from three villages in what is today northern Ibaraki Prefecture.15 The domains involved followed through on this proposal, training a group of men in firearms and placing them at the ready to respond if foreign ships were sighted. These calls for commoner mobilization generally acknowledged that mobilizing commoners was unprecedented and carried risks of status transgression and social disorder. Reformers justified the step on the basis of the urgency of the task of coastal defense, and also by the obvious advantages of using commoners for this purpose namely, this measure allowed for the deployment of onsite personnel who could respond more quickly and cheaply than samurai coming from a greater distance. The debates about nō hei surged again in the 1840s amidst a series of new encounters with foreign ships and the spread of news about the Opium War, which intensified the sense of crisis among bakufu and domain officials.16 Fearing foreign incursions, several domains began to undertake military reforms to strengthen their coastal defenses, often turning to Western models of weaponry, training, and strategy. These reform efforts frequently involved the mobilization of commoners. Perhaps the most prominent advocate for this measure at this time was Egawa Hidetatsu, a bakufu intendant who in 1849 urged his Tokugawa superiors to begin a large-scale mobilization of farmers for the purpose of coastal defense. While the bakufu leadership did not adopt his proposals, Egawa was able to implement his plans on a small scale in his own area of jurisdiction in Nirayama, relying on village officials and rural samurai to recruit men. Similar proposals surfaced in other domains and Tokugawa territories. In Kaga, for example, a number of instructors of military training at the domain school submitted plans. One called for 300 troops 13 15

Kamishiraishi, Bakumatsu taigai kankei no kenkyū , p. 81. 14 Ibid, p. 80. Howell, “Busō suru nō min no naiyū to gaikan,” p. 3. 16 Kamishiraishi, p. 83.

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from thirteen villages to be armed with bamboo spears. Another recommended a nationwide coastal defense system in which 160 able-bodied men between fifteen and thirty would be mobilized from each district.17 Through the 1850s, despite the intensity of discussions about nō hei, attempts to implement plans for commoner mobilization were comparatively limited. In the 1860s, however, coastal areas increased recruitment efforts. By 1867, fifty-four out of the roughly 120 domains that bordered the coast had mobilized nō hei (and some domains without coastlines also did so).18 Authorities in Kaga, for example, crafted a policy in 1863 in which 1,000 commoners would be mobilized for coastal defense from every community, regardless of whether they bordered the coast or not. The troops were to receive training under the supervision of the domain and would be deployed in groups of one hundred, half for coastal defense and the other half at the ready to be mobilized for dispatch in emergency circumstances.19 The domain succeeded in recruiting, mainly from village and town officials and their employees, although only after combating rumors that recruits did not have to pay for their own guns and reassuring people that the training would not interfere with their regular work.20 In addition, commoner and mixed samurai/commoner units fought in domestic conflicts. The well-known Kiheitai, formed in Chō shū , fought in the domain’s conflicts with Westerners, as well as those with the bakufu. In this volume, Robert Hellyer provides another example of a samurai mobilizing commoners in support of the shogunate through the case of Imai Nobuo. Motivated in part by his dismay at the use of peasant soldiers against the bakufu in the Tengu Insurrection of 1864–1865, Imai traveled to what is today Gunma Prefecture and formed a commoner militia to maintain social order and affirm Tokugawa rule. In her chapter, Maren Ehlers reveals how conflicts during the 1860s – in this case, between Mito rebels and the bakufu – brought small domains such as Ō no into the fray and prompted them to mobilize large forces (in the case of Ō no, nearly 20,000 men). Ō no officials characterized recruits as helpers (ninsoku) and mobilized them to assist combat units and provide transport rather than serving as armed fighters. In other areas, too, officials deployed commoners for a variety of purposes, including security for religious festivals and labor for castle repair, thus blurring the lines

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18 19

Myō jin Hiroyuki, “Hansei makki no Kaga-han ni yoru nō hei chō bo” [Farmer-Soldier Recruitment in Kaga at the End of the Edo Period], Gunji shigaku 39, no. 2 (February 2003): 18–19. Hara Takeshi, Bakumatsu kaibō shi no kenkyū [A Study of the History of Coastal Defense in the Bakumatsu Period] (Tokyo: Meichō Shuppan, 1988), p. 312. Ibid, pp. 20–23. 20 Ibid, p. 20.

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between military recruitment and other forms of service obligations, such as corvée.21 This expansion of nō hei recruitment during the 1860s occurred even as the practical need for coastal defense had waned. The treaties governing Japan’s trade and diplomatic relations with Europe and the United States had by this time been signed, and it was apparent that locally driven efforts with makeshift bands of soldiers – samurai or commoner – were neither effective nor appropriate for Japan’s new national security situation. The push for nō hei mobilization in the 1860s derived instead from the perceived need to stem domestic disorder, reflecting a shift in the impetus for nō hei recruitment from a concern about “dangers from abroad” to the perceived need to address “troubles at home” (from gaikan to naiyū ).22 This shift can be seen within the aforementioned Egawa magistrate office, one of the initial champions of the idea of commoner mobilization. Whereas Egawa Hidetatsu’s initial proposals in the early 1850s stressed the need to recruit commoners for coastal defense, his son Hidetoshi and grandson Hidetake took up the cause in the 1860s with an explicit focus on maintaining order in local society.23 Indeed, when the new Meiji leadership asked Hidetoshi in 1868 to fight against the Tokugawa forces, he refused, saying that the purpose of farmer-soldier units was to maintain local order, not to fight in battle.24 The disorder that was of such concern to local authorities was manifested in particular by the growth of popular uprisings against local leadership, usually categorized by Japanese historians as “world-renewal rebellions” (yonaoshi ikki). Howell also points to fears of ruffians (akutō ) from outside the community who fostered local disorder by stealing, gambling, or initiating quarrels. Against the backdrop of these fears of disorder, and particularly after the bakufu’s 1863 directive to magistrates regarding the mustering of commoners for military and security purposes, nō hei recruitment expanded significantly, bringing to Tokugawa territories and interior areas a development that had previously been common mainly in the coastal domains.25 This expansion illustrates the urgency with which officials engaged with the issue of local security, and in general with the 21

22

23 24 25

Ueda Junko, “Bakumatsu-ki Hagi-han ni okeru kyū ryō toritate nō hei: yorigumi Ura-ke o jirei toshite” [Farmer-Soldiers as Mobilized Labor in the Hagi Domain During the Bakumatsu Period: A Case Study of the Landlord Ura], Shisō [Kyoto Jō shi Daigaku Shigakkai] 58 (February 2001): 270–272. Aoki, “Bakumatsu ni okeru nō min tō sō to nō heisei,” pp. 104–125; Shigeki, “Bakumatsuki bakuryō nō hei soshiki no seiritsu to tenkai,” pp. 18–26; Howell, “Busō suru nō min no naiyū to gaikan,” p. 4. Shigeki, “Bakumatsu-ki bakuryō nō hei soshiki no seiritsu to tenkai,” p. 19; Howell, “Busō suru nō min no naiyū to gaikan,” p. 4. Shigeki, “Bakumatsu-ki bakuryō nō hei soshiki no seiritsu to tenkai,” p. 25. Hara, Bakumatsu kaibō shi, p. 312.

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challenges of political administration in an atmosphere of perceived social crisis. In order to make the connection between this administrative experiment and the broadening of the purview of local leadership, I will focus on one example of nō hei mobilization that occurred in the Saku district of Shinano Province. Now part of Nagano Prefecture, Saku is far from the coast, underscoring how this particular mobilization was not for coastal defense. Tokugawa territory in the Saku district encompassed eighty-seven villages, under the administrative direction of a bakufu intendant, Amari Hachiuemon. As was the case in many areas under direct Tokugawa jurisdiction, nō hei recruitment in Saku began in 1863, following the bakufu’s directive to magistrates regarding military reform and commoner mobilization. The Saku example reveals that recruitment was the product of a collaboration between the magistrate’s office and a team of village elites under its jurisdiction with the primary initiative, it seems, coming from the latter. In late 1863, the magistrate’s office circulated a memo regarding the establishment of a military training facility for commoners.26 The memo reported that the neighboring provinces of Kō zuke and Musashi had succeeded in clamping down on scoundrels (akutō ) and homeless people (mushuku), generating fears that those scoundrels would come to Saku and cause damage to the social order and public spirit. In response, a village official named Kō zu Kuranosuke and three other publicminded men proposed to raise their own funds to recruit and train “supplemental foot soldiers” (biashigaru) from among the local population to help preserve order. The magistrate explained that these men, once trained, would serve as needed and under the direction of the magistrate’s office. The magistrate would allow them to wear swords as well as distinctive indigo- and yellow-colored gaiters only during their deployment. Naturally, the circular commented, these recruits should be of good character, and by their service they would bring glory to their ancestors. The magistrate seemed cognizant of the magnitude of this step and expressed an awareness of the arguments against it. In another circular from two weeks later, the magistrate provided additional details about the plan and noted: “It is forbidden for farmers to bear arms, but at a time when the world has become disordered and difficulties have spread to our district,” such steps are necessary. At this point, the plan was to recruit village officials, or their sons or brothers or others in their households. Moreover, the magistrate added that the military training “should not interfere with their agricultural work.”27 26 27

This document is reprinted in Ozaki, “Bakufu-ryō ni okeru nō min soshiki,” pp. 729–730. Ibid, p. 731.

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Much about this recruitment effort seems typical of those mounted throughout Tokugawa lands following the nō hei recruitment directive in 1863. We can see this in the scope of the recruitment, which amounted to only one hundred soldiers from forty-six villages, although around half of those villages were exempted from recruitment due to their size or poverty. The magistrate promised status benefits, even if temporary, as an incentive for participation. To allay concerns about transgressing status boundaries, he issued calls to moral rectitude and cautions against interference with agricultural work. Another element that was true of most recruitment efforts but is explicit in this example from Saku is the collaboration between the magistrate and village elites. Local notables raised their own funds and petitioned the magistrate for permission to recruit men for planned auxiliary units. In documents issued a few weeks later detailing arrangements for military training, we learn about the four men who played a central administrative role in the implementation of a plan to develop a unit.28 In these missives, the magistrate explained that while the training center would be located at the magistrate’s office, interested recruits should first go to a man named Kō zu Kuranosuke and his three collaborators to register for training. The documents also explained that, while village officials who wished to serve should bring their own lunches, the four men would provide food for ordinary farmers. Moreover, the documents state that the four men would pay for the expenses of recruits traveling long distances to the training center. This set of documents also makes explicit the connection between military mobilization and other initiatives undertaken by village elites in the late Edo period. The initial document in this series was circulated alongside another that opened with an expression of concern about the breakdown of the social and moral order. The document voiced apprehension about “farmers forgetting their work, competing over commercial profit, indulging in luxury, and committing infanticide and abortion.”29 People had “lost the way of human morality,” and as a result, “filial relationships have deteriorated,” and “feelings towards others are lacking.” The document reported that four village officials – the same four who initiated the effort to recruit villagers for military training – had made plans for additional measures to renovate local society. They proposed to establish schools in each village and appoint Confucian teachers to them, first and foremost to provide instruction in filial piety.30 Moreover, they proposed to build annexes at the schools where 28 30

Ibid, pp. 731–732. 29 Ibid, pp. 729–730. Myō jin Hiroyuki’s research on nō hei in the Kaga domain also shows a significant overlap between nō hei organizers and teachers. Myō jin, “Hansei makki no Kaga-han ni yoru nō hei chō bo,” pp. 20–22.

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local residents would make straw goods. The village officials would then collect the profits from the sale of these goods and use them to provide for poor children in the community. The effect would be to “rebuild the human spirit” in their community and thereby “stop the aforementioned evils” and “protect against scoundrels [akutō ].” These activists were proposing a comprehensive strategy for shoring up the social and moral order. They wanted to recruit local forces to address the symptoms of the disorder – scoundrels, ruffians, and homelessness – and at the same time, address the economic and moral origins of the disorder through education, charity, and mutual assistance. The magistrate endorsed such efforts and reported that the local elites had already developed plans for the school, but the deep snow had forced them to postpone construction. This sort of proactive response by local elites to calls for military recruitment was not universal. In his study of late Edo period nō hei, Aoki Michio focuses on the response of village officials in two jurisdictions administered by a magistrate’s office in Dewa province, now composed of parts of Yamagata and Akita Prefectures. The village leadership in one area responded proactively, in much the same as leaders in Saku, by raising funds, providing administrative support and practical assistance, and volunteering to serve as unit heads. In the other district, however, some village leaders showed recalcitrance. They complained that the mobilization plan would require not only wealthy but also poor families to provide nō hei, which would distract from agricultural tasks. They also complained of the financial hardship imposed on less wealthy village officials expected to lead the units and contribute their own funds to the cause. These officials argued that as a result, nō hei mobilization would have the effect of impoverishing and enervating society, and thus “fostering national disorder.”31 Their resistance appears to have been successful: it forced a change in the leadership of the magistrate’s office and led the office to scale back the scope of the mobilization effort.32 However, their resistance reveals that the magistrate expected village leaders to play an instrumental role in coordinating recruitment efforts, and also that some of them were assuming such positions. Moreover, their use of the specter of statewide disorder, whether a sincere concern or a tactical deployment of language they anticipated would elicit the desired response on the part of the authorities, reveals an atmosphere in which local reforms and initiatives are seen through the prism of the problem of 31 32

Aoki, “Bakumatsu ni okeru nō min tō sō to nō heisei,” p. 115. Even in the case of proactive village leadership, mobilization efforts sometimes ran into trouble when people resisted the recruitment efforts of village officials, reflecting existing cleavages within village society. See Shigeki, “Bakumatsu-ki bakuryō nō hei soshiki no seiritsu to tenkai,” pp. 20–24.

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disorder. It is also noteworthy that although they referenced very specific local circumstances, the village leaders linked those issues to the problem of statewide disorder. Their stance reveals a larger development of the bakumatsu period: the spread of information among local, elite networks. Elites could learn about events elsewhere in the Japanese realm and in so doing, determine if their local circumstances melded with broader social and political contexts.33 Nō hei and the Tokugawa-Meiji Transition The value of the Saku example lies in the fact that local officials made explicit the connection between nō hei recruitment and other initiatives intended to maintain order in local society. Even when those connections are not explicit, I suggest that we should see nō hei as one example of a range of public initiatives undertaken by local leaders during the last century of the Edo period to address perceived social problems. This is particularly true of nō hei formed during the 1850s and 1860s, after the notion of coastal defense as a responsibility of local leadership began to wane. Overall, we can view the earlier efforts undertaken for the purpose of coastal defense as part of a broader phenomenon in which local political authorities responded to the perception of crisis by expanding the customary range of governing functions and by devising new forms of administrative intervention within their jurisdictions. While others have explored this issue in regard to domain administration,34 I will focus here on new administrative interventions at the village level. One example of such an intervention is that of schools, which proliferated dramatically in the closing decades of the Edo period. As I have argued elsewhere, this growth should be seen not simply as a function of increasing demand from a society in which the benefits of literacy were becoming more apparent. Instead, I maintain that it also emerged from the proactive efforts of village leaders to open schools, both 33

34

Miyachi Masato, “Bakumatsu seiji katei ni okeru gō nō shō to zaison chishikijin” [Wealthy Commoners and Rural Intellectuals in the Bakumatsu-era Political Process], in Ishin henkaku to kindai Nihon [Modern Japan and the Reforms of the Meiji Restoration], ed. Miyachi Masato (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1993), pp. 29–76; Iwada Miyuki, “Bakumatsu no taigai jō hō to chiiki shakai – fū setsudome kara miru” [Information from Abroad and Local Society During the Bakumatsu Period], in Sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration in the Context of World History], eds. Kimura Naoya and Mitani Hiroshi (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010). Mark Ravina, Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999); Luke Roberts, Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain: The Merchant Origins of Economic Nationalism in 18th-Century Tosa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Maren Ehlers, Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018).

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as a form of community service and as a strategy of shoring up their positions in local society.35 Another example of public initiative can be seen in Ninomiya Sontoku’s Hō toku Movement and other efforts to revitalize rural communities through a mixture of economic assistance and moral instruction.36 Anti-infanticide campaigns, too, found an eager audience among village elites eager to address what they perceived to be the symptoms of social, economic, and moral disorder in their communities.37 Although domain authorities initiated new forms of famine relief, they succeeded by collaborating with town elders, inclined to follow through on such initiatives.38 Previous scholarship has often described late Edo and early Meiji period local elites as acting based on pragmatism, emphasizing how they sought to preserve order, and their own status, in a time of upheaval.39 Albert Craig similarly describes local elites in Chō shū not as radicals seeking to organize or join militia to overthrow the feudal order, but as apolitical pragmatists attempting to navigate a chaotic era without putting their communities or their own positions in jeopardy.40 To be sure, most local officials were pragmatic in their efforts to preserve order amidst the chaos of the late Edo period. Yet many determined that this goal required deviation from received ideas about local administration. As a result, they adopted new initiatives for local reform, often in a spirit of public activism. Most village elites establishing schools, leading anti-abortion campaigns, or devising new means for ensuring public welfare – including organizing rural security forces – did so because of strong ideological commitments, such as Ninomiya’s Hō toku Movement or Hirata Atsutane’s brand of kokugaku. In this volume, Ehlers offers a vivid example of the environment faced by local officials that produced such new administrative interventions. As the Mitō rebels passed through central Honshu on their way to Kyoto, village leaders faced difficult, unprecedented decisions. The bakufu had ordered domains along the rebels’ path to resist them, thus bringing the 35 36 37 38 39

40

Brian Platt, Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750–1890 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004). On the Hō toku Movement, see Tetsuo Najita, Ordinary Economies in Japan: A Historical Perspective, 1750–1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), pp. 104–140. Fabian Drixler, Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660–1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013). Maren Ehlers, “Benevolence, Charity and Duty: Urban Relief and Domain Society during the Tenmei Famine,” Monumenta Nipponica 69, no. 1 (2014): 55–101. Neil Waters, Japan’s Local Pragmatists: The Transition from Tokugawa to Meiji in the Kawasaki Region (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1983); James Baxter, The Meiji Unification through the Lens of Ishikawa Prefecture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1995). Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration, pp. 291–294.

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potential for armed conflict right into the backyards of communities along the way. Local administrators at every level, from domain leaders down to village headmen, had to make urgent decisions about how to respond – for example, whether to support the rebels or the domain forces loyal to the Tokugawa.41 As the rebel forces approached, officials in remote villages had to determine how to prepare, not knowing whether the rebels would treat the locals with generosity, or with violence and looting. The conflicts often brought violence to these communities, such as when the Ō no leadership decided to evacuate villages in the rebels’ path and set fire to them in order to cripple the rebels’ supply of provisions. Although the urgency of their decisions and the potential for violence was unusual, the village officials thrust into such situations would have been accustomed to making decisions through the lens of crisis and devising new administrative solutions to what they considered the unprecedented problems of social and moral disorder during the bakumatsu period. The picture of public-minded local elites taking upon themselves the responsibility of “saving the world” by addressing the problems of local society – and then raising arms in order to suppress rebellion – calls to mind the roughly contemporaneous situation in Qing China.42 In China, of course, the manifestation of disorder in the mid-nineteenth century was not simply that of a few wandering scoundrels or peasant protests, or even the violent but localized clashes surrounding the Meiji Restoration, but major military conflicts that brought death and destruction on a catastrophic scale. Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang built large regional armies on a foundation of small-scale organizations conceived by village elites before the eruption of large-scale military conflict, and which were founded with a variety of public initiatives in mind. Philip Kuhn offers the example of Wang Chen, a degreeholder in Hunan who organized a militia in 1849 after a famine-induced rebellion in his area – a militia that was 41

42

One can easily see how, in such an environment, access to information would become critical to village elites. Ehlers notes how the diary of one village official, Suzuki Zenzaemon, contained a copy of a report of military action elsewhere. Although it is not clear where he obtained the report, this sort of collection and copying of information into journals, via networks of village elites, was the primary means through which village elites obtained information about goings-on elsewhere in the country. While these networks were originally formed through cultural activity, Miyachi shows how, at the end of the Edo period, village elites exploited those networks to obtain information about national political developments. See Miyachi, “Bakumatsu seiji katei ni okeru nō nō shō to zaison chishikijin.” The phase is a reference to a refrain in the writings of Cheng Hongmou, an eighteenthcentury Qing official who advocated an expansive use of the state apparatus in the effort to bring order to local society. See William Rowe, Saving the World: Cheng Hongmou and Elite Consciousness in 18th-Century China (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002).

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later folded into Zeng Guofan’s Hunan army. Several years earlier, Wang had organized a voluntary association called a “local covenant” (xiang-yue in Chinese, gō yaku in Japanese) for a multifold purpose: “to promote morality, encourage agriculture, aid the indigent, and secure local order.” This association, Kuhn points out, served as the “organizational nucleus” for a militia that took shape four years later.43 In contrast to Japan, in which military mobilization remained a relatively small part of the leadership portfolio of local elites, in China the military challenge presented by the Taipings had the effect of bending the public initiatives of local elites more decisively in the direction of militarization. As Kuhn, Mary Rankin, and others have pointed out, this militarization of local elites during the war also entrenched their power. The Qing state had empowered them to divert tax revenues from central coffers to fund the formation of private armies, and after the defeat of the Taipings, they used those funds to build up their regional power bases.44 Most historians argue that China’s late nineteenth- and twentieth-century warlordism had its roots in these developments. The mobilization for civil war, therefore, represented a usurpation of existing institutions of local government, and in the decades following the war had a decentralizing political effect on the Qing Empire. In Japan, by contrast, mid-century experiments with local military mobilization were followed, before too long, by the formation of a centralized, national army to defend the new nation-state. The connection between nō hei and Meiji centralization can be traced in various ways. Looking narrowly at the issue of military mobilization, Japanese historians have argued that the nō hei served as a bridge of sorts between early modern military arrangements and the modern, centralized Japanese military, in that they reflected new ideas about tactics and a precedent for universal conscription. By the same token, one might just as easily argue that commoner mobilization contributed only to the fragmentation and chaos of the Restoration era, and that Meiji era efforts to build a truly national military force marked a point of clear departure from pre-Meiji, distinctly local efforts. If we step back and look beyond the issue of military organization, we can view nō hei as one of a range of new administrative measures 43 44

Philip Kuhn, Rebellion and Its Enemies: Militarization and Social Structure, 1796–1864 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), pp. 136–137. In addition to Kuhn’s Rebellion and its Enemies, see James Polacheck, “Gentry Hegemony: Soochow in the T’ung-chih Restoration,” in Conflict and Control in Late Imperial China, eds. Frederic Wakeman and Carolyn Grant (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975), pp. 211–256; Mary Rankin, Elite Activism and Political Transformation in China: Zhejiang Province, 1865–1911 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1986).

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undertaken by local authorities at the domain, magistrate, and village levels. Placing the nō hei in this broader context opens new possibilities for understanding Japan’s experience in a global framework of modern military conflict and state formation. In other parts of the world, large-scale warfare prompted the state to blur status distinctions in order to mobilize people and to create new kinds of administrative machinery to obtain resources.45 In the case of nō hei, what precipitated this new administrative experiment was not the demands of mass mobilization but the anticipation of new military challenges, as well as the perception of social and cultural crisis. This broader context also helps us trace the connection between nō hei and developments on the other side of the Restoration. In this context, nō hei can be seen as part of a broader trend in which local social and political elites, motivated by the specter of crisis, attempted to expand their administrative reach by intervening into new areas of local life. After the Restoration, the Meiji government’s state-building project depended not just on political elites who could envisage nationalizing reforms, but also on the active participation of political officials at the prefectural, district, and village level who were willing to implement new solutions to the administrative challenges of local society. In other words, nō hei, along with other late Edo period administrative experiments, created precedent for a more expansive centralized state and also activated a broad stratum of political elites who were eager to contribute to the work of restoring order, by whatever administrative means might serve that purpose.

45

On the role of warfare in eroding early modern status hierarchies in France, see David Bell, The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (New York: Mariner, 2007). For an example of how warfare generated administrative innovation and state growth, see David Wilson’s analysis of the US Civil War and the emergence of the Quartermaster Department. David Wilson, The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861–65 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

7

A Military History of the Boshin War Hō ya Tō ru

On January 27, 1868 the army of the former shogunate, while heading to the capital of Kyoto, clashed with the forces of Satsuma and Chō shū at Toba and Fushimi, marking the outbreak of the Boshin War, which would last approximately one year and five months. Although the shogun’s army lost its appetite for battle and officially disbanded after losing at Toba and Fushimi, hardline Tokugawa loyalists managed to escape and organize resistance across Japan. In the northeast, several domains formed the Northern Alliance (Ō uetsu Reppan Dō mei or Hokubu Dō mei ) that fought against the new government, first in the Tohoku region, and later in Ezo (present-day Hokkaido). This chapter explores some of those events, focusing on how the Boshin War became a transformative period in the military and social history of Japan by bringing an end to the traditional military system. In the wake of armed internal conflicts, almost every domain embraced modern, military organizational methods modeled after those of contemporary Europe. The key trigger to these reforms was the adoption of modern firearms, notably rifles, which decisively reshaped the military organizations of the day. Advancements in Weapons and Military Systems in Europe Rapid advancements in technology transformed firearms in mid-nineteenthcentury Europe from smoothbore to rifled firearms. Although many had learned that cutting spiral-rifling grooves into the bore of small guns could increase power by causing projectiles to spin as they came into contact with the rifling, gunsmiths were challenged to devise a way for bullets to be smoothly loaded into muzzle-loaded rifles. What is more, hunting guns such as the Jagdgewehr rifle, in use since the eighteenth century, were cumbersome to load as a man in the field would first have to insert a ramrod to pack the bore with a lead bullet. As a result, such rifled guns were used primarily as a single, sniper shot weapon. 153

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In the 1840s, the invention of an expanding conical-shaped bullet by a French Army captain, Claude-Étienne Minié, led to the popularization of the rifle among the armies of the major European powers.1 Because of this advancement, European armies adopted muzzle-loading rifles (hereafter MLR) in the mid-1850s. For example, the British army began to use the Enfield rifle (an MLR) on a large scale during the Crimean War (1853–1856) waged against Russia. A soldier fired by inserting a bullet and powder into the bore of the gun and then mounting a primer. New types of rifle like the Enfield fired conical bullets instead of the round bullets used in smoothbore muskets. In Europe and the United States, rifle technology advanced so rapidly that by the mid-1860s armies began to employ even more advanced breech-loading rifles (hereafter BLR). Historians have long noted how the Prussian army defeated forces of the Austrian Empire in the 1866 Battle of Königgrätz with its high firepower, breech-loading Dreyse needle-gun (Zündnadelgewehr) while its opponents employed the muzzle-loading Lorenz rifle.2 The improvements in rifle technology transformed warfare by increasing the firing range and firepower of armies. Earlier battle tactics such as those applied during the Napoleonic Wars, saw infantry send volleys of shots from distances of fifty to one hundred meters into densely packed concentrations of enemy troops operating in battalions to be followed by a massive bayonet charge. With better rifle technology, battles often turned into sniping skirmishes, with more engagements occurring at distances of more than 200–300 meters between armies. As a result, armies deployed men at wider intervals in the battlefield and riflemen concealed themselves behind breastworks and other improvised covers.3 The US Civil War witnessed a large-scale transition from the earlier forms of military engagement to the latter types of battle. Incidentally, this also meant that the cavalry became virtually obsolete as a military battle force as the infantry could massacre the horses before they even reached enemy lines. As will be discussed more below, during the Boshin War, combatants still used smoothbore guns but increasingly employed MLRs, especially Enfields, as well as some British-produced Sniders, (a BLR modeled on the Enfield), and a few repeating rifles such as the American Spencer 1 2 3

Takahashi Noriyuki, Hō ya Tō ru, et al., Nihon gunji-shi [A Military History of Japan] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2005), pp. 254–257. For an analysis of the reasons for Prussian military success, see Gordon A. Craig, The Battle of Königgrätz: Prussia’s Victory over Austria, 1866 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1964). Hō ya Tō ru, “Sejō hō dankai no gunji-gijutsu to Boshin sensō ” [The Advent of Rifle Technology and the Boshin War] in Boshin sensō no shiryō gaku [The Study of Historical Sources of the Boshin War] ed. Hakoishi Hiroshi (Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan, 2013), pp. 61–87.

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seven-shot. In addition to the Enfield, the French Minié was also widely adopted and became a generic name for the MLR in Japan. Military Organization during the Edo Period Before explaining how the advent of rifles disrupted Japan’s early modern military organization, we need to first review the overall structure of the early modern military system. Until the late Edo period, smoothbore muskets had been used in conjunction with other weapons such as bows and spears. Furthermore, engagements involved hand-to-hand combat with weapons such as the short spear. As summarized by historian Takagi Shō saku, samurai generals, usually senior retainers of a lord, led military units. Each unit consisted of three core sections, the first being foot soldiers (ashigaru), junior vassals to the lord, armed with bows, long-shafted spears and matchlock muskets. A retainer of the lord served as the mounted commander of the second core section, the unit’s cavalry. Bands of warriors belonging to, or allied with the same family, composed the cavalry’s rank and file. Peasants mustered from feudal estates made up the final section: supply units supporting the men in the field. Foot soldiers would often engage an enemy force by first firing their muskets and bows, and then units armed with spears would move in when the enemy came within hand-combat fighting range. This “foot-soldier battle” would mark the first stage of an engagement. According to the philosophy of early modern combat, mounted warriors would subsequently ride out, and those warriors would decide the battle via hand-to-hand combat using spears and other comparable weapons. Vassals in a lord’s retainer band mustered personnel and armaments based on a military service criteria set according to the annual rice stipend (measured in koku) received from the lord, which vassals were granted according to their social rank within the domain. Military service personnel also included lowstatus individuals, noncombatants who served as attendants to the needs of the vassals and were not allowed to participate in battles. Takagi points out that military roles in early modern army units came to designate status organization, characterizing what can be termed the “garrison state.” This system of rule was being consolidated and legitimized almost as if a huge army had been stationed to dominate all of Japan.4 4

Takagi Shō saku, Nihon kinsei kokka-shi no kenkyū [The History of the Early Modern Japanese State] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1990).

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Late Tokugawa Military Reforms In the closing decades of the Edo period, Gewehr firearms came into use, which were the flintlock, cap-lock, muzzle-loading smoothbore muskets popular in Europe until the early nineteenth century. This occurred along with the gradual introduction of Western-style artillery imported by the Nagasaki artillerist, Takashima Shū han. Nonetheless, such innovation was limited to the Westernization of firearms for foot-soldier units in peacetime (the first group in Takagi’s model) and thus did not challenge the established military system. Moreover, flintlock muskets did not yet amount to a disruptive technology. The limited range of flintlock Gewehr guns was still on par with the conventional matchlocks widely used in Japan. Their use did not affect the conventional military wisdom and strategy of samurai warriors who favored “honorable” hand-to-hand combat. The shogunate implemented some military restructuring during the Ansei Reforms of the late 1850s, but these forces still used less sophisticated smoothbore muskets.5 During the bakumatsu period, lower-ranked vassals equipped with muskets were trained to march in unison and fire volleys from dense formations. With the introduction of modern rifles from Europe and the United States in the 1860s, this structure quickly became obsolete. A Tokugawa delegation sent to the United States for the ratification of trade agreements returned with presents offered by Americans as a token of amity between the United States and Japan. Among the gifts, the US government gave a state-of-the-art, muzzle-loading rifle cannon (akin to a field cannon)and one hundred Springfield infantry rifles, named after the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts that was supplying the US Army. The muzzle-loading Springfield was equipped with the so-called Maynard tape primer and became the most widely used gun in the US Civil War ahead of the Enfield rifle.6 Based on these two aforementioned weapons, Egawa Hidetoshi, a Tokugawa retainer and specialist in Western gun technology, initiated the production of firearms. Egawa’s project encountered various technical difficulties, however, and he failed to produce these new types of weapon on a large scale. Egawa used a few imitation firearms that his project produced to equip peasant soldiers (nō hei ) under his command, 5 6

Hō ya Tō ru, Boshin sensō [The Boshin War] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007), pp. 242–254. Hō ya, “Bakumatsu no gunji kaikaku to sejō hō – beikoku-sei raifurukanon nitsuite” [Rifling Technology and Military Reform in the Bakumatsu Period – American-Made Rifle Cannons] in Teppō denrai no Nihon shi: hinawajū kara raifurujū made [The Introduction of Firearms in Japan: From Matchlocks to Rifles] ed. Udagawa Takehisa (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007).

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units explored by Brian Platt in his chapter.7 At the time Japanese gunsmiths, working by hand, could craft muzzle-loading rifles similar to those manufactured abroad but the time required limited the number of weapons being produced. Moreover, the gunsmiths could not manufacture muzzle-loading rifles with strong enough steel barrels to withstand speed firing in combat. After 1862, the shogunate encouraged domains to import firearms. Throughout its rule, the Tokugawa regime had restricted the military capacity of lords as a means of assuring its dominant place in the Japanese realm. Yet bakufu leaders put aside concerns about allowing a military strengthening of domains in order to bolster the overall defenses of the Japanese state. As Harald Fuess details in his chapter, the Tokugawa move resulted in tens of thousands of imported guns flowing through the newly established treaty ports. The wealthy Shimazu clan of Satsuma notably purchased Enfield rifles, breech-loading and repeating guns, as well as field artillery. The shogunate’s reforms induced radical military developments. During the Bunkyū period (1861–1863), the shogunate established three types of army unit (infantry, cavalry, and artillery) in addition to existing feudal military organizations. The shogunate ordered that half of the men mobilized by bannermen (hatamoto), most of whom were peasants mustered from the lands of bannermen, should be placed under direct Tokugawa control to form a standing rifle corps. After the start of the Tokugawa conflicts with Chō shū (1864–1866), the shogunate ordered that peasants in lands under its direct control be pressed into service as infantry troops. On Tokugawa estates, peasants were mobilized in proportion to the assessed wealth of the said territory: namely one man for 1,000 koku. In Tokugawa lands in eastern Japan, a form of peasant conscription was adopted. Furthermore, the bannermen’s military levies were transformed into cash payments in the Keiō period (1865–1868), bringing all infantry officially under the direct control of the shogunate. The established lord-and-vassal military units of the early modern period, which had been composed of samurai retainers and their liegemen, were dismantled. The shogunate commissioned a few samurai retainers into the officer class, and assigned the rest to rifle corps according to their status. At the time, Tokugawa leaders instituted measures to expand the recruitment base for personnel in its rifle corps, for example, by including servant retainers (hō kō nin) who heretofore had assumed noncombatant 7

Hō ya, “Bakufu no beikoku-shiki sejō jū seisan nitsuite” [The Production of AmericanStyle Rifles by the Bakufu] Tokyo Daigaku Shiryō hensanjo kenkyū kiyō [Research Bulletin of the Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo] 11 (2001), 36–52.

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roles. They also implemented the provisional recruitment of peasant commoners (hyakusho) by elevating their status to servant retainers and providing them salaries and short swords as a mark of their temporarily elevated social positions.8 These radical reforms threatened the very foundation of the statusbased rule of the samurai class. As a result, their implementation proved difficult. Nonetheless, for the shogunate to resist the military capabilities of the Western powers while maintaining military dominance within the Japanese state, implementing reforms to address this new stage of technological development was a challenge of paramount importance. By the autumn of 1867, the shogunate’s forces probably comprised 24,000 troops organized into forty-eight battalions modeled on armies of Western nations. Conversely, as is well known, the domains of Satsuma and Chō shū , which had fought against Western military forces during the bombardments of Kagoshima and Shimonoseki, had rapidly adopted rifle-corps organizations, and each domain had the capability of mobilizing over 11,000 troops, respectively. In addition, other lords had started switching their domain forces to Western-style rifle troops with varying degrees of success.9 Bakufu leaders enforced reforms to the “shogunate model” amidst internal armed conflicts such as those with Chō shū and the Tsukuba War (1864–1865) initiated by disaffected samurai from the Mito domain, an internal conflict that had a wide-reaching impact, as Maren Ehlers explains in her chapter. The shogunate also required domain leaders to take a similar approach and prepared proposals in the mid-1860s for how they could reform their military forces to support the shogunate. Specifically, Tokugawa leaders encouraged domains to replace foot, cavalry, and artillery units to allow the adoption of rifle technology. Bakufu leaders, however, ultimately lacked the ability to force these reforms fully on the domains. They aimed for the hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa shoguns (fudai daimyō ) to pledge a certain number of troops, even in times of peace, which in combination with the military under the direct control of the shogunate, would constitute a standing national army. The Tokugawa War Office moved to reform the mobilization standards of the wealthier “outside lords” (tozama daimyō ) but was never able to implement that plan. Lords resisted this interference with their local sovereignty and the shogunate lacked the authority to convince domain leaders to implement more radical reforms. Pushing through realm-wide, military reforms to establish a unified military system that 8 9

Hō ya, Boshin sensō , pp. 267–270, 276–280. Hō ya, Boshin sensō no gunji-shi: kō za Meiji ishin 3 [The Military History of the Boshin War: Lecture 3 on the Meiji Restoration] (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2011).

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could adapt to new rifle technology as well as the creation of a unified national navy, which included steam-driven vessels, ultimately required strong central authority. Thus, if the shogunate could not accomplish this task, which other force could do so in Japan? This was precisely the question addressed in the Boshin War. Military Mobilizations by Old and New Regimes Immediately after the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, the imperial court issued an order for punitive expeditions against the former shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Eastern expeditionary forces marched toward Edo on three fronts: along the Tō kaidō Pacific coastal route, the Tō sandō inland route, and the Hokuriku route on the coast of the Sea of Japan. On February 29, 1868, the nascent Meiji government established the Defense Secretariat (gunbō jimukyoku) with central jurisdiction over the navy and army, as well as military training, security, and emergency military services. As a result, the new government created an effective institutional infrastructure for waging war. Five days later, the government handed a strategic plan known as “Plan of the Court” to the field generals, accompanied by specific military orders and camp regulations. As a basic precondition, the new Meiji government demanded that those who sought to become its allies would actively support the government’s military activities. The leaders of the new government regarded mere verbal and written pledges of allegiance as insufficient, instead asking for concrete contributions. Meiji leaders directed lords to pay homage to the emperor by flatly rejecting any feudatory relations with the Tokugawa shogun and by responding to the calls of military mobilization. The military force of the new government consisted of the military power of the lords who had been ordered to Kyoto in order to establish a force “commensurate with their domestic power.” One or two officers from each domain were nominated to the governor general’s camp, forming a “Council Chamber” (kaigisho) that represented the units from various domains. This Council Chamber served as a forum for the execution of a range of matters regarded as requiring coordination among the lords. Although domains were ordered to submit “state-of-war notifications,” the fact that these were essentially created by each domain underscores Hakoishi Hiroshi’s conclusion that the new government’s army was “an aggregate of soldiers from largely independent domains.”10 10

Hakoishi Hiroshi, “Sō ron: Boshin sensō kenkyū no tame no shiryō gaku” [General Remarks: Using the Study of Historical Sources to Research the Boshin War] in Hakoishi ed., Boshin sensō no shiryō gaku, pp. 31–32.

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Thus, initially at least, the military contributions of the domains remained essentially unchanged from their military service duties of the Edo period. In late 1868, Meiji leaders attempted to standardize the military levy at “60 men per each assessed 10,000 bushels of rice.” They subsequently stipulated standard rations and pay when on duty or on leave for the eastern expeditionary forces. It prescribed that each mobilized soldier would receive “four cups of rice and one gold coin (shu) in camp and two cups of rice and 100 mon coins on leave.” This was later revised to six cups of rice and one gold coin. In contemporary terms, this amounted to the provision of a subsidy for food and lodging by the new government to the various allied domains who mobilized troops. In addition to the regular forces of allied domains, the new government raised a “grassroots army” (sō mō tai) composed of peasants, priests, and “masterless samurai” (rō nin), which, as the vanguard of the new army, participated in raids and seizures of Tokugawa administrative offices. Drawing on a range of historical sources, historians have explored in depth these grassroots bands. Although the new government used these military forces to establish its hegemony, their usefulness diminished after the quick pacification of western Japan. Many participants in the grassroots army ardently opposed foreign intervention. Consequently, in conjunction with its policy to cultivate peace and amity with foreign nations, the new government cut ties with these grassroots xenophobes and issued an order forbidding their employment in the private armies of “court aristocrats” (kuge). The government included this prohibition as the fifth item of the Five Public Notices issued on April 6, 1868. Next, let us look at the makeup of the military forces to be supplied by the domains. The new government made strict and unprecedented demands. On February 28, 1868, the Bureau of Army and Naval Affairs (kairiku gunmū -kyoku) informed domains that, for the Eastern Expedition, they should only dispatch gunnery and artillery corps and no further manpower. In addition, it instructed domains that “your troops should not bring clothing or other miscellaneous equipment that has no practical use.” The government also directed that units should not include surplus officers beyond those actually required to perform necessary duties. It did allow, however, for lords to remain in Kyoto instead of going into the field.11 The new template that the Meiji authorities presented to the domains was merely “some gunnery units with officers, some cannons with commanders of those artillery units, and some porters.” With this short 11

Miyachi Masato, “Fukko-ki genshiryō no kisoteki kenkyū ” [A Basic Study of the Original Documents of Fukko-ki] Tokyo Daigaku Shiryō hensanjo kenkyū kiyō 1 (1990): 66–139.

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directive, the government effectively disbanded units of archers and spearmen, key components of the early modern military structure. Moreover, the mounted cavalry, which had been the backbone of samurai military organization, was completely eliminated. The records of various lords show the thoroughness of the implementation of the new government’s instructions. We find orders stating that, “spear corps are to be terminated,” in records from Obama domain (now part of Fukui Prefecture) and “spears are now forbidden” in records from Kumamoto domain (today’s Kumamoto Prefecture). Implementing the Westernstyle military systems had become a question of political survival under the new regime. This is revealed in domain records, which include statements such as “the Imperial Court has issued various specifications for troop dispatches” (Kumamoto), and “it must be an appropriate, practical, and lightly-equipped military system” (Tottori domain). Even domains that had previously been ambivalent about the adoption of Western-style military systems began to embrace such practices.12 Hosokawa Moriyoshi of the Kumamoto domain recognized that reforms to the military system would be indispensable for victory in the battlefield. He also supported the strong pressure exerted by the new government, stressing that “without these resolute reforms,” it would be “impossible to imagine situations that might arise in future.” However, some groups within the Kumamoto domain offered strong opposition to reform, as is evident from the fact that the enactment of reforms in April 1868 forced the retirement of several, conservative high-ranking retainers. Hosokawa had to wait three months to disband six established battalions and replace them with units organized along Western-style military lines.13 The new government also pushed decisive reforms of military organization even in domains where the Edo period military service system had been maintained, therefore interfering profoundly with feudal rulers’ control over their military forces. The fighting strength of the established houses declined, and soon the old military order collapsed completely. As the Boshin War began, military men, whether they supported the Tokugawa regime or the new government, realized that soldiers armed with short-range matchlocks and old-style Gewehr muskets would prove 12

13

Kō shaku Hosokawa-ke Hensanjo, Higo-han kokuji shiryō [Official Records of the Higo Domain] (Kumamoto, Kō shaku Hosokawa-ke Hensanjo, 1932); “Tottori-hanshi Amano Yū ji nisshi” [The Journal of Amano Yū ji, Retainer of Tottori Domain] Unpublished document, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo. Morita Seiichi, “Bakumatsu ishinki ni okeru Higo-Kumamoto-han” [The HigoKumamoto Domain in the Bakumatsu-Restoration Period] in Meiji ishin to Kyū shū , Kyū shū bunka ronshū 3 [Kyushu and the Meiji Restoration: A Collection of Essays on Kyushu Culture, Vol. 3] ed. Ō kubo Toshiaki (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1973).

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useless. As Fuess explores in his chapter, this prompted domains to procure more long-range rifles and artillery from Western merchants based in the treaty ports of Nagasaki and Yokohama. Moreover, while domains in Tohoku such as Shō nai and Yonezawa implemented reforms to their military systems in early 1867, other northern domains, namely Sendai and Akita, only began shifting to gunnery corps following orders by a new government in the spring of 1868.14 Meanwhile, the leaders of the defeated Tokugawa regime mustered the troops of their allies and reconsidered their approach to military mobilization. Immediately after the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, they adopted a policy of nominal allegiance to the new imperial government while preparing to wage war against it. On February 9, 1868, the council of elders meeting at Edo ordered lords remaining loyal to the shogun to draw up a list of the forces they could assemble. The remaining Tokugawa senior councilors (rō jū ) asked loyal lords how many soldiers with firearms they could dispatch. They also queried about the number of available artillery cannon to establish roughly how many field guns could be employed in battle. In addition, they enquired about the “presence of spearmen and swordsmen” and “what style would either Japanese or Western troops have?” These latter Tokugawa enquiries reveal the leaders’ halfhearted attitude toward reform even in the face of their regime’s existential crisis. Moreover, Tokugawa officials asked about the “total number” of men including noncombatant followers, a question that confirms that they were still approaching military preparation within the mindset of Edo period military mobilization practices. On February 12, 1868, Tokugawa leaders attempted to implement elements of infantry conscripted in lands under direct Tokugawa control. In many respects, this initiative had already been partially carried out during the mid-1860s. Yet Tokugawa leaders abruptly ended these efforts on February 27, 1868, claiming they were no longer necessary following the withdrawal from Osaka of Tokugawa infantry units. As these events demonstrate, even when their very survival was at stake, the leaders of the Tokugawa government proved unable to radically overhaul the established model of feudal military service and strategy. Yet that was not always the case with the pro-Tokugawa units on the ground. As the war spread across eastern Japan, members of the former Tokugawa army employed more sophisticated tactics, with some units transforming into veritable, modern forces. Former bakufu infantry units emerged as a core group embracing Western practices. Imai Nobuo, the 14

In early 1868, Sendai leaders initially obeyed directives from the Meiji government but later joined the alliance against the new regime.

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Tokugawa retainer profiled by Robert Hellyer, was a well-known swordsman. Along with Furuya Sakuzaemon, Imai commanded a unit composed of former bakufu infantry, the Shō hō tai, which fought in clashes in the northern Kanto and Shinetsu regions, before also participating in battles in Aizu and Hokkaido. On May 23, 1869, the Shō hō tai, and another unit, the Denshū tai, both under Imai’s command, engaged Meiji government forces at the Battle of Futamataguchi near Hakodate. Over a span of seventeen hours, the two units, which together numbered no more than 130 men, reportedly fired 35,000 rounds of ammunition.15 The heavy use of rifle fire demonstrates that Imai had definitely transformed himself from a swordsman into a leader of a rifle brigade employing modern tactics. Supplies, Transport, and Various Devices for the Execution of War Wars are decided not only on the battlefield; logistics also matter. The movement of personnel and associated arrangements for meals, accommodation, provisioning, and transportation, as well as the shipping of materials such as weapons and ammunition often pose significant challenges. In the case of its eastern expeditionary forces, the new government entrusted smaller domains along the major highway routes with responsibility for provisioning as well as the handling of transport and shipping arrangements, thereby spreading out the duties of transporting troops and setting up accommodations along multiple poststations. In addition, the government placed station supervisors at each poststation, and entrusted the transportation of ammunition and provisions to a system whereby each poststation would relay official personnel and their baggage to the next station along the route. The new government assumed authority over the realm’s five major routes and side roads, and on April 23, 1868, it set up a poststation authority in Kyoto. In 1711, the shogunate had established official fares for the poststation system: 20 mon per person per league per day, and twice that for each horse. Those rates were successively raised in later years. The new Meiji government set fares at 7.5 times the 1711 standard, which was the real level of fares at the time. However, during the Boshin 15

Imai Nobuo, Ezo no yume [The Dream of Ezo] in Nanka kikō [The Southern Advance] Hokkoku sensō gairyaku [A Rough Account of the War in the Northern Provinces] Shō hō tai no ki [An Account of Corps of the Piercing Halberd] eds. Ō tori Keisuke and Imai Nobuo (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ō raisha, 1998), p. 208.

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War inflation soon made the official, Meiji government rate obsolete, as it turned out to be much lower than the de facto market price.16 By April 1868, the new government enacted levies that required villages near poststations to supply personnel and horses for military transport. The government imposed these levies across the realm, even on previously exempted villages. Meiji leaders emphasized that these were temporary wartime measures and that “exemptions would resume immediately on the conclusion of the expeditionary war.” They did not keep their promise. Important military equipment, too valuable to be entrusted to support personnel, had to be transported by the expeditionary forces themselves. Each domain’s military was permitted coolie laborers for this purpose designated as “military porters” or “camp porters.” As was the case with Tokugawa units, these included noncombatant servants (hō kō nin) at the bottom end of the retainer hierarchy. To secure the necessary manpower, domains also often hired local peasants who had no relationship to the retainer hierarchy. A quartermaster, appointed by each domain, took responsibility for necessary provisions and their transport. He also assumed the duties of supplying ammunition and provisions for men in the field and fodder for horses. In addition, he supervised financial matters, and assured evacuation of wounded to hospitals. The quartermaster therefore combined the logistical roles of the modern military’s transport corps, accounting department, and medical staff. Despite logistical exigencies of war and theoretical plans drawn up in advance, many people fled from the poststations when battles occurred. As a result, few remained to carry artillery and ammunitions to battlefields. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, the existing poststation system ceased to function.17 The new government appointed three lords from the minor northern Kanto domains of Kurobane, Otawara, and Karasuyama to be in charge of provisioning imperial forces, granting them the direct authority to commandeer peasants from agricultural villages to serve as military porters, a power beyond that normally enjoyed by an individual lord in peacetime. Traditional methods predominated in war finance. On February 16, 1868, the new government decided that it needed to raise 3 million ryō to fund the war. To meet that goal, the government demanded that merchants in Kyoto and Osaka provide money, and forced villages and merchant 16 17

Yamamoto Hirofumi, Ishinki no kaidō to yusō [Roads and Transportation at the Time of the Meiji Restoration] (Tokyo: Hō sei Daigaku Shuppan-kyoku, 1972), pp. 17–18. Hō ya, Boshin sensō , pp. 132–133.

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associations to contribute as well. In addition to these resources, the government borrowed and procured a total of 4.64 million ryō during the Boshin War.18 Also on February 7, the new government issued an order halving the amount of annual tribute for its allied domains. While the object of this ploy was to win the hearts of those in enemy territory, the unexpectedly rapid pacification of western Japan prompted the new government to rescind its original proclamation, and covertly renege on the tribute reduction order.19 The government did not officially announce this step, except in the form of responses to direct inquiries. This led to incidents such as that which befell the Sekihō Brigade, a grassroots militia. The government labeled the unit a “false army,” and ordered the execution of its members for spreading word of the purported tribute reduction. The cancelation of the promised reduction in annual tribute proved to be indispensable for funding the war.20 In July, the new government began to issue large amounts of bills denominated in gold. In the first two years, it issued 48 million yen (ryō ) worth of “Great Council of State” notes and 7.5 million yen (ryō ) worth of “Civil Department” notes. Because its procurement of resources had stalled, the government financed its forces using promissory notes to pay for military resources. In addition, the government financed its expeditionary forces using booty – gold, rice and other various grain crops – seized from Tokugawa territories. It also benefited from voluntary contributions proffered by Edo-based lords and bannermen who sought to demonstrate their allegiance to the new regime. Local procurement of cash by military expeditions and remittances from the accounting offices of the new government necessitated the use of exchange houses. The new government tapped the three major mercantile houses of Mitsui, Ono, and Shimada to act as exchange authorities. Serving as pursers, representatives of these families accompanied each of the three expeditionary forces. The Meiji government thus supported the advance of its new army by drawing on large amounts of credit and by creating special capital reserves.21 The active role of the emperor was a key factor in military centralization. On April 6, 1868, the emperor personally proclaimed the famous Charter Oath, which included swearing before the divine spirits of Japan 18 19 20 21

Sawada Akira, Meiji zaisei no kisoteki kenkyū [A Basic Study of Meiji Finances] (Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobō , 1966). Miyachi, “Fukko-ki gen-shiryō no kisoteki kenkyū ,” pp. 66–139. Hō ya, Boshin sensō , pp. 137–138. Mitsui Bunko, ed., Mitsui jigyō shi [The History of Mitsui Business Enterprises] honpen 2 kan [Original edition, Part 2] (Tokyo: Mitsui Bunko, 1980), pp. 3–23.

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(kami ) that “deliberative assemblies shall be widely established and all matters decided by open discussion.” Court nobles and lords who participated in the ceremony paid homage before the kami and to the emperor, each signing an oath to follow direct, imperial rule. Other lords and nobles subsequently signed the document over the course of the year. Meiji leaders took a strict stance toward those who stood against their new regime by invoking a reference to the power of the kami read aloud on the occasion of the official signing: “traitors and enemies [to the new regime] shall perish.” On April 12, 1868, the Emperor Meiji personally dedicated shrines in the imperial palace to four kami associated with war, deities that appeared in the mythical conquest of Izumo by the Yamato state.22 With this “war-deity ceremony,” Meiji leaders created a new sacred celebration that drew on myths surrounding the formation of the Yamato state, which as Mark Ravina explores in his chapter, was a step they considered in the creation of a national paper currency as well.23 Meiji leaders also employed strategic devices, such as war memorials, to emphasize the sacred mission and legitimacy of the “government armies” led by the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance. On February 5, 1868, they rewarded lords who had distinguished themselves in the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, and recognized as “national war martyrs” those who died in battle from the new ruling coalition of domains of Satsuma, Chō shū , Hiroshima, Tosa (present-day Kō chi Prefecture), and Inshū (present-day Tottori Prefecture). Moreover, shrines were established to memorialize the souls of these dead loyalists. On July 21, 1868, a ceremony commemorating the spirits of the dead was held in the grand hall of the west citadel of Edo Castle. In Kyoto, the construction of a shrine to venerate the war dead began in the Higashiyama temple district. It enshrined not only the dead from the Boshin War but also those “martyred” in service of the state since the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853. In addition, in August 1868 a ritual service to comfort the souls of the war dead was held on the grounds of the Kawahigashi military training ground in Kyoto.24 Similar ceremonies were also performed on battlefields, as well as in domains supporting the new government. In 1869, construction began on a shrine in Tokyo, later named Yasukuni Shrine. Meiji leaders emphasized their legitimacy by directing that their soldiers carry gold brocade banners to distinguish them as members of 22 23 24

These were Amaterasu-ō mikami, Ō kuninushi-no-ō kami, Takemikazuchi-no-ō kami, and Futsunushi-no-kami. Hō ya, Boshin sensō , pp. 153–155. Kishimoto Satoru, “Boshin sensō to shō konsai – Tottori shō konsha kigen” [The Boshin War and Ceremonies for War Dead – The Origin of Shrines to Commemorate War Dead in Tottori] Tottori chiiki shi kenkyū 4 (2002): 49–58.

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“government armies” in contrast to the rebel contingents. These pennants were designed by a scholar of National Learning, Tamamatsu Misao, reputedly based on an essay, “A Consideration of the Imperial Banner,” penned by the Heian era scholar, Ō e Masafusa. Shinagawa Yajirō , a military officer from Chō shū , played a hand in developing these banners. He possessed a flair for propaganda and probably composed the loyalist ballad, “Go-all-the-Way” (Tokoton-yare-bushi). Following its debut in Kyoto, troops often sang it during marches. Further propaganda devices were gold cloth epaulets, conceived of as “scraps of cloth” from the brocaded banners. These were distributed beginning on March 13, 1868 to honor troops from the domains who served in the expeditionary forces and mark their places in the “government army.”25 A Social History of the Battlefield The Boshin War was Japan’s first war with the full-fledged use of contemporary modern weapons clashing in battles against early modern fighting strategies. Firefights with rifles exemplified the shift in combat techniques. When encountering an enemy force, soldiers would look to find cover or gain the high ground before starting a firefight. Based on extant records, it appears that firefights often began at distances between 300 and 500 meters. Long-distance firefights consumed large amounts of ammunition. A 128-man rifle company led by Ogawa Sennosuke from the Kaga Domain (today’s Ishikawa Prefecture) used 46,000 rounds of ammunition in battles on the Hokuetsu Front during the first half of 1868.26 During a single day of fierce fighting, one rifleman would fire fifty to sixty bullets. However, because engagements usually occurred at distances of approximately 500 meters, the accuracy of the shots fired was quite low. Perhaps the most dramatic example of sustained early modern battlefield practices was the taking of heads of enemies wounded or killed by gunfire. Even when continuing an advance, the taking of heads would begin as soon as the battle lulled, contrary to the explicit orders of field commanders. To inspire victory, the gathered heads of enemy soldiers would be left exposed to the elements on the battlefield. Records of battles in the Tohoku region reveal that enemy heads would be loaded into sacks and then exposed to the elements below castles of a defeated lord.

25

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Asakawa Michio, “Kenmon gumon kaisetsu kō nā – ishin dō ran to nishiki no mihata” [Explanation Corner for Clever and Foolish Questions – The Upheaval of the Meiji Restoration Period and the Nishiki no Mihata Banner] Rekishi to chiri 582 (March 2005): 28–33. Noted in Ogawa’s diary, which is held in the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History.

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Soldiers captured alive were put to the sword. William Willis, a physician attached to the British Legation, treated wounded soldiers in hospitals established by the new regime. He was appalled to find that, “wounded prisoners received almost no sympathy and were usually beheaded.” In November 1868, Willis went to Niigata, which had surrendered, to continue treating the wounded. He wrote that, “to date, I have yet to see even one wounded enemy prisoner,” which he attributed to the fact that “wounded enemy soldiers are slain indiscriminately.”27 This suggests that the systematic killing of adversaries was a particular characteristic of Japanese warfare in the mid-nineteenth century, possibly inspired by popular tales written during the Tokugawa peace detailing how samurai should show no mercy in battle. The general staff of the government army that captured Wakamatsu, the castle town of Aizu, issued the following circular memorandum expressing the need to punish atrocities: We have received reports of cruel behavior such as carving flesh from the bellies of dead rebel soldiers (zokuhei). Such behavior is reprehensible. Although called rebel soldiers, they too are children of the empire, and all men are ordered to comply to prevent such violent treatment.28

As a battlefield custom, plunder was a common practice and recognized as legitimate behavior. The government army issued regulations stating that: “[P]lundered material including guns, ammunition, as well as specie and caches of grain, are to be reported to central command.” Although surrendered items were supposed to be forwarded to headquarters, after the war advanced into Tohoku, the government ordered that equipment such as artillery and ammunitions gained as plunder by each domain instead be sent to the government’s munition office. It directed that specie and caches of grain be delivered to the purser, with one-third of the plundered goods given as a share to the domain whose troops had procured the booty. Although weapons and provisions taken directly from the enemy forces were legitimate plunder, shortages of foodstuffs and materials meant that anything found in enemy territory became a target. In short, sanctioned expropriation devolved into simple looting.

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William Willis and Ō yama Mizuyo, trans. Bakumastu-ishin o kakenuketa Eikokujin ishi: yomigaeru Wiriamu Wirisu monjo [An English Physician Running through the Bakumatsu Restoration Period: Reviving the Documents of William Willis] (Tokyo: Sō sendō , 2003), pp. 380–381. See also Hugh Cortazzi, Dr Willis in Japan, 1862–77: British Medical Pioneer (London: Athlone Press, 1985). Twelfth day of the ninth month (October 27, 1868). “Amano Yū ji gunryo nisshi” [The Military Travel Journal of Amano Yū ji] in “Tottori-hanshi Amano Yū ji nisshi,” Unpublished documents, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo.

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Inhabitants of villages near battlefields feared arson above all. A muchfavored combat strategy for breaking open a tactical situation would be to set fire to a homestead. In addition, in areas where the enemy had the upper hand, the opposing side would set fire to houses with the aim of depriving the enemy of its base of support and dampening its strength. While arson was considered a legitimate combat tactic, both sides prohibited indiscriminate incendiarism. The anti-Meiji forces issued commands declaring that: “burning houses without the order of a superior would be punished as a grave offense, similar to arson.” Nonetheless, villages allegedly allied with the enemy were burned without compunction. As the tide war approached, villagers would carry away their household goods and even parts of their homes, transporting them to the hills or forests where they hid. This suggests the difficulty of preventing fires to private homes. We know that some evacuated their homes after removing the floorboards. Finally, both the government army and the Northern Alliance conscripted a large number of people as military porters when the Boshin War reached the Tohoku region. Young people in urban areas and those traveling in the mountains or between towns were on the lookout for military band members, who might conscript them to serve as laborers. This random requisitioning practice of civilians was a wartime custom that dated back to the sixteenth-century Sengoku [Warring States] Period.29 Conclusions Despite its short duration, the Boshin War transformed military technology, practices of warfare, and social organization. The war acted as a catalyst in the adoption of Western-style military systems, which were quickly implemented because of rapid advances in rifle technology. Yet importantly this new system included existing feudal features of military mobilization. Although both the shogunate and individual domains had adopted elements of Western military technology, reformers within the shogunate proved unable to effectively turn the use of new technology into a uniform, national military system of organization. By contrast, the leaders of Satsuma and Chō shū , who seized the reins of power and established a new government in the name of the restoration of imperial rule, successfully accomplished this military transformation on a national scale. 29

Fujiki Hisashi, Zō hyō tachi no senjyō : Chū sei no yō hei to dorei-gari [The Battlefield of Rank and File Soldiers: Medieval Mercenaries and Slave Hunting] (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1995).

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This military revolution shattered multiple, early modern conventions. The strengthening of the central military authority was achieved by specific state interventions in the military organizational authority of individual feudal rulers. Although continuing to fight after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, the remnants of the deposed shogunate proved unable to push through similar reform measures even during the war. The political and organizational differences in the character of both sides in a moment of crisis became apparent. Overall, the Boshin conflict demolished the autonomous military organizational authority and capability of lords, thus enabling the central state to intervene in the feudal territorial system. The war demonstrated that early modern military forces with matchlock muskets, bows, and spears and mounted warriors were obsolete. As a result, the centuries-old feudal military system, with samurai families as its core units, collapsed. As Takagi Shō saku has argued, the adoption of a military system in response to the new technologies introduced from the West had repercussions beyond the battlefield and shook the very foundations of the early modern status system and facilitated the transition to a modern, centralized form of governance. Yet to develop a unified national army, a key part of the establishment of a centralized nation-state, Japan had to experience what can be termed a second coup d’état. This came with the abolition of domains and the establishment of the prefectures in 1871, a move that completely eliminated the feudal territorial system and eventually led to the dismissal of the hereditary warrior aristocracy as the governing class of Japan.

8

Imai Nobuo A Tokugawa Stalwart’s Path from the Boshin War to Personal Reinvention in the Meiji Nation-State

Robert Hellyer

In his comprehensive study of Sakamoto Ryō ma, arguably the most popular figure of the Meiji Restoration, Marius Jansen concluded that the Meiji government’s success in forming a viable nation-state in the decades following 1868 created an environment in which Japanese could begin to revere the Tosa samurai. In the eyes of many, Sakamoto became a hero, killed on the eve of the Restoration at just thirty-two years of age while fighting for a noble, national cause.1 Writing in the run up to the Meiji centennial, the novelist, Shiba Ryō tarō , helped solidify that heroic image. Inspired by Jansen’s work, Shiba cast Sakamoto as an ambitious nationalist offering a proactive plan to drastically revise Japan’s governing structure along democratic lines. Moreover, Shiba portrayed the Tosa samurai, who started his own trading firm in Nagasaki in the mid-1860s, as a man imbued with an entrepreneurial, commercial spirit akin to that which had helped Japan experience high-speed economic growth a century later.2 Today, tourists flock to the site of Sakamoto’s trading office in Nagasaki as well as the merchant residence in Kyoto’s Kawaramachi District where in, December 1867, he perished at the hands of the Mimawarigumi, a pro-Tokugawa, auxiliary constabulary then assisting police in the capital. Not surprisingly, Imai Nobuo, identified as the Mimawarigumi man whose sword struck the fatal blow to Sakamoto, has been relegated to the shadows of Restoration history, although in recent years local groups in Shizuoka have established monuments in his honor.3 Although not 1 2 3

Marius B. Jansen, Sakamoto Ryō ma and the Meiji Restoration (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), pp. 345–346. Christian Tagsold, “Popular Realms of Memory in Japan: the Case of Sakamoto Ryō ma,” Contemporary Japan 25 (1) (2013): 50–51. In 2003, a stone monument was erected on the location of Imai’s former residence in Shizuoka. Tsukamoto Shō ichi, ed., Ishin no gunzō : Makinohara kaitaku hiwa [A Dynamic Band of Surviving Retainers: the Secret History of the Development of Makinohara] (Shizuoka: Hatsukura Kyō dokai, 2011), p. 253.

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making the same grand mark on political events as Sakamoto, Imai belies being categorized as an antihero to Sakamoto and other men awarded the moniker of “men of high purpose” (shishi ) in the Restoration drama. Imai proved himself a crack soldier, battlefield leader, and loyal comrade as he fought tenaciously for the pro-Tokugawa/anti-Meiji causes in points throughout Japan before and after the Restoration. He and his compatriots thus offer intriguing lenses through which to move away from the usual emphasis on the victorious Satsuma-Chō shū alliance and instead chart a narrative of Restoration era conflicts from the perspective of proTokugawa groups.4 Through the stories of Imai and other pro-bakufu individuals and groups, this chapter will consider the 1860s as a decade of violent, armed conflicts that occurred throughout the Japanese realm, capped by the Boshin War. It will highlight the relationships that helped to sustain many groups before and after the Restoration, as well as the personal losses and dislocation caused by the conflicts. In addition, it will examine how Imai and other Tokugawa stalwarts moved beyond the violence and disappointment of the Restoration period and achieved individual reinvention as tea farmers in Shizuoka Prefecture. The men and their families benefited not from a coherent and sustained Meiji government policy, but rather a patchwork of financial support from the Tokugawa house and local governments. In so doing, the chapter will thus demonstrate the influence of a global trend: the rise of tea consumption in Britain and the United States. Soon after the Restoration, tea emerged as Japan’s second largest export (after silk), shipped almost exclusively to the United States. US consumer taste for green tea allowed Japan’s nascent tea industry to boom, creating economic opportunities for ex-Tokugawa stalwarts and thus propelling Shizuoka to become Japan’s biggest producer of tea, a position it continues to hold today. In sum, because of Meiji Japan’s intersection with global commodity markets, déclassée Tokugawa retainers, intriguingly in new roles as farmers producing a key export good, could contribute to, and benefit from, nationstate formation in the decades after the Meiji Restoration. Imai and Pre-Restoration Violence The assassination of Ii Naosuke, then serving as the bakufu’s great elder (tairō ), on a February morning in 1860 set a violent tone for the decade, 4

Michael Wert has recently added to our understanding of those on the losing side of Restoration conflicts with an examination of Oguri Tadamasa and his place in memory and historical discourse since 1868. Michael Wert, Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013).

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marked first by a string of attacks by loyalist groups, which also often advocated the forced expulsion of Westerners from the realm. Over the next few years, loyalists waged a terrorist campaign targeting Tokugawa officials for their “tyranny” and lack of reverence to the political position of the emperor. Other bands also attacked Western merchants and diplomats. As Maren Ehlers explores in her chapter, loyalists from Mito (the Tengu Insurrection of 1864–1865), pursued by shogunal forces, embarked on an often destructive march through areas such as the Ō no domain to bring their appeals to leaders in Kyoto. Executing Emperor Kō mei’s edict declaring that all foreigners be forcibly expelled from the Japanese realm, in early 1863, officials in Chō shū trained domain shore batteries on Western ships (and those of rival domains) plying the straits between Honshu and Kyushu. In response a combined naval force from the United States, France, Britain, and the Netherlands handily defeated Chō shū ’s units and forcibly removed the domain’s batteries in an engagement in September 1864. The previous month, a combined contingent of Satsuma and Aizu men repulsed a group from Chō shū as it attempted to gain control of the imperial residence. Bakufu leaders would subsequently assemble a force to punish Chō shū for its transgressions against Tokugawa rule, but disbanded it when the domain’s loyalist leaders capitulated, marking in many respects an end to that movement’s role. Nonetheless, Chō shū remained a thorn in the side of the shogunate, and bakufu leaders assembled another force to move against the domain in 1866. The Tokugawa contingent, although enjoying superior numbers, demonstrated unexpected weakness, and eventually withdrew. Imai watched these events with disgust from Yokohama, where he served in the magistrate’s office. Thankfully for historians, he related his remembrances of the turbulent 1860s to a reporter, who penned an exposé that ran in an Osaka magazine in 1900. In the piece, Imai noted how his time in Yokohama became especially important for the relationships he formed with two other Tokugawa retainers who had traveled to Western nations: Masuda Takashi, subsequently head of a branch of the Mitsui Corporation, and Yano Jirō , who would serve in the Meiji government’s diplomatic corps and help to establish a number of educational institutions.5 Imai also developed lasting friendships with two other men who, like him, hailed from Tokugawa vassal (hatamoto) families: Furuya Sakuzaemon and Kubota Sendairō (aka Shigeaki). In Yokohama, both 5

Christine Guth has chronicled Masuda’s later life as a patron of the tea ceremony and other Japanese traditional arts. Christine M. E. Guth, Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

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men studied Western military tactics and Furuya apparently distinguished himself by learning to speak excellent English under the tutelage of an American missionary.6 Imai grew particularly angry at Chō shū ’s brash moves supporting expulsion, as well as reports of pro-Tokugawa units fleeing from engagements with Chō shū troops. With Masuda and Yano, he decided to muster a militia of “loyal and brave” samurai who could assist Tokugawa forces. Bakufu officials rebuked their efforts, however, seeing the militia not as a means of assistance but, instead, a potential threat to Tokugawa authority. Undaunted, Imai traveled to what is today Gunma Prefecture, an area where he noted, with frustration, that members of the Tengu Insurrection had organized “peasants and gamblers” into an anti-bakufu force during their aborted rebellion. He therefore set about giving martial training to peasants in order to develop a unit of farmer-soldiers (nō hei ) like those explored in detail by Brian Platt in his chapter. As Platt notes, the greater internal unrest that emerged in the 1860s prompted many throughout the Japanese realm to form such units. Imai aimed to develop a force that probakufu leaders could deploy to quash local disturbances. At the cusp of achieving success, he decided to abandon that enterprise and travel to Kyoto in November 1867 because of what he identified as the grave disturbances unfolding there. Through introductions from acquaintances, he became a member of the pro-Tokugawa Mimawarigumi, which along with the better-known Shinsengumi, included several hundred members. Together the two groups worked with police to quell the growing number of political plots in Kyoto, many spearheaded by lordless samurai.7 Imai recounted these events later in life, and thus we should approach his remembrances with caution, aware that he perhaps emphasized some activities to put him on a historical footing with prominent samurai from the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance. For example, in recalling his goal to train a peasant force, Imai may have sought to cast himself as an activist akin to Takasugi Shinsaku, renowned for his contribution in creating the Kiheitai, a Chō shū militia composed of samurai and peasants.8 Imai 6

7 8

“Sakamoto Ryō ma satsugai-sha” [The Man Who Killed Sakamoto Ryō ma] Kinki hyō ron 17 (May 1900): 22–23. I thank Suzuki Keiko of Ritsumeikan University for helping me gain access to this article; Memoir of Uchida Manjirō , who at the age of 15 fought along with his father in Imai’s unit. Quoted in Mashimo Kikugorō , Meiji Boshin Yanada sensekishi [A Military History of the Meiji-Boshin Era Battle of Yanada] (Koizumi-chō (Gunma Prefecture)) Yanada Senseki-shi Hensan Kō enkai, 1923), p. 274. “Sakamoto Ryō ma satsugai-sha,” p. 23. For an overview of the Kiheitai and other such units in bakumatsu Chō shū , see Albert M. Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 270–281.

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offered some positive appraisals of Sakamoto, describing the Tosa samurai as resourceful, particularly in creating his own activist/commercial band, the Kaientai.9 Imai emphasized that as a member of the Mimawarigumi, he saw Sakamoto not as part of either the antiTokugawa or loyalist causes, but simply a criminal who needed to be brought to justice for stirring up unrest in Kyoto. When Mimawarigumi members located Sakamoto’s whereabouts, they therefore did not hesitate to move against him with force.10 In subsequent correspondences, Imai stressed that the Mimawarigumi acted based upon reports that Sakamoto had killed two constables sent to arrest him the previous year.11 Imai and Battles of the Boshin War In the aforementioned Osaka magazine interview, the reporter focused on exploring events surrounding the killing of Sakamoto, underscoring that popular interest in the Tosa samurai was already strong during the Meiji period. Yet for Imai, the incident with Sakamoto was but a small part of a violent and eventful two-year period of his life marked by his involvement in most of the key battles of the Boshin War. A few weeks before Sakamoto’s death, Tokugawa Yoshinobu stepped down as shogun and returned political power to the imperial house, ending over 250 years of Tokugawa dominance over the Japanese realm. Michio Umegaki has argued that this move capped a trend developing over the 1860s whereby the Tokugawa regime had acted more as a regional power than as a national government. He concludes that by abdicating as shogun, Yoshinobu put the Tokugawa house in a more advantageous position to compete with the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance.12 Yet any political advantage Yoshinobu may have garnered from the abdication was short-lived. Following the January 3, 1868 coup at the Kyoto Imperial Palace, leaders of the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance gained unfettered access to the Emperor Meiji and proclaimed the “restoration” of the emperor to what they claimed was his rightful position as the

9 10 11

12

Sakamoto’s development of the group during the fluid political scene of the mid-1860s is outlined in Jansen, Sakamoto Ryō ma, pp. 223–270. “Sakamoto Ryō ma satsugai-sha,” pp. 24–25. “Imai Nobuo shokan” 1909/12/17 (December 17, 1909) ME198-0006 (document number), Dai Nihon ishin shiryō kō hon (hereafter DNISK) [Manuscript of Historical Records Related to the Meiji Restoration of Japan]. 1846–1873. Unpublished manuscript collection, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo. Michio Umegaki, “From Domain to Prefecture,” in Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji, eds. Marius B. Jansen and Gilbert Rozman (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 93–94.

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definitive leader of the Japanese state. Yoshinobu and Tokugawa leaders resisted this power grab, fearing it would lead to the creation of a new shogunate dominated by Satsuma and Chō shū . Over the next few weeks, they set up a headquarters at Osaka Castle and mobilized loyal groups to combat those of Satsuma, Chō shū , and other alliance domains arriving in and around Kyoto. Tokugawa leaders deployed their units, with a total strength of roughly 13,000 men, at key positions in Kyoto and at nearby Toba and Fushimi.13 Some 400 men strong, the Mimawarigumi joined a Tokugawa force at Lower Toba. Given the vital role of rifles as detailed by Hō ya Tō ru in his chapter, the Mimawarigumi must have been at a significant disadvantage as its men had few firearms and, instead, primarily carried pikes. Nonetheless, the group reputedly fought valiantly, particularly in limiting advances of Satsuma units in several key engagements. Although the Mimawarigumi’s overall casualty toll was low, Imai did lose two of the comrades involved in the attack on Sakamoto a few months earlier. In addition, he saw Kubota, his friend from his days in Yokohama, being carried from the battlefield, mortally wounded.14 The five days of battle at Toba and Fushimi ended in a dramatic Tokugawa defeat. Yoshinobu retreated to Edo on a Tokugawa warship and the Mimawarigumi disbanded, apparently deemed no longer necessary by Tokugawa leaders. Imai also made his way back to Edo, returning to his family’s home in the Hongō district. Yet he quickly returned to service, becoming second in command of a unit led by Furuya. Katsu Kaishū , a prominent Tokugawa leader then attempting to find ways for the Tokugawa house to regroup, provided financial support for the unit, which included approximately 400 men and was equipped with four cannon.15 The unit soon readied to leave Edo, ostensibly to pacify areas to the north of the city in parts of what are today Gunma, Saitama, and Tochigi Prefectures. Imai’s sister recalled keenly feeling her brother’s departure. She noted that his earlier posts had largely been as a guard or in the case of Kyoto the previous year, akin to an auxiliary constable. Watching him walk through the gate of their Hongō home, sharing a laugh while arm in 13 14

15

Conrad Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980), pp. 418–420. Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, p. 422; Imai Sachihiko, Sakamoto Ryō ma o kitta otoko: bakushin Imai Nobuo no shō gai [The Man Who Killed Sakamoto Ryō ma: The Life of a Tokugawa Retainer, Imai Nobuo] (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ō raisha, 1971), pp. 54–56. Imai Sachihiko was the grandson of Nobuo. Many sources describe Katsu as providing financial support including an account recorded by Furuya’s son, Kō jirō . Quoted in Mashimo, Meiji Boshin Yanada sensekishi, p. 300.

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arm with the Furuya, she sensed a difference: this time her brother was a soldier, heading to a war from which he may not return.16 As it moved north, the unit picked up supporters, achieving an overall force strength of roughly 1,100 men.17 After strategically avoiding Satsuma and aligned forces fighting under the imperial banner, Imai and the unit engaged them at Yanada in what is today Ashikaga City in Tochigi Prefecture. Having supplied provisions to both sides, local villagers sensed a battle was in the making. They therefore gathered around the somewhat remote Yanada area early on the morning of April 1, 1868 to view an expected clash. Taking advantage of a thick morning mist, imperial troops stealthily approached the pro-Tokugawa unit’s perimeter. The imperial forces launched what Imai what later describe as a surprise, “jet black attack,” using the mist and especially the darkened background of spectators in the distance as cover for their approach. Imai’s men found it difficult to pinpoint exact targets on which to focus their rifle fire against what appeared to be a black horizon. The battle, therefore, involved more hand-to-hand combat than other Boshin War engagements. Within a few hours, the imperial forces had achieved a rout while suffering only a handful of causalities. Imai and his force retreated with a loss of sixty-two men and eighty wounded. They would eventually regroup at the pro-Tokugawa bastion of Aizu. Domain officials provided aid to the unit’s wounded and at an area temple, held a ceremony memorializing the men lost.18 A Stuffed Sunpu Meanwhile events in Edo took dramatic turns that would have implications for Imai and others opposing the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance’s nascent imperial government. In May 1868, Katsu made the strategic decision for the Tokugawa house to assume a passive stance against its imperial opponents and surrendered Edo Castle without a fight.19 The following month, Satsuma and Chō shū forces routed the Shō gitai [The League to Demonstrate Righteousness], which had been asserting 16 18

19

Imai Sachihiko, Sakamoto Ryō ma o kitta otoko, pp. 64–65. 17 Ibid, pp. 62–64. Ibid, pp. 74–78. Imai Nobuo described the battle in an account penned a few years later, Shō hō tai no ki [An Account of Corps of the Piercing Halberd]. Ō tori Keisuke and Imai Nobuo, Nanka kikō [The Southern Advance] Hokkoku sensō gairyaku [A Rough Account of the War in the Northern Provinces] Shō hō tai no ki [An Account of Corps of the Piercing Halberd] (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ō raisha, 1998), pp. 160–161. M. William Steele, “Against the Restoration: Katsu Kaishu’s Attempt to Reinstate the Tokugawa Family,” Monumenta Nipponica 36 no. 3 (Autumn 1981): 299–316.

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increasingly influence in Edo, during a one-day engagement at the Battle of Ueno Hill.20 For the Tokugawa house, the next few months would prove devastating as it surrendered the majority of its estates and thus lost the income derived from them. Yoshinobu entered formal retirement on the remaining Tokugawa estates that fanned out from the castle town of Sunpu, today’s city of Shizuoka. The six-year old Tokugawa Iesato became the head of the Tokugawa house and in July 1868, the lord of those lands, which together formed the Sunpu domain. Because the Tokugawa house enjoyed substantially less income, it could no longer provide stipends, annual grants of rice bestowed by a samurai lord, to most of its retainers and their families. Foreseeing limited opportunities and fearing reprisals from the Satsuma and Chō shū men now asserting control over Edo, in the late summer of 1868 roughly 6,000 people, mostly Tokugawa retainers and their families, chose to travel to Sunpu by land and sea. The refugee families stayed in the homes of samurai and commoners in the castle town. Yet because the Sunpu castle town had only around 4,500 houses, the former Edo denizens also had to lodge in farmhouses and temples in the surrounding countryside, where some samurai families remained for several years.21 In his memoirs, Katsu recalled being part of a group of fifty people who rented a large farmhouse in the mountains near Numazu, a port city east of the Sunpu castle town.22 Some of Furuya’s family members also fled Edo, eventually subletting a house in Sunpu.23 Tea Farming as a New Samurai Profession Beginning in 1869, the newly formed Meiji government instituted a number of measures that, in stages, eliminated the samurai class over the next few years.24 The samurai families relocating to Sunpu were therefore at the cusp of the dissolution of their class. Given their lord’s 20

21 22

23 24

M. William Steele, “The Rise and Fall of the Shō gitai: A Social Drama,” in Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition, eds. Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 134–142. Ō ishi Sadao, Makinohara kaitaku shi kō [A Study of the History of the Development of Makinohara] (Shizuoka: Shizuoka-ken Chagyō Kaigisho, 1974), p. 10. Katsu Kaishū , Katsu Kaishū jiden – Hikawa seiwa [The Autobiography of Katsu Kaishū : A Retrospective – Told at Hikawa] ed. Katsube Mitake (Kashiwa, Chiba: Hiroike Gakuen Shuppanbu, 1969), p. 184. Reminiscences of Furuya Kō jirō in Mashimo, Meiji Boshin Yanada senseki-shi, p. 304. The Meiji government began the process in 1869 by dividing the class into of two groups, upper samurai (shizoku) and lower samurai ranks (sotsu), and more or less completed it in 1876 when samurai stipends were converted to bonds and samurai were denied the right to wear swords. Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the

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diminishing influence, they realized the necessity of finding new vocations. Some hoped to gain positions in the new government or become schoolteachers. Still others attempted to develop businesses. Although often described as a noble return to a purer existence tied to the soil, many samurai, who had only known life in the urban metropolis of Edo, demurred at the idea of taking up farming as a profession. Nonetheless, a good number did choose to begin farming thanks to a global trend explored by Mark Metzler in his chapter: the commodities boom of the 1860s. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Britain and the United States, both with burgeoning industrial economies, experienced dramatic rises in tea consumption, stimulating increased production in East Asia. In Britain, then importing almost exclusively Chinese tea, per capita consumption rose from 1.39 pounds in 1840–1844 to 3.48 pounds from 1865–1869.25 US per capita tea consumption fluctuated from .99 pounds in 1840 to 1.21 in 1850 before dropping to .91 pounds between 1861 and 1870, a decline no doubt due to the disruption of imports during the US Civil War.26 Yet, overall during the same period, US tea imports by volume more than doubled, from 20 million pounds in 1840 to 47 million in 1870.27 Japan became the first state to challenge China’s monopoly of the world tea market and supply tea to the British and US markets. Following the establishment of Hakodate, Yokohama, and Nagasaki as treaty ports in 1859, green tea emerged as one of Japan’s key exports. Shipments of the leaf rose from a mere 500,000 pounds in 1859 to just under 12.5 million pounds by 1867, with tea comprising approximately 20 percent of all exports by value.28 Although the first shipments had been sent to both Britain and the United States, by the time of the Meiji Restoration the United States, then primarily a green-tea consuming nation, had emerged as the biggest market for Japanese green tea. Thanks to increasing US

25 26

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Present, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 64–65. For consistency, in this chapter, I will refer to anyone in the samurai class until 1876 as “samurai.” Robert Gardella, Harvesting Mountains: Fujian and the China Tea Trade, 1757–1937 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 61. E. G. Montgomery and C. H. Kardell, Apparent Per Capita Consumption of Principal Foodstuffs in the United States, U.S. Department of Commerce, Domestic Commerce Series 38 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1930), p. 48. Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch, and Gavin Wright, eds., Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition On Line, Series Ee590-611 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 5–554–5–555. Nihoncha Yushutsu Hyakunenshi Hensan Iinkai, Nihoncha yushutsu hyakunenshi [The History of 100 Years of Japanese Tea Exports] (Shizuoka: Nihoncha Yushutsu Kumiai, 1959), pp. 32, 527.

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demand, a cultivator could earn higher profits for tea than other commodities, such as rice, on the Shizuoka market.29 In response to these high prices, both farmers and the newly arrived samurai began to plant tea fields throughout Shizuoka. For centuries, Japanese farmers had grown tea, usually a bush or two in between fields, to supply the individual needs of their families. Farmers had limited knowledge, however, about cultivating and processing tea on a large scale. New cultivators therefore probably consulted some of the few available guidebooks on tea farming and refining. In 1871 the Hikone domain (today’s Shiga prefecture), located near Kyoto, published one such manual. Its authors stressed that their volume would present all aspects of tea production in an accessible way for the benefit of individual cultivators and by implication, the greater imperial nation (kō koku).30 A similar guide with more detailed information and diagrams of tools required to pick and process tea was published in 1873.31 The Development of Makinohara Following their group’s arrival in Sunpu, the samurai of the Shinbangumi [the New Guard Unit] (previously known as the Seieitai [the Elite Corps]) initially maintained their positions as Yoshinobu’s personal guards, stationed near the shrine to Tokugawa Ieyasu at Mt. Kunō (Kunō zan Tō shō -gū ). In July 1869, Tokugawa Iesato was appointed governor of the Sunpu domain, which was subsequently renamed Shizuoka (which also became the name for the castle town of Sunpu). As the Tokugawa lord assumed the trappings of a “modern” governor, the new domain administration deemed the Shinbangumi outdated and disbanded the group, leaving the unit’s samurai without official positions, and the regular stipends that went with them. Shinbangumi leaders identified Makinohara, a largely uncultivated and unpopulated stretch of former Tokugawa lands west of Shizuoka City, as an area for resettlement. In 1869, an estimated 250 samurai families 29

30

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Kawaguchi Kuniaki, Chagyō kaika: Meiji hatten shi to Tada Motokichi [The Creation of the Tea Industry: Tada Motokichi and the History of Meiji Era Expansion] (Tokyo: Zenbō sha, 1989), pp. 58–59. Hikone-han, Seicha zukai [A Guide to Tea Manufacturing] in Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsushi shiryō bessatsu [Documents Related to the Development of Industry in the Early Meiji Period, Supplemental Volumes] 107 (II), ed. Meiji Bunken Shiryō Kankō kai (Tokyo: Meiji Bunken Shiryō Kankō kai, 1971) (originally published in 1871), p. 202. Masuda Mitsunari, ed., Seicha shinsetsu [New Methods of Tea Production] in Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsushi shiryō bessatsu [Documents Related to the Development of Industry in the Early Meiji Period, Supplemental Volumes] 107 (II), ed. Meiji Bunken Shiryō Kankō kai (Tokyo: Meiji Bunken Shiryō Kankō kai, 1971) (originally published in 1873).

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moved into Makinohara, once again living as guests in farmhouses, temples, or temporary shacks until they could build more permanent homes. Each samurai family received a small stipend as well as an allotment of land, often with stands of woods that needed clearing to make way for tea fields. Historian Ō ishi Sadao explains that while historians disagree about when and how much was distributed, most conclude that the Shinbangumi’s initial funding came from the Tokugawa house, with additional support later provided by the Shizuoka domain.32 On their respective plots, each samurai family began to build a home, dig a well, and plant trees to serve as windbreaks for the new house and tea fields. Many constructed a separate room or detached shack for processing tea. At the time, a tea farmer would process freshly picked tea leaves first by steaming them for a short time. He would then place them on a sturdy tray positioned atop a charcoal brazier. By hand, he would gradually work the tea to eliminate moisture and stop the oxidation process, thereby making a product that could be shipped to Yokohama for further processing before export.33 In his examination of early Meiji period samurai resettlement, David Howell notes that some groups fought to hold onto a marker of their samurai status, the wearing of two swords, as they began lives predominately as farmers in Hokkaido.34 In Makinohara as well, the male heads of samurai households sought to maintain connections to the martial roots of their class, for example, by including areas in their homes for their children to practice kendo and archery. Some samurai also taught those martial arts to the children of farmers in Makinohara.35 As they settled into their new lives, Shinbangumi leaders communicated with a group of former Shō gitai who after their defeat at Ueno, had settled in Numazu. Ō taniuchi Ryō gorō had led just under one hundred Shō gitai members and their families to the port city where they hoped to secure employment and begin new lives. Although providing some financial assistance to the Shinbangumi, the leaders of Shizuoka domain refused to offer any aid to the Shō gitai members, stressing that the group’s brash actions at Ueno in 1868 had tarnished the name of the Tokugawa house. After nearly two years of failed appeals to domain officials, in 1870 Ō taniuchi urged his members to join the Shinbangumi in Makinohara. For many in the group, the decision was not an easy one, as few aspired to become tea farmers. Ō taniuchi resisted in part because of his own physical condition: a bullet wound suffered during the Battle of Ueno had 32 34 35

Ō ishi, Makinohara kaitaku shi kō , pp. 25–27. 33 Ibid, p. 24. David L. Howell, “Early Shizoku Colonization of Hokkaidō ,” Journal of Asian History 17 (1983): 54–56. Ō ishi, Makinohara kaitaku shi kō , pp. 19–25.

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paralyzed his right arm. Yet as an indication of the sense of group identity that the Shō gitai maintained, fifty-three men and their families chose to move to Makinohara at the behest of Ō taniuchi. As with the Shinbangumi, the Shō gitai members sought to maintain their martial skills by practicing kendo, often in the gardens of their homes. Nonetheless, that group cohesion proved hard to maintain as Ō taniuchi feuded with other members. When it was learned that the previous year he had ordered the murder of two “disloyal” compatriots, Ō taniuchi, then thirty-seven years old, chose to commit suicide at an area temple in February 1871. Ō taniuchi, however, appears to have been an extreme case. With the assistance of Shinbangumi samurai, a good portion of the remaining Shō gitai members and their families transitioned into lives as tea farmers.36 Although smaller in number, another displaced group, workers in the transport system across the Ō i River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean just north of Makinohara, joined the samurai farmers. In the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa regime, remembering the bitter military battles of the previous century, had restricted bridge construction across the Ō i to maintain it as a barrier against a possible military strike against Edo. Travelers on the Tō kaidō , the thoroughfare linking Edo and central Japan, therefore relied upon a regulated labor pool of porters who transported people and goods across the river. The porters would receive wages based upon how far the water reached on their bodies as they ferried people and goods, as well as assisted horses across the river.37 In 1870, the Meiji regime abolished the porters’ guild in anticipation of building a bridge across the Ō i, a move that placed approximately 1,300 men out of work. In response, a guild leader submitted a series of petitions to the local government, detailing the now indigent conditions of the unemployed porters. Although supporting the construction of the new bridge, he urged that the porters and their families receive plots in Makinohara to begin cultivating tea. After repeated requests, local leaders relented, providing land and funds for the former porters.38 In August 1871, the Meiji government further centralized its power by abolishing the domains and establishing in their place prefectures administered not by lords but by governors dispatched from Tokyo. As another step in the elimination of the samurai class was implemented, fields in Makinohara planted a few years earlier matured, producing more tea. 36 37 38

Ibid, pp. 52–60. Inagaki Shisei, ed., Edo seikatsu jiten [A Dictionary of Life in Edo] (Tokyo: Seiabō , 1975), p. 74. Shimada Shishi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Shimada shishi [The History of Shimada City], Vol. 2 (Shimada, 1973), pp. 80–81.

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The new prefectural government continued to provide funds to assist samurai farmers and all the while, the export trade grew: in 1872 Japan shipped 14.7 million pounds of tea, valued at just over 4.23 million yen.39 Imai in Makinohara When we left his story, Imai and the other unit leaders were regrouping in Aizu following their defeat at Yanada in April 1868. The group thereafter decided to travel to Echigo Province to join the battles there. Reconstituting its force along way, the unit eventually took the moniker of the Shō hō tai [Corps of the Piercing Halberd].40 Imai and his men participated in battles for Nagaoka Castle against Chō shū and Satsuma forces. When imperial troops finally prevailed after some of the more bitter engagements of the Boshin War, the Shō hō tai traveled to nearby Aizu where it supported the defense of Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle. Resolved to continue the fight even after that anti-Chō shū -Satsuma bastion fell, Imai and remaining members of the Shō hō tai boarded the Chō geimaru, an English-made steamship purchased by the bakufu in 1864, and sailed to Hakodate in the autumn of 1868. After several months carrying on the fight, in June 1869 the remaining 150 men of the Shō hō tai surrendered along with the rest of the Hakodate garrison. The imperial army took Imai into custody, subsequently sending him to a Tokyo prison.41 In an extensive report, a Shizuoka official later detailed Imai’s transgressions, explaining his involvement in the killing of Sakamoto. The official described Imai as subsequently fleeing Kyoto and “repeatedly opposing and attacking” imperial troops before surrendering, a rendering that gave short shrift to Imai’s committed service fighting in numerous battles throughout the Boshin War.42 Little is known as to why Imai was released from prison and sent to the Shizuoka in 1872. A popular account asserts that Saigō Takamori personally ordered the release although no evidence exists to support that claim. Whatever the circumstances, it is striking that a previously ardent 39

40

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Ō ishi, Makinohara kaitaku shi kō , pp. 27–30; Japan Department of Finance, Returns of the Foreign Trade of the Empire of Japan for the Thirty-two Years from 1868 to 1899 Inclusive (Tokyo: Hō yō dō , 1901), pp. 43–45. Historians describe the Shō hō tai as composed primarily of men from bakufu units that had received French training before 1868. Konishi Shirō , Kamiya Jirō , and Yasuoka Akio, eds., Bakumatsu ishin shi jiten [A Dictionary of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration Periods] (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ō raisha, 1983), p. 113. Imai Sachihiko, Sakamoto Ryō ma o kitta otoko: bakushin Imai Nobuo no shō gai, abridged edition (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ō raisha, 2009), pp. 292–300. “Gyō bu-shō mō shiwatashi” [Orders of the Ministry of Justice] 1870/9/20 [Gregorian calendar: October 14, 1870], ME198-0006, DNISK.

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opponent of the Meiji regime was allowed to not only quickly re-enter society but also join the bureaucracy. In 1875, Imai gained a low-ranking position in the Shizuoka prefectural government, which stationed him temporarily on Hachijo Island, at the time administered by Shizuoka. In 1877, however, he abruptly quit his post and traveled to Tokyo ostensibly to join imperial troops trying to suppress the Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō . Yet, intriguingly, Imai actually aimed to throw in his lot with Saigō , one of the leaders of the imperial cause that Imai had fought so tenaciously against. Before he could travel to Kyushu, however, the conflict ended in victory for the Meiji regime.43 The Satsuma Rebellion became a personal watershed for Imai, who thereafter would once again reinvent himself: embracing the life of a farmer while turning his back on his warrior past. Perhaps because of his previous official position, Imai received roughly two hectares of government land in Makinohara near the farms of Shinbangumi samurai. He built a home and devoted half of his acreage to a new tea field. During times of harvest, he employed seven or eight farmhands to assist in picking and processing tea. Imai no doubt benefited from the agricultural knowledge of his wife, who was raised on a farm outside of Edo, an advantage not enjoyed by many of his samurai neighbors, who were also learning how to farm on a large scale. During this final phase of his life, Imai remained active in local affairs, including establishing a school. Further showing his desire to bury his martial past, he pointedly refused to view a kendo competition held at the school a few years later. Imai would also serve as mayor of his village before passing away in 1918.44 Conclusions As noted in this volume’s introduction, conflicts in Japan during the 1860s, including the bloodiest battles of the Boshin War, did not match the death toll and scale of devastation witnessed during other contemporary intrastate clashes, notably the US Civil War and China’s Taiping Rebellion. Yet as outlined above, Imai and other pro-Tokugawa stalwarts offer perspectives on what led the 1860s to become a violent decade, culminating in the Boshin War. Imai and his compatriots remained deeply committed to the Tokugawa house, as epitomized by Imai’s

43

44

Imai Sachihiko, Sakamoto Ryō ma o kitta otoko, abridged ed., pp. 292–300. Tsukamoto Shō ichi, ed., Hakuun no sakigake: kaiteiban Sakamoto Ryō ma o kitta otoko [A Pioneer in the White Clouds: A Reconsideration of the Man Who Killed Sakamoto Ryō ma] (Shizuoka: Hatsukura Mahoroba no Kai, 2017), pp. 111–114. Ō ishi, Makinohara kaitaku shi kō , pp. 66–74.

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attempts to form peasant and samurai militias and his willingness to resolutely fight for the anti-Meiji cause. We should also note the role of personal connections, such as Imai’s long-standing friendships formed at Yokohama as well as the bonds at the heart of the Shō gitai and Shinbangumi, which helped those groups retain a sense of community even after relocating to Shizuoka. Finally, we should not forget the personal toll of the conflicts revealed in, among other events, the anxiety of Imai’s sister watching him leave to join the Boshin War and the physical scars such as the crippled arm of Shō gitai leader, Ō taniuchi. As with any armed conflict, the battles of the Restoration period left bitter memories on both sides. Yamagata Aritomo, an officer in the triumphant imperial forces and a key Meiji government leader, was said to be brought to tears decades later when recalling the death of a childhood friend in a hard-fought battle near Nagaoka in 1868.45 Shiba Gorō , born to a high-ranking samurai family in the domain of Aizu, recounted later in life the tragedy and tumult experienced by his family during and after the battle for Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle in the summer of 1868. Before the battle, his family sent Shiba, then eight-years old, to the safety of the countryside. Returning following the victory of imperial forces, Shiba found his home destroyed and his grandmother, mother, and two of his sisters dead, having taken their own lives in order to conserve food as the men of the family held up in the besieged castle. As part of the Meiji government’s relocation of the lord of Aizu and his retainer band, Shiba and his family were later sent to the northern tip of Honshu, where they cleared and attempted to farm a windswept plot of land. Shiba grimly recalled the lack of food, days of hard labor, and nights spent in a small and drafty home.46 The treatment of Shiba’s family, along with Imai’s arrest, underscore how immediately following the Boshin War, sentiment within the Meiji leadership advocated punishment for many vanquished enemies. Yet within a few years, central government leaders changed tack and created opportunities for men from Aizu and other defeated domains to find reinvention and places in Meiji society.47 As Steven Ivings outlines in his chapter, Meiji leaders encouraged men from Aizu and other former opposing domains to become 45 46 47

Harold Bolitho, “The Echigo War, 1868” Monumenta Nipponica 34, no. 3 (Autumn 1979): 262. Shiba Gorō , Mahito Ishimitsu, and Teruko Craig, Remembering Aizu: The Testament of Shiba Gorō (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1999), pp. 45–59, 74–99. This included Shiba, who was able to attend a military school and enter the Japanese Imperial Army, rising to the rank of general in 1919. Ibid, pp. 127–138, 149–150.

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“farmer-soldiers” (in this case called tondenhei because of their anticipated role in farming new lands and defending against a possible Russian incursion) and settle in Hokkaido after 1874. The tondenhei program allowed a samurai family to receive a plot of land, along with financial support, in order to begin a new life of farming. In the program, the men of each household also trained as soldiers with the goal that they could form a military bulwark against feared Russian military encroachments. As Ivings explains, the tondenhei never coalesced to form a viable military force. Nonetheless for the samurai moving to Hokkaido, the program offered, at least in theory, a means to become invested personally in agendas related to the formation of the nation-state: the defense of newly defined national borders as well as the “taming” of a frontier region. As has been explored in this chapter, the samurai who became farmers in Makinohara had no such grand and immediate national banner to follow as they traded their swords for hoes. Instead, many could transition to lives as farmers because of a trend on the other side of the Pacific: US consumers, thanks to their larger disposal incomes, purchasing increasing amounts of Japanese green tea. The success of these samurai in becoming tea farmers was also a result of private initiatives of the Tokugawa house, as well as domain and prefectural financial support. The leaders of the Meiji central government contributed primarily by choosing not to seek retribution from their former enemies. Of course, the success of these small groups of former Tokugawa retainers was not always replicated throughout Japan as the samurai class was disestablished and approximately 250 independent domains were eliminated in order to form a cohesive nation-state. Meiji leaders faced rebellions led by disgruntled samurai in western Honshu and Kyushu, punctuated by the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. Nonetheless, the story of Tokugawa stalwarts to tea farmers in Shizuoka reveals that individual reinvention was possible for many, and with it national reconciliation after a divisive and violent 1860s. This was epitomized by the case of Imai, a man who personally experienced a fair share of violence and fought to the very last against the new Meiji regime. Imai, who may have killed the hero seen as inspiring the enterprise of national formation, could reintegrate into society and live quietly farming tea, a citizen of the Japanese nation-state. It was a surprisingly comfortable fate and one that Imai may himself have believed was too good to last. He built his house in Makinohara with a single entry, replete with walls

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to stymie would-be intruders. For good measure, he devised escape routes through the bamboo grove behind the house that led to the homes of other ex-Tokugawa retainers.48 If Meiji leaders changed their minds and decided to move against their former enemy, he was ready. Yet no one ever came.

48

Tsukamoto Shō ichi, ed., Hakuun no sakigake, pp. 200–201. I thank Tsukamoto Shō ichi for taking the time to show me the remains of Imai’s house in July 2018.

Part 3

Domestic Resolutions

Figure 9.1 “River landscape in Izu Province,” 1868–1870. Wilhelm Burger Collection, courtesy of Austrian National Library

9

Settling the Frontier, Defending the North “Farmer-Soldiers” in Hokkaido’s Colonial Development and National Reconciliation

Steven Ivings

Few places went through as rapid and profound a transformation as Hokkaido did during the Meiji period. As the final battles of the Boshin War reached their conclusion at Hakodate in the summer of 1869, the island of Hokkaido (formerly Ezo) was not solidly within Japan’s orbit, and much of the island continued to be primarily the realm of the Ainu. In such places, the Japanese presence was in reality limited to seasonal fishing posts, a foothold that led many prominent figures of the Meiji period to warn of the vulnerability of the empire’s northern gate and call for special efforts to ensure it remained under Japan’s sway. Despite these limited foundations, Kuroda Kiyotaka, the head of the Hokkaido Development Agency (hereafter Kaitakushi ), could proclaim in 1881 that “today’s Hokkaido is not yesterday’s Ezo.”1 These words were a little premature in their triumphalism, but they still had a ring of truth to them and certainly, by the end of the Meiji period, Hokkaido had been transformed. An unprecedented expansion in both industry and agriculture had taken place and the island’s population mushroomed. In 1869, little over 58,000 people resided in Hokkaido – approximately 10,000 of which were Ainu – yet by the turn of the century a huge influx of settlers saw this number climb to almost 1 million. By the end of the Meiji period in 1912, Hokkaido was home to over 1.7 million.2 The scale and speed of this flow of population to the northeast Asian frontier constitutes a Meiji parallel to an ongoing “settler revolution,” a global phenomenon that was transforming – often 1 2

Michele Mason, Dominant Narratives of Colonial Hokkaido and Imperial Japan Envisioning the Periphery and the Modern Nation-State (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 43. Hokkaidō -chō Takushokubu, Hokkaidō -chō takushoku tō keisho daisankai [Third Statistical Report of Hokkaido Prefecture] (Sapporo: Hokkaidō -chō , 1917), pp. 77–79.

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after first creating – “uninhabited” territories,3 which were reshaped into productive appendages of expanding colonial empires.4 However, as Hokkaido (Ezo) had long been a territory somewhat vaguely, and confusingly, located both on and beyond the edge of Japan’s contingent realm, it has largely escaped the attention of most scholars of settler colonialism.5 Hokkaido was located too close to the Japanese metropole to be a “new world” in the sense that the Americas or Australasia were for European settlers, and it may be that its incorporation proceeded both so thoroughly and rapidly that it went largely unnoticed by scholars outside the field of Japanese history. Indeed, even standard Japanese accounts are able to weave Hokkaido’s history firmly into the national fabric with Hokkaido’s past recast as “local history” (chihō shi or kenshi ) in which terms such as “colonization” are substituted with the tame equivalent “development” and the displacement and dispossession of the Ainu is recast as the transplantation of Japanese civilization to an otherwise empty wilderness.6 Still, not all scholarship has shied away from the more awkward or ambiguous aspects of Hokkaido’s past, as evinced by the use of the term “inner colony” (naikoku shokuminchi ). But even this term serves to keep Hokkaido in the embrace of the national historical narrative – albeit as a territory requiring a special form of governance – while simultaneously recognizing its historical experience as distinctly Ainu land. Whatever line we take on the degree to which the whole of Hokkaido could be considered a part of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century, this should not serve to obscure the startling transformation that occurred there during the Meiji period. If not internal in 1869, it certainly had been internalized by 1912, as the flood of Japanese settlers extended far beyond the Matsumae domain’s Oshima peninsula enclaves of yesteryear. This chapter focuses on the process of internalizing Hokkaido via colonial settlement, which is defined as the establishment of permanent communities of settlers who proceed to transform what they deem a terra nullius – however constructed or imagined that notion may be – into sites of 3 4

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Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, no. 4 (December 2006), 387–409. James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-world, 1783–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Lorenzo Veracini, Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Ezo in the Edo era was described by Brett Walker as “indisputably foreign but nonetheless within the orbit of Japanese cultural and commercial interests.” Brett Walker, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 40. Mason, Dominant Narratives, p. 2.

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productive activity. Japanese activity on Hokkaido in the Meiji period aimed at bringing the island closer into the nation’s embrace so as to ward off potential foreign encroachment. This would be achieved by a process familiar to scholars of colonial history, and which is firmly at the heart of efforts at “making settler colonial space.” Aptly termed the transformation of “frontiers into assets,” the process serves to legitimize territorial claims through a demonstration of effective governance, inhabitation, and the productive use of resources.7 In this sense, the settler colonial nature of Hokkaido in the Meiji period is clear, even if unlike Japan’s other colonies Hokkaido survived the breakup of the Japanese colonial empire in 1945. What is important here is that the internalization of Hokkaido was not complete at the onset of the Meiji period, and thus warranted a special colonial arrangement to its governance which, in the words of Iwakura Tomomi, sought to “make Ezo into a small Japan.”8 In the standard narratives of Hokkaido’s Meiji period transformation, center stage is given to the government, and a settlement program it devised which sought to establish communities of farmer-soldiers – literally “soldiers in the fields” (tondenhei ) – in the Hokkaido wilderness in order to cultivate land and ward of the Russian threat. The tondenhei have become synonymous with Hokkaido’s development. The heroic narratives of the tondenhei’s dual struggle to tame the wilderness and defend the frontier have permeated historical accounts and left a strong imprint on local identity in Hokkaido. Local politicians on occasion invoke the “tonden spirit” (tonden seishin) as a rhetorical device,9 while numerous monuments and museums dedicated to the tondenhei dot the Hokkaido landscape. This chapter joins Michele Mason in suggesting that the significance of the tondenhei in Hokkaido’s colonial development has been exaggerated. Unlike Mason, however, it is not concerned with a discussion of their function in the historical narrative of Hokkaido’s development. Instead, the chapter will evaluate them on their own terms, assessing the contribution of the tondenhei to the defense of Hokkaido and their role in fostering permanent and productive Japanese communities on the island. In so doing, it will stress their mixed record as agricultural settlers and the limited nature of their defense capabilities. Ultimately, it argues that the tondenhei form only a minor part of a much broader and diverse process of internalizing Hokkaido as an integral part of Japan. 7

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Lorenzo Veracini, “The Imagined Geographies of Settler Colonialism,” in Making Settler Colonial Space: Perspectives on Race, Place and Identity, eds. Tracy Banivanua Mar and Penelope Edwards (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), p. 182. Mason, Dominant Narratives, p. 1. Ibid, p. 31; also see foreword in Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei [Farmer-Soldiers] (Sapporo: Sapporo Bunkō , 1985).

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Furthermore, it posits that initially the tondenhei program was geared toward reconciling disaffected elements of the samurai class, especially those from the defeated clans of the northeast, and thus the program had more to do with taming internal rather than external threats. An Outline of the Tondenhei Settlement Program The tondenhei system became something of a pet project of Kuroda Kiyotaka, a key Satsuma figure, who commanded imperial troops in the capture of Hakodate in 1869. He served as the head of the Kaitakushi and eventually went on to become Japan’s second prime minister.10 Before Kuroda submitted the proposal calling for the establishment of the tondenhei system, he had served as the head of the Karafuto (Sakhalin) Kaitakushi. In this role, Kuroda witnessed the complete failure of Japanese efforts at colonizing Karafuto with a group drawn from the Tokyo poor, and the comparative Russian success in colonization. Alarmed by these developments, Kuroda petitioned the central government to abandon Karafuto and drastically redouble efforts on Hokkaido.11 How these efforts should proceed continued to be the source of much debate within the inner circles of the fledgling Meiji state. In late 1873, Kuroda, now head of the Hokkaido Kaitakushi, submitted a proposal to establish a system whereby members of the former samurai class would be resettled in Hokkaido as farmers who would also perform a military function. Saigō Takamori and others had previously advocated a system whereby development and defense would be pursued by the samurai class. In some ways, Kuroda’s proposal borrowed from the ideas of Enomoto Takeaki who, in the last phase of the Boshin War, had established a short-lived government on Ezo composed of forces that still resisted the authority of the new regime. In Ezo, Enomoto attempted to end the conflict with a compromise whereby the Meiji government would allow shogunal forces to develop and fortify the vulnerable north. This offer was, of course, rejected by the Meiji regime, but after the war Kuroda had worked hard to secure Enomoto’s pardon, and then reemployment in the Kaitakushi. The two became close political allies and as such it is quite possible that Enomoto’s ideas influenced Kuroda, especially as Kuroda 10 11

Okuda Shizuo, “Hokkaidō kaitaku o kenbiki shita hito – Kuroda Kiyotaka” [The Man behind Hokkaido’s Colonization, Kuroda Kiyotaka], Tonden 45 (2009): 3. Eventually, Kuroda had his way in 1875, as Enomoto Takeaki – the very man who had surrendered to Kuroda at the battle of Hakodate – led a delegation to St. Petersburg to conclude a treaty in which Japan ceded its claims to Karafuto in exchange for Russia’s reciprocal cessation of claims to the entire Kurile Island chain (Chishima).

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advocated that the program could serve as a means to provide employment to the samurai of former domains who had been on the losing side of the Boshin War.12 If the idea to settle samurai in the far north of the Japanese realm was not entirely new, neither was the term tondenhei itself. Like many Meiji era reforms, the system proposed by Kuroda dressed innovation in language that appealed to antiquity as a means of instilling a modern national subjectivity.13 The tondenhei of yesteryear appear in ancient Japanese and Chinese historical chronicles as groups of farmer-soldiers residing in frontier areas who could be called upon to guard the imperial realm should a threat materialize.14 This connection to antiquity may have served an important rhetorical purpose, linking the settlers to the emperor as guardians of the imperial realm, but in the context of Hokkaido, the construction of a comprehensive tondenhei settlement program was certainly a Meiji innovation. Nevertheless, the tondenhei were not the first samurai settlers of the Meiji period, and, in many ways, they built on, and borrowed from, the private efforts of (former) domains at group migration to Hokkaido, which will be mentioned later. Kuroda’s proposal instead represented the first time that the Kaitakushi took full responsibility for the recruitment and maintenance of samurai settlers in a flagship program. The proposal itself was received in November 1873, and swiftly accepted by the Council of State (Dajō kan). In 1874, regulations were issued for the tondenhei system’s implementation and the following year the first group arrived in Sapporo. The rationale behind Kuroda’s proposal centered on four pressing concerns: the need for improved defense in Hokkaido; the need to further develop Hokkaido; the need to provide (re)employment for the samurai class; and the need to reduce expenditures on development and defense.15 In a similar way to the Tokugawa retainers turned tea farmers who appear in Robert Hellyer’s chapter in this volume, there really was a sense of two birds with one stone about this proposal. In Shizuoka, veterans of the losing side of the Boshin War could be personally reconciled with the national cause and reinvented as agricultural colonists who by producing one of Meiji Japan’s key exports, contributed to national development. In Hokkaido, the dual concerns of development and defense were to be met by a single program based on samurai settlers. The program would reemploy a samurai class that was losing its purpose 12 13 15

Enomoto Morie, Hokkaidō no rekishi [The History of Hokkaido] (Sapporo: Hokkaidō Shinbunsha, 1987), pp. 182–191; Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, pp. 21–22. Mason, Dominant Narratives, p. 34. 14 Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, p. 11. Uehara Tetsusaburō , Hokkaidō tondenhei seido [Hokkaido’s Tondenhei System] (Sapporo: Hokkaidō -chō Takushokubu, 1914), p. 8.

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following reforms such as the abolition of the domains and the conscription order, both implemented in the 1870s.16 We will return to an assessment of the performance of the tondenhei system in each of these regards later, however, first it is worth outlining the system and what it entailed for those who participated in it. The tondenhei system existed between 1874 and 1904 and involved the relocation of 7,337 households (approximately 40,000 people) – usually in groups of 200 households at a time – to thirty-seven preselected settlements across Hokkaido. The first tondenhei settlements were established in Kotoni and Yamahana near Sapporo in 1875 and 1876. The last was started at Kenbuchi in 1899 and ran as a tondenhei settlement until 1904, when the Kenbuchi tondenhei completed their official term of service. As the program drew to a close, it was clear that Hokkaido’s population growth and level of development rendered the special settlement program obsolete. Moreover, the tondenhei were no longer required to ensure Hokkaido’s defense, following the establishment of the seventh division of the imperial army at Asahikawa in 1896.17 The regulations of the tondenhei system initially required that recruits were drawn from the samurai class, however, from 1890 onwards this restriction was removed and thereafter commoners accounted for the vast majority of recruits.18 In some ways, the opening of recruitment to the nonsamurai classes can be interpreted along the lines of the wider trend toward incorporating farmers into local militia for defense and policing purposes. That trend began in the later part of the Edo period and continued into the Meiji era, as Platt outlines in his chapter of this volume. The regulations also required that recruits should be aged between seventeen and thirty-five, exceed 152 centimeters in height, and be of good health – determined through a physical examination. In addition, recruits were required to bring their families with them to Hokkaido and to settle as farmers. This transplanting of young samurai to Hokkaido as farmers alongside their family units made sense for the goals of the program on a number of levels. Settlers in their physical prime were best suited to the arduous task of clearing the northern wilderness and bringing it under cultivation. In addition, the settlement of entire families 16 17 18

Wakabayashi Shigeru, “Tondenhei-tachi no Meiji ishin” [The Farmer-Soldiers’ Meiji Restoration], Tonden 41 (2007): 11. Uehara, Hokkaidō tondenhei seido, pp. 26–27. While it is well-established that the vast majority of pre-1890 recruits were drawn from the samurai class, on occasions, regulations were not fully enforced, and so it is possible that a few of the earlier tondenhei had a commoner background. “Miyagi Aomori Sakata sanken no tondenhei boshū wa shizoku ni kagirazu heimin demo yoi” [Recruitment of Farmer-Soldiers from the Three Prefectures of Miyagi, Aomori, Sakata Is Not Restricted to Samurai, Commoners Are also Fine], Yomiuri shinbun, March 3, 1875.

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provided extra farm labor and reduced the likelihood that individual tondenhei would seek to return to the mainland to reunite with family, or to seek a marriage partner.19 For the purposes of defense, making farmers out of samurai made sense as they could be a cost-effective physical presence on the frontier. Unlike a full-time military, the tondenhei were eventually supposed to provide their own sustenance from their farms. As they would be defending land that directly supported their livelihood, it was thought they would offer a more spirited defense. For those applicants who were admitted as tondenhei and dispatched to Hokkaido alongside their families, colonial settlement came with both duties and privileges. Tondenhei committed to fostering a family farm in the Hokkaido settlement to which they were dispatched, and to three years of active service in the settlement’s militia, followed by two years in the reserves.20 Farming duties continued throughout the year, with military duties less frequent. In most settlements, tondenhei were expected to participate in small-scale military drills around once a month. During the slack winter season, maintenance of the farm could be left to the family, and so these months saw more comprehensive military drills, often involving travel around Hokkaido and maneuvers alongside tondenhei militia from other settlements. In return for their commitment to farming and military service, tondenhei received a number of privileges that were not bestowed on other settlers – even those who were partially subsidized by the Hokkaido authorities. Transportation costs were covered, and upon arrival tondenhei could immediately move into prebuilt houses, which although admittedly simple constructions, had been designed with reference to American and Russian equivalents so as best to deal with Hokkaido’s climate. These basic, yet sturdy, constructions were above all practical. They were equipped with a central stove and were furnished with basic home trappings – luxuries that were not afforded ordinary settlers. Moreover, tondenhei were also supplied with essential agricultural implements, a rifle and sword, as well as a military uniform. Perhaps most importantly of all, tondenhei households received three years of rice provisions and a subsidy for other food staples from the authorities.21 This was particularly important as a secure food supply mitigated the dangers that a poor harvest would pose for ordinary settlers (poor harvests were especially 19 21

Ibid, pp. 47–50, 61–62. 20 Ibid, pp. 51–52. The ultimate responsibility for financing the tondenhei settlement program shifted over time between the Kaitakushi, Hokkaido prefecture, and the Army Ministry (see Figure 9.1 for the exact timing). In this sense it appears to have been much like the patchwork of financial support received by the samurai turned tea farmers of Shizuoka prefecture that appear in Hellyer’s chapter in this volume.

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likely in the difficult early years when land clearance work was still in progress).22 This level of subsidy and support from the authorities marked the tondenhei as a privileged settler group. The Tondenhei as Protectors of the Northern Gate Most accounts suggest that, in the face of an expanding Russian empire, the tondenhei played a crucial role in keeping Hokkaido in Japanese hands. Nonetheless, there is much to suggest that the tondenhei were as much about the diffusion of internal as they were about external threats. Tondenhei settlements were heavily concentrated around Sapporo and the Ishikari Plain, far removed from the Sō ya Straits, from where on a clear day, Sakhalin – the most proximate part of the Russian Empire – could be seen (see Figure 9.2). Most settlements were also located in the interior, and while tondenhei there could perhaps have provided guerillatype resistance, they offered virtually no coastal defense capability should an invading force reach the Sea of Japan. Indeed, while one of the few coastal settlements at Wada (today part of Nemuro) is located facing the Kuril Islands (Northern Territories or hoppō ryō do), which is the de facto Russia–Japan border today, it must be remembered that this was not the case when the said settlement was established in 1886. At this point Japan possessed the entire Kuril Island chain, and had done so for over a decade, rendering it difficult to argue for a singular preoccupation with Russia. Timing also indicates that the system was not solely geared toward deterring a Russian threat (refer to Figure 9.1 for the number of tondenhei arriving in Hokkaido each year). The first tondenhei settlers arrived in May 1875, the same month in which Japan and Russia reached a formal agreement on their borders in the Treaty of St. Petersburg, removing what had hitherto been a major factor complicating Russo-Japanese relations. The tondenhei system thus came into being at a time when the threat posed by its assumed principal target had been much diminished. Yet the tondenhei system had been on the debating table prior to this improvement in Russo-Japanese relations, and as such its inception may have had much to do with a perceived Russian threat. Indeed, Kuroda had argued for the abandonment of Karafuto in the early 1870s, having observed firsthand the ability of Russia to establish a more telling presence on that island. Thus the tondenhei system he advocated was a key component of his call to redouble efforts on Hokkaido. However, if we accept that warding off Russia was the main purpose of the tondenhei system, there can be no doubt that the Treaty of St. Petersburg reduced its necessity. Perhaps, as 22

Ibid, p. 91.

Under the jurisdiction of the Hokkaido Development Agency (kaitakushi).

Under the jurisdiction of the army ministry (rikugunshō) except 1886–1890 when under Hokkaido Prefecture.

Matsukata Deflation

Treaty of St. Petersburg

Abolition of shizoku stipends

Satsuma Rebellion

Sino-Japanese War Russo-Japanese War

Figure 9.2 Incoming farmer-soldier (tondenhei) households and key dates Compiled from: Itō Hiroshi, Tondenhei no hyakunen [One Hundred Years of the Farmer-Soldiers] (3 volumes) (Sapporo: Hokkaidō Shinbunsha, 1979), pp. 176–231

Conscription Law

Abolition of Domains

Fishermen’s revolt near Hakodate

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1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905

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a consequence, there was an immediate lull in the establishment of new tondenhei settlements after the initial plans, drawn up before the treaty, had been completed. The low numbers of new recruits continued as the government struggled with its finances, but suddenly in the mid-1880s the program enjoyed a new lease of life, and in the 1890s, as the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was in progress, the system passed through its heyday. Nonetheless, it is one of the great ironies of the tondenhei system that it was abolished in the same year that the Russo-Japanese War broke out. This did not mean that former tondenhei were not involved in the conflict. A large number of tondenhei were drafted into the Seventh Division of the Imperial Army, serving in the siege of Port Arthur and Battle of Mukden. Nonetheless, at this point the tondenhei had lost their significance, forming no more than a reservist contingent – much like those elsewhere in Japan – within the permanently stationed infantry division at Asahikawa. By the Russo-Japanese War, the Seventh Division was largely composed of regular conscripts, following the full extension of the conscription law to Hokkaido in 1898, and as such, former tondenhei served as a supplementary source of manpower, rather than the backbone of Hokkaido’s military force.23 Even though tondenhei did not serve actively against Russia when the system was in place, part of their role as a bulwark against foreign encroachment would have been as a combat-ready physical presence in Hokkaido. On the basis of the small numbers of active tondenhei stationed in Hokkaido at any given time, it seems reasonable to suggest that they were not a comprehensive solution to defense. In the late 1870s, for example, there were fewer than 500 tondenhei available for service,24 and it was not until 1886 that this number exceeded 1,000.25 Eventually, the surge of interest in the tondenhei system in the 1890s meant that the peak number of actively serving tondenhei was reached in 1894, with no more than 4,600 individuals. The growth of the tondenhei to this level strikes one as a case of too little, too late, as only two years later their role as a deterrent was usurped by the Seventh Division at Asahikawa.26 Whatever the role of the tondenhei in Russo-Japanese concerns – and I have argued that they were no more than a minor deterrent – they were only called upon by the central government for combat on two occasions: the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. The latter conflict came at a time when the tondenhei had been readied for combat and thus offered a potentially significant number 23 24

Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, p. 39. Uehara, Hokkaidō tondenhei seido, p. 235. 25 Ibid.

26

Ibid, p. 236.

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of troops. Nonetheless, the war ended with the tondenhei still in transit, and they returned home to Hokkaido without ever reaching the battlefield. Hokkaido, the Tondenhei, and Reconciliation The only occasion on which the tondenhei did serve on the battlefield was in Kyushu in 1877, when they were directed against their fellow countrymen (the Aizu contingent among the tondenhei force may not have viewed it this way) led by the disaffected Saigō Takamori, a prominent figure in the Meiji Restoration and an early proponent of the tondenhei system. Despite the sensationalist claims of some of those who participated in the conflict against Saigō ,27 the tondenhei contribution to the victory of the Meiji government appears minor. When the uprising broke out, there were only two tondenhei settlements, and so the force dispatched from Hokkaido to Kyushu was limited in numbers. Evidence suggests that no more than 500 tondenhei participated in quashing the Satsuma Rebellion, with seven deaths suffered by the group, in a conflict that saw a total death toll of 6,279 on the government side.28 The tondenhei contingent played only a minor role in the fighting, as the distance between Hokkaido and Kyushu, and the nervousness of the government that unrest might also break out in the north, delayed their arrival. As a result, the tondenhei force only reached the battlefront at the mid-point of the conflict, and was sent home once victory was certain.29 Despite this limited role, it remains significant that during the operation of the tondenhei system, the only active combat in which the tondenhei engaged involved containing an outbreak of domestic strife. Indeed, it has been suggested that what finally triggered the implementation of a tondenhei system was not the looming Russian menace, but actually a fishermen’s riot against increased taxation in Esahi in southern Hokkaido in 1873. During the riot, the Hakodate guard, numbering fewer than 200, was simply overwhelmed and troops were dispatched from Aomori to quell the uprising. This outbreak clearly demonstrated the inadequacy of local forces in Hokkaido for the task of maintaining 27

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Abiko Toshihiko, “Tondenhei kō rō monogatari 1” [Stories of the Distinguished Service of the Farmer-Soldiers] 1 in Hokkaidō kyō doshi kenkyū [Hokkaido Local Historical Research], ed. Sapporo hō sō kyō kai (Sapporo: Nihon Hō sō Kyō kai Hokkaidō Shibu, 1932), pp. 192–193. Itō Hiroshi, Tondenhei no hyakunen [One Hundred Years of the Farmer-Soldiers], Vol. 1 (Sapporo: Hokkaidō Shinbunsha, 1979), pp. 59–64; Kojima Keizō , Boshin sensō kara seinan sensō e [From the Boshin War to the Satsuma Rebellion] (Tokyo: Chū ō Kō ronsha, 1996), p. 245. Abiko, “Tondenhei kō rō monogatari,” p. 192.

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order in the face of a major public disturbance, let alone a foreign invasion, and as such may have also prompted Kuroda to implement the tondenhei system.30 Little is known of the role played by tondenhei in maintaining public order in the fluid and remote colonial space of Meiji era Hokkaido. Newspaper reports suggest that on occasion tondenhei were dispatched alongside police to ward off dangerous bears31 and to round up escaped convicts,32 but they also caused disturbances of their own, including infighting, brawling, and intimidation of the local press.33 According to Itō Hiroshi, there was often tension between tondenhei and the Sapporo police, and, on one occasion in 1881, this boiled over as three tondenhei were arrested for unruly behavior at the Susukino red light district. In response, around one hundred tondenhei stormed a police station demanding the release of their fellow tondenei, shouting “how can you put the guards of the north in the ‘pig pen?’” Swords were drawn between the opposing parties and brawling ensued, resulting in a number of injuries inflicted and a smashed-up police station.34 The tondenhei system was also aimed at providing an outlet for disaffected members of the samurai class who could be reemployed as farmers while at the same time maintaining a semblance of their status as warriors. Yet, while some former samurai did find reemployment in Hokkaido, the scale of the system suggests a very minor role in this regard. Even the most enthusiastic proponent of the tondenhei system in prewar Japan, Uehara Tetsusaburō , a Hokkaido Imperial University agricultural and colonial policy specialist who wrote a semiofficial account of the tondenhei, was dismissive of the system’s role as a large program for samurai reemployment. In later publications, he suggested that there were in reality only 13,000 tondenhei with samurai family background, representing about 0.1 percent of the total number of samurai families at 30 31 32 33

34

Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, pp. 12–18. “Fushi o kuikoroshita kuma ni tondenhei ga shutsudō ” [Farmer-Soldiers Dispatched to Hunt Bear that Killed a Father and Child] Yomiuri shinbun, February 2, 1878. Itō , Tondenhei no hyakunen, Vol. 1, p. 56. “Tondenhei ga nakamara danjo futari o sasshō ” [Farmer-Soldier Sheds the Blood of Two Comrades], Yomiuri shinbun, September 13, 1875; “Tondenhei Nakasato Shigetaka wa dō ryō o koroshita tsumi de shikei shikkō ” [Farmer-Soldier, Nakasato Shigetaka Has Been Sentenced to Death for Killing Colleagues], Yomiuri shinbun, September 13, 1875; “Tondenhei shinbunsha ni maikomu” [Farmer-Soldiers Engulf a Newspaper Company’s Office], Asahi shinbun, April 2, 1891; “Nemuro tondenhei bō kō ” [Farmer-Soldiers Riot at Nemuro], Asahi shinbun, April 17, 1891; “Nemuro tondenhei no shokei” [Nemuro Farmer-Soldiers Punished], Asahi shinbun, July 5, 1891; “Tondenhei no bō kō ” [FarmerSoldier Riot], Asahi shinbun, October 21, 1901. Itō , Tondenhei no hyakunen, Vol. 1, p. 57.

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the outset of the Meiji period.35 Indeed, the majority – 70 percent according to Uehara – of the tondenhei were drawn from the commoner class, and were recruited in the 1890s long after the samurai class and its concomitant social privileges had been dissolved. Although the tondenhei system appears a minor outlet for the wider problem of samurai unemployment, a case could be made that a specific targeting of the disaffected had taken place with the earlier Sapporo tondenhei settlements. These settlements focused upon recruiting from areas of northeast Japan that had strongly resisted the new regime during the Boshin War.36 Indeed, 447 of the 480 recruits for the Kotoni (1875) and Yamahana (1876) settlements were mustered from these areas.37 In particular, recruits were drawn from the former Sendai and Aizu domains, including the short-lived Tonami domain – centered on marginal land on the Shimokita Peninsula – where Aizu retainers had been transferred as punishment for their resistance to the Meiji state.38 Many of the samurai on the losing side of the civil war struggled in the early years of the Meiji period. They had been imprisoned, removed from their domains, and, in many cases, had taken part in efforts to open new land in Tonami or Hokkaido, which in the case of Tonami saw some of them plummet to the brink of starvation.39 The tondenhei system appealed to such men, especially as it came with official assistance and a guaranteed food supply for three years, but also because it provided the security and status of an official calling. Becoming a tondenhei in this sense offered reconciliation between the Meiji state and its former enemies, allowing the latter a chance to clear their name (having been branded imperial rebels (chō teki) during the Boshin War) by participating in a special defense force in the service of the emperor.40 A former Aizu and Tonami samurai, Abiko Toshihiko, was a member of the very first tondenhei group that settled at Kotoni. In the 1930s he 35

36 37 38 39

40

Uehara Tetsusaburō , “Hokkaidō tondenhei seido ni tsuite” [On the Hokkaido FarmerSoldier System], in Hokkaidō kyō doshi kenkyū [Hokkaido Local Historical Research], ed. Sapporo hō sō kyō kai (Sapporo: Nihon Hō sō Kyō kai Hokkaidō Shibu, 1932), p. 184. Wakabayashi, “Tondenhei-tachi no Meiji ishin.” Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, pp. 56–57. Hoshi Ryō ichi, Aizuhan Tonami e [Aizu Domain to Tonami] (Tokyo: Sanshū sha, 2009). An excellent firsthand account of the difficult times faced by former Aizu samurai in the early Meiji period was written by Shiba Gorō , and has been expertly translated by Teruko Craig: Shiba Gorō , Remembering Aizu, trans. Teruko Craig (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1999), pp. 83–112. In 1881, the Emperor Meiji visited Sapporo, where he was given a tondenhei guard and observed their accomplishments. One tondenhei recalled the great honor (kō ei) this occasion made him feel. Nagoshi Gengorō , “Tondenhei kō rō monogatari 2” [Stories of the Distinguished Service of the Farmer-Soldiers] 2, in Hokkaidō kyō doshi kenkyū [Hokkaido Local Historical Research], ed. Sapporo Hō sō Kyō kai (Sapporo: Nihon Hō sō Kyō kai Hokkaidō Shibu, 1932), p. 195.

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recalled that the appeal of becoming a tondenhei came with the promise of food and the lure of an official post. He stated that: “[F]or us former Aizu samurai who, as a result of the Boshin War, had been removed from the permanent home of our ancestors and had thereafter faced one difficulty after another, to finally be on an official salary and posting after eight years was really a relief and joy.”41 Moreover, when arriving at his new home, which the Kaitakushi had constructed before his arrival, Abiko felt “pride and a burning desire to be of service to the nation as a military man and in opening virgin land.”42 It is important to resist the temptation to accept these words at face value, especially as they were communicated many decades after the first tondenhei contingent arrived in Sapporo. With the distorting effects of hindsight and a nostalgic lens, it is possible that Abiko may understate the underlying resentment between the samurai of defeated domains such as Aizu and the new authorities. In 1871, for example, a group of non-tondenhei Aizu settlers around Yoichi gave a hostile reception to a senior Kaitakushi official passing through the settlement.43 The official was Iwamura Michitoshi, a samurai from Tosa who had participated in the siege of Aizu-Wakamatsu by imperial forces, and the rude welcome he received suggests that some of the defeated continued to bear a grudge. Joining the tondenhei did not guarantee such resentment would disappear, but it did offer sustenance to the destitute of former domains like Aizu/Tonami. By establishing a connection to the authorities and emperor, it could also provide a means to foster reconciliation. While the logic that even former opponents would not bite the hand that feeds them was the foremost basis for reconciliation, the efforts of the authorities to produce a relationship with their former foe extended beyond employment and financial support. The Kaitakushi also made sure to acclaim the tondenhei whenever possible and the very public celebration of their return to Sapporo following the Satsuma Rebellion provides a case in point.44 Still, the scale of the two settlements (440 households) that targeted these areas suggests that on its own, the tondenhei system did not act as a significant source of reemployment for the samurai of the northeastern domains that had lost the Boshin War. It is therefore unlikely to have played anything but a minor role in containing the potential outbreak of discontent among those groups. Instead, the tondenhei system built on 41 43 44

Abiko, “Tondenhei kō rō monogatari,” p. 190. 42 Ibid, p. 189. Wakabayashi, “Tondenhei-tachi no Meiji ishin,” p. 16. “Sapporo e kaetta tondenhei shichū wa noki ni hata kakagete kangei” [The Whole of Sapporo is Full of Flags Hanging from the Eaves to Welcome Returning FarmerSoldiers], Yomiuri shinbun, October 17, 1877.

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existing efforts by the Meiji regime to dispatch former opponents to Hokkaido, as well as appropriating elements of the private initiatives of group settlement based on former domain lines.45 In some of the earliest cases, the Meiji state’s efforts seemed more like exile than genuine opportunity and often compared unfavorably with private efforts, such as those led by Date Kunishige who oversaw the transfer of approximately 2,600 settlers from Sendai/Watari domain to Hokkaido between 1870 and 1881.46 Although not without their own difficulties, the Date settlements appeared successful when contrasted with early government efforts. The aforementioned Aizu group at Yoichi, for example, was supposed to be under the government’s authority and was eventually settled in the Yoichi area after much indecision regarding where they were to be dispatched, and having been shuffled between the army, Kaitakushi, and the virtually bankrupt Tonami domain. Initially, the group of approximately 200 families was temporarily transported to Otaru in autumn 1869 where they were to await further instructions. For a while it appeared that they would be ultimately bound for Karafuto, where Russia had already begun sending convicts. However, uncertainty about how best to respond to Russian activity in Karafuto delayed this relocation, causing some members to abscond, before finally in 1871, the remnants of the group were given land in Yoichi to settle.47 The Yoichi settlement would eventually become a success, but in its early years uncertainty surrounding the group’s fate and their mistreatment at the hands of the authorities must have further fueled the sense of resentment. The tondenhei system thus emerged at a time when the Kaitakushi sought to better manage its existing settlement efforts and work toward reconciliation. This would be achieved by offering a more extensive support structure and by implanting a greater sense of prestige and purpose on settlers. The presence of some of the Aizu samurai-cumsettlers, who had struggled in Yoichi and Tonami, among the first tondenhei settlements in Sapporo is indicative that the Kaitakushi was seeking to make amends. Moreover, the incorporation of some of the Date group, who had experience of farming in Hokkaido, as well as new settlers from Sendai/Watari, who had also farmed, indicates that, this time at least, the

45

46

47

Enomoto Morie, Samurai tachi no Hokkaidō kaitaku [The Samurai and Hokkaido’s Colonization] (Sapporo: Hokkaidō Shinbunsha, 1993); David Howell, “Early Shizoku Colonization of Hokkaidō ,” Journal of Asian History 17 (1983): 40–67. Tabata Hiroshi et al., Hokkaidō no rekishi [History of Hokkaido] (Tokyo: Yamakawa, 2000), pp. 184–186, 202–204. This case is also covered extensively in Enomoto, Samurai tachi no Hokkaidō kaitaku; Howell, “Early Shizoku Colonization of Hokkaidō .” Ibid, pp. 178–184.

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Kaitakushi was serious about ensuring the success of its agricultural settlements.48 Reemployment with the Kaitakushi had already provided an outlet for some of the prominent figures who had opposed the Meiji state. Indeed, most of the leaders of the final Tokugawa resistance who held out at Hakodate until the early summer of 1869 – including Enomoto Takeaki, Matsudaira Tarō , Nagai Genba, and Ō tori Keisuke – initially took up positions in the Kaitakushi after their release from prison in the early to mid-1870s.49 The tondenhei system was only a departure from this practice of rehabilitation and reconciliation in Hokkaido, in that it now extended to the rank and file among the defeated, replacing the hitherto indifferent official efforts at samurai settlement in Hokkaido with a celebrated and well-funded alternative. Nonetheless, it must be concluded that the small numbers involved in the project and its late implementation ultimately point to an effort by the Kaitakushi to offer targeted reconciliation, and perhaps recover some face following on from their hitherto haphazard official settlement efforts. The Tondenhei as Agricultural Settlers How important were the tondenhei to the processes of populating Hokkaido and bringing its land under cultivation? In the period from 1875 to 1899, the Hokkaido authorities recorded a total of just over 138,000 ordinary settler households coming to Hokkaido; in the same period there were 7,337 tondenhei households.50 These numbers indicate that tondenhei were but a small wave in an incoming tide of settlers from mainland Japan. In 1880, the tondenhei accounted for only 1.2 percent of Hokkaido’s resident household population (see Table 9.1), rising slowly thereafter, and peaking in 1891, when 3.9 percent of Hokkaido’s resident households were tondenhei households. Five years later, as the flow of settlers to Hokkaido accelerated, the tondenhei accounted for no more than 2.5 percent of the island’s household population. In terms of their share in the island’s agricultural population, there are no accurate data available for the first years of the tondenhei system, however, the data we 48

49

50

Abiko recalls that most of the Aizu/Tonami contingent was dependent on the knowledge of the settlers from Sendai/Watari in their group when it came to setting up their farms. Abiko, “Tondenhei kō rō monogatari,” p. 191. Higuchi Takehiko, Hakodate sensō to Enomoto Takeaki [Enomoto Takeaki and the Battle of Hakodate] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa, 2012), pp. 124–127; Kadomatsu Hideki, Kaitakushi to bakushin bakumatsu ishinki no gyō sei teki renzokusei [Tokugawa Retainers and the Hokkaido Development Agency: Administrative Continuity during the Late Edo and Early Meiji Periods] (Tokyo: Keiō Gijuku Daigaku, 2009). Uehara, Hokkaidō tondenhei seido, pp. 262–264.

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Table 9.1 Farmer-soldiers’ (tondenhei) share of total and agricultural populations of Hokkaido, 1875–1900 (in number of households)

1875 1880 1886 1891 1896

Tondenhei population

Hokkaido population

Agricultural population of Hokkaido

Tondenhei share of total population

Tondenhei share of agricultural population

198 490 1,145 3,405 3,783

35,843 40,082 62,745 86,403 149,140

14,559 26,075 54,328

0.5% 1.2% 1.8% 3.9% 2.5%

7.9% 13.1% 7.0%

Date compiled and calculated from: Uehara, Hokkaidō tondenhei seido, pp. 269–276.

do have for the years between 1886 and 1896 suggest they made up a significant 7 to 8 percent of the total. With the sudden surge in new tondenhei settlements in the early 1890s, they briefly accounted for as much as 13.1 percent. However, while the tondenhei were overrepresented in agricultural occupations, they did not by any stretch of the imagination dominate agricultural settlement. The tondenhei were a significant minority among a heterogeneous landscape of agricultural settlers, but given that the tondenhei were marked out for generous subsidy and support, perhaps we might expect that they were able to punch above their weight in numbers when it came to bringing land under cultivation. The tondenhei were granted access to more favorable farm land – often selected based on the recommendations of agricultural technicians at the Sapporo Agricultural College – and usually benefited from close proximity to the main arteries of transport and communication.51 Moreover, in most cases, their lodgings had been built before they arrived and a small part of their land cleared, often by convict labor. They were furnished with food supplies, a privilege not enjoyed by ordinary settlers, and the security this provided meant that, in theory at least, the tondenhei could devote more time to opening land, unlike ordinary settlers who often pursued side-work as a contingency against the risk of a bad harvest.52 Here, the evidence does suggest that the tondenhei were able to bring more land under cultivation than most settlers, but not overwhelmingly so. Tondenhei made up about 7 percent of the resident agricultural population by the turn of the nineteenth century. However, despite their privileged status, between 1875 and 1900, they accounted for 9.9 percent of the total amount of land that 51

Ibid, pp. 106–109.

52

Ibid, p. 153.

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had been newly opened and brought under cultivation.53 Punching above their weight perhaps, but these numbers suggest that the program was hardly the main thrust of Meiji agricultural settlement in Hokkaido. The same could be said for the contribution of tondenhei to agricultural output. Generally cultivating superior land, tondenhei farms accounted for an estimated 10 percent of Hokkaido’s agricultural production by value in 1900, a number that includes land owned by tondenhei but cultivated by tenant farmers.54 In the area around Sapporo and the Kamikawa-Ishikari districts a case could be made for the importance of the tondenhei, but less so for the rest of Hokkaido. The Tokachi area, for example, which by the mid-1920s had become Hokkaido’s most productive agricultural region,55 had no tondenhei settlements. The challenging task of opening land in the more marginal parts of Hokkaido, such as the Sō ya region, was left wholly to private settlers.56 In 1891, the authorities in Ō ita Prefecture conducted a survey into the situation of tondenhei recruited from Ō ita in order to assess whether or not the prefectural authorities should promote further applications. The survey covered nineteen households who had settled in Shin-Kotoni in 1888 and remained there after three years had passed. The results of the survey suggest that the performance of these tondenhei in bringing land under cultivation was far from impressive. Just one household among the Ō ita contingent had managed to bring all of their 3.3 chō (approximately eight acres) land grant under cultivation. Across the nineteen households, less than half (48 percent) of the land granted to them by the Kaitakushi was in productive use at the time of the survey.57 Furthermore, the income of these families does not appear to have been at all related to the amount of land they were cultivating. This was most likely the result of families branching out of agriculture, which, in some cases, caused tondenhei to abandon the occupation altogether when their term of service was up. Despite the generous support received by tondenhei households, there were many that were neither able nor willing to commit to permanent settlement as farmers in Hokkaido. This was as true in the earlier as it was in the later tondenhei settlements. In Kotoni, a survey found that only 12.5 percent of the original tondenhei settler households were still resident there fifty years after the settler group 53 55 56 57

Ibid, pp. 312–314. 54 Ibid, pp. 354–357. Ō numa Mario, Hokkaidō sangyō shi [The Industrial History of Hokkaido] (Sapporo: Hokkaidō University Press, 2002), p. 46. Uehara, “Hokkaidō tondenhei seido ni tsuite,” p. 180. The data have been calculated by the author from excerpts of the original report published in Yoshida Yū ji, “Ō ita-ken to tondenhei” [Ō ita Prefecture and the Tondenhei], Ō ita-ken chihō shi 122 (1986): 72–73.

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had ventured north. In Yamahana, the other of the first settlements, fortunes diverged considerably within the village itself. At the end of the Meiji period, the western part of Yamahana retained only approximately 10 to 20 percent of the original settler households, while the eastern part retained an impressive 90 percent. In the other two Sapporo tondenhei settlements, established a decade later in the late 1880s, the rates of settlement were not much better. Shin-Kotoni retained approximately 25 percent of its tondenhei settlers in 1912, dropping off to 9.5 percent in 1936. The settlement of Shinoro (Ebetsu) suffered flooding on occasion, and as a result, only 32.7 percent of its tondenhei settlers remained in 1905, falling to 11.4 percent in 1938.58 Part of the reason for the flight of tondenhei from their agricultural settlements was due to the expansion of Sapporo as an administrative and commercial center. This created a temptation for tondenhei families to transfer from arduous agricultural work to white-collar employment, especially as civil servants. The Sapporo settlements included tondenhei with samurai background and many lacked experience as farmers, rendering a transfer out of agriculture all the more appealing. As former samurai, they often had experience as bureaucrats, and their connection to the authorities via the tondenhei system may have given them another advantage in finding employment in the government. I was able to locate biographical information on thirteen individuals from these Sapporo settlements, and, from among these cases only two continued as farmers (one of the two had returned to farming after a failed venture in a distilled liquor (shō chū ) brewery). In contrast, seven of the thirteen left agriculture to become civil servants, either relocating to central Sapporo – working in the education or colonization bureaus – taking up a post elsewhere in Hokkaido, or in the colonial administrations of Japan’s later colonial acquisitions, Taiwan and Karafuto. Another two of the thirteen held on to the agricultural land they had acquired as tondenhei. Instead of cultivating it themselves, they turned their lands over to tenant farmers, becoming absentee landlords and expanding their commercial interests by setting up haulage and construction firms. The remaining two settlers for whom we have biographical information entered commerce, one in a Sapporo-based wood materials firm, and the other in northern Hokkaido as the operator of a commercial fishery.59 58 59

Sapporo-shi Kyō iku Iinkai, Tondenhei, pp. 57–58. Information compiled from: Hokkaidō Tosho Shuppan, ed., Hokkaidō risshi [Influential Persons of Hokkaido] (4 volumes) (Sapporo: Hokkaidō Tosho Shuppan Gō shi Kaisha, 1904); Suzuki Genjū rō and Toishi Hokuyō , Sapporo shinshiroku [Sapporo Directory of Local Notables] (Sapporo: Sapporo Shinshiroku Hensankai, 1912); Suzuki Genjū rō , ed., Sapporo no hito [People of Sapporo] (Sapporo: Buneidō , 1915).

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Beyond Sapporo, evidence of the rate of settlement is scattered and mixed. In Nokkeushi (later Kitami), 62.6 percent of tondenhei households remained in the village in 1936,60 while in Kamiyū betsu the number was 55.5 percent, and in the rest of Yū betsu 43.2 percent.61 In the Wada (Nemuro) and Ō ta (Akkeshi) tondenhei settlements, many absconded after the official supply of provisions ceased upon the completion of three years of active service. Here it was found that especially after the Russo-Japanese War “the number of people abandoning this village kept increasing [. . .] they left to find work that held some promise and those who remained took up livestock. It proved too difficult to build enough of a livelihood for a family from farming alone.”62 Even before the RussoJapanese War, the outflow from Wada was serious. From 1899 until 1901, just after active service had ended, 20 percent of the tondenhei households abandoned their farms in Wada.63 In Ō ta, agricultural settlement also proved difficult for many, and from the fifty seven former Yonezawa domain samurai households who came to the settlement as tondenhei, only eleven remained in 1940.64 In some cases, agricultural settlement posed a serious challenge and despite their best efforts, tondenhei families were unable to settle on the land that they had acquired. Yet there is also evidence that participants abused the system, taking handouts while they could and abandoning their farms as soon as a more lucrative opportunity arose. Hokkaido councilor, Kinoshita Seitarō , complained to members of a select committee of the Diet that there were “villages near Nemuro, Akkeshi, and Muroran, where tondenhei were settled, and supported by the state at considerable expense for three years, only for them to abandon their farms during the fishing season. They saw that they could make higher earnings in the fisheries, so whenever the herring came, they were pulled away from their farms and step-by-step became fishermen.”65

60

61 62 63

64 65

Endō Yukiko, “Meiji 30-nendai ni keisei sareta tondenheimura to jinja no kenkyū – Kitami Kamiyū betsu chiiki o rei ni shite,” [Research on Shrines in Farmer-Soldier Villages Started in the Fourth Decade of the Meiji Era: The Case of Kitami Kamiyū betsu] Shō wa Joshi Daigaku kenkyū kiyō 16, no. 2 (2007): 38. Ibid, p. 43. Shotarō Itō , Wada-mura shi [History of Wada Village] (Nemuro: Bun’yō dō , 1938), p. 35. Endō Yukiko, “Nemuro chiiki ni okeru tondenhei-mura to jinja no kenkyū – shizoku tonden toshite no Wada-heison to Ota hei-son o chū shin ni” [Research on Shrines in the Farmer-Soldier Villages in the Nemuro Area: Examining the Samurai Settlements at Wada and Ota], Shō wa Joshi Daigaku kenkyū , no. 10 (2006): 45. Ibid, p. 51. House of Representatives 30th Session Committee Papers no. 27, “Karafuto gyogyō seido kaisei ni kan suru kengian iinkai” [Committee on the Proposal for the Reform of the Karafuto Fisheries System] (March 25, 1913), pp. 7–8.

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Conclusions In this chapter, the role of the tondenhei as brave, iconic defenders of the northern frontier and the vanguard of agricultural settlement has been questioned. The scale of the program, the timing of its implementation, and the location of most tondenhei settlements, meant that the tondenhei did not provide a comprehensive solution to the defense of the island, especially if it was targeted against Russia, a point also questioned here. At best, the tondenhei offered a limited deterrent, but they were unlikely to have been able to prevent an invasion should one have materialized. Instead, the tondenhei served only once on the Meiji state’s behalf, playing a minor role in the Satsuma Rebellion, a domestic conflict in southwest Japan. While the tondenhei have received plaudits as pioneering farmers at the forefront of Japanese settlement in Hokkaido,66 there is much evidence to doubt this claim, both on the grounds of the scale of the program and on its measurable outcomes. Available biographical evidence suggests that tondenhei were inclined to move out of agriculture, and become local businessmen, landlords, teachers, or to join the ranks of the government administration at the prefectural level, which is not unlike many of the Tokugawa stalwarts turned tea farmers from Hellyer’s chapter in this volume. In this regard, an examination of the role of former tondenhei in Hokkaido’s nonagricultural development may prove a fruitful pursuit and provide a more nuanced account of the tondenhei. Here it seems appropriate to question their enduring image as farmer-soldiers, a role that many of the participants in the tondenhei program performed only fleetingly. Instead, if we are to better understand Hokkaido’s Meiji transformation and link it to the thousands of communities across Japan that sent people to participate in this settler revolution, we need to look at the plethora of individual settlers and settler groups who came to Hokkaido in the Meiji period, often without any immediate connection to the state. These included poverty-stricken farmers, merchants, land speculators, those seeking religious freedom, political exiles, convicts, and outcastes, as well as vassals dispatched by their domains. Hokkaido was also a place in which the Meiji state sought to redirect tension and foster new allegiances. The significance of the early tondenhei settlements rests on this latter point.

66

Ō numa, Hokkaidō sangyō shi, p. 38.

10

Locally Ancient and Globally Modern Restoration Discourse and the Tensions of Modernity

Mark Ravina

The language of the Meiji Restoration embodies a profound contradiction. The new government described its actions and policies both as a “revival of ancient kingly rule” (ō sei fukko), but also as a revolution (isshin). These phrases are in direct opposition: fukko refers explicitly to the ancient past, while isshin declares, on the contrary, that all is being made new. In some ways, such revolutionary invocations of the ancient past suggest Marx’s famous Eighteenth Brumaire: “[P]recisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis, [men] anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in timehonored disguise and borrowed language.” For Marx, of course, this was the ultimate betrayal of revolutionary potential. Thus, he continued, history repeats itself, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”1 In a less dire mode, we might consider the presence of ancient tropes in Restoration discourse as evidence of the “invention of tradition,” the invocation of the past to legitimize and naturalize new political projects. But, in the case of the Meiji Restoration, there is yet another tension, beyond this concatenation of ancient and new. Not only did government fuse the glorification of the past with an embrace of radical change, it also reconciled a celebration of Japanese uniqueness with the adoption of new Western ideas and technologies. Thus, government discourse encompassed the dual tensions of “both new and ancient” and “both foreign and uniquely Japanese.” These tensions were central to Restoration politics. Consider, for example, the establishment of the Japanese conscript army, unquestionably a cornerstone of the modern state. The 1872 imperial decree announcing conscription combined celebrations of the ancient and the modern, as well as the local and the international. The declaration has two parts: an imperial edict (shō sho), voiced in the Japanese imperial 1

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Collected Works of Marx and Engels (New York: Progress Publishers, 1975), Vol. 11, pp. 103–104.

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“we,” and a less rarified government edict (kokuyu). The edict opens with the emperor reflecting on Japan’s glorious past: in ancient times, the emperor himself would collect hardy young men from throughout the realm and lead them in defense of the state. Only in the “middle ages” did a distinction between farmer and soldier arise. Thus, the conscription of commoners and the elimination of samurai privilege were both parts of a return to a 1,000-year-old system of imperial rule. The conscription order itself describes this leveling of class distinctions in terms of new, Western-oriented notions of “freedom” and “rights.” “The four classes of the people are at long last receiving their right to freedom. This is the way to restore the balance between the high and the low and to grant equal rights to all.” Thus according to the Meiji state, the restoration of ancient national unity was fully consonant with Western natural rights discourse. Indeed, since Japan had neglected its own glorious tradition of a national conscript army, reviving that army would require the careful examination of Western models. Japan could best recover its own unique, ancient practices by working closely with Western advisors to implement new practices and technologies.2 Such documents suggest the limits of older concepts, such as “Westernization” and “modernization,” as well as the newer approach of “modernity.” The activists who toppled the shogunate acted, as Albert Craig observed over a half century ago, “in the name of old values,”3 but they produced a modern Western-style bureaucratic state. While some activists were dismayed by this turn of events, the Meiji government quickly removed “expel the barbarian” from the couplet “revere the emperor and expel the barbarian” in favor of diplomatic negotiations and parlor-room conversations with Western friends and associates. Texts such as the 1872 conscription decree reflect how the Meiji state, and Meiji-era discourse more broadly, contained a tension between a chauvinistic glorification of ancient Japan and the adoption of Western technologies and practices. That tension needs to be at the center of any analysis of the Restoration. What allowed Meiji discourse to harmonize “new” with “ancient” and “foreign” with “Japanese”? One means of making sense of these tensions is to examine Meiji-era discourse and politics in the context of broader global processes: the 2

3

For a superb, recent study of conscription see D. Colin Jaundrill, Samurai to Soldier: Remaking Military Service in Nineteenth-century Japan (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016), pp. 105–130. An English translation of the imperial edict, strangely attributed to Yamagata Aritomo, can be found in Ryū saku Tsunoda, Sources of the Japanese Tradition, eds. Ryū saku Tsunoda, William Theodore De Bary, and Donald Keene (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), pp. 703–705. Albert M. Craig, Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 360.

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emergence of nationalism, and the concurrent surge in “invented traditions.” Benedict Anderson famously argued that nationalism is “‘modular,’ capable of being transplanted, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, to a great variety of social terrains, to merge and be merged with a correspondingly wide variety of political and ideological constellations.”4 Thus we should expect Japanese nationalism to be, on the one hand, similar to other instances of the same nationalist base “module,” but, on the other, distinct as it was modified to fit local conditions. Japanese history and culture needed to be reconceptualized in order to fit into the global forms of nationalism and the nation-state. At the same time, however, Japanese nationalism needed to celebrate Japanese distinctiveness. Further, nationalism embodies a temporal contradiction, since it requires an instrumental ransacking of the historical record to justify the present moment. In the words of Ernest Renan, “forgetting, I would even say historical error, is an essential factor in the creation of a nation.”5 Anderson describes this phenomenon as one of the central paradoxes of nationalism: “the objective modernity of nations to the historian’s eye vs. their subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists.”6 Thus the Meiji state-building project required a selective appropriation of the Japanese past in order to fit Japanese history into a “module” of nationalism and the nation-state. The global norms of nationalism required a specific form of Japanese difference. A coherent account of the Meiji Restoration requires foregrounding these contradictions. Indeed, the Restoration points to a tension within many theories of “modernity.” Because the nation-state and nationalism are central to most accounts of “modernity,” “modernity” itself must be both unitary and locally distinctive. Much as each nation must have its local inflection of the universal tropes of nationalism, so too must it have its own flavor of modernity. Thus, theorists have posited “multiple modernities,”7 “alternative modernities,”8 and “local modernities,”9 all in attempts to capture these inherent tensions. In the specific case of Japanese history, Carol Gluck has offered “modernity is not optional in 4 5 6 7 8 9

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflection on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism, 2nd ed. (London: Verso, 1991), p. 4. Ernest Renan, “What Is a Nation,” in Nation and Narration, ed. Homi K. Bhabha (London: Routledge, 1990), p. 11, from a speech delivered at the Sorbonne in 1882. Anderson, Imagined Communities, p. 5. Dominic Sachsenmaier and S. N. Eisenstadt, eds., Reflections on Multiple Modernities: European, Chinese, and Other Interpretations (Leiden: Brill, 2002). Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, ed., Alternative Modernities (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001). Joel Robbins and Holly Wardlow, eds., The Making of Global and Local Modernities in Melanesia: Humiliation, Transformation, and the Nature of Cultural Change, Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific (Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005).

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history, in that societies could not simply ‘choose’ another regime of historicity for themselves, for such is the tyranny of modern times.” Yet, at the same time, modernity is “not unitary or universal” and it is experienced differently in different places. Thus Gluck has posited “available modernities” and a “grammar of modernity,” invoking modernity as both potential and constraint.10 The Meiji Restoration is replete with examples of these tensions: global norms required the effacement of certain local practices but the celebration of others. A visually compelling example is the Meiji government’s paper currency. In 1873, the Meiji government released a new series of national bank notes, designed to celebrate the glories of the Japanese past. The ¥1 note, for example, showed the 1281 destruction of the Mongol fleet by a massive storm. The Mongols had conquered China and Korea, but Japan had driven back the invaders through a combination of samurai valor and divine intervention, specifically the kamikaze, a “divine storm” that sank the Mongol fleet. The ¥10 note showed the legendary Empress Jingū (CE 169–269) leading troops in the conquest of the Korean peninsula (see Figure 10.1). Her victory, according to ancient chronicles, was divinely decreed and she defeated enemy forces while pregnant with Ō jin, a future emperor. Ō jin’s willingness to delay his birth until his mother had finished her mission made Jingū a patron deity of midwives, but the ¥10 note emphasized her military prowess rather than safe childbirth.11 In both cases, the iconography invoked well-known tropes of Japanese uniqueness, celebrated by Edo period nativists and Mito scholars. Japan alone has never been conquered by foreign invaders. Japan alone is the land of the gods, where empire is decreed by heavenly command. Looking more closely, however, it is clear that the notes are neither “traditional” nor especially “Japanese.” The notes were actually engraved and printed in the United States by the Continental Bank Note Company: the new Meiji government wanted advanced technology to discourage counterfeiting, and modern copperplate printing was deemed far superior to traditional Japanese woodblocks. The notes also closely resemble United States National Bank Notes from the 1860s. The ¥10 note, for example, is similar in both theme and design to the $10 United States National Bank Note, which depicts Hernando DeSoto’s “discovery” of the Mississippi (see Figure 10.2). Both the Japanese and US 10 11

Carol Gluck, “The End of Elsewhere: Writing Modernity Now,” American Historical Review 116, no. 3 (2011): 676. Melanie Trede, “Banknote Design as the Battlefield of Gender Politics and National Representation in Meiji Japan,” in Performing “Nation”: Gender Politics in Literature, Theater, and the Visual Arts of China and Japan, 1880–1940, eds. Joshua Mostow, Doris Croissant, and Catherine Yeh (Leiden: Brill, 2008).

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Figure 10.1 1873 Japanese National Bank ¥10 note

Figure 10.2 US $10 National Bank note, First National Bank, Bismarck, North Dakota

images establish a supernatural basis for the conquest of a neighboring territory. In the $10 note, based on an oil painting by William Powell, DeSoto’s conquest is linked to the US ideal of Manifest Destiny. The juxtaposition of the crucifix with naked “savages” suggests that DeSoto’s subjugation of the Chickasaw and Muskogee was divinely ordained.12 Empress Jingū ’s conquest of Korea is thus a Japanese counterpart to 12

For the images on US National Bank notes, see Richard G. Doty, Pictures from a Distant Country: Images on 19th-Century U.S. Currency (Raleigh, NC: Boson Books, 2004), pp. 189–194. For the invocation of the conquistadors in the development of manifest destiny see Matthew Baigell, “Territory, Race, Religion: Images of Manifest Destiny,” Smithsonian Studies in American Art 4, no. 3/4 (1990): 2–21.

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Manifest Destiny. The 1873 ¥10 National Bank Note thus celebrated the uniqueness of Japan’s imperial destiny, but in a voice that echoed US claims to exceptionalism. In similar fashion, the layout and theme of the $1 note were templates for the ¥1 note (see Figures 10.3 and 10.4). Instead of a divine wind saving Japan from a Mongol invasion, the United States template showed the Puritans, arriving safely in Plymouth, shielded from a stormy sea by Providence. In both cases, divine forces saved those destined to found a new nation. Here too, the Japanese notes seem strangely derivative, as though the Continental Bank Note Company merely patched Japanese history into an American template. But this points to a tension inherent in

Figure 10.3 1873 Japanese National Bank ¥1 note

Figure 10.4 US $1 National Bank note, First National Bank, Lebanon, Indiana

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the “copying” of the technologies of nationalism. In order to emulate celebrations of American uniqueness, such as Manifest Destiny, Japanese banknotes needed to trumpet Japanese uniqueness. To be more like US models, Japanese notes needed to define and extol Japanese national identity.13 At a practical level, the two currency issues were similar because the Meiji government commissioned a US company to design and print the notes. But at a deeper level, both US and Japanese national banknotes reflected a broader global process: the creation of national currencies as part of the formation of new nation-states. We might call this “Westernization” but national currencies were new in the West as well. Indeed, the American templates were only ten years old, a product of the US Civil War. The very notion that a sovereign state should have a single and exclusive currency was itself a nineteenth-century innovation. Single and exclusive national currencies were developed as part of the broader nineteenth-century process of state formation and the construction of national identities.14 Prior to the nineteenth century, almost all states allowed the circulation of a broad range of public and private currencies. By one estimate, between 1790 and 1865 no fewer than 8,000 fiscal entities issued currency in the United States.15 Congress first authorized a national bank to issue paper money in 1791 (the First Bank of the United States), but it did not grant a monopoly on printing money. Thus, federal government notes circulated alongside privately printed currencies. Nonnational currencies increased after the charter of the Second Bank of the United States expired in 1837. In the absence of a national bank and under lax federal banking laws, a wide range of institutions issued paper money: states, cities, counties, private banks, railroads, stores, churches, and individuals. Unlike later national currencies, these notes were commonly decorated with emblems evoking wealth or beauty, rather than portraits of national heroes. A $3 bill issued by Drover’s Bank in Salt Lake City, for example, featured cattle, while a $10 note from Mechanics Bank in Tennessee featured, not surprisingly, mechanics. Other popular images included beautiful and elegant women, 13

14 15

For a brief discussion of nationalism and Meiji banknotes, see Tō no Haruyuki, “Meiji shonen no kokuritsu ginkō shihei o meguru Kikuchi Yō sai to Ishii Teiko: ‘Zenken kojitsu’ o tegakari to shite” [On the Connection between the Design of National Banknotes in Early Meiji Era with the Painter Yō sai Kikuchi and Teiko Ishii: Using Ancient Sages and Customs as Cues], Bunkazai gakuhō 29, no. 3 (2011): 9–10. Eric Helleiner, “Historicizing Territorial Currencies: Monetary Space and the Nation-State in North America,” Political Geography 18 (1999): 100–120. Doty, Pictures from a Distant Country, p. 8.

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steamboats, railroads, factories, and prosperous farms.16 These notes were commonly denominated in dollars, but were discounted based on local assessments of market value. Thus, a $3 bill issued by Drover’s Bank in Salt Lake City would be worth less than face value in Alabama or New York. Arguing in favor of a national banking system, Senator John Sherman of Ohio lamented: [T]he different States were as to their bank notes so many foreign nations each refusing the paper of the other, except at continually varying rates of discount. Frequently there was a greater loss on paper taken or sent from an eastern to a western State than on English bank notes converted into Austrian money in Vienna. Only adepts and regular money changers could tell whether a note was current or not, the paper of broken or suspended banks remaining in circulation long after their value had departed.17

The antebellum American monetary system was thus surprisingly similar to its Japanese counterpart. While the Tokugawa shogunate had minted a range of gold, silver, and copper coins, these circulated alongside a wide range of paper currencies. Domains, liege vassals (hatamoto), temples, and shrines all issued their own paper notes. On the eve of the Meiji Restoration, over 1,600 forms of paper money were circulating in Japan.18 As with antebellum American notes, the iconography of Tokugawa-era paper money featured images of wealth and beauty rather than national history. The gods of wealth, Ebisu and Daikokuten, were popular, as were more abstract symbols of prosperity, such as dragons and phoenixes. The texts on the notes did not mention a Japanese state. There was no need since the notes’ circulation was primarily local and they were used exclusively within the Japanese realm. Instead, text on the notes specified the purpose of the issue and conditions of convertibility. A note from Sakami Temple in Harima Province, for example, explained that it was issued to pay for a construction project. A note issued by the Satō liege vassal house in Yamato Province (present-day Nara Prefecture) specified that it could be redeemed by a designated merchant: Higami Magoemon. The iconography and text of these currencies sought to convey a sense of stable value, rather than to extol a glorious history 16

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For a survey of images, see Doty, Pictures from a Distant Country. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has an excellent digital exhibition of historical currencies. See “American Currency Exhibit,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, www.frbsf.org /education/teacher-resources/american-currency-exhibit. Andrew McFarland Davis, The Origin of the National Banking System (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1910), pp. 14–15. Sherman is today best known for the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. Hugh T. Patrick, “External Equilibrium and Internal Convertibility: Financial Policy in Meiji Japan,” Journal of Economic History 25, no. 2 (1965): 192–194.

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of the issuer.19 Finally, as with antebellum US currency, these notes circulated outside their place of issue, but often at a discount, and enterprising merchants profited through arbitrage, exploiting these spatial variations in value.20 In both the US and Japanese cases, the creation of a national financial system, with a single currency, was an element of a broader project of state-building and national unification. As Eric Helleiner has observed, national currency regimes were part of a wider reconceptualization of state power. States had long used coins as tangible representations of the crown, but only in the nineteenth century did states become powerful enough to compel the exclusive use of single currency within their territories. Under legal tender laws, the state could “force people to use whatever money the state declared to be valid.” At the same time, a succession of advances in printing technology, such as steam-powered plate printing and then electrotyping, made forgery vastly more difficult. Technology thus emboldened states to assert that trust in their paper currency was analogous to trust in the state itself. In that way, national currencies were part of broader projects to foster national identity. An American proponent of a single national currency argued that: “every citizen” who uses “a currency which will be equal to gold through every foot of our territory . . . would feel and realize, every time he handled or looked at such a bill bearing the national mark, that the union of these states is verily a personal benefit and blessing to all.”21 The images on national currencies were chosen to support such nationbuilding projects. The iconography of the US National Bank Notes of 1863, for example, was part of an explicit project to inculcate nationalism. Writing to the Secretary of the Treasury in 1863, Spencer M. Clark, the head of the National Currency Bureau, outlined this project in detail: A series properly selected, with their subject titles imprinted on the notes, would tend to teach the masses the prominent periods in our country’s history. The laboring man who should receive every Saturday night, a copy of the “Surrender of Burgoyne” for his weekly wages, would soon inquire who General Burgoyne was, and to whom he surrendered. His curiosity would be aroused and he would learn the facts from a fellow laborer or from his employer. The same would be true 19

20 21

Nihon Ginkō Chō sa Kyoku, ed., Zuroku Nihon no kahei [Japanese Currency Illustrated], Vol. 6, Kinsei shinyō kahei no hattatsu 2 [The Development of Credit Currency in the Early Modern Period 2] (Tokyo: Tō yō Keizai Shinpō sha, 1975), images 6 and 205. See also the commentaries of pp. 90, 101. Higaki Norio, “Hansatsu no hatashita yakuwari to mondaiten” [The Roles and Problems of Domain Currencies], Kinyū kenkyū 8, no. 1 (1991): 136–138. Eric Helleiner, The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), pp. 42–61, 100–139, quote from p. 111.

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of other National pictures, and in time many would be taught leading incidents in our country’s history, so that they would soon be familiar to those who would never read them in books, teaching them history and imbuing them with a National feeling.22

The final selection of images on US currency reflects this project of using bank notes as passive national history textbooks. In addition to the scenes noted above (De Soto, the Pilgrims, and the Surrender of Burgoyne), the notes featured the arrival of Columbus, the baptism of Pocahontas, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In short, the notes constituted a metanarrative in which the unity and greatness of the American nation was presaged by the arrival of the first European Christians. Ironically, the Surrender of Burgoyne was placed on the $500 note, which was unlikely to be handled by a “laboring man” receiving his “weekly wage.” Overall, however, the 1863 series was designed both to foster and to celebrate a new level of national unity. The Meiji government copied both the US financial system and its use of imagery to promote national unity. The surviving record on the design of the 1873 Japanese National Bank Notes is fragmentary, but it is clear that the Meiji government was emulating the new practice of using currency to disseminate a nationalist iconography. Writing from Washington, DC in 1871, where he was negotiating with the Continental Bank Note Company, Inoue Kaoru described the sort of images Japan should put on its currency: “please send pictures of famous ancient heroes and great men.” Japanese officials in Washington had already received serviceable images of the ancient conquest of Korea and the sun goddess Amaterasu emerging from the Rock Cave of Heaven (as told in the ancient chronicle, the Kojiki ), but Inoue wanted at least six or seven more images. He suggested that appropriate images could include depictions of the sinking of the Mongol invasion fleet in the late thirteenth century, and Kusunoki Masashige welcoming the return of Emperor Go-Daigo from exile in the early fourteenth century. Inoue discouraged depicting current or recent government officials, since such images, unlike those of ancient heroes, would not “bring the blessings of enlightenment” to the Japanese people.23 22

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“Exec. Doc. no. 50: Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury in Answer to a Resolution of the House of January 24, in Regard to the Printing Bureau of the Treasury Department,” in Executive Documents Printed by Order of the House of Representatives, During the Second Session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, 1864–65 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1865). Meiji Zaiseishi Hensankai, Meiji zaiseishi [History of Meiji Financial Administration], Vol. 14 (Tokyo: Meiji Zaiseishi Hakkō jo, 1926–28), pp. 287–289. See also Nihon Ginkō Chō sa Kyoku, Zuroku Nihon no kahei [Japanese Currency Illustrated], Vol. 7,

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There are no surviving records detailing Inoue’s deliberations with the Continental Bank Note Company on currency design. But it is clear that Japanese leaders were engaged in ongoing discussions with Western experts on how to develop a Japanese national iconography. As John Breen notes elsewhere in this volume, the Meiji state sought to situate the Japanese emperor in a transnational hierarchy of monarchs, and proper iconography was central to that project. As late as 1890, the Japanese finance ministry was repeatedly asking its representative in Berlin to ascertain whether Germany’s new currency depicted the country’s reigning monarch.24 There is also a detailed surviving record of parallel discussions over the iconography of postage stamps. In 1873, officials at the Home Ministry (Naimushō ) sent recommendations for stamp design to the Council of State (Dajō kan). They suggested adopting Western printing techniques and featuring faces on the stamps, so as to prevent counterfeiting. Further, since the stamps would circulate overseas, they needed to showcase the advancement of industry in Japan. The Home Ministry also reported that many foreign stamps featured the face of the country’s king, people of great renown, and sometimes the head of the national post office. Accordingly, they asked if Japanese stamps should feature the faces of current Japanese government officials. The Council of State consulted with Georges Bousquet, a French jurist employed primarily as a legal advisor. Bousquet rebutted many of the Home Ministry’s assertions. The use of faces on stamps was not, in fact, an effective anticounterfeiting measure. Color and detailed pattern were more difficult to copy. As for the images of people on stamps, Bousquet advised against depicting any living person besides the monarch. Western practice was to feature only two types of personage: kings, who either founded the empire or restored its lost glory, and well-known heroes who rendered great service to the realm. Current officials should not be featured, since they might be dismissed, making the stamps an embarrassment. As an example, Bousquet noted that even Bismarck himself did not appear on German stamps.25

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Kindai heisei no seiritsu [The Formation of the Modern Monetary System] (Tokyo: Tō yō Keizai Shinpō sha, 1975), pp. 310–321. Gaimushō , “Doitsukoku shihei ni dō koku kō tei no gazō satsunyū no yū mu torishirabekata ō kura daijin yori irai no ken” [Finding Out Whether the German Emperor Is Depicted on German Paper Currency: Requests by the Finance Minister], B11090590900 (National Archives of Japan). Takahashi Zenshichi, Oyatoi gaikokujin: tsū shin [Hired Foreign Experts: Correspondence] (Tokyo: Kajima Kenkyū jo Shuppankai, 1969), pp. 120–121; Yū seishō Yū sei kenkyū jo Shozoku Shiryō kan, Yū bin kitte rui enkakushi [The Past and Present of Postal Stamp Types] (Tokyo: Yū seishō Yū sei kenkyū jo Shozoku Shiryō kan, 1996), p. 67.

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This engagement with Western iconographies was part of a broader effort to fit Japanese culture into a new transnational frame. The concepts of “modernization” and “modernity” are not helpful here, since much of this engagement involved non- or antimodern practices. The Meiji state dissolved the samurai status hierarchy but, as Breen notes in his chapter, it promptly created a new peerage and sought to situate the Japanese emperor in a global hierarchy of monarchs. Making Japan modern involved creating new emblems to trumpet the Emperor Meiji’s links to the ancient past. The development of a Japanese banknote iconography reflected these tensions: celebrating Japanese uniqueness without making it too “Asiatic” or exotic. Images on currency needed to be “ancient,” “famous,” and heroic, but roughly analogous to Western models. Those criteria resulted in the celebration of some Japanese heroes, but the effacement of others. The sun goddess Amaterasu, for example, was part of early discussions, but she disappeared in the later stages of note design. Inoue specifically mentioned having received from Japan a painting of Amaterasu emerging from the Rock Cave of Heaven, and he deemed the image ready for engraving. But Amaterasu does not appear on any of the 1873 notes: she must have been removed after Inoue presented the image to engravers in Washington. Intriguingly, many official Japanese government publications follow Inoue’s initial plan and report that the Rock Cave appears on the face of the ¥10 note, although the actual image is of Japanese musicians.26 Only in a 2001 publication by the Japanese Currency Museum is the image described simply as a musical performance. What happened to Amaterasu? Why was she included and then removed from Japanese currency? Inoue’s reasons to include Amaterasu on Japanese currency are obvious: she was a well-known and revered national figure. During the Shinto revival of the Edo period, pilgrimages to the Sun Goddess shrine at Ise became a mass movement. In ordinary years, roughly 300,000 pilgrims traveled to Ise, but there were three mass pilgrimages, approximately on the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese zodiac: 1705, 1771, and 1830–1831. At least 2 million pilgrims visited Ise in 1705 and 1771, and roughly 5 million in 1830–1831. These mass pilgrimages had a broad effect on society and the economy. Roads were clogged, inns were full, and river porters were overwhelmed. Because of the religious nature of their travel, pilgrims had an especially powerful claim to alms, even when they indulged in revelry such as ecstatic dancing. Travel to Ise also 26

Meiji Zaiseishi Hensankai, Meiji zaiseishi [History of Meiji Financial Administration], Vol. 13 (Tokyo: Maruzen, 1904–1905), pp. 292–293.

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provided a pretext to challenge social norms: women, children, servants, farmhands, and apprentices left spontaneously and surreptitiously without the permission of their husbands, parents, masters, or lords.27 Images of Amaterasu and Ise were accordingly prominent in popular culture. The famous landscape artist Andō Hiroshige, for example, featured Ise in multiple prints of “famous places,” as well as prints focused specifically on pilgrimage. Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) produced at least two prints focused on Amaterasu’s emergence from the cave, surrounded by other gods of the Plain of High Heaven.28 Hokusai, with his characteristic flair for innovation, published a diorama. By carefully cutting along the lines of his two-part print, consumers could create a three-dimensional model of Amaterasu’s emergence from the cave.29 Despite such domestic popularity, the image of Amaterasu and the Rock Cave of Heaven did not fit with international norms of national heroes. Consider, for example, the backstory to Amaterasu’s reappearance. The Sun Goddess and her brother Susa-no-o, the Wind God, engaged in a childbearing contest. When Susan-no-o won, through his greater ability to procreate, he became wild and disrespectful. He destroyed Amaterasu’s rice fields and defecated in her sacred spaces. In a final escalation of his rampage, he ripped open the roof of her Sacred Weaving Hall and threw in a flayed pony. That offense so startled Amaterasu’s weaver that she struck her genitals on her loom shuttle and died. In response, Amaterasu fled into the Rock Cave of Heaven, plunging the High Plain of Heaven into darkness. Myriad deities then collaborated on an elaborate plan to lure Amaterasu out of the cave. They uprooted a tree and decorated it with specially crafted cloth and beads, as well as a newly forged mirror. Then the deity, Amenouzume no Mikoto, stood in front of the cave, entered a shamanistic trance, exposed her breasts and genitals, and began dancing. The assembled gods responded with uproarious laughter and this confused Amaterasu. “Because I have shut myself in, I thought that Takamanohara would be dark, and that the Central Land of the Reed Plains would be completely dark. . . . But why is it that Amenouzume sings and dances, and all the eight-hundred myriad [sic] deities laugh?” Amenouzume responded, “We rejoice and dance because there is here a deity superior to you.” The assembled gods then brought the 27

28 29

Winston Davis, “Pilgrimage and World Renewal: A Study of Religion and Social Values in Tokugawa Japan, Part I,” History of Religions 23, no. 2 (1983); Winston Davis, “Pilgrimage and World Renewal: A Study of Religion and Social Values in Tokugawa Japan, Part II,” History of Religions 23, no. 3 (1984); Laura Nenzi, “To Ise at All Costs: Religious and Economic Implications of Early Modern Nukemairi,” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 33, no. 1 (2006). Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston, Massachusetts, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, Accession number 11.22318-20. MFA, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, Accession numbers 11.20433 and 11.20434.

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mirror close to the Rock Cave door. Amaterasu, apparently unable to recognize her own reflection, approached the mirror with curiosity and was grabbed and pulled out by Amenotajikarao-no-Kami, who was hiding by the door. With Amaterasu’s emergence, the heavens were again illuminated by her light, and the assembled deities then barred the Sun Goddess from returning to the cave, marking off the entrance with a sacred rope. The deities also agreed to punish Susa-no-o with a “thousand tables of restitutive gifts, and also, cutting off his beard and the nails of his hands and feet, had him exorcised and expelled with a divine expulsion.”30 While there is no surviving record of Inoue Kaoru’s conversations with the Continental Bank Note Company, nineteenth-century Western discussions of Japanese mythology suggest why the Rock Cave of Heaven image was rejected. Rather than inspiring awe or reverence, for Western audiences, the Rock Cave of Heaven legend suggested the primitive and underdeveloped nature of Japanese religion. Writing in 1877, for example, the anthropologist Edward B. Tylor attempted to situate the Kojiki in his theories of world religion. Amaterasu and the Rock Cave of Heaven thus became “in a very clear and perfect form, the nature-myth of the Sun driven into hiding by the storm and peeping out from her cloud-cave, when presently the great cloud is rolled away like a rock from a cave’s mouth.”31 For Tylor, such myths were part of a deep-seated human desire to explain the natural world, and he insisted that practices from “earlier and ruder stages of culture” could provide insight into “some of the deepest and most vital points of our intellectual, industrial, and social state.”32 Such natural myths were, in essence, the forerunners of modern scientific inquiry. At the same time, however, Tylor took an evolutionary view of culture, and he associated nature myths with “primitive” culture: “savage minds” and “barbaric education” produced “childlike devices” to explain the world. Within Tylor’s schema, the crude animism of creation myths was supposed to evolve, eventually into increased abstraction, culminating in a coherent moral code and a single supreme deity. Japanese mythology, however, was the product of a more primitive state of human development.33

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31 32 33

Kojiki, Book One, Chapters 15–17, trans. Donald L. Philippi, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968), pp. 76–86 with reference to Gustav Heldt, The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), pp. 22–25. Edward B. Tylor, “Remarks on Japanese Mythology,” Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 6 (1877), 57. Edward B. Tylor, Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom, Vol. 2 (London: J. Murray, 1871), pp. 401–402. Tylor, Primitive Culture, esp. Vol. 2, pp. 401–410. For a thoughtful evaluation of Tylor, see Martin D. Stringer, “Rethinking Animism: Thoughts from the Infancy of Our Discipline,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 5, no. 4 (1999): 541–556.

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Nineteenth-century Japanese specialists followed Tylor’s schema, and contrasted the simplicity of Japanese mythology with more sophisticated religious forms. W. G. Aston, who translated the Chronicles of Japan [Nihon shoki ] into English, saw the odd anthropomorphism of Japanese gods as a sign of Japanese cultural inferiority. Japanese deities, he wrote, “are for the most part personified powers, elements and objects of nature,” but there is no sense of a more developed, abstract sense of the divine. Amaterasu: although the most eminent of the Shinto Gods, is grossly insulted by Susa no wo, and instead of inflicting on him the punishment which he deserves, hides in a cave from which she is partly enticed, partly dragged by the other deities. This is not the behaviour of a Supreme Being.

The Rock Cave of Heaven story thus highlighted precisely the forms of “otherness” the Meiji state wished to rebut: Japan as morally and intellectually underdeveloped. Indeed, Aston felt compelled to insist that, despite the crudeness of Japanese mythology, “it does not follow that the ancient Japanese were backward in their general intellectual development.”34 Faced with such a Western reception, the Rock Cave of Heaven was reduced to an innocuous image of traditional musicians. That image was nominally related to ancient mythology, since the gods’ performance before the Rock Cave of Heaven is considered the origins of Japanese music. But, unlike a direct depiction of the myth, it did not raise questions of why the Japanese gods might indulge in whimsical cruelty or deceit. Instead of the Rock Cave of Heaven, Japanese currency featured legends that offered divine support for modern Japanese territoriality. The ¥20 notes, for example, featured the Wind God, Susa-no-o, and Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed dragon, or more literally an “eightbranched giant snake.” Like the story of the Rock Cave of Heaven, the Wind God’s defeat of the dragon was well known in popular culture, with prints by Utagawa Toyokuni,35 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi,36 and Toyohara Chikanobu, as well as depictions on sword scabbards. In the Kojiki version of the tale, Susa-no-o descends to earth and hears of a massive and terrifying serpent, with eight heads and eight tails, stretching across eight valleys and eight mountain peaks, and with a belly oozing blood. Susa-no-o learns that the serpent has been terrorizing the locals and eating their daughters. He contrives to defeat the monster by getting it 34 35 36

W. G. Aston, “Japanese Myth,” Folklore 10, no. 3 (1899): 294–324. Tokyo National Museum, Registration numbers C0073788, A-10569_5083, A-10569_5084. British Museum, Registration number 2008,3037.01003.

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drunk with eight vats of strong wine, one for each head. Susa-no-o then cuts off each of the eight heads and when cutting off one of the eight tails, his own sword breaks on a sword encased within the tail. Susa-no-o takes this broadsword, named Kusanagi (lit. “grass scythe”), and offers it to Amaterasu. It later becomes part of the three sacred regalia of the Japanese imperial house, along with the mirror and special curved jewels that were hung before the Rock Cave of Heaven.37 Like the story of the Rock Cave of Heaven, the legend of Susa-no-o and the eight-headed dragon is full of inconsistences. Kusanagi, for example, is found in the serpent’s “middle” tail, although, since eight is an even number, the dragon cannot have a middle tail. The sudden transformation of Susa-no-o from a violent and dangerous rebel into a loyal hero points to the hybrid nature of the Kojiki as a fusion of independent mythic traditions. But the story of Kusanagi also includes a reconciliation of those different traditions: Susa-no-o offers Kusanagi to Amaterasu, symbolizing the submission of ancient noble houses to the imperial line. Most important, Susa-no-o’s encounter with the dragon could be integrated with internationally established tropes of supernatural intervention and sovereignty. The connection between possession of a mystical sword and a sovereign’s right to rule was, for example, common to the Kojiki and Arthurian legend. There are two popular versions of the tale of King Arthur and his sword Excalibur. In the first, the king’s right to rule is confirmed when he alone is able to pull Excalibur from a stone. Alternately, an enchantress, the Lady of the Lake, saves a wounded King Arthur and bequeathes him the sword.38 The sacred swords Excalibur and Kusanagi both symbolize and establish royal legitimacy. Dragon slaying was also a part of European iconographies of state power. The legend of St. George, for example, bears a striking resemblance to the story of Susa-no-o. In both cases, the hero finds a land in which terrified people feed their own children to a monstrous snake/ serpent/dragon, and the hero proceeds to kill the beast with special weapons and to take as his wife a local noble’s daughter. As part of the transformation of an earlier pagan hero into a Christian saint, George first wounds the dragon with his lance, and then asks that the locals be baptized, before slaying the dragon with his sword. The veneration of St. George was common across Europe and images of George and the dragon appeared on European coats of arms and official insignia from Moscow to London. The English national flag is based on St. George’s 37 38

Kojiki, Book One, Chapter 19, trans. Philippi, Kojiki, pp. 88–90 with reference to Heldt, The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters, pp. 25–27. For a survey of Arthurian legend, see Elizabeth Archibald and Ad Putter, eds., Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

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cross, and the red cross in the British Union flag represents England as part of the United Kingdom.39 The story of Susa-no-o and the eightheaded snake thus fit neatly as a “module” of Japanese national identity. It was distinctly Japanese but also neatly analogous to Western national legends. Susa-no-o was therefore accessible as a “Japanese St. George,” foreign and different, yet recognizable as a national hero.40 Modular nationalism thus precluded some forms of alterity while promoting Japanese legends involving honor, loyalty, valor, and divine intervention, especially those that legitimized Japanese territoriality and sovereign legitimacy.41 The face of the ¥2 note, for example, featured the celebrated imperial loyalist Nitta Yoshisada (1301–1338). Nitta is shown casting his sword into the sea before attacking the Hō jō in Kamakura in 1333 on behalf of Emperor Go-Daigo. According to the Taiheiki, since the land approaches to Kamakura were well-defended, Nitta cast his sword into the sea and prayed to the gods to part the waters and create a beachhead fan, Cape Inamura. “I have heard,” declared Nitta, “that the Sun Goddess of Ise, the founder of the land of Japan, conceals her true being in the august image of Vairochana Buddha, and that she has appeared in this world in the guise of a dragon-god of the blue ocean . . . let the eight dragon-gods on the inner and outer seas look upon my loyalty; let them roll back the tides a myriad [sic] league distant to open the way for my hosts.”42 In Nitta’s understanding of Amaterasu, she appears in many guises, and is thus both omnipresent and hidden. Further, she acts in the present to reward loyalty to the imperial house. Like the story of Susa-no-o and the snake/dragon, the story of Nitta and Amaterasu served the dual criteria of being uniquely Japanese but running parallel to Western analogues. There were numerous Western examples of divine intervention to turn the tide of battle, including God slowing the passage of time for both Joshua at Jericho and Charlemagne at Roncesvalles (Rencesvals). Thus, a story of Amaterasu creating a beachhead at Inamura for her loyal servant, Nitta Yoshisada, could be fit into an emerging global corpus of national mythologies. Amaterasu hiding in a cave confirmed Orientalist conceits about Japanese underdevelopment, but Amaterasu changing the tides for Nitta Yoshisada established parallels between Japanese culture and the “civilized” West. 39 40

41 42

For an overview of St. George legends, see Samantha Riches, St. George: Hero, Martyr, and Myth (Stroud: Sutton, 2000). For Susan-no-o as St. George, see J. Edward Kidder, Jr., Himiko and Japan’s Elusive Chiefdom of Yamatai: Archaeology, History, and Mythology (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007), p. 286. The term “modular” nationalism derives from Anderson, Imagined Communities. Hō shi Kojima, The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan, trans. Helen Craig McCullough (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1976), pp. 289–291.

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This seemingly narrow case of Meiji currency iconography thus reveals broader tensions within Meiji nationalism and the construction of the Meiji nation-state. On the one hand, the removal of Amaterasu from Meiji currency was part of a broader abandonment of pre-Meiji political aspirations. Nativists, for example, had hoped that the Restoration would bring about a return to ancient patterns of rule and a concomitant disappearance of the state. They envisioned that as ancient rituals drew together ordinary people, the imperial house and the gods themselves would achieve a primal unity. Those utopian hopes, reflected in the slogan, the “Union of Ritual and Rule” (saisei itchi ), emerged from a belief in Japan’s fundamental and essential difference from all other cultures. Almost all foreign influences, even the Chinese writing system, were viewed as potential perversions of an essential Japanese nature. But that vision of a stateless, organic unity of the Japanese people and their gods was ill suited to the nineteenth-century world system. Rather than dissolve the Japanese state into a network of local shrines, the Meiji government relied on Western advisors to create a newly powerful, highly centralized nation-state. The constraints of “modular” nationalism and the nation-state precluded a popular and compelling vision of how the Japanese past might shape the Japanese future.43 This disappearance of Amaterasu thus supports the argument that, for most of the world, nationalism and the nation-state are foreign political forms that preclude alternative political paths. As Partha Chatterjee has argued, nationalist aspirations in the colonial world require a contradictory move: a celebration of local culture as a distinctive mark of identity, but also a rejection of that culture as an obstacle to progress. For Chatterjee, nationalist thought is “a particular manifestation of a much more general problem . . . the bourgeois-rationalist conception of knowledge, established in the post-Enlightenment period of European intellectual history, as the moral and epistemic foundation for a supposedly universal framework of thought which perpetuates, in a real and not merely metaphorical sense, a colonial domination.” Thus, nationalists in the developing world “challenged the colonial claim to political domination” but also “accepted the very intellectual premises of ‘modernity’ on which colonial domination was based.”44 In the Japanese case, the disappearance of Amaterasu represents how

43

44

For the utopian aspirations of nativism, see Anne Walthall, The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (London: Zed Books, 1986), pp. 1–35.

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Japanese culture was self-censored based on Western standards of “rational” discourse and Western precedents for national heroes. At the same time, the Meiji case seems to substantiate the claim that nationalism and the nation-state are universal forms. Setting aside Amaterasu and the Rock Cave of Heaven, there were numerous images from Japanese popular culture that meshed easily with the criteria of “modular” nationalism. Indeed, by the 1890s, “the way of the samurai” (bushido), once a marker of samurai status, was reworked as a nationalist ideology, the common heritage of all Japanese subjects.45 It is thus difficult to argue that Meiji nationalism was a failure. On the contrary, by the early 1900s, Meiji nationalism was so successful that anxious Westerners began wondering how they might reimport it from Japan. Victory in the Russo-Japanese War, and the reinvention of bushido as a national creed, convinced Western observers that Japanese nationalism was not a faulty derivative of Western nationalism, but a new and improved model. Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, extolled the Japanese as models of modern patriotism and selfsacrifice.46 Japanese patriotism, according to Baden-Powell, stemmed from their “upper classes learning, as boys, the chivalry of their forefathers the Samurai (or knights of Japan).”47 The Boy Scout movement was designed, in no small part, to bring Japanese models of national service to Britain. Advocates of “national efficiency” argued that Britain should emulate Japan in order to stem its decline.48 One of the most imaginative examples of that new assessment of Japan was H. G. Wells’ Modern Utopia, featuring a “voluntary nobility,” known as the “samurai,” who rule a utopian society on a distant planet.49 Thus, not only Japanese subjects, but also Westerns observers, were seduced by the conceit that the Japanese nation was natural, timeless, and organic. “Forgetting,” as Renan observed, or even “historical error, is a crucial factor in the creation of a nation.”50 In the Japanese case, however, such historical amnesia 45 46

47

48 49 50

Mark Ravina, “The Apocryphal Suicide of Saigō Takamori: Samurai, Seppuku and the Politics of Legend,” Journal of Asian Studies 69, no. 3 (2010): 691–721. Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Boy Scouts Beyond the Seas; “My World Tour” (London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd., 1913), pp. 86–100; Michael Rosenthal, The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement, 1st ed. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986), pp. 125–130. Baden-Powell, Eton College Chronicle, December 2, 1904, p. 600 quoted in Michael Rosenthal, “Knights and Retainers: The Earliest Version of Baden-Powell’s Boy Scout Scheme,” Journal of Contemporary History 15, no. 4 (1980), 605. G. R. Searle, The Quest for National Efficiency: A Study in British Politics and Political Thought, 1899–1914 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), pp. 57–59. H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967, originally published 1905). Renan, “What Is a Nation,” p. 11.

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was global in scope. The very nations that, in the 1850s and 1860s, imposed unequal treaties on a “backwards” nation became enthralled by the power of the Japanese nation-state and its organic unity with its people. This new appreciation of Japan was marked in both practical and symbolic registers. Through the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, the United Kingdom and Japan recognized their common interest in opposing Russian ambitions. Notably, the treaty was the first formal alliance between an independent Asian power and a European country against a European rival. Over the same period, British royalty embraced the Emperor Meiji as a peer. As Breen notes, Edward VII was the first British monarch to exchange honors with the Japanese imperial house. The Emperor Meiji bestowed the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1902 and received the Order of the Garter in 1906. Japan now had a seat at a Eurocentric table. Making sense of the Meiji Restoration requires engaging this tension: confronting the degree to which Western norms, such as nationalism and the nation-state, were both constraining and empowering. For Meiji-era ideologues, the Japanese past offered ample precedent for the construction of a Japanese nation-state and the iconography of Japanese paper money suggests how visualizations of the Japanese past were marshaled on behalf of that project. Meiji era ideologues quickly mastered the “grammar of modernity,” to borrow Carol Gluck’s phrase, and began speaking fluent Japanese within the confines of that grammar. The price of that mastery was an effacement of alternative visions of Japanese identities, as emblematized by the consignment of the Rock Cave of Heaven to a “primitive” Japanese past.

11

Ornamental Diplomacy Emperor Meiji and the Monarchs of the Modern World

John Breen

What more is there to say about this utterly familiar portrait of the Emperor Meiji (Figure 11.1)? Owing to the pioneering work of Taki Kō ji, it is now common knowledge that this is not a photograph of the emperor – first impressions notwithstanding – but a photograph of a painting of the emperor. The Italian Eduardo Chiossone was the artist responsible for the painting, which Maruki Riyō then photographed.1 The emperor’s refusal to have his photograph taken was well-known, and it explains why Chamberlain Tokudaiji Sanemori solicited Chiossone’s assistance. Chiossone began by making a series of sketches of the emperor without the latter’s knowledge while he was at dinner on January 14, 1888. Working from the dinner sketches, Chiossone then painted the emperor sitting as nineteenthcentury European monarchs were wont to sit, and dressed him military style as they were typically dressed. The artist drew here on European traditions of royal portraiture, and his portrait was meant to present to all whose gaze fell upon it the emperor as modern constitutional monarch. The portrait, after all, was commissioned and completed just a year before the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution. As for the portrait’s public, it is well-known that it was distributed across the country, first to government offices and then to schools and that, in time, it became the object of nation-wide, and subsequently empire-wide, cultic practices.2 1 2

Taki Kō ji, Tennō no shō zō [Portrait of the Emperor] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1988), chapter 4. On the national cult of the portrait, see Taki, Tennō no shō zō , chapter 6, and Mashino Keiko, “Sei to zoku no tennō zō : Meiji tennō onshashin to hikō shiki shō zō ” [The Sacred and the Secular Imperial Image: Photographs and Unofficial Images of Meiji Emperor], in Kindai kō shitsu imeˉ ji sō shutsu [The Creation of Modern Images of the Imperial Family], Vol. 6, Kindai ni okeru tennō no ariyō o toinaosu [Questioning the Image of the Emperor in the Modern Period], ed. Shioya Jun et al. (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2017). On aspects of the imperial portrait in Korea, see Hiura Satoko, Jinja, gakkō , shokuminchi: gyaku kinō suru Chō sen shihai [Shrines, Schools, Colonies: The Reverse Function of the Ruling of Korea] (Kyoto: Kyō to Daigaku Shuppankai, 2013), chapter 5; for Taiwan, see Tsai Chin Tang,

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Figure 11.1 Edoardo Chiossone’s portrait of the Emperor Meiji. Kō shitsu kō zoku seikan Meiji hen [The Imperial Family and Its Members: Album of Sacred Images] (Tokyo: Miyako Nippō sha, 1935)

The image was composed – primarily perhaps – with an elite foreign audience in mind. Chiossone drew on European norms of portraiture precisely to render the Japanese emperor familiar, and so appealing, to the monarchs of contemporary Europe. Foreign diplomats brought to Japan photographs of their monarchs, and expected to receive in return an image of the emperor and indeed the empress. No photo of the emperor had been taken since a black and white image captured by Uchida Kuichi in 1872.3 In the intervening years, the sullen, slender youth of twenty, had filled out to become a charismatic sovereign of thirty-six; the early

3

Nihon teikokushugika Taiwan no shū kyō seisaku [Taiwan’s Religious Policies under Japanese Imperialism] (Tokyo: Dō seisha, 1994). Uchida, who was employed as official court photographer, took the photograph in question in June 1872. In the previous month, he had taken another with the emperor wearing traditional sokutai court garb. On these early photographs and their history, see Taki, Tennō no shō zō , chapter 4 and Okabe Masayuki, “Egakareta Meiji, utsusareta Meiji” [Painted Meiji, Photographed Meiji], in Meiji tennō to sono jidai, ed. Okabe Masayuki ed., Meiji tennō to sono jidai [The Meiji Emperor and His Age] Sankei shinbun (2002), pp. 50-52 and 112–113.

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photographs were no longer a true likeness. Itō Hirobumi had been pressing the emperor to have a second photograph done; the emperor’s stubborn refusal had led to the recruitment of Chiossone.4 We owe much to Taki for our knowledge of this historic 1888 portrait, then, but there is one point that he overlooks. Just a year beyond the portrait’s composition lay the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution. To be sure, this explains much about the portrait’s timing. Immediately preceding it, however, was a little-known event of considerable historical significance. On January 3, 1888, just eleven days before Chiossone sketched the emperor, the Japanese government had overhauled the honors system, revamping existing orders, adding new ones, creating in the process an array of new insignia: medallions, ribbons, badges, cordons, and collars. If we look again at Chiossone’s image, it is clear that the display of insignia is a principal purpose. The emperor’s posture is straight, and his shoulders are back; his renowned stoop is nowhere in evidence. The emperor thrusts his chest out drawing our gaze toward the ornaments that adorn it: the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum with badge, collar, and grand cordon, the badge of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers, and the medallions and ribbons of the Order of the Sacred Treasure. The emperor was not so adorned when Chiossone sketched him at dinner; these were details the artist added later. The ornaments are material objects in the emperor’s gift, and they are essential to his structuring of power relations, and defining of status distinctions. They identify him as the “fount of all honor,” a quality confirmed in Article 15 of the new constitution, which sanctions his right to grant “titles of nobility, rank, orders and other marks of honor.” They are his alone to confer on his subjects and, once conferred, they transform the subject’s status in society. They are, equally, a vital medium of exchange: for example, the emperor gifts them to other monarchs in exchange for different objects of similar value. In the nineteenth century, it was in the exchange – and the withholding – of these honor-laden objects that personal relationships between monarchs were forged, and diplomatic relations between states, were structured. What was really being exchanged, of course, was the recognition of sovereignty.5 In

4

5

Chiossone was in Japan from 1875 to 1891 and also painted portraits of other prominent Meiji leaders, including Ō kubo Toshimichi, Saigō Takamori, Sanjō Sanetomi, Kido Takayoshi, and Iwakura Tomomi. Immanuel Wallerstein writes of sovereignty as a “hypothetical trade” of recognition between nations. Immanuel Wallerstein, World Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), p. 44.

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the more familiar parlance of nineteenth-century monarchs, it might be thought of as the recognition of “cousinhood.”6 This chapter takes up the Emperor Meiji’s exchange of ornaments with monarchs of the modern world in order to argue two simple, and intimately related, points. First, it demonstrates that the Emperor Meiji is vital to an understanding of the dynamic construction of Japan’s interstate relationships in the latter half of nineteenth century. Second, consistent with the global approach at the heart of this volume, it posits that it is only possible to evaluate the Emperor Meiji’s historical role by locating him in a transnational, diplomatic context. Modern Japanese Honors and Ornaments The modern Japanese honors system was launched by imperial decree in 1875. It was the outcome of a two-year investigation of European honors commissioned by the Council of the Left. Hosokawa Junjirō of the Education Ministry, and Albert Charles Du Bousquet, a French military officer employed by the government to help modernize the army, were key figures. The upshot of their several reports was the creation of the Order of the Rising Sun, comprising eight ranks, each designated by a medallion with ribbon. The medallion had for its center a red sun; it was linked to its ribbon by a three-petaled purple paulownia. The first recipients of this honor were four imperial princes: Arisugawa no Miya Takahito and his son Taruhito, Yamashina no Miya Akira and Kuni no Miya Asahiko.7 In the following year, 1876, the government established an Honors Bureau under the stewardship of Itō Hirobumi. The bureau’s inaugural act was the creation of a second order, superior to that of the Rising Sun: namely, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (see Figure 11.2). Recipients of the new order were identified not only by the medallion – comprising a red sun emitting thirty white rays surrounded by chrysanthemums – but also by a distinctive new cordon: a broad sash, that is, of red silk with purple edging, worn over the right shoulder. The emperor’s dispatch of an emissary to the Ise shrines in 1877 to place these insignia before his ancestor, the Sun Goddess, might be construed as 6

7

It was for example as “good brother and cousin” that Queen Victoria addressed the Emperor Meiji in the credentials that Sir Harry Parkes handed him in spring of 1868. On this, see John Breen, “Kindai gaikō taisei no sō shutsu to tennō ” [The Construction of the Modern Diplomatic Structure and the Emperor], in Nihon no taigai kankei [Japanese Foreign Relations], Vol. 7, Kindaika suru Nihon [Modernizing Japan], ed. Arano Yasunori (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2012), pp. 120–121. On the early history of the honors system, see, for example, Kurihara Toshio, Kunshō : shirarezaru sugao [Honors: The Unknown True Face] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shinsho, 2011), pp. 16–19.

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Figure 11.2 Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. J. L. Brunet, Les Ordres de Chevalerie et les Distinctions Honorifiques au Japon [The Orders of Chivalry and Honorary Distinctions of Japan] (Paris: Actualités Diplomatiques et Coloniales, 1903)

marking the modern honors system’s formal establishment.8 In fact, however, further calibrations were to follow. In 1888, just days before Chiossone sketched the imperial portrait, the system was brought more neatly into line with Western models. In practice, this meant the creation of a new collar (kubikazari) for the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. The collar was made of pure gold embossed with the Chinese characters for mei and ji. The Order of the Rising Sun was now refined by the fashioning of new insignia: Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers and Grand Cordon. Two entirely new orders were also created: those of the Sacred Treasure and the Precious Crown, graded into eight and five ranks respectively. The badge of the former featured an image of the Ise mirror at its center, and was created to

8

Sō rifu Shō kun Kyoku, ed., Shō kun kyoku hyakunen shiryō shū (jō ) [Decoration Bureau, 100 Year Document Collection, Part One] (Tokyo: Sō rifu Shō kun Kyoku, 1978), p. 117. *(The author wishes to thank Mark Ravina for introducing him to Brunet and his passion for ornaments.)

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Figure 11.3 Portrait of Empress Shō ken, Kō shitsu kō zoku seikan Meiji hen, 1935 (The Precious Crown is visible by the empress’s hip in this photograph from 1889.)

reward acts of military valor by Japanese soldiers and sailors.9 The Order of the Precious Crown, whose medallion comprised one hundred pearls set around an image of an ancient court crown, is of interest as the first order specifically for women (see Figure 11.3). Its first recipient was Princess Arisugawa no Miya Tadako. Two years later, in 1890, the emperor introduced the seven ranks of the Order of the Golden Kite to honor “military men of outstanding valor.” The golden kite, set atop a striking red, blue, and yellow medallion, was the mystical bird, which according to myths recounted in the foundational

9

Sō rifu Shō kun Kyoku, ed., Shō kun kyoku hyakunen shiryō shū , pp. 86–87. Note that military men had been honored before now. For example, Saigō Tsugumichi had been invested in the Order of the Rising Sun in 1876 for his role in the Taiwan campaign. Sō rifu Shō kun Kyoku, ed., Shō kun kyoku hyakunen shiryō shū , p. 49.

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epic, the Chronicles of Japan [Nihon shoki], bedazzled and so helped annihilate the foes of Japan’s first emperor, Jinmu. The global activation of Japan’s modern honors system can be dated with precision to 1879. It is worthy of note that the emperor’s active engagement with foreign monarchs coincided precisely with the government’s shoring up of imperial tradition, as discussed by Takagi Hiroshi in his chapter. Two of Japan’s Europe-based diplomats, Aoki Shū zō , minister in Berlin, and Samejima Naonobu, Paris-resident minister for France and Belgium played pivotal roles. In March 1879, Aoki informed the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo of the Golden Wedding anniversary later in the year of Wilhelm I, King of Prussia and Germany’s first kaiser, and Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Foreign Minister Terajima Munenori acted swiftly on Aoki’s intelligence with a formal proposal to the Council of State: “Our nation is isolated in the East, and our relationships will always be more remote than those enjoyed by the neighboring monarchies of Europe, related as they are by blood.”10 Japan needed to act swiftly and dispatch an emissary to Berlin bearing gifts for the kaiser and his wife from the emperor and empress. Aoki persuaded the Foreign Ministry that the investiture of foreign sovereigns into the new Japanese orders had a vital role to play. This was “not merely a mark of honor bestowed but an expression of friendship between monarchs.” Wilhelm was the “longest reigning monarch in Europe,” and he was “a man of dignity and influence, and Japan’s diplomacy with his empire is hardly in its infancy.”11 The government duly dispatched an emissary to Wilhelm’s anniversary celebrations bearing the medallion and cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum along with a personal missive from the emperor and gifts from the empress. Later in the year, Samejima reported to the foreign ministry on the imminent marriage – the second marriage, in fact – of King Alfonso XII of Spain to Maria Cristina of Austria. It was vital for the Japanese emperor to “celebrate and mourn” with the monarchs of Europe, insisted Samejima. Only thus will they be persuaded that we are “members of the same society”; only thus will they “abandon their practice of not viewing Eastern states as friends.”12 Samejima proposed he be dispatched to the king’s wedding at the Basilica of Atocha in Madrid as representative of the Emperor Meiji. Thereafter, he would invest the king in the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. Samejima’s proposal found favor, and he became the first Japanese diplomat to attend the nuptial Mass of 10 11

Naikaku Kiroku Kyoku, ed., Hō ki bunrui taizen [The Complete Index of Law], Vol. 24, Gaikō mon 3 [Diplomacy 3] (Tokyo: Hara Shobō , 1977), p. 25. Naikaku Kiroku Kyoku, ed., Hō ki bunrui taizen, pp. 25–26. 12 Ibid, p. 24.

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a European sovereign. Hereafter it became practice for the Japanese emperor to dispatch ornament-bearing envoys to European courts on the occasion of royal weddings, enthronements, and funerals. From the perspective of ornamental diplomacy, 1879 proved pivotal. While Aoki Shū zō was in Berlin celebrating the kaiser’s fifty years of marriage to Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, his eighteen-year old grandson, Prince Heinrich, was touring Asiatic waters with the German Navy. In May 1879, Heinrich dropped anchor in Yokohama. At the end of the month, he was in the Kogosho Hall of the temporary imperial palace in Akasaka, being received by the emperor for what was to be a momentous audience: the emperor’s investment into the German Order of the Black Eagle. The emperor, sporting the medallion and cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum over his military uniform, welcomed the prince. He then removed the insignia, and the prince stepped forward to pin to the left side of the emperor’s chest a medallion comprising a blue enamel Maltese cross surrounded by goldcrowned black eagles. Prince Heinrich then placed over his left shoulder the cordon of orange silk. As the editors of the Chronicle of the Emperor Meiji recorded with evident pride, “Never before had an Asian monarch been invested in this order.”13 This was, indeed, the first occasion on which the emperor had worn the insignia of any foreign order. In June, Prince Heinrich returned to the Akasaka Palace for his audience of farewell, and the emperor duly invested him into the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, personally adorning him with medallion and cordon.14 The protocol was precisely that observed in European courts of the nineteenth century. On September 5, 1879, the emperor received in audience the Russian plenipotentiary minister to Japan, Karl von Struve. At the Akasaka Palace, Struve handed the emperor a personal missive from Tsar Alexander II, before investing him in the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, the First-Called.15 St. Andrew was Russia’s patron saint, and the medallion featured St. Andrew nailed to a cross, surrounded by six eagles.16 Meiji was the first Asian monarch to be so honored. In November, the emperor underwent his third investment of this 13

14 15 16

Naikaku Kiroku Kyoku, ed., Hō ki bunrui taizen, 279. See also Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki 4 [Chronicle of the Emperor Meiji 4] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 1967) pp. 746–747. Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki 4, p. 681. Naikaku Kiroku Kyoku, ed., Hō ki bunrui taizen, p. 171; Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki 4, pp. 743–744. There was a version of the medallion that featured eagles instead of the crucified St. Andrew, which was designed for Muslim leaders. (Personal communication from Danslav Slavenskoj.) It is not clear which version the Emperor Meiji received.

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extraordinary year. Prince Tommaso of Savoy, the second Duke of Genoa, was in Japan for a return visit after a gap of six years. He was touring with the Italian Navy, and came armed with the medallion and collar of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation. As the name suggests, the order was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and medallion and collar both featured an image of the Angel Gabriel appearing before the Mother of God. The honor was once limited to Catholics, but the newly enthroned King Umberto I wished to bestow it on the emperor in gratitude for kindnesses extended to the prince six years before. In a ceremony in Akasaka on November 29, Prince Tommaso pinned the badge to the emperor’s breast and placed the collar around his neck, declaring these acts signified they were now “cousins.” The prince then stepped forward, embraced the emperor, placing a kiss on his cheek.17 The Italian minister, who accompanied the prince, reported that all present were delighted to see the emperor so honored. Yoshida Yō saku was in attendance that day as an interpreter, and later recalled that the emperor’s attitude throughout the ordeal was “truly splendid.”18 Imperial Diplomacy For the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, the single greatest political objective after gaining power was purging the insult of the unequal treaties in order to place Japan on an equal footing with the Western powers. In his chapter, Takagi reflects on the Meiji government’s efforts to align Japanese enthronement rites with Western practice; the goal was precisely to establish parity between Japanese and Western sovereigns. It was, of course, to this end that the emperor was deployed in what I am here calling ornamental diplomacy. We might usefully pause to reflect on the institutional dimension of Japanese state diplomacy, as it was reconfigured about the emperor in the wake of the 1868 Restoration. How – and how far – did the government define the emperor’s role in interstate relations? In 1871, the men who carried out the Restoration abolished the 260 or so feudal domains, and laid the foundations for a centralized modern state. In the same breath, they reformed government institutions. The emperor would “preside over” the senior bureau within the Council of State, and “on all things pass judgment.” The prime minister (dajō daijin), the ministers of left and right and the body of state councilors would serve as imperial advisors (hohitsu). Government ministries were 17 18

Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki 4, p. 810. Not all accounts have the prince actually kissing the emperor. Kimura Ki, Bunmei kaika: Seinen Nihon no enjita hikigeki [Bunmei Kaika: The Tragicomedy Played by Adolescent Japan] (Tokyo: Shibundō , 1954), pp. 30–33.

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redefined now as “branches” of the Council of State. The fiction was that the emperor “entrusted” ministry chiefs with their respective roles. The reality was that the chiefs acted independently of the emperor, but sought the imperial seal of approval to legitimate their actions. The 1871 Charter of the Foreign Ministry set out the relationship between foreign minister and emperor in matters diplomatic. Article 1 spoke of the emperor exchanging missives with foreign sovereigns “on occasions of celebration and commiseration”; to those missives, the foreign minister would add his seal. Article 2 stressed the vital importance, for Japan’s “cordial relations” with foreign powers, of the emperor receiving foreign sovereigns, foreign royalty, diplomats, and nobility in audience, but the responsibility for staging these events was to lie exclusively with the foreign minister.19 The emperor could not, in other words, act independently of his foreign minister in matters diplomatic. The ministry charter was revised in 1873, defining the foreign minister as “supreme among ministry chiefs.” The foreign minister was to be “fully apprised of all matters relating to imperial government, to take humble heed of the [emperor’s] sacred will and adhere to his occasional instructions.” If this appears to hint at the possibility of imperial spontaneity in interstate relations, in practice, the foreign minister remained uniquely responsible. It was his remit to “administer the relations between foreign governments and the government of His Majesty the Emperor and, to this end, to keep within his purview international law as it governs relationships between states.”20 In 1871, with the creation of the foreign ministry, the emperor’s limited but vital engagement in modern diplomacy began in earnest. The charters of the Foreign Affairs Office (gaikoku jimu kyoku) and the Foreign Office (gaikoku kan) – two early precursors of the ministry – are striking for the absence of any reference to the emperor. This is notwithstanding the fact that the emperor had received foreign diplomats in an historic audience in 1868, before hosting a visit by Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh in 1869.21 Diplomats, styled as consuls (benmushi), were stationed overseas from 1870, but there was as yet no suggestion that they were dispatched by – still less that they represented – the emperor. This changed with the Foreign Ministry’s 1871 Charter. The first Japanese diplomat to head 19 20 21

Gaimushō no Hyakunenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed., Gaimushō no hyakunen [Hundred Years of the Foreign Ministry] (Tokyo: Hara Shobō ), pp. 88–92 Gaimushō no Hyakunenshi Hensan Iinkai, ed. Gaimushō no hyakunen, pp. 99–103. On these events, see John Breen, “The Rituals of Anglo-Japanese Diplomacy: Imperial Audiences in Early Meiji,” in History of Anglo-Japanese Relations 1600–2000, Vol. 5, Social and Cultural Perspectives, eds. Tsuzuki Chū shichi and Gordon Daniels (New York: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 60–76.

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overseas bearing credentials from Emperor Meiji was Terajima Munenori, who assumed his post as minister to Britain in 1872. The credentials he took with him were faithful to Western precedent. They began: “Mutsuhito Emperor of Great Japan who, protected by Heaven, has inherited the Throne in a Line of Sovereigns unbroken for All Eternity, respectfully addresses Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Great Britain.” They concluded: “Signed and Sealed by the Emperor in Person in Tokyo Castle on this 28th day of the 4th month of the 5th year of the reign of Meiji.” In 1872, the government further aligned Japanese diplomatic practice with Western models by appointing plenipotentiary ministers and delegation secretaries. In the emperor’s name, the government began now to dispatch diplomats of these ranks to all states with which Japan had treaty relations; Japanese legation buildings were constructed in all the major capitals of the Western world. Exceptionally, the emperor also appointed diplomats of ambassadorial rank and special emissaries. Iwakura Tomomi led his historic diplomatic mission to the United States and Europe in 1871 as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary (tokumei zenken taishi); Soejima Taneomi headed a mission to China in 1873 also as ambassador. When Samejima Naonobu attended the Spanish king’s nuptial Mass in Madrid in 1879, he did so as “special emissary.” It was as ambassador that first Yanagihara Sakimitsu and then Itō Hirobumi headed to Russia to attend respectively the state funeral for Tsar Alexander II in 1881, and the enthronement of Tsar Alexander III in 1883. The emperor not only dispatched his ministers and ambassadors overseas – and members of the imperial family, too – but he played host in Tokyo to foreign diplomats, foreign royalty, and other foreign visitors. It is worth highlighting the intensity of the emperor’s personal engagement in court-based diplomacy. Judging by the entries in the Chronicle of the Emperor Meiji for the period from 1868 to the outbreak of war with China in 1894, there can have been few Japanese who encountered more foreigners than the emperor. With the exception of his absence from the capital on his six great tours of the realm between 1872 and 1885, there was never a month, and in many months not a week, in which the emperor was not granting an audience to one foreign dignitary or another. These audiences took place in the halls of the temporary Akasaka Palace, until the modern new palace was completed in 1889. The emperor received the Hawaiian king, former US president Ulysses Grant, British, Italian, Russian, German, Austrian, Greek, and Siamese royalty and nobility. He also granted audiences to a Papal delegation, plenipotentiary ministers from all of Japan’s treaty nations – including diplomats from Korea and China – and an array of naval admirals, not to

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mention foreigners employed by the Meiji government for their expertise on everything from law to finance, medicine to engineering, and the military to education. In addition to these ad hoc audiences, the emperor (and from 1873 the empress, too) hosted regular events for the diplomatic community. From 1881, the court’s annual ritual cycle was reconfigured to maximize the imperial couple’s engagement with foreign dignitaries – and so indirectly with their monarchs.22 At the initiative of Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru, emperor and empress welcomed foreign diplomats and their wives to the refurbished Akasaka Palace for modern Japan’s Three Great Feasts: New Year in January, State Foundation Day in February and the Emperor’s birthday in November. In this same year, Inoue Kaoru began the modern tradition of annual cherry blossom viewing parties in April and the November chrysanthemum viewing parties; these events were cohosted by the emperor and empress. The imperial couple thus became the measure of Japan’s civilization and enlightenment, and were therefore indispensable to the Japanese leadership in its pursuit of “parity with all nations” (bankoku taiji). Strategic Honor From the Restoration through to the start of the Sino-Japanese war in 1894, the Meiji emperor received the highest honors from the sovereigns of Austria, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hawaii, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Montenegro, Siam, Turkey, and Greece (in that order), as well as from the French president. The emperor reciprocated by conferring Japan’s highest chivalric order, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, on heads of all these states. Occasionally, he did this “intimately,” as in the case of King Kalā kua of Hawaiʻi, at ceremonies held in the Akasaka Palace and subsequently in the imperial palace. The more usual practice, however, was for him to bestow honors indirectly via diplomatic representatives or, indeed, through the hands of emissaries the emperor dispatched to overseas courts. Here I want to point up the fundamentally strategic nature of the emperor’s ornamental diplomacy. It is evident above all in the act of withholding. 22

On the construction of Japan’s modern court ceremonial, see Takagi Hiroshi, Kindai tennō sei no bunkashiteki kenkyū [Cultural History of the Modern Imperial System] (Tokyo: Azekura Shobō , 1997) and John Breen, “Kindai no kyū chū girei: tennō ni motomerareta seiji” [Imperial Court Ceremonies in the Modern Period: Politics as Demanded of the Emperor] in Kō za Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration: Collected Essays], Vol. 11, Meiji ishin to shū kyō , bunka [The Meiji Restoration and Religion, Culture], ed. Meiji Ishinshi Gakkai (Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2016).

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Strikingly absent from the inventory of honors exchanged in the period under consideration is the Chinese emperor. In late December 1877, Emperor Meiji received in audience He Ruzhang, the first Chinese minister plenipotentiary to Japan. No Chinese envoy had entered the court of a Japanese emperor since the year 758, well over 1,000 years before, when Emperor Junnin received the monk Ganjin. His audience was truly historic, and it served to reciprocate the audience granted by the Tongzhi Emperor to Ambassador Soejima Taneomi in 1873. The latter event was also historic in the terms of modern Asian diplomacy since the Tongzhi Emperor received Soejima according to the protocol of international law. Soejima had used his ambassadorial status – and his deep knowledge of Chinese history and protocol – to bully the Chinese court into abandoning the “three kneelings and nine prostrations” of the kowtow.23 He was the first foreign diplomat so to be received in China. Just four years later, the newly enthroned Guangxu Emperor was dispatching a personal envoy to the court of Emperor Meiji. The Guangxu Emperor’s envoy brought with him credentials, which accorded to Meiji the status of a monarch in every way equivalent to that of his own sovereign.24 Meiji received him precisely as he had received European diplomats, and yet there was no exchange of honors. This is in spite of the fact that the Chinese had created their own chivalric order, the Order of the Double Dragon, in 1882. The Korean king is also conspicuous by his absence from the inventory of sovereigns upon whom the Emperor Meiji conferred honors. Meiji received three delegations from Korea in the period under consideration. These, too, were events of great historical moment since no Japanese emperor had granted an audience to a Korean mission since the eighth century. In 1876, just three months after the signing of the Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity, but before the exchange of diplomats stipulated in Article 2 of the treaty, Kim Ki-su led a delegation to Japan. In 1880, there was a second delegation, this time under the leadership of Kim Kō shū , who came to insist that the port of Inchon remain closed to international trade. Neither delegation brought credentials from the Korean king, and this goes some way to accounting for the sustained ritual humiliation to which the emissaries were subjected in the Akasaka Palace.25 It was only in 1881 when envoy Cho Byonho arrived with credentials recognizing Emperor Meiji as the equal of the Guangxu 23 24 25

On this historic audience, see Wayne C. McWilliams, “East Meets East: The Soejima Mission to China, 1873,” Monumenta Nipponica 30: no. 3 (1975), 237–275. Breen, “Kindai gaikō taisei no sō shutsu to tennō ,” pp. 133–135. On the ritual humiliation of the Korean delegates and the reception accorded Cho Byonho, see Ibid, pp. 137–139.

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Emperor, that Meiji finally received him according to international protocol. But the bestowal of Japanese orders on Korean royalty or diplomats was never, it seems, discussed. These several audiences that the Meiji emperor granted to envoys from Asia were vitally important: they dramatized the dismantling of the old East Asian order, and they signaled the birth of a new network of power in which he was a pivotal presence. Chinese and Korean monarchs are absent from the honors inventory for the simple reason that the Japanese did not see fit to confer honors upon them. They chose to deny them the visible signs of parity and cousin-like intimacy. The specific reasons are nowhere articulated, although the withholding of honors must surely have been discussed in the highest levels of the Japanese government. It was not until 1898 that the Emperor Meiji first engaged in ornamental diplomacy with the Guangxu Emperor; in 1900, he finally exchanged honors with the Korean Emperor Gwangmu.26 The inventory of ornaments bestowed upon and received by the Japanese emperor is of further interest for what it intimates about relations between Japan and Britain in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It is striking that the emperor received no honors from Queen Victoria (r. 1837–1901) in this period, and that he bestowed none upon her. The mutual denying of honors – for this is what it is – is revealing once more of the essentially strategic nature of ornamental diplomacy. Early in 1881, Japanese Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru sounded out the British government on the possibility of Queen Victoria conferring the Order of the Garter on the emperor. The imminent visit to Japan of her grandsons, Princes Albert and George, seemed the ideal opportunity. The Queen’s private secretary said the Queen thought the idea “preposterous,” and Inoue’s inquiry was dismissed with an unequivocal “no.” The Queen did not invest non-Christian monarchs in the Order. She would, however, bestow on the Japanese emperor the Star of India. This the government declined, fearful that it reduced the emperor to the status of “a mere Asiatic prince.”27 Inoue took the refusal of the Garter as the snub it was meant to be; he well knew that in recent years two non-Christian monarchs – the Turkish in 1868 and the Persian in 1873 – had, in fact, been invested in the Order of the Garter. In 1881, the emperor duly received Princes Albert and George in audience at the Akasaka Palace. But they neither sought honors from him, nor conferred any upon him. They 26 27

Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki 9, pp. 566 and 886. On this, see Anthony Best, “The Role of Diplomatic Practice and Court Protocol in Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1867–1900,” in The Diplomats’ World: The Cultural History of Diplomacy, 1815–1914, eds. Markus Mosslang and Torsten Riotte (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 248.

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hoped, nonetheless, a portrait in oil of their grandmother – commissioned but not yet completed – might afford him pleasure. In 1883, Sir Harry Parkes bade farewell to the Emperor Meiji after serving in Japan for eighteen years as British minister. The emperor made clear his wish to invest him in the Order of the Rising Sun, but Parkes declined. British practice did not allow him to receive honors from foreign monarchs, he said. Once again, the Japanese attempt to engage Britain in ornamental diplomacy ran aground. But in 1886, things changed – or so at first it seemed. Prince Komatsu no Miya Akihito was in Britain to attend Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and at a ceremony in Marlborough House conferred upon the Prince of Wales the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum with Cordon. And yet a new era of “cousinhood” was not poised to begin. There was no further talk of the Garter; indeed, Prince Komatsu found himself subjected to one public humiliation after another. He returned home persuaded that Japan to Britain was nothing more than “an insignificant island in Asian waters.” It is true that in 1890, Prince Komatsu was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.28 It was not, however, until the start of the twentieth century in the short reign of Edward VII (r. 1901–1910), that change finally occurred. In 1902, Edward became the first British monarch to accept the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, adding the collar to the cordon he had received as Prince of Wales back in 1886. It was Edward who, in 1906, finally deemed the Emperor Meiji worthy of the Order of the Garter (see Figure 11.4). The investiture took place in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on February 29 of that year.29 The explanation for this turn of events is simple. Japan had defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, and victory demonstrated that the emperor, as commander in chief, was at last a worthy cousin of British royalty. Conclusion Studies of Meiji diplomacy invariably fail to reference the emperor. But Meiji was a vital, active presence in modern Japan’s interstate relations. Without an understanding of his role, we overlook a key dynamic in nineteenth-century Japanese diplomacy. What the emperor did not do was influence foreign policy, of course. Indeed, his views were frequently ignored. He was rather the lynchpin that fixed Japan in the nineteenthcentury firmament of nations. Just as he was guarantor of order, 28 29

Best, “The Role of Diplomatic Practice and Court Protocol in Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1867–1900,” p. 248. On this see investiture, see, especially, Algernon Bertram Redesdale, The Garter Mission to Japan (London: Macmillan, 1906).

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Figure 11.4 The Emperor Meiji invested in the Order of the Garter. Bijutsu jiji gahō , [Album of Contemporary Art] no. 6 (1906) © Trustees of the British Museum, used with permission

hierarchy, status, and honor within Japanese society, so it was the emperor – as equal of the sovereigns of Europe and Asia – who held Japan’s place in international society. Studies of the emperor have similarly failed to reflect on this diplomatic dimension to the throne. The importance of diplomacy for understanding the emperor is nowhere more evident than in the transformative effect it had on the imperial body. The emperor cut his hair, grew and trimmed his beard, clad himself in Western-style military uniform, complete with leather boots, plumed hat, ceremonial sword, and, of course, his ornaments. He learned to sit, stand, walk. and ride like a European sovereign. He acquired other body techniques, too: he shook hands with countless European royalty, diplomats, and delegates. He pinned medals and ribbons on their chests, placed cordons across their shoulders, and collars about their necks. He rode carriages, boarded trains, and embarked on foreign warships with foreign royalty; and he dined, smoked, talked, and laughed with them. This transformed the imperial body, and the transformation was all to the greater end of establishing a new parity between the emperor and the

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monarchs of the modern world and a new symmetry in Japan’s modern interstate relations. It is finally worth pointing out one particular case in which these body techniques, the fruits of nothing so much as the emperor’s engagement in ornamental diplomacy, served Japan exceedingly well. In 1891, the Russian Crown Prince Nikolai was visiting Japan. As he passed through the town of Ō tsu on May 22, he was attacked by a sword-wielding policeman, and cut in the head. The Itō cabinet was paralyzed with fear lest the incident lead to war with Russia. It was the emperor who took action. Having dispatched an apologetic telegram to the prince’s father, Tsar Alexander III, he headed by train to Kyoto where Prince Nikolai was recovering, to offer his sympathies. When the prince decided to withdraw to a Russian warship to recuperate further, the emperor accompanied him to Kobe where the vessel was anchored. The two men shook hands in the harbor before parting. The prince, who was now summoned back to Russia by his father, invited the emperor to a farewell dinner on board the warship. Prime Minister Itō , fearful lest the emperor be kidnapped, urged him to decline, but the emperor went ahead. He duly accepted the invitation, went on aboard where he dined with Prince Nikolai and then smoked and drank with him as a Russian military band played. The Russian Minister reported that he had never before heard the emperor laugh and chat in so animated a fashion.30 It was the Emperor Meiji who averted the crisis of the Ō tsu incident. He did so by unconsciously deploying the several body techniques he had assimilated, especially in the last decade of his deployment of what I have called ornamental diplomacy.

30

Breen, “Kindai gaikō taisei no sō shutsu to tennō ,” pp. 140–141.

12

The Restoration of the Ancient Capitals of Nara and Kyoto and International Cultural Legitimacy in Meiji Japan Takagi Hiroshi

Introduction In the nineteenth century, the model of “classical antiquity” of Greece and Rome carried great significance for political legitimacy. “Classical antiquity” thus played a key role in the creation of modern European nation-states, and also contributed to the formation of the United States. The Elgin Marbles of the British Museum, the “Italian” design of the Altes Museum in Berlin, the original Venus de Milo, and the great treasures of the Louvre Museum, as well as the Greek and Roman collections held by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Metropolitan Museum in New York in the United States, testify to the universality of this trend to emphasize antiquity in the arts.1 As Satō Dō shin points out, the identification and classification of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Dutch, and French art styles as the art of various peoples, served as the basis for the creation of a comprehensive history of European arts.2 In Western European nations, the history of art seeped into the political realm. Britain, France, Austria, and Germany regarded the Greek and Roman “classical antiquity” as the origin of their “civilizations” and competed with one another for the position of legitimate heir. The Elgin Marbles and Venus de Milo served as regalia to testify to the origin and preeminence of Britain and France as civilized nation-states, destined to rule the world. Greece is significant as the symbolic beginning of European history and the imagined origin of its civilization, while Rome also carries the image of an imperial power ruling over an expansive space, 1

2

Kuchiki Yuriko, Parutenon sukyandaru [The Parthenon Scandal] (Tokyo: Shinchō sha, 2004); Tō kyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan and Asahi Shinbunsha, eds., Berurin no shihō ten: sekai isan, hakubutsukan-tō yomigaeru bi no seiiki [Masterpieces of the Museum Island, Berlin: Visions of the Divine in the Sanctuary of Art] (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 2005). Satō Dō shin, Bijutsu no aidentitı¯: dare no tame ni, nan no tame ni [The Identity of Art: For Whom, and for What?] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007).

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as well as the capital of “the Empire,” similar to the aspirations of London during the Victorian Age and Berlin during the Third Reich. Cultural tradition as a source of political legitimacy in the present age was also a discursive strategy invoked in Meiji Japan, a theme explored by John Breen in his chapter. In 1878, the American Ernest Fenollosa was the first to claim that Nara held a position of great antiquity, similar to that of Greece in Europe. He believed that an emphasis on the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto was indispensable in the process of nationstate formation. Namely, Japan needed to stress the ideas of “history” and “tradition” to the international community in order to build a national identity.3 In subsequent years, the comparison between Nara and Greece acquired a double meaning in Japan. On the one hand, we have Japan appealing to the international community, trying to adopt the common grammar of the development of “civilization” by comparing itself to Europe, which places Greece, the site of classical antiquity, at its original core. So the meaning of the Shakyamuni (historical Buddha) triads of the Hō ryū ji Temple changed in the 1890s, from Buddhist statues to sculptures, from objects of worship to cultural properties. On the other hand, Japan adhered to the cultural dissemination theory, according to which Greek culture was transmitted via India and China to the columns of the main hall of the Hō ryū ji Temple, the entasis, by means of Alexander the Great’s Eastern expedition and its propagation of Hellenistic culture.4 The meaning of Greek Studies carried out at Tokyo Imperial University and Kyoto Imperial University was inseparable from the process of reinterpreting ancient Japan. Sakaguchi Takashi, who in 1907 established the Department of European History at Kyoto Imperial University, argued in his essay, “Plato’s Academy,” that the European nation-states felt “that they had to repay their ancestors’ favor, as they thought the origin and the history of their own cultures owed so much to so-called classical Greece.”5 He elaborates that: [F]rom the end of the eighteenth century to the nineteenth, European nations and peoples reviewed their own history, protected their indigenous characters and 3

4

5

Murakata Akiko, “E.F. Fenorosa ‘Tō yō bijutsushi kō ’: Nihon wa ‘Tō yō no Girisha’ to kantan” [E.F. Fenollosa’s “Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art”: Appreciation of Japan as “the Hellas of the Orient”], Kokubungaku kaishaku to kanshō [Interpretation and Evaluation of National Literature] 60, no. 5 (May 1995): 59–66. Itō Chū ta, “Hō ryū ji kenchikuron” [Discussing the Architecture of Hō ryū ji Temple], Journal of Architecture and Building Science 7, no. 83 (1893): 317–350; Inoue Shō ichi, Hō ryū ji e no seishinshi [The Intellectual History of the Hō ryū ji Temple] (Tokyo: Kō bundō , 1994). Sakaguchi Takashi, “Puratō no akademi” [Plato’s Academy], in Sekaishi ronkō [Lectures on World History] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1931), p. 621.

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duties, and were anxious about the realization of national ideals corresponding to these characters and duties. This was their Romanticism.6

In each nation’s adoration of classical antiquity and longing for the creation of a national culture, he identifies the Romantic ideas that accompanied the establishment of all European nation-states. This understanding of history was influenced by the German historian, Leopold von Ranke, who claimed that civilization had spread all over the world from Greece and Rome. His disciple, Ludwig Riess, took up a professorship in 1887 at the newly established Department of History at Tokyo Imperial University and then laid the academic foundations of European and Japanese historical studies in Japan. This chapter shall discuss the increasing role played by the cities of Nara and Kyoto as the ancient capitals where the emperor once resided and Japanese culture developed, in the discursive formation of the modern Japanese nation-state. In other words, it will explain how, in modern times, antiquity was reinterpreted as a usable past.7 The Meiji Restoration and the Ancient Capitals In modern times, Nara and Kyoto experienced very different trajectories of urban development. By the beginning of the Shō wa period (1926– 1989), Kyoto was a large city with a population of over 700,000 people. By contrast, at the same point, the total population of Nara Prefecture was just over 610,000 people. Nonetheless, the big city of Kyoto and the small countryside town of Nara were increasingly combined under the name of “ancient capitals.” The expression “ancient capitals” gained great popularity not due to the actual political, economic, or social reality of the two historic cities, but as a result of a flourishing of mass tourism during the period of rapid economic growth that began in the 1960s. Yet already by the middle of the Edo period, tourists came to Nara especially to see the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), following the second reconstruction of the Great Buddha Hall of the Tō daiji Temple, ordered in 1709 by Shogun Tsunayoshi. The Nara meisho ezu, a 1845 map of famous places in Nara penned by Ezuya Shō hachi, showed Nara as a microcosm (see Figure 12.1). Tō daiji’s Great Buddha Hall was the center, with Kō fukuji Temple, surrounded by a roofed mud wall on the left side, the Nigatsudō Hall of Tō daiji Temple, Mt. Kasuga and Kasuga Shrine on the right side, and the town of Nara at the bottom. 6 7

Ibid. Takagi Hiroshi, Kindai Tennō -sei to koto [The Modern Japanese Emperor System and the Ancient Capitals] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2006).

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Figure 12.1 Nara meisho ezu [Map of Famous Places in Nara], 1845. Courtesy of Takagi Hiroshi

Repair and mending of imperial mausolea in Nara had already been undertaken during the Genroku period (1688–1704) but the reconstruction initiated during the Bunkyū period (1861–1864) became a veritable “national” project, which the shogunate and the imperial court carried out together as part of the plan to “unify the imperial court and the shogunate” (kō bu gattai). The shogunate allocated 10,000 ryō to symbolically create a mausoleum for Emperor Jinmu, the fictitious first emperor, as part of a strategy to propagate the myth that Jinmu had been enthroned on January 1, 660 BCE at the Kashiwara Court, at the foot of Mt. Unebi in Nara Prefecture as described in the eighth-century texts, Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan) (see Figure 12.2). Seminal research carried out by Tsuda Sō kichi argues that the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki are historical records reflecting the political ideology of the fifth through the seventh century, and should no longer be taken at face value.8 In the late Edo period, however, the location of the mausoleum of Emperor Jinmu triggered a political 8

Tsuda Sō kichi, Jindaishi no atarashii kenkyū [Latest Research in the History of the Mythological Age] (Tokyo: Nishō dō Shoten, 1913).

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Figure 12.2 Around the foot of Mt. Unebi in the late Edo period

controversy. Emperor Kō mei himself had to arbitrate in a dispute and in 1863 officially decided on the authentic site of the grave of his ancestor. The potential choices of sites included the Maruyama Tumulus, near a community of outcasts, the Hō ra buraku. It was not selected. Instead, the Misanzai Tumulus, located on the site of the medieval Kokugenji Temple was chosen. After that, in a little over fifty years, the villages around the mausoleum were relocated, and a clean Shinto space was built, with a worship place, a Shinto shrine archway, and an approaching alley. On January 3, 1868, the Decree for the Restoration of Imperial Rule issued by the Chō shū -Satsuma alliance invoked the idea of “doing everything as in the times of Emperor Jinmu.” It rejected cultural influences from China and the politics of samurai warriors from the Kamakura through the Edo periods. It instead postulated a return to the emperor’s direct administration as executed during ancient times. Subsequently, the new Meiji government aimed to distinguish Buddhism and Shinto and to establish the hegemony of Shinto as the national religion. Ichijō in and Daijō in, the Buddhist subtemples of the Kō fukuji Temple in Nara were destroyed and turned into Nara Park, now famous for its deer, which according to Shinto beliefs, are believed to be messengers of the gods. Uchiyama Eikyū ji Temple and Jingū ji Temple in the Isonokami Jingū Shrine were also abolished. The temple treasures were taken to the Fujita Museum of Art in Osaka and to foreign countries. In Kyoto, the Jingū ji Temple of Iwashimizu Hachimangū Shrine, considered “a place full of demons,” was demolished and the site later developed into Maruyama Park. The movement for the abolishment of Buddhism (haibutsu kishaku) destroyed Buddhist temples and images and shows how the denial of the Buddhist cultural tradition in the first years of the Meiji period was closely tied to an attempt to purify Japan from “foreign” cultural and religious

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influences as part of the “civilization and enlightenment movement” (bunmei kaika) that in return displayed contempt for the cultural properties embodied in the history and tradition of temples and shrines. At the Nara Exhibition of 1875, held at the Great Buddha Hall of Tō daiji Temple, imperial treasures from the Shō sō in were exhibited, even though their management had just been transferred from Tō daiji Temple to the Department of Home Affairs (Naimushō ). The exhibition included newly unveiled treasures, such as Buddha statues and pictures from shrines and temples, and it attracted more than 170,000 visitors. After that display, the treasures of Shō sō in became the “concealed” private property of the emperor. In a similar way, Kyoto was repositioned as an ancient capital providing cultural legitimacy for a modern nation-state aiming to be equal to other cultured nations. After the transfer of the capital to Tokyo in 1869, the imperial palace in Kyoto and the court nobles’ residences surrounding it initially fell into ruin. The relocation of the capital also affected religious and social rituals. The three major chokusai (religious services at a shrine where messengers are sent by the emperor) – the Iwashimizu Festival, the Aoi Festival, and the Kasuga Festival – were discontinued despite being held regularly since the Heian period (794–1185). In the new Meiji state, they were deemed as no longer having any relation with the annual events conducted by the Imperial Household in Tokyo. Already in 1871, Shinto and Buddhist deities in the Imperial Household were separated, and the relationships between the emperor and influential Kenmon temples like Tō ji and Enryakuji, which had existed since the Heian period, were severed. The Buddhist Sennyū ji Temple had been the ancestral temple of the imperial family in the Edo period, but from the 1870s, Buddhist memorial services were permitted only within the private confines of the imperial family’s residence. By contrast, state Shinto religious services became the official state ritual for worshiping imperial ancestors. The Kyoto Exhibition, held in 1873 at the site of the former Kyoto Imperial Palace, provided the occasion for many foreigners to leave their treaty port settlements and visit Kyoto for the first time. (The Meiji government bestowed special permission for the exhibition.) A total of 406,000 Japanese and foreign visitors traveled to the city. The first English guidebook of Kyoto, Guide for the Celebrated Places for the Foreign Visitors, was published in 1873 for the event.9 In Gion, the still popular miyako odori, the dance of the capital, a seasonal dance performance of the Gion Kobu district, started imitating European revues. The 9

Yamamoto Kakuma, The Guide to the Celebrated Places in Kyoto & the Surrounding Places for the Foreign Visitors (Kyoto: Niwa, 1873).

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Higashiyama district, where the hotels for foreign visitors and foreign restaurants were concentrated around Maruyama Park, became a new symbol of civilization and enlightenment. Before the gates of Chion’in Temple, many antique stores for foreigners opened. The early modern pictures of Higashiyama show people looking up from the center of the city, but the new guidebook urged people to instead “look down upon the city’s fine flowers.” The new modern eyes appreciated the landscape by looking down at the full view of Kyoto from the hillside hotels and restaurants. Establishment of the Constitutional Monarchy and the Ancient Capitals As they invoked a political restoration in 1868, the men who would establish the Meiji government rejected some Japanese cultural traditions. Emperor Meiji’s return trip to Kyoto, in 1877, triggered a movement in the opposite direction. His six-month stay was caused by the military emergency of the Satsuma Rebellion that same year. While in Kyoto, the emperor visited the Mausoleum of Emperor Jinmu on February 11 for the imperial memorial service marking the tenth anniversary of Emperor Kō mei’s death. He also attended the unsealing of the Shō sō in treasures, and a special offering ceremony for the past emperors’ mausolea. The Emperor Meiji lamented the decay of the Kyoto Imperial Palace after the relocation of the capital to Tokyo and offered to pay for its restoration with his own funds. The interior garden of the imperial palace was named Kyoto Imperial Garden (Kyō to Gyoen), and from 1878 to 1880, the outer compound of stone mounds around the gate of the palace was repaired, roads were improved, and trees were planted. One important factor contributing to the development of the palace grounds was the diplomatic movement that advocated the use of the park as a location for foreigners to visit and see as a representation of traditional Japanese culture. In the 1880s, the Katsura and Shugakuin Imperial Villas and Nijō Castle, once a bastion of Tokugawa power in Kyoto, came under the supervision of the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō ). A later publication in celebration of the enthronement of Emperor Taishō (r. 1912–1926) mentions as special scenic points: the Imperial Palace, Imperial Garden, Sentō Palace, Ō miya Palace, Nijō Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Villa, and the Katsura Villa.10 All these places had been systematically assembled as a group of 10

Kyoto-shi, ed., Shinsen Kyoto meishō shi [New Collection of Kyoto’s Scenic Beauties] (Kyoto: Kyoto-shi, 1915).

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cultural properties, dubbed the Imperial Properties in the 1890s. The imperial mausolea and Shō sō in’s properties were then placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Imperial Household Ministry in 1878 and 1884, respectively. It is important here to note that the cultural properties, which had been designated as a group in the 1880s, subsequently became official imperial properties. European royal households served as models in celebrating the ancient history in Japan. Itō Hirobumi, the mastermind behind the Meiji Constitution, believed that it was indispensable to know the history of one’s own nation in order to arouse patriotic sentiments. He wrote a report exploring “the issue of the selection of the imperial estates” (ca. 1887–1888), providing details about how European monarchies appropriated aspects of their respective national histories. Since European monarchies preserved “historic places and former living sites,” he proposed to incorporate into the imperial estates “sacred and historic places” such as Kamakura, Shiga, Oki Island, and Mt. Kasagi, where emperors lived or retired in ancient or medieval times.11 We thus see how the Meiji state used cultural strategies of representation to implement “treasure diplomacy.” The Meiji government welcomed honored foreign guests, such as German and British princes, by exclusively opening the concealed Shō sō in chambers, thereby giving them a window on Japan’s long cultural history. By the 1880s, Meiji leaders had learned from studying the moves of European states that a defined “cultural tradition” could be wielded as a powerful tool in diplomacy and domestic politics. In 1882, Yanagihara Sakimitsu reported to Sanjō Sanetomi and Iwakura Tomomi on the emphasis of tradition in the Austrian coronation ceremony, in which, during the reign of Francis Joseph I, bonfires were lit for impact even though gaslights had already been installed along the splendid new Ring Road in Vienna. He additionally emphasized the mercy shown by the new emperor, who gathered poor people at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and washed their feet himself before the new empress wiped them dry with a cloth.12 He also reported that in Russia, the tsar of the Romanov family moved from St. Petersburg, the political capital oriented toward Western Europe, to “the ancient capital” of Moscow, and held a coronation ceremony in the cultural tradition of the Greek Orthodox 11

12

Itō Hirobumi, ed., Hisho ruisan: teishitsu seido shiryō jō kan [The Secretary’s Collection: Archive of the Imperial Household, Vol. 1] (Tokyo: Hisho Ruisan Kankō kai, 1936), pp. 431–432. Emperor Franz Joseph I reigned over the Austrian Empire from 1848 to 1916 and, in 1867, was crowned as the Hungarian monarch in Budapest. Yanagihara thus likely referred to an anniversary celebration of the original coronation.

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Church. At the ceremony, ladies wore traditional, Russian court dresses. In addition at the beginning of the year, the court held a special seasonal ceremony in which the hard ice on a major river was broken.13 Suematsu Kenchō , who served as diplomat in London, also marveled in 1881 at the “bizarre” and ridiculous respect for “rites and ceremonies” in Britain, but felt they were nevertheless meaningful.14 To be “a first-class power,” it was not enough to fulfill the universal requirements of civilization such as having a constitution, an army, and universal education. Not only in Austria and Russia but also in Britain, France, and Germany, it was common to use one’s own history and traditional culture to impress the international community.15 Thus, in January 1883, Iwakura Tomomi recommended that following the Russian system of two capitals, a ceremony of enthronement and the Daijō sai Festival to celebrate the succession of an emperor should be carried out in the Kyoto Gyoen, the former palace grounds turned imperial garden in the “traditional capital” of Kyoto.16 He also proposed the revival of the Kamo, the Iwashimizu, and the Kasuga Festivals, the founding of a Heian Jingū Shrine, as well as the establishment of a repository of treasures. In addition, he called for the revival of annual, imperial religious events in Kyoto. These proposals were specified in the Imperial House Act in 1889, and the contents of the ceremonies were stipulated in detail by the Imperial House Law (tō kyokurei) issued in 1909. They were eventually implemented in the imperial enthronement ceremonies held in Kyoto Gyoen for Emperor Taishō in 1915, and for Emperor Shō wa in 1928. The promulgation ceremony of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan commemorated the fictitious National Foundation Day (kigensetsu) of February 11, 1889, taking the form of the Emperor Meiji’s vow before his imperial ancestors.17 The organizers of the ceremony presented Japan’s unique history as a key factor in allowing it to be the first country in Asia to promulgate a constitution. Moreover, during 1889, the Meiji government hastily classified tombs as imperial mausolea, including some that 13 14 15

16 17

Iwakura Tomomi, “Teishitsu gishiki no gi” [The Issue of the Imperial Ceremonies], in Iwakura Tomomi bunsho [Iwakura Tomomi Documents], National Diet Library. Nagasaki Shō go, Nagasaki Shō go kankei bunsho [Documents Related to Nagasaki Shō go], National Diet Library. Takagi Hiroshi, Kindai tennō sei no bunkateki kenkyū : Tennō shū nin girei, nenjū gyō ji, bunkazai [Cultural Research on the Modern Emperor System: Inauguration Etiquette, Annual Ceremonies, Cultural Heritage] (Tokyo: Azekura Shobō , 1997). Iwakura Tomomi, Iwakura kō jikki 2 [Personal Notes by Duke Iwakura 2], ed. Tada Kō mon (Tokyo: Kō gō Gū shoku, 1906), pp. 2038–2048. Kunaichō , ed., Meiji Tennō ki [The Diary of the Emperor Meiji], Vol. 7 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan. 1972), pp. 204–211.

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archeologists mistakenly designated as imperial, such as the mausoleum of Emperor Keitai. This group of mausolea, in conjunction with the Kō reiden Ancestral Spiritual Sanctuary where religious services to the ancestors’ spirits were carried out in the new Imperial Palace in Tokyo, became public, visual representations of the unique, unbroken imperial line. Itō Hirobumi insisted that, to succeed in revising the unequal treaties, it was necessary to emphasize cultural equality with foreign nations. The designation of all imperial tombs served to publicize the special history of the Japanese imperial family with its “unbroken line” and exhibited the national character in all its beauty both within and outside Japan.18 Itō argued that classifying tombs as designated imperial mausolea was a crucial strategy to allow Japan to be recognized as “a first-class power” in the international community. The state thereby propagated a spatial arrangement of Japan’s national territory designating Nara and Kyoto as ancient capitals, in contrast to the modern, administrative capital of Tokyo, where the new imperial palace celebrated its grand opening, also in 1889. The Meiji government directed the designation of a total of 120 imperial mausolea, with Emperor Meiji to be buried in the 121st tomb. Of the 121 total mausolea, thirty were in Nara and fiftynine were in Kyoto. We can say that the history and tradition of the imperial system was physically embodied in the Kansai landscape of these two ancient capitals, which thus became repositories of Japanese culture. Nation-States and Ancient Capitals In 1889, the Meiji government established three “Imperial Museums” in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara and modeled their organization after similar museums in the capitals of Austria, Germany, Britain, and France.19 It furthermore established the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Tō kyō Bijutsu Gakkō ) in 1887 and appointed Okakura Tenshin, still in his twenties, as its director. This systematic promotion of “fine arts” was further carried out after the promulgation of the constitution by core members such as Kuki Ryū ichi, who later became the first president of the Imperial Museum in Tokyo, and Okakura, who brought back Fenollosa’s fine art theory from the United States.20 Between 1888 and 1897, a national 18 19

20

Kunaichō , Meiji Tennō ki, Vol. 7, pp. 279–280. Today they are known as “National Museums”; see Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, ed., Tokyo kokuritsu hakubutsukan hyaku-nen shi [A Centennial History of the Tokyo National Museum] (Tokyo: Dai-ichi Hō ki, 1973), pp. 249–250. Satō Dō shin, “Nihon bijutsu” tanjō [The Creation of “Japanese Fine Arts”] (Tokyo: Kō dansha, 1996).

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inspection system of treasures developed that classified objects according to analytical methods of “art history,” employing categories such as genre, grade, age, and producer that are still used today. The current classification of historical periods in Japan, from ancient to modern, was first established in the domain of art history, a field that became visibly engaged with the international community via world expositions and diplomatic encounters. In an 1891 lecture on “Japanese Art History” at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Okakura introduced a periodization still used today that includes: the Suiko period (592–628), Asuka Culture – Tenji period (668–671), Hakuhō Culture – Tenpyō period (729–749), followed by the Heian and Kamakura periods.21 Nara became a capital characterized by the beginning of ancient civilization, with Kyoto distinguished by the aristocratic culture of the Heian period. In other words, the spaces of Nara and Kyoto are located on different positions on the time axis. Okakura matched this historical periodization with that of the national treasure classification scheme. For the periods during which Nara was the capital, he emphasized the prominence of the artifacts of the Hō ryū ji and Tō daiji temples. He presented the Suiko period as characterized by the triadic Shakyamuni statues of the Hō ryū ji Temple, created under the influence of the culture of the Six Dynasties (222–589) in China. He visualized the Tenji period as defined by the wall paintings in the Main Hall (kondō ) of the Hō ryū ji Temple, which had been influenced by the arts of India and Greece. Okakura identified the Tō daiji Temple as representing the Tenpyō period because the temple’s standing statues of the four heavenly kings (shitennō ), gate guardian statue (shitsukongoshin), and glasswork of the Shō sō in, all showed the influence of the cosmopolitan culture of the Tang Dynasty (618–907). He viewed Kyoto as becoming an ancient cultural capital when the imperial court moved there in 794, initiating the Heian period. Within Heian period art, Okakura stressed the originality developed under the influence of Esoteric Buddhism introduced into Japan by Kū kai. He also singled out the Engi period (901–923, during the reign of Emperor Daigo, r. 897–930) as an era that witnessed the flowering of elegant court splendor of an “absolute Japanese style.” Okakura stressed that artists such as the ninth-century painter, Kanaoka, and the tenth-century Buddhist sculptor, Jō chō , created new trends based on artistic themes of the Engi period. He applied retroactively the Western concept of a European Renaissance to Japan by locating the Engi period as the origin point of “national identity.” In the same stroke, he thus cast Kyoto as the fountainhead of a “national 21

Okakura Tenshin, Okakura Tenshin zenshū [Complete Works of Okakura Tenshin] (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1993), Vol. 4, pp. 5–167.

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culture” (kokufū bunka). In addition to his periodization of art history, Okakura pioneered the institutional support for a new genre of “Japanese painting” as an answer to the cultural challenge of Western painting. In this scheme, he trained modern painters such as Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shū nsō under the slogan: “Future art is in the making.” Okakura repeatedly emphasized the analogical relationship in the process of nation-state formation between Greek civilization in European countries, and Chinese civilization in Japan. He considered a Japanese national treasure, the Kagenkei, a Buddhist religious object made in China and owned by the Kō fukuji Temple (see Figure 12.3). Okakura argued in his “Japanese Art History” that Occidental civilization has Greece and Rome as its models. He also wrote that Europe had made Greece and Rome their own. “We ourselves have imitated things belonging to the Sui (581–618) and Tang Dynasties, harmonizing and fusing them. Thus, it is not impossible to talk of them as our own.” He insisted that the contemporary strength of Western European countries such as Britain and France resulted from their claiming to have drawn on

Figure 12.3 Kagenkei, owned by the Kō fukuji Temple. Courtesy of Kō fukuji Temple, Nara, Japan

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the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Therefore Japan should appropriate aspects of Chinese civilization as its own, given that they had been fused and harmonized according to Japanese sensibilities over the years. After the Middle Ages, “Japanese”-made art objects appeared. During the Asuka period, however, items that in the Meiji period were classified as national treasures were actually imported from the continent or made by immigrants. If these were excluded, what would remain as “Japanese culture?” This is a clear example of how the builders of the modern Japanese nation-state, whose cultural identity and borders had barely been defined, were trying to appropriate the history and culture of East Asia in a way that fit their political aims. Okakura was also instrumental in creating an international image of Kyoto as the ancient capital and the repository of native culture. He drew the original plan for the Japanese pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 in the style of the “national culture” (kokufū bunka) imitating the Phoenix Hall (Hō -ō -dō ) of the Byō dō in Temple in Uji near Kyoto (see Figure 12.4). He used the newly coined term of kokufū bunka then being employed to denote a “pure Japanese culture” exemplified by the eleventh-century Tale of Genji and traditional waka poetry. In his “Japanese Art History,” Okakura presented kokufū bunka, removed of all Chinese influence, as the true image of “Japanese culture.” Two years later, the Meiji government held a celebratory festival to mark the 1100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Kyoto (Heiankyō ) and convened the Fourth National Industrial Exhibition in

Figure 12.4 Hō -ō -den at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum, Japan

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the Okazaki district on the eastern bank of the Kamo River. The celebration, embodying the “history” and “tradition” of Japan, initiated the annual Festival of the Ages (jidai matsuri), a parade displaying Japanese history and the customs from the Heian period until the Meiji Restoration. The exhibition symbolized “modern times” and “civilization,” and its mounting coincided with the construction of the Lake Biwa Canal, the building of city trams, and the spreading of electric lighting throughout Kyoto. Somei Yoshino cherry trees, a clone with splendid pink flowers created in modern times, were planted in rows along the newly developed urban streets and canals. In addition, influenced by Okakura’s “Japanese Art History,” Yumoto Fumihiko oversaw publication of the General History of Heian (Heian tsū shi), which showcased Kyoto’s history, and which was packaged as a companion work, complementing the “modern” National Industrial Exhibition. Also, the Kyoto Imperial Museum was scheduled to open at the same time as the Industrial Exhibition to demonstrate the systematic preservation of art and cultural properties. (The museum, now the Kyoto National Museum, opened its doors in 1897.) The number of guidebooks about Kyoto sharply increased from only four in 1894 to thirty-three in 1895, further pushing the growth of tourism. The Kyoto Municipal Council prepared a guidebook that simultaneously marked the opening of the Fourth National Industrial Exhibition and the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the city, thereby explicitly linking economic and technological development to the ancient past.22 Although the real tourism boom began as part of a flourishing of popular culture after World War I, the events held in 1895 served as preliminary steps toward standardizing Kyoto tourism. The Law for the Preservation of Old Shrines and Temples in 1897 officially established the concept of national treasures (kokuhō ). Around that time, we also see more concerted efforts to convey a unitary “selfimage” of Japanese culture to the international community. For example in 1900, the Histoire de l’art du Japon (Japanese Art History) was published in French for the World Exposition in Paris.23 In the preface to this book, Kuki Ryū ichi declared that the project of compiling an Oriental history of art will be accomplished first in “the Empire of Japan, the true repository of Oriental treasures” and then in 22 23

M. Ichihara, The Official Guide-Book to Kyoto and the Allied Prefectures (Nara: Meishinsha, 1895). La Commission Impériale du Japon à l’Exposition Universelle de Paris, Histoire de l’art du Japon (Paris: Bruneff, 1900); Japanese translation as Teikoku Hakubutsukan, ed., Kō hon Nihon teikoku bijutsuryakushi [Abbreviated Art History of the Empire of Japan/ Manuscript] (Tokyo: Nō shō mushō , 1901).

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China or India. Thus, in the twentieth century, the Japanese Empire aimed at the protection and promotion of Japanese culture as a representative of Asia. In 1919, the Meiji government promulgated the Historical Scenic Beauties and Natural Monuments Preservation Act, following the precedent set by the Japanese colonial government (Chō sen Sō tokufu) in Korea, which had earlier moved to preserve historic sites and relics. Previously Kuroita Katsumi, Professor of National History at Tokyo Imperial University, had introduced the German term and practice for homeland protection (Heimatschutz). The movement to improve rural communities after the Russo-Japanese War and the laws for historic preservation and conservation worked to connect the love for one’s home province to the love for one’s country, and fostered historical awareness and admiration for the imperial family. Many more came to appreciate the cultural properties of the ancient capitals of Heijō and Kyoto (Heian), as well as the nearby scenic spots of Arashiyama and Yoshino. In addition, historical spots related to Toyotomi Hideyoshi were preserved. During the colonial period, Japanese imperial authorities recast the city of Gyeongju as a Korean version of Nara, and designated it, for touristic purpose, “the old capital” of Korea. Sekino Tadashi, who submitted his graduation thesis on the architecture of the Phoenix Hall of Byō dō in Temple to the Department of Architecture, Tokyo Imperial University in 1895, worked as an engineer in Nara Prefecture after the promulgation of the Law for the Preservation of Old Shrines and Temples.24 In 1901, he became an associate professor at Tokyo Imperial University. He subsequently explored several ruins in the Korean Peninsula and completed a Research Report on Korean Architecture (1904). His later outline of “Korean Art History” (1932) led to a classification of Korean historical periods, i.e., the Shiragi (Silla) period (57 BCE to 935), the Kō rai (Goryeo) period (935–1392), and the Chō sen (Joseon) period (1392–1897). Sekino’s “Korean Art History” states that “especially in the Shiragi period, the most splendid original taste is present, in architecture, sculptures, and paintings.” In other words, he applied the methodology of “Japanese Art History” of his graduation thesis to the case of Korea and discovered a Korean equivalent of the native Japanese kokufū bunka culture, free from Chinese influence. Sekino viewed the Phoenix Hall of Byō dō in Temple in Uji and the Seokguram in Gyeongju as symbolic cultural properties of art history, 24

Sekino Tadashi, “Hō ō dō kenchiku setsu” [Explanation of the Architecture of the Phoenix Hall], Journal of Architecture and Building Science 9, no. 102 (June 25, 1895): 122–141.

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which supported the two states’ claims of independence from Chinese influence.25 Thus, by the early twentieth century, Nara and Kyoto had not only become model ancient capitals of Japan but throughout the Japanese Empire they served to contain Chinese claims of antiquity and cultural superiority. With the expansion of the Japanese Empire during the 1910s, the Azuchi-Momoyama culture of the sixteenth-century Warring States period received more public attention as a time of economic and cultural exchanges with East Asia. In the Shokuhō period, defined by the political domination of the Japanese state by Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the final decades of the sixteenth century, luxury castle architecture, as well as screen and wall paintings flourished. Europeans brought Christianity and firearms to Japan, while Japanese carried on trade as far as Southeast Asia. The previously ignored AzuchiMomoyama culture was reimagined as an “Age of Exploration” and this image was superimposed on that of Kyoto beginning around 1920. The Momoyama Mausoleum for the Emperor Meiji was to be the last tomb for an emperor erected in Kyoto. Beginning with the Emperor Taishō , who died in 1926, emperors were buried in the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum near Tokyo. Thus, Nara and Kyoto became fixed in the cultural memory of East Asia as ancient capitals, evoking Japanese nostalgia while the image of a modern Tokyo was propagated as the center of power, the capital to rule the Japanese Empire in East Asia. During the Meiji period, the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto thus served in the creation of the modern nation-state through their portrayal of Japanese antiquity as a unique, independent civilization that could be found neither in China nor in Europe. The goal was to have the international community recognize Japan as a first-rate, civilized country due to its ancient history and unique myths. To reinforce the image of Japanese cultural legitimacy, Nara, as a capital of ancient Japan, was placed on a par with Greece, well-known as the birthplace of European civilization. The creation of the Japanese empire changed the dominant historical narratives of the Japanese past. During the 1910s and 1920s, many scholars continued to glorify the Azuchi-Momoyama period as an era of Japanese overseas expansion. They simultaneously paid tribute to the Japanese invasions of Korea (launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 25

Takagi Hiroshi, “Nihon bijutsu shi / Chō sen bijutsu shi no seiritsu” [The Formation of Japanese Art History and Korean Art History], in Sekai isan jidai no minzokugaku: gurō baru sutandā do no juyō o meguru Nikkan hikaku [Folkloristics in the Era of Cultural Heritage: Comparing Japan and Korea with Respect to Global Standards], ed. Iwamoto Michiya (Tokyo: Fū kyō sha: 2013).

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1590s), the Japanese towns established in Southeast Asian port cities, as well as the influx of European culture during the late sixteenth century. Moreover, by turning the former Silla capital of Gyeongju in Korea into an imitation of Nara, Japanese scholars and officials attempted to establish the cultural superiority of the ancient cities of Nara and Kyoto in East Asia.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Although there is some overlap with citations in the chapters of this volume, this bibliography is intended to serve primarily as a general overview of works related to the study of the Meiji Restoration, the Meiji period, as well as global history.

Web References “The 2018 Meiji Restoration Sesquicentennial Project.” https://build.zsr.wfu.edu/meijirestoration/ “The Meiji at 150 Project.” University of British Columbia. https://meijiat150 .arts.ubc.ca/ Tanaka Akihiko. “‘The World and Japan’ Database Project.” Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo. Last updated February 19, 2018. www .ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/front-ENG.shtml

Secondary Literature on the Meiji Restoration & the Meiji Period (in English and German) Akamatsu, Paul. Meiji 1868: Revolution and Counter Revolution in Japan. Translated by Miriam Kochan. London: Allen & Unwin, 1972. Anderson, Marnie. A Place In Public: Women’s Rights in Meiji Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2010. Auslin, Michael. Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006. Baxter, James C. The Meiji Unification Through the Lens of Ishikawa Prefecture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1994. Beasley, William G., trans. and ed. Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy, 1853–1868. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955. The Meiji Restoration. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972. Botsman, Daniel V. Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

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Botsman, Daniel V. and Adam Clulow, eds. “Commemorating Meiji: History, Politics and the Politics of History.” Special Issue Japanese Studies 38 no. 3 (November 2018). Bowen, Roger W. Rebellion and Democracy in Meiji Japan: A Study of Commoners in the Popular Rights Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. Burns, Susan. Before the Nation: Kokugaku and the Imagining of Community in Early Modern Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003. Craig, Albert M. Chō shū in the Meiji Restoration. 1961. Reprint, 2000, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Ericson, Steven J. The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan. Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1996. Eskildsen, Robert. Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia: The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. Frost, Peter. The Bakumatsu Currency Crisis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970. Fujitani, Takashi. Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Gluck, Carol. Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the late Meiji Period. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. Hane, Mikiso. Peasants, Rebels, Women and Outcasts: The Underside of Modern Japan. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 1982. Hardacre, Helen and Adam L. Kern, eds. New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan. Leiden, New York, Cologne: Brill, 1997. Harootunian, H. D. Toward Restoration: The Growth of Political Consciousness in Tokugawa Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970. Hellyer, Robert I. Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640–1868. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2009. Howell, David. Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Huber, Thomas M. The Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1981. Irokawa, Daikichi. The Culture of the Meiji Period, trans. by Marius B. Jansen. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. Jansen, Marius B. Sakamoto Ryō ma and the Meiji Restoration. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961. ed. Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 5, The Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds. Japan in Transition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988. Jaundrill, D. Colin. Samurai to Soldier: Remaking Military Service in NineteenthCentury Japan. Cornell, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016. Karlin, Jason G. Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan: Modernity, Loss, and the Doing of History. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2014.

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Suggestions for Further Reading

Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Kelly, William W. Deference and Defiance in Nineteenth-Century Japan. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. Ketelaar, James. Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and Its Persecution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990. Kim, Key-Hiuk. The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860–1882. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. Kim, Kyu Hyn. The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007. Koschmann, J. Victor. The Mito Ideology: Discourse, Reform, and Insurrection in Late Tokugawa Japan, 1790–1864. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. Lebra, Joyce C. Okuma Shigenobu: Statesman of Meiji Japan. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1973. Makimura, Yasuhiro. Yokohama and the Silk Trade: How Eastern Japan Became the Primary Economic Region of Japan, 1843–1893. New York: Lexington Books, 2017. Maxey, Trent E. The “Greatest Problem”: Religion and State Formation in Meiji Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. McClellan, Edwin. Woman in a Crested Kimono: The Life of Shibue Io and Her Family, Drawn from Mori Ō gai’s “Shibue Chū sai.” New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985. Mehl, Margaret and Carl Joseph Wilhelm Kö ppen. Carl Kö ppen und sein Wirken als Militä rinstrukteur fü r das Fü rstentum Kii-Wakayama (1869–1872) [Carl Köppen as a Military Instructor for Kii-Wakayama Domain, 1869–1872]. Bonner Zeitschrift fü r Japanologie, Bd. 9. Bonn: Fö rderverein “Bonner Zeitschrift fü r Japanologie,” 1988. Mitani, Hiroshi. Escape from Impasse: The Decision to Open Japan. Tokyo: International House of Japan, 2006. Miyoshi, Masao. As We Saw Them: The First Japanese Embassy to the United States (1860). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. Nagai, Michio and Miguel Urrutia, eds. Meiji Ishin: Restoration and Revolution. Tokyo: United Nations University, 1985. Nenzi, Laura. The Chaos and Cosmos of Kurosawa Tokiko: One Woman’s Transit from Tokugawa to Meiji. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2015. Norman, E. H. Japan’s Emergence as a Modern State: Political and Economic Problems of the Meiji Period. New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1940. Patessio, Mara. Women and Public Life in Early Meiji Japan: The Development of the Feminist Movement. Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies, No. 71. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2011. Phipps, Catherine, Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858–1899. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015.

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ed. “Meiji Japan in Global History.” Special Issue, Japan Forum 30 no. 4 (December 2018). Platt, Brian. Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750–1890. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004. Pyle, Kenneth B. The New Generation in Meiji Japan: Problems of Cultural Identity, 1885–1895. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969. Ravina, Mark. The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori. New York: Wiley, 2004. To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration in World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Sagers, John. Origins of Japanese Wealth and Power: Reconciling Confucianism and Capitalism, 1830–1885. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Sakata, Yoshio and John Whitney Hall. “The Motivation of Political Leadership in the Meiji Restoration.” Journal of Asian Studies 16, no. 1 (November 1956): 31–50. Silberman, Bernard S. Ministers of Modernization: Elite Mobility in the Meiji Restoration, 1868–1873. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1964. Smith, Thomas C. “Japan’s Aristocratic Revolution.” In Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization, 1750–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. Stanley, Amy. Selling Women: Prostitution, Households, and the Market in Early Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. Steele, Marion William. Alternative Narratives in Modern Japanese History. London: Routledge Curzon, 2003. Suzuki, Mamiko C. Gendered Power: Educated Women of the Meiji Empress’ Court. Center for Japanese Studies Monograph Series, 86. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2019. Swale, Alistair. The Meiji Restoration: Monarchism, Mass Communication and Conservative Revolution. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Takii, Kazuhiro. The Meiji Constitution: The Japanese Experience of the West and the Shaping of the Modern State. Tokyo: I-House Press, 2007. Itō Hirobumi – Japan’s First Prime Minister and Father of the Meiji Constitution. London: Routledge, 2014. Thal, Sarah. Rearranging the Landscape of the Gods: The Politics of a Pilgrimage Site in Japan, 1573–1912. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Totman, Conrad. The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1980. Toyosawa, Nobuko. Imaginative Mapping: Landscape and Japanese Identity in the Tokugawa and Meiji Eras. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2019. Umegaki, Michio. After the Restoration: The Beginning of Japan’s Modern State. New York: New York University Press, 1988. Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi. Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in EarlyModern Japan: The New Theses of 1825. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1986. Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

270

Suggestions for Further Reading

Walthall, Anne and Steele, M. William, eds. Politics and Society in Japan’s Meiji Restoration: A Brief History with Documents. Boston, MA: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2017. Waters, Neil L. Japan’s Local Pragmatists: The Transition from Bakumatsu to Meiji in the Kawasaki Region. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1983. Wert, Michael. Meiji Restoration Losers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013. Wigen, Kären. The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600–1912. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Wilson, George M. Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Wippich, Rolf-Harald. Japan als Kolonie? Max von Brandts Hokkaidō -Projekt 1865/ 1867 [Japan as a Colony? Max von Brandt’s Hokkaido Project]. Hamburg: Abera-Verlag, 1997. Yamakawa, Kikue. Women of the Mito Domain: Recollections of Samurai Life. Translated by Kate Wildman Nakai. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

Secondary Literature on the Meiji Restoration & the Meiji Period (in Japanese) Aoyama Tadamasa. Nihon kinsei no rekishi [Japan’s Early Modern History]. Vol. 6, Meiji ishin [Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2012. Banno Junji. Mikan no Meiji ishin [The Unfinished Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō , 2007. Botsman, Daniel V., Tsukada Takashi, and Yoshida Nobuyuki, eds. Meiji hyakugojū nen de kangaeru – kindai ikō ki no shakai to kū kan [Thinking Through Meiji 150 – Social and Spatial Change in the Transition to Modernity]. Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppan-sha, 2018. Breen, John. Girei to kenryoku: tennō no Meiji ishin [Ceremonies and Power: The Emperor’s Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2011. Fukuoka Mariko. Puroisen Higashi Ajia ensei to bakumatsu gaikō [The Prussian East Asian Expedition and Japanese Diplomacy in the Late Edo Period]. Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 2013. Gotō Atsushi. Kaikokuki Tokugawa bakufu no seiji to gaikō [The Shogunate’s Politics and Diplomacy in the Era of the Opening of the Country]. Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2015. Haga Tō ru. Meiji ishin to nihonjin [The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese People]. Tokyo: Kō dansha, 1986. Hakoishi Hiroshi, ed. Boshin sensō no shiryō gaku [A Study of Sources Related to the Boshin War]. Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan, 2013. Hani Gorō . Meiji ishin: gendai Nihon no kigen [The Meiji Restoration: The Birth of Today’s Japan]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1974.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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Hattori Shisō . Meiji ishin no kakumei oyobi hankakumei [The Revolution and Counterrevolution of the Meiji Restoration]. 1933 Reprint. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1982. Hō ya Tō ru. Sensō no Nihonshi [Japanese History Through War]. Vol. 18, Boshin sensō [The Boshin War]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2007. Iechika Yoshiki. Saigō Takamori to bakumatsu ishin no seikyoku: Taichō furyō mondai kara mita Satchō dō mei, Seikanron seihen [Saigō Takamori and the Political Situation during the Bakumatsu and the Restoration Periods: The Satsuma-Chō shū Alliance and the “Invade Korea” Coup Through the Lens of Saigō ’s Ill Health]. Kyoto: Mineruva Shobō , 2011 Ikeda Yū ta. Ishin henkaku to jukyō teki risō shugi [The Changes in the Restoration and Confucian Idealism]. Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2013. Ishii Takashi. Gakusetsu hihan Meiji ishin ron [Theoretical Critiques of Meiji Restoration Discourse]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 1967. ed. Zusetsu Nihon no rekishi [An Illustrated History of Japan]. Vol. 13, Sekai jō sei to Meiji ishin [Global Conditions and the Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Shū eisha, 1976. Meiji ishin to gaiatsu [The Meiji Restoration and Foreign Pressure]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 1993. Karube Tadashi. “Ishin Kakumei” e no michi: “Bunmei” o motometa jū kyū seiki Nihon [A Road to the “Ishin Revolution”: A Nineteenth-Century Japan that Sought “Civilization”]. Tokyo: Shinchō sha, 2017. Kobayashi Noburu. Meiji ishinki no kahei keizai [The Monetary Economy During the Restoration Period]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2015. Kō no Yū ri. Meiroku zasshi no seiji shisō : Sakatani Shiroshi to “dō ri” no chō sen [The Political Thought of the Meiji Six Journal: Sakatani Shiroshi and the Challenge of “Order”]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2011. Matsuo Masahito, ed. Nihon no jidaishi [Japanese History Through its Eras]. Vol. 21, Meiji ishin to bunmei kaika [Meiji Restoration and Civilization and Enlightenment]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2004. Matsuyama Megumi. Toshi kū kan no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration and Urban Spaces]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō , 2019. Matsuzawa Yū saku. Meiji chihō jichi taisei no kigen [The Origins of the Meiji Local Autonomy System]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2009. Ikidurai Meiji shakai [The Challenges of Living in Meiji Society]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2018. Meiji Ishin-shi Gakkai, ed. Kō za Meiji ishin [Essays on the Meiji Restoration]. 11 vols. Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010. Mitani Hiroshi. Ishin shi saikō : Kō gi ō sei kara shū ken datsu mibunka e [Rethinking the History of the Restoration: From Public Authority and Imperial Rule to Centralization and the Removal of Status]. Tokyo: NHK Shuppan, 2017. Miyachi Masato. Bakumatsu ishinki no bunka to jō hō [Information and Culture During the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration Periods]. Tokyo: Meicho Kankō kai, 1994. Bakumatsu ishinki no shakaiteki seijishi kenkyū [The History of Social Politics in the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration Periods]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1999.

272

Suggestions for Further Reading

Bakumatsu henkakushi [The Transformations of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Periods]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012. Miyama Jun’ichi. Boshin nairanki no shakai: sabaku to kinnō no aida [Society in the Boshin Civil War Era: Between Pro-shogunate and Pro-emperor]. Kyoto: Shibunkaku Shuppan, 2015. Nagano Hiroko. Meiji ishin to gendā [The Meiji Restoration and Gender]. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2016. Nara Katsuji. Meiji ishin to sekai ninshiki taikei: Bakumatsu no Tokugawa seiken shingi to seii no aida [The Meiji Restoration and Worldview Systems: Tokugawa Administration in the Bakumatsu Era and the Space Between Faith and Foreign Conquest]. Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2010. Ogawara Masamichi. Seinan sensō to jiyū minken [The Satsuma Rebellion and Popular Rights]. Tokyo: Keiō Gijuku Daigaku Shuppankai, 2017. Ō kubo Takeharu. Kindai Nihon no seiji kō sō to Oranda [The Quest for Civilization: Encounters with Dutch Jurisprudence, Economics, and Statistics and the Dawn of Modern Japan]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2010. Sano Mayuko. Bakumatsu gaikō girei no kenkyū : Ō bei gaikō kantachi no shō gun haietsu [Diplomatic Etiquette in the Bakumatsu Period: Western Diplomats’ Audiences with Shoguns]. Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 2016. Sekiguchi Sumiko. Goisshin to gendā : Ogyū Sorai kara Kyō iku chokugo made [The Meiji Restoration and Gender: From Ogyū Sorai to the Imperial Rescript on Education]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2005. Shiba Ryō tarō . Ryō ma ga yuku [Ryō ma Goes His Way]. Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū , 1997–1998. Shibahara Takuji. Sekaishi no naka no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration within World History]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1985. Suzuki Yukiko. Onnatachi no Meiji ishin [Women in the Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: NHK Shuppan, 2010. Takagi Shunsuke. Meiji ishin to gō nō : Furuhashi Terunori no shō gai [The Meiji Restoration and Wealthy Farmers: The Life of Furuhashi Terunori]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2011. Takahashi Noriyuki, Yamada Kuniaki, Hō ya Tō ru, and Ichinose Toshiya. Nihon gunjishi [Japan’s Military History]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2006. Tanaka Akira. “Datsua” no Meiji ishin: Iwakura shisetsudan o ou tabi kara [The Meiji Restoration and the Decoupling from Asia: Following the Trails of the Iwakura Mission]. Tokyo: Nihon Hō sō Shuppan Kyō kai, 1984. Meiji ishinkan no kenkyū [Perspectives on the Meiji Restoration]. Sapporo: Hokkaidō Daigaku Toshokankō kai, 1987. ed. Nihon no rekishi [History of Japan]. Vol. 7, Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2001. Tō yama Shigeki. Meiji ishin to gendai [The Meiji Restoration and Today]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1987. Ugai Masashi. Meiji ishin no kokusai butai [The International Stage of the Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Yū shisha, 2014. Yasumaru Yoshio. Kamigami no Meiji ishin [Gods of the Meiji Restoration]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1979.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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Kindai tennō zō no keisei [The Formation of the Image of the Modern Emperor]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1992. Yokohama Kaikō Shiryō kan, ed. Shiryō de tadoru Meiji ishin-ki no Yokohama EiFutsu chū tongun [Written Material Traces: The Anglo-French Occupation Forces in Yokohama during the Meiji Restoration]. Yokohama: Yokohama Kaikō Shiryō kan, 1993. Yokoyama Yoshinori, ed. Bakumatsu ishin to gaikō [Diplomacy and Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration Periods]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2001. Kaikoku zenya no sekai [The World on the Eve of the Opening of the Country]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kō bunkan, 2013. Yokoyama Yuriko. Edo Tokyo no Meiji ishin [The Meiji Restoration of Edo and Tokyo]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2018. Yukawa Fumihiko. Rippō to jimu no Meiji ishin: kanmin kyō chi no kō sō to tenkai [The Meiji Restoration through Legislation and Administration: The Idea and Development of Public-Private Co-Governance]. Tokyo: Tō kyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2017.

Secondary Literature on Global History and Works Exploring Japan and East Asia in Global Contexts (in English and German) Conrad, Sebastian. What is Global History? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. Conrad, Sebastian and Dominic Sachsenmaier, eds. Competing Visions of World Order. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Crossley, Pamela Kyle. What Is Global History? Cambridge: Polity, 2008. Forum/German History. “Asia, Germany and the Transnational Turn.” German History 28, no. 4 (2010): 515–536. Hamashita, Takeshi. China, East Asia and the Global Economy. London: Routledge, 2008. Hopkins, A. G., ed. Global History: Interactions between the Universal and the Local. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Miyoshi, Masao and Harry Harootunian, eds. Learning Places: The Afterlives of Area Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002. Mizushima, Tsukasa, George Bryan Souza, and Dennis Owen Flynn. Hinterlands and Commodities: Place, Space, Time and the Political Economic Development of Asia over the Long Eighteenth Century. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2014. Osterhammel, Jürgen and Niels P. Petersson. Globalization: A Short History. Translated by Dona Geyer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. Parthasarathi, Prasannan. Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Yang, Daqing. Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in SinoJapanese Relations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012.

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Secondary Literature on Gurō baru hisutorı¯ (in Japanese) Akita Shigeru. “Gurō baru hisutorı¯ to Ajia sekai tokushū : rekishi toshite no gurobarizeˉ shon” [Special Collection of Essays on Global History and the Asian World: Globalization as History]. Ex Oriente [Osaka Gaikokugo Daigaku Gengo Shakai Gakkai] 10 (2004): 75–99. “Gurō baru hisutorı¯ no chō sen to Seiyō -shi kenkyū .” [The Challenges of Global History and Research on Western History] Paburikku hisutorı¯ 5 (2008): 34–42. Ajia kara mita gurō baru hisutorı¯: “chō ki no 18-seiki” kara “Higashi-Ajia no keizaiteki saikō ” e [Global History from Asia’s View: From the “Long 18th Century” to the “Economic Renaissance of East Asia”]. Kyoto: Minerva Shobō , 2013. Crossley, Pamela Kyle. Gurō baru hisutorı¯ to wa nani ka [What Is Global History?]. Translated by Shō ichi Satō . Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012. Fujiya Kō etsu. “Nihon Sonbun kenkyū kaishū ‘Gurō baru hisutorı¯ no naka no Shingai kakumei – Shingai kakumei 100 shū nen kinen kokusai shinpojiumu (Kō be kaigi) ronbunshū ’” [Japanese Sun Yat-sen Conference Papers: “The Xinhai Revolution within Global History – Papers on the International Symposium on the 100 Year Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution (Kobe)”]. Chū goku kenkyū geppō 67, no. 9 (2013): 43–46. Hama Kunihiko, Nishi Masahiko, and Higashi Takuma. “Shitsugi ō tō (2011nendo renzoku kō za ‘Gurō baru hisutorı¯zu: kokumin kokka kara aratana kyō dō sei e’ dai-2 shirı¯zu ‘rekishi no naka no kankaku hen’yō ’) dai-1-kai ‘Onsei o meguru kankaku hen’yō : “koe” no seijishi, “oto” no sekaishi’” [Q&A (2011 Lecture on Global Histories: “From a Nation State to a new Cooperativity” 2nd Series: “Changing Feelings within History”) 1st Meeting: “Changing Feelings on Voices: The Political History of ‘Voice’ and the Global History of ‘Noise’”]. Ritsumeikan gengo bunka kenkyū 24, no. 2 (2013): 23–30. Haneda Masashi. Atarashii sekaishi e: chikyū shimin no tame no kō sō [Towards a New World History: A Framework for Global Citizens]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2011. Harada Tomohito. “Gurō baru hisutorı¯ no kanō sei: L. S. Sutaburiā nosu no sekaishiron o tegakari ni” [The Possibilities of Global History: L. S. Stavrianos’ World History as a Model]. Shakaika kyō iku ronsō 40 (1993): 27–36. Kawanishi Hidemichi, Namikawa Kenji, and M. William Steele, eds. Rō karu hisutorı¯ kara gurō baru hisutorı¯ e: tabunka no rekishigaku to chiikigaku [From Local History to Global History: The Historiography and Local History of Multiculturalism]. Tokyo: Iwata Shoin, 2005. Kawanishi Masaaki. Nihon bungaku kara sekai bungaku e [From Japanese Literature to Global Literature]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2013. Kondō Takahiro. “Gurō barizeshon wa rekishikyō iku o kaeru ka: Doitsu no taiō ni miru hen’yō to renzokusei (tokushū gurō baruka to kyō iku naiyō )” [Can Globalization Change History Education? Changes and Continuities Observed in German Responses (Special Collection on Globalization and Education Content)]. Kyō ikugaku kenkyū 81, no. 2 (2014): 187–199.

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Monbu Kagaku Shō . Kō tō gakkō gakushū shidō yō ryō kaisetsu/chiri rekishi hen [High School Curriculum Instruction Points: Geography and History]. Toyko: Monbu Kagaku Shō , 2014. Kō tō gakkō gakushū shidō yō ryō /shin-kyū taishō hyō [High School Curriculum Instruction Points: Comparison Chart of Changes]. Tokyo: Monbu Kagaku Shō , 2014. Nakamura Takeshi. “Hyō ron: Mizushima Tsukasa hen ‘Gurō baru hisutorı¯ no chō sen’” [Review: Mizushima Tukasa’s “The Global History Challenge”]. Rekishi kagaku 197 (2009): 13–18. Nii Masahiro. “Gurō baru hisutorı¯ kyō iku ni okeru nashonaru aidentiti no atsukai ni kansuru shitsuteki kenkyū : [World History for Us All] ni okeru tangen [New Identities: Nationalism and Religion 1850–1914 CE] no jissen o tō shite” [How to Teach about National Identity in Global History Education: With a Case Study of the Teaching Unit “New Identities: Nationalism and Religion 1850–1914 CE” from the World History for Us All] Website. Shakaika kyō iku kenkyū 120 (2013): 10–21. Nishitani Osamu. Sekaishi no rinkai [Criticality of World History]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2000. Odanaka Naoki. “Taikai kō en: gurō baru hisutorı¯ no shigakuteki ichi” [Conference Lecture: The Historiographic Standpoint of Global History]. Shisō 91 (2014): 112–128. Okamoto Michihiro. “Dokusho annai gurō baru hisutorı¯” [Reading Guide: Global History]. Rekishi to chiri 2 (2013): 35–38. Ō mi Yoshiaki. “Sekaishi ron no ayumi kara mita ‘gurō baru hisutorı¯ ron’” [“Global History” from the View of the Steps in World History]. Rekishi hyō ron 741 (2012): 50–60. Schwentker, Wolfgang. “Gurō barizeˉ shon to rekishigaku: gurō baru hisutorı¯ no teˉ ma, hō hō , hihan” [Globalization and Historiography: Themes, Methods and Critiques of Global History]. Seiyō shigaku 224 (2006): 265–281. Seo Tatsuhiko. “Pekin no chiisana hashi: machikado no gurō baru hisutorı¯” [A Small Bridge in Peking: Global History on Street Corners]. Kokuritsu Minzokugaku Hakubutsukan chō sa hō koku, Sekine Yasumasa hen “Sutorı¯to no jinruigaku” gekan [National Folklore Museum Research Report: Sekine Yasumusa’s “Anthropology of the Streets,” second volume] 81 (March 2009): 95–183. Shimada Ryū to. “Rekishigaku wa sude ni ‘kokkyō ’ o koetsutsu aru: gurō baru hisutorı¯ to kindaishi kenkyū no tame no oboegaki” [Historiography Is Already Crossing Borders: Memoranda for Global History and Modern History Research]. Paburikku hisutorı¯ 8 (2011): 1–13. Shingo Minamizuka. “Hihan to hansei rekishigaku no aratana chō sen: gurō baru hisutorı¯ to atarashii sekai” [Criticism and Reflection – The New Challenges of Historiography: Global History and a New World]. Rekishigaku kenkyū 899 (November 2012): 72–76. Sugihara Kaoru. “Gurō baru hisutorı¯ to Ajia no keizai hatten keiro” [Global History and the Course of Asian Economic Development]. Gendai chū goku kenkyū 28 (2011): 12–19.

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Takahashi Masaaki. “Shinkamoku ‘rekishi kiso’ no tokuchō to gutaika ni mukete” [New Lecture: Towards the Idiosyncrasies and the Concretization of “History Basics”]. Gakujutsu no dō kō 16, no. 9 (2011): 22–27. “Umi kara mita kindai sekai shisutemu” [The Modern World System Seen From “Seas”]. Kyō to Sangyō Daigaku sō gō kenkyū jo shohō 9 (July 2014): 109–117. Tō yama Jun. “Nihon to Higashi Ajia no komyunikeshon no sō gō teki kenkyū , Gotō -Nagasaki o meguru ibunka kō ryū no tobogurafı¯ – sakoku shikan kara gurō buru historı¯ no shiten e – joron ni kaete” [General Research on Communication in Japan and East Asia – The Topography of Exchange with Foreign Cultures in Nagasaki and the Gotō Islands: Moving from the Historical Perspective of the Closed Country Concept to a View Using Global History, An Introduction]. Momoyama Gakuin Daigaku sō gō kenkyū jo kiyō 37, no. 1 (2001): 109–123. Wakimura Kō hei. “Ekibyō no gurō baru hisutorı¯: ekibyō shi to kō ekishi no setten” [Epidemics and Global History: The Junction of Epidemic History and the Common Good]. Chiiki kenkyū /JCAS Review 7, no. 2 (2006): 39–58.

Index

Abiko Toshihiko, 203–204 Ainu, 50, 191–192 Aizu domain, 91, 95, 96–97, 106–107, 168, 173, 177, 183, 185, 203 settlers in Hokkaido, 203–205 tondenhei soldiers, 201 Aizu-Wakamatsu castle, 91, 106, 185 battle of, 183 Akasaka Palace, 239–240, 242–245 Kogosho Hall, 239 akutō (ruffians, scoundrels), 144, 145, 147 Alt, William, 92 alternative modernities, 214 Amaterasu sun goddess, 221, 223–230, 235 American Civil War, 1, 6, 21, 34, 71, 73, 84, 95, 97, 138, 154, 156, 179, 184, 218 Anderson, Benedict, 214 Andō Hiroshige, 224 Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902), 231 Ansei period reforms, 156 treaties. See unequal treaties antiforeign movement, 114, 115, 131 Aoki Kō ji, 32, 38 Aoki Shū zō , 238–239 Arakawa Hitoshi, 32 Armitage, David, 137 arms trade. See weapons trade arson as a means of battle, 33, 169 ashigaru, 53, 132, 145, 155 Aston, W. G., 226 Augustine Heard & Co., 95–96 Azuchi-Momoyama period, 264 bakumatsu period, 7, 8–10, 35, 48, 62, 91, 109, 113–114, 118, 148, 150, 156 bank notes, 215–219, 220–222 Bank of England (BoE), 24, 36 Battle of Sedan (1870), 75, 100 Battle of Toba-Fushimi (1868). See TobaFushimi Bauduin, Albert Johannes, 91, 93

Bismarck, Otto von, German Chancellor, 105, 222 BLR. See breech-loading rifle BoE. See Bank of England Bolitho, Harold, 103 Bombay, 16, 21 Bank of, 21 Boshin War, 1, 7, 8–10, 60, 85, 90, 95, 104, 109, 131, 153, 154–159, 161, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 171, 172, 175, 177, 183–185, 191, 194–195, 203–204 imperial forces, 119, 136 Bousquet, Albert Charles du, 222, 235 Brandt, Max von, 104–106 breech-loading rifle (BLR), 91–101, 154, 157 Breen, John, 11, 222–223, 231, 250 Brennwald, Caspar, Swiss Consul General, 94, 103 Bright, Charles, 84, 137 Britain, 3, 17–18, 19, 25, 84, 172–173, 179, 230, 242, 245–246, 260 Elgin Marbles, 249 London as cultural capital, 250 trade, 37 British-French War against China (1856–1860). See Opium Wars Buddhism, 250, 259 imperial memorial services, 253–254 Kū kai and origins in Japan, 259 movement to abolish, 253 national treasure, 259–260 Bunkyū period (1861–1864), 157, 252 bunmei kaika (civilization and enlightenment), 254 Byō dō in Temple (Uji), 261, 263 Charter Oath, 165 Chatterjee, Partha, 229 chihō shi. See local history Chiossone, Eduardo, 232–234, 236

277

278

Index

Chō shū domain, 1, 9, 15, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29–31, 32, 47, 48, 80, 85–87, 90–91, 98, 108, 140, 143, 149, 153, 157–158, 167, 169, 173–176, 177–178, 183 Chō shū Expedition, Second (1866), 78 Chō shū -Satsuma alliance. See Satsuma-Ch ō shū alliance Chronicles of Japan. See Nihon shoki Commodore Matthew Perry, 2, 7, 40, 42, 84, 119, 166 commoner mobilization, 139, 141–145, 151 Corps of the Piercing Halberd, The. See Shō hō tai cotton, 17–18, 21–22, 23, 27–29, 63, 70–71, 73, 99 prices, 24 production, 17, 77 trade, 17, 22, 35, 65 Coullet, Jacques, 93–94 Council of State. See Dajō kan Craig, Albert, 149, 213 Crimean War (1853–1856), 84, 137, 154 CSS Stonewall, 60, 93 currency, 6, 12, 78, 166, 218–223 coinage, 219 devaluation, 20, 25, 114 Germany as model, 222 iconography, 10–11, 215–217, 219–223, 226, 229, 231 Daijō sai Festival, 257 Dajō kan, 195, 222, 238, 241 Date Kunishige, 205 Decree for the Restoration of Imperial Rule, 253 Dejima, 91–92, 100 Dent and Company, 25 Dreyse needle guns (Zündnadelgewehr), 96, 102, 154 Echigo Province, 104, 183 Echizen Province, 116, 120, 121 Edo Castle, 166, 177 Edo period (1600–1868), 16, 27, 34, 41, 53, 79, 128, 137, 138–141, 146–149, 152, 155–156, 160, 161–162, 196, 223, 251–254 Edo-period state, 6, 9 Edward VII, British monarch, 231, 246 Egawa Hidetatsu, 142, 144 Egawa Hidetoshi, 144, 156 Ehlers, Maren, 9, 67, 143, 149, 173 Emperor Guangxu, Chinese monarch, 245 Emperor Gwangmu, Korean monarch, 245

Emperor Jinmu, 238, 252–253, 255 Emperor Kō mei, 80, 173, 253, 255 Emperor Meiji, 1, 6, 11, 12, 175, 223, 231, 232–248, 255, 257–258, 264 foreign guests, 242 Emperor Shō wa, 257 Emperor Taishō , 255, 257, 264 English East India Company, 97 Enomoto Takeaki, 194, 206 Ezo, 41–42, 43, 45, 50–51, 52, 53, 61, 153, 191, 192, 193, 194. See also Hokkaido Ezuya Shō hachi, 251 farmer-soldiers. See nō hei; tondenhei Fenollosa, Ernest, 250, 258 Festival of the Ages, 262 financial panic, London 1866, 19, 21, 23–24, 35, 36 Fletcher, C.A., 45–47 Fleury-Hérard, Paul, 93 Foreign Ministry (Japan), 238, 241 Charter of the, 241 France, 93, 96, 173, 249, 257–260 Franco-Prussian War, 8, 54, 101, 137 French Revolution, 2 Fuess, Harald, 8–9, 25, 30, 138, 157 Fujita Mosaburō , 134 Fukuchi Genichirō , 63 Fukui domain, 118, 123–125, 130 Fukuoka domain, 50 Fukuzawa Yukichi, 18, 99 Furukawa Manabu, 97 Furuya Sakuzaemon, 163, 173, 176–177, 178 Gaymans, William F., 92, 93 Germany Berlin as cultural capital, 250 Unification Wars (1864, 1866, 1870–1871), 84 Geyer, Michael, 84, 137 global commodities boom, 7, 16 Global History, 3–4, 7, 15. See also gurō baru hisutorı¯ global markets, 10, 66, 77, 78, 80, 81, 84 global trade. See global markets Glover, Thomas, 86, 91–92, 99–101 bankruptcy, 102 Gluck, Carol, 214, 231 gold, 23–24, 32, 160, 165–167, 219–220, 239 gō nō , 77 Great Britain. See Britain great elder (tairō ), 172

279

Index Greek Classical Studies at Imperial Universities, 250 Gregorian calendar, introduction, 129 Gunma Prefecture, 143, 174, 176 gurō baru hisutorı¯, 4–5. See also Global History Hachijo Island, 184 Hakodate, 44–47, 90, 98, 106, 179, 183, 191, 194, 201, 206 Academy of Western Learning, 45 battle of, 44, 60, 93, 119, 136 treaty port, 40, 42 whaling, 40–44, 49 Hakodate Maru, 45, 53, 57 Hall, Francis, 64, 68 Harris, Townsend, 43 Hartmann, Carl Hermann Oscar, 92 hatamoto, 157, 173, 219 Heian period, 167, 254, 262 Heimatschutz, 263 Helleiner, Eric, 220 Hellyer, Robert, 10, 19, 67, 77, 129, 143, 163, 195, 211 Hepburn, James, 64 Hikone domain, 120, 125, 180 Hirata Atsutane, 117, 121, 149 Historical Scenic Beauties and Natural Monuments Preservation Act, 1919, 263 Hizen domain, 48, 100 Hokkaido, 1, 6, 10, 60–61, 106, 153, 181, 186, 191–211 colonization versus development, 192 Imperial University, 202 inner colony, 192 Prussian takeover plan, 105 whaling, 41, 56–57 Hokkaido Development Agency. See Kaitakushi hō kō nin, 157, 164 Hokuetsu Front, 167 Hokusai, 224 Home Ministry. See Naimushō Hong Kong, 99, 102 Honors Bureau, 235 honors system, 234, 238 Honshu, 1, 87, 104, 173, 185, 186 Hosokawa Junjirō , 235 hostility to enemies, 204 Hō toku Movement, 149 Howell, David, 80, 118, 140, 144, 181 Hō ya Tō ru, 9–10, 86, 138, 140, 176 Hyō go treaty port opening, 27

Iemochi. See Tokugawa Iemochi Ii Naosuke, 119, 172 Iida domain, 121–122, 125 Imai Nobuo, 10, 143, 162–163, 171–177, 183–186 Imperial Army, 183, 200 Imperial Army at Asahikawa, 196 Imperial Decree of 1872, 212 Imperial Expulsion Edict, 115 Imperial House Act of 1889, 257 Imperial House Law of 1909, 257 Imperial Household Ministry, 255–256 Imperial Museum, 258 imperial rebels (chō teki ), 203 Incheon, port of, 244 India, 8, 16–17, 20, 23, 97, 98, 108, 263 British colony, 84 trade, 33, 37 infanticide, 146, 149 Inoue Kaoru, 48, 221–223, 225, 243, 245 Ise Shrine, 223–224, 235–236 Italian unification (1859–1871), 84 Itō Hirobumi, 48, 234, 235, 242, 248, 256, 258 Itō Hiroshi, 202 Ivings, Steven, 10, 44, 61, 185–186 Iwakura Mission, 103 Iwakura Tomomi, 193, 242, 256–257 Iwasaki Yatarō , 101 Izumo, 166 Jansen, Marius, 171 Japanese banknotes printing, 215 Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity, 244 Jardine, Matheson and Company, 25, 66, 99 Jaundrill, D. Colin, 140 jidai matsuri. See Festival of the Ages John Walsh and Company, 92, 102 Joseon period, 263 Kaga domain, 118, 125, 133, 142–143, 167 Kagenkei, 260 Kagoshima, 158 bombardment, 85 Kaientai, 101, 175 Kaitakushi, 191, 194–195, 204–206, 208 Kamakura period, 253 Kamchatka, 41, 56 Kameda Maru, 45 Kamishiraishi Minoru, 47, 141 Kanagawa commissioners (bugyō ), 66 Kansai region, 108, 258

280

Index

Kanto region, 81, 89 economy, 76 violence, 26, 29, 30, 118, 132 Karafuto, 198, 205 colonization, 194, 209 Kashiwara Court, 252 Katsu Kaishū , 30, 176–178 Katsuyama domain, 123, 131–132 Keiō period (1866–1868), 15, 26, 30, 38, 89, 157 Kenbuchi, 196 kenshi. See local history Kigensetsu. See National Foundation Day Kiheitai, 143, 174 Kii domain, 96–97, 100 Kim Ki-su, 244 Kim Kō shū , 244 King Alfonso XII of Spain, 238 King Kalā kua of Hawaiʻi, 243 Kinoshita Seitarō , 210 Kniffler Company. See Louis Kniffler & Co. Kobe, 27, 89, 96, 109, 248 kō bu gattai, 252 Kojiki, 221, 225, 226–227, 252 kō koku, 180 kokufū bunka, 260, 261, 263 kokugaku, 149 Kokugenji Temple, 253 Kokura domain, 31, 100 Königgrätz, Battle of, 154 Konomoto, 133 Köppen, Carl, 97 Korea, 11, 244–245 Chō sen period. See Joseon period conquest of, 221 diplomatic missions, 242 Gyeongju, 263–265 Korean history periodization, 263 Kō reiden Ancestral Spiritual Sanctuary, 258 Kō shū Province, 62, 64, 71–74 Kō tetsu. See CSS Stonewall Kotoni, 196, 203, 208–209 Kō zu Kuranosuke, 145, 146 Krupp factory, 96, 100, 102–103 kubikazari, 236 Kubota Sendairō , 173, 176 Kuhn, Philip, 150–151 Kuki Ryū ichi, 258, 262 Kumamoto domain, 48, 100, 161 Kuril Islands, 41, 198 Kuroda Kiyotaka, 191, 194–195, 198, 202 Kuroita Katsumi, 263 Kusanagi sacred sword, 227

Kusunoki Masashige, 221 Kyoto, 1, 6, 85, 153, 164, 166–167, 173, 174–176, 180, 183 ancient capital, 11, 250–265 Exhibition of 1873, 254 Heian Jingū Shrine, 257 Higashiyama, 166, 255 Imperial Palace, 1, 85, 175, 257 revival of festivals, 257 Kyō to Gyoen. See Kyoto Imperial Palace Kyoto Imperial Museum, 262 Kyushu, 100, 141, 173, 184, 186, 201 landowning families. See gō nō Law for the Preservation of Old Shrines and Temples 1897, 262, 263 Law on the Expulsion of Foreign Ships, 141 League to Demonstrate Righteousness, The. See Shō gitai Lehmann, Carl, 92, 93, 96 Li Hongzhang, 150 local history, 129, 192 local modernities, 214 Louis Kniffler & Co., 91–92, 93, 99–103, 109 Maier, Charles, 83, 137 Makinohara, 180–183, 184, 186 Manjiro, John, 50, 51 Maruki Riyō , 232 Marxist historiography, 2, 139, 140, 212 Mason, Michele, 193 Matsudaira Tarō , 206 Matsudaya, 71 Matsumae domain, 50 settlements, 192 McKeown, Adam, 40 Meiji Emperor. See Emperor Meiji Meiji government, 2, 9, 85, 90, 93, 102, 107, 159, 163, 165, 172, 173, 178, 182, 185, 194, 201, 213, 215–218, 253, 261–263 Constitution, 232–234, 255–258 cultural policies and imperial museums, 254–258 foreign policy, 246 ornamental diplomacy, 11, 240 trade, 5, 7–9, 16–27, 35, 45, 61, 97, 107, 141, 144, 156, 183, 264 Meiji period (1868–1912), 2, 5, 7, 10, 11, 82, 149, 175, 181, 191–193, 195, 203, 209, 211, 253, 261, 264 Meiji Restoration abolishment of domains, 240 bloodless revolution, 83

Index coup d’état, 1, 12, 85, 108, 175, 253 historiography ō sei fukko and isshin, 212 men of high purpose (shishi), 172 Metzler, Mark, 7, 47, 78, 87, 138, 179 Michio Umegaki, 175 Mimawarigumi, 171, 174–175, 176 Minié, Claude-Étienne, 154, 155 Ministry of Education, 235 Mino Province, 116, 120 Mito domain, 26, 80, 115–119, 126, 141–142, 173 masterless samurai, 9, 67, 78, 113, 118, 120, 125, 132–133, 149 nativist scholars, 215 Mitsubishi, 101 Mitsui, 165, 173 Mitsui Hachirō emon, 67 Miyachi Masato, 117 Miyazawa Yoshizaemon, 126, 131 MLR. See muzzle-loading rifle modern statehood Westphalian order of 1648, 83 Momoyama Mausoleum, 264 Mt. Tsukuba battle of, 125 Mt. Unebi, 252 Mukden, Battle of, 200 multiple modernities, 214 Muragaki Norimasa, 46, 55 Mutsu Province, 56 Mutsuhito, 1. See also Emperor Meiji muzzle-loading rifle, 91, 154–155, 156–157 Nagai Genba, 206 Nagaoka domain, 183, 185 Kawai Tsugunosuke, 106 Nagasaki, 85, 89, 95, 96, 99–102, 156 port of, 5, 17, 101, 162, 179 trade, 25, 33, 51, 86–89, 91–93, 99, 109 travel, 57 treaty port, 33, 40, 50 naikoku shokuminchi. See inner colony Naimushō , 222, 254 Nakaminato, Battle of, 116, 132 Nakasendō Road, 117, 121 Nanbō Heizō , 91 Nanbu domain, 90 Nantucket, 40, 44, 61 Napoleon III, French monarch, 75 Napoleonic Wars, 84, 154 Nara, 6, 249, 250–254, 258–259 ancient capital, 11, 263–265 Hō ryū ji Temple, 250, 259 Kō fukuji Temple, 251, 253, 260 Prefecture, 251, 263

281 Nara Meisho Ezu, 251 National Foundation Day, 257 National Industrial Exhibition, 261–262 National Learning, 117, 167 nationalism, 11 nation-state creation, 152, 214, 220, 229, 243 natural disasters, 31 Netherlands Trading Society, 91 New Guard Unit, The. See Shinbangumi Nihon shoki, 226, 238, 252 Niigata, 99, 168 trade in silk, 104 Nikolai, Crown Prince of Russia, 248 Ninomiya Sontoku, 149 ninsoku (helpers), 119, 128, 143 Nitta Yoshisada, 228 nō hei, 9, 132, 139–146, 147, 148, 151–152, 156, 174 Nojiri Gen’emon, 125–126, 128–129, 131–134 Norman, E.H., 139–140 Northern Alliance, 95, 99, 106–107, 153, 169 Northern Territories, 198 Nunokawa Genbei, 134 Oda Nobunaga, 264 Ō e Masafusa, 167 Ō gaki domain, 120 Ogasawara Islands, 45, 51, 54, 58 Ogawa Sennosuke, 167 Oguri Tadamasa, 94 Ō i River, 182 Ō ishi Sadao, 181 Ō ita Prefecture, 208 Okakura Tenshin, 258–262 Okhotsk Sea, 40, 41, 53, 57, 59, 61 Ō mura domain, 100 Ō no domain, 9, 113, 143, 150, 173 Akiu villages, 121, 122 lords, 114, 118–119, 120, 125, 129 Mito samurai, 113–135 Nishinotani, 126, 127–128, 129–131, 135 Opium Wars (China), 3, 16, 84, 142 Order of the Chrysanthemum, 231, 234, 235–239, 243, 246 Order of the Garter, 231, 245 Order of the Rising Sun, 234, 235–236, 246 first recipients, 235 Order of the Sacred Treasure, 234, 236 ornamental diplomacy, 232, 239, 243, 245–248 Osaka, 22–23, 26–29, 164, 175, 176

282

Index

Osaka, (cont.) Fujita Museum of Art, 253 riots, 27–29 trade, 20, 32, 34 ō sei fukko (restoration of imperial rule). See Meiji Restoration:coup d’état Ō shio Heihachirō , 23 Ō taniuchi Ryō gorō , 181–182, 185 Ō tori Keisuke, 206 Ō tsu incident, 248 Ō tsuhama incident, 141–142 Ottoman Empire, 95 Overend, Gurney, 19, 24 paper bills. See currency paper currency. See currency parity with all nations (bankoku taiji), 243 Partner, Simon, 8, 18, 87 passport system, 44, 47–48, 49 Paulownia Flowers, 234, 236 peasant conscription, 157 Periodization of Japanese History, 259 Platt, Brian, 9, 67, 86, 114, 127, 157, 174, 196 popular rebellion, 16 Port Arthur, 200 Pratt, Edward, 80 price inflation, 34 Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, 241 Prince Heinrich of Prussia, 239 Prince Komatsu no Miya Akihito, 246 Prince Tommaso of Savoy, 240 Pruyn, Robert, 93 Qing Empire, 2, 3, 11, 34, 97, 150–151 Queen Victoria, 241, 245–246 railway, 84 investment, 81–82 trans-Siberian, 200 Ravina, Mark, 10–11, 166 rebel soldiers (zokuhei), 168 reconciliation, xiii, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 186, 204, 206 rice harvests, 38, 75 riots, 16, 30 trade, 71 rice (as a commodity and tax item), 16, 18, 22–23, 26–35, 155, 160, 165, 178, 180, 197 Rice, Elisha, 43–44, 46, 49, 51–52, 55, 57, 60 Richardson, Charles, 67–68, 72 Riess, Ludwig, 251

Ringer, Frederick, 92 Roches, Léon, 86, 89, 93–94, 95, 104 Russia, 8, 10, 53, 141, 154, 186, 193, 194, 205, 211, 231, 243, 246, 248 diplomatic relations with, 239 Karafuto colonization, 194 model for Japan, 257 threat of, 197–201 Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), 11, 200, 210, 230, 246, 263 Sabae domain, 124 Saga domain, 86, 100 Saigō Takamori, 183–184, 194, 201 Saitama Prefecture, 176 Sakaguchi Takashi, 250 Sakamoto Ryō ma, 10, 101–102, 171–172, 175–176, 183 Sakhalin, 41, 45, 53, 194. See also Karafuto colony, 119 Samejima Naonobu, 238, 242 samurai settlers, 195 See also tondenhei Sanjō Sanetomi, 256 Sapporo, 202–205, 209–210 Agricultural College, 207 Satō Dō shin, 249 Satow, Ernest, 30, 33, 63, 64, 66 Satsuma, 1, 15, 21, 85, 86, 91, 95, 100, 141, 153, 157, 169, 173, 176–178, 183, 194 Satsuma Rebellion, 85, 184, 186, 200, 201, 204, 211, 255 Satsuma-Chō shū alliance, 1, 8–9, 10, 26, 30, 85, 87, 91, 106, 107, 108, 166, 172, 174–175, 177, 253 Schnell brothers, 103–104, 106, 107 Edward, 104, 107 Henry, 103–104, 106 Schnell & Company, 103, 109 Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, 95 Sea of Japan, 53, 55, 57, 59, 116 Sekigahara, Battle of, 132 Sekihō Brigade, 165 Sekino Tadashi, 263 Sendai domain, 95, 100, 107, 203 Sengoku period. See Warring States period Sennyū ji Temple, 254 Sepoy Mutiny, India (1857–1859), 97, 137 settler colonialism, 10, 61, 192 settler revolution, 191, 211 Settsu Province, 27 Shanghai, 16, 97–100, 102, 106 banking, 20, 25 foreign business, 25 market for arms, 98

283

Index Shiba Gorō , 185 Shiba Ryō tarō , 171 Shimazaki Tō son, 117 Shimazu clan, 157 Shimokita Peninsula, 203 Shimonoseki, 31, 85 Shimonoseki indemnity, 47 Shinagawa riot, 29 Shinagawa Yajirō , 167 Shinano Province, 117, 121 Saku district, 145–146, 147, 148 Shinbangumi, 180–182, 184, 185 Shinohara Chū emon, 8, 62–75, 76, 79–82 Shinohara Naotarō , 64–65, 68, 69–70, 73, 76 Shinohara Shō jirō , 63, 64, 69–70, 71, 73, 74, 76 Shinsengumi, 174 Shinto, 223, 253–254 Shizuoka, 10, 171–172, 178, 180–181, 183–184, 185, 186, 195 Shō gitai, 177, 181–182, 185 Shō hō tai, 183 Shokuhō period, 264 Shō nai domain, 95, 106, 107, 162 Shō sō in, 254, 255–256, 259 Shō wa period (1926–1989), 251 silk, 17–18, 22, 30, 63, 102, 109, 172 market collapse, 75 price, 66–67, 70–71 production, 77 trade, 65, 76–78, 79, 94 silkworm, 18, 30, 77 trade, 73–74, 94 Silva Loureiro, Jose da, 92 silver, 23, 93 dollars, 25, 68 Singapore, 97 Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), 200, 243 Sir Parkes, Harry, 27, 86, 104, 246 Smith, Peshan, 107 Société Générale, 93 chassepot rifles, 94 Society to Accumulate Good (Sekizenkō ), 130–131 Soejima Taneomi, 242, 244 St. George and Susa-no-o, 227–228 St. Petersburg, Treaty of, 198 steamship, 17, 83, 101, 183 Struve, Karl von, 239 Sugiura Baitan, 52, 53–54, 55 Sumidagawa Namigorō , 49 Sunpu, 177, 178, 180 Susa-no-o, 224–225, 226–228

Suzuki Kyō suke, 126–127, 136 Suzuki Zenzaemon, 122, 125–127, 128, 136 Taiping Rebellion, 2, 6, 9, 16, 84, 97, 137, 138, 184 Taiwan, colonization, 209 Takagi Hiroshi, 11, 80, 238, 240 Takagi Shō saku, 155, 156, 170 Takahashi Kageyasu, 142 Takashima school of musketry, 119 Takashima Shū han, 156 Takasugi Shinsaku, 174 Takeda Kō unsai, 124–125, 132–134 Taki Kō ji, 232, 234 Tamamatsu Misao, 167 Tariff Convention, 1866, 47, 48, 49, 59 tax, rice, 26–27 tea, 10, 19, 24, 28, 63, 65–66, 77, 100, 109, 172, 178–183, 184, 186, 195, 211 telegraph, 81 Tengu Insurrection of 1864, 113, 114, 115–116, 134, 143, 173, 174 Terajima Munenori, 107, 238, 242 Toba-Fushimi, Battle of, 1, 85, 90, 94, 130, 153, 166, 170, 176 Tō daiji Temple, 251, 254, 259 Tohoku region, 90, 153, 167–169 Tō kaidō , 22, 182 Tokugawa ban of overseas travel, 45, 47–48 Tokugawa Iemochi, 22, 30, 116 Tokugawa Iesato, 178, 180 Tokugawa Institute for the Translation for Barbarian Books (Bansho shirabesho), 142 Tokugawa Nariaki, 116, 118–119, 132–133 Tokugawa regime, 3, 9, 10, 40, 44, 48, 53–54, 62, 78, 85, 91, 94, 131, 157, 161–162, 175, 182, 219 end of, 79–80 Tokugawa shogunate. See Tokugawa regime Tokugawa Yoshinobu, 1, 30, 38, 85, 90, 106, 116, 175–176, 178, 180 Tokyo, 79, 102, 182–184, 194 Imperial Palace, 246, 258 Musashino Imperial Mausoleum, 264 political capital, 11, 254–255 Tokyo Imperial University, 263 Tokyo School of Fine Arts, 258, 259 Tonami domain, 203–205 tondenhei, 10, 44, 186, 193–211 settlements, 198 Torisu Kyō ichi, 41

284

Index

Tosa, 86, 101–102 samurai, 175 Totman, Conrad, 48, 85, 86 Tō yama Kagekuni, 141 Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 139, 263, 264 tozama (outside lords), 86 trade surplus, Japan, 22 trade, gold and silver, 20 Treaty of Amity and Commerce 1858, 45, 46, 48 Tsar of Russia Alexander II, 239, 242 Alexander III, 242, 248 Tsuda Sō kichi, 252 Tylor, Edward B., 225–226 Uchida Kuichi, 233 Uehara Tetsusaburō , 202–203 Ueno Hill, Battle of, 178, 181 unequal treaties, 87, 114, 135, 231, 240, 258 Union of Ritual and Rule (saisei itchi), 229 United States, 2, 5, 8, 11, 21–22, 28, 34, 38, 46–47, 95, 105, 108, 138, 141, 144, 154, 156, 172–173, 179, 215–218, 220 collections of antiquities, 249 Japanese mission to, 242 whaling, 42 US Civil War. See American Civil War US Continental Bank Note Company, 215, 217, 221 US whalers, 40–44, 48, 49, 52, 53–56, 58–61 Utagawa Kunisada, 224 Van Reed, Eugene, US merchant, 89 Wada village, 210

Wakamatsu, 168 California tea farm, 107 Wakayama, 90, 96 Walsh, Hall & Company, 99 Walthall, Anne, 117 Warring States period, 130, 169, 264 weapons trade, 8, 25, 83, 86, 89–94, 102, 108–109 Wells, H. G., 230 Western learning, 114, 118, 119 Western whalers. See US whalers Westernization, 10, 156, 213, 218 whaling in the Pacific, 40 Wigen, Kären, 80 Wilhelm I, German monarch, 238 Willis, William Dr., 168 Wilson, Noell, 7–8, 138, 141 Wind God. See Susa-no-o world renewal (yonaoshi), 30, 33, 117, 144 World War I, 84, 262 Yamagata Aritomo, 185 Yamahana settlement, 196, 203, 209 Yamamoto Takahiro, 47 Yamato state, 166, 219 Yanada, Battle of, 131, 177, 183 Yanagihara Sakimitsu, 242, 256 Yasukuni Shrine, 166 Yoichi settlement, 204–205 Yokohama, 8, 18, 25, 29, 32, 33, 47, 88–90, 91, 92–94, 95–96, 99–100, 102, 103–107, 109, 173, 181, 185 foreign business, 25, 94 port of, 17, 30, 179, 239 trade, 58–59, 70–74, 79, 94, 100, 108 travel, 49, 57 treaty port, 40, 62–63, 77, 80 Yonezawa domain, 95, 100, 107, 162, 210 Yumoto Fumihiko, 262