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Who did daimyo love?

 
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Jaak
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
Under sankin kotai, daimyo were to spend half a year or a year in Edo, depending on how far the domain was, and on spending the other half or full year leave his women and children as hostages in Edo.

Did the daimyo observe celibacy for the whole year they were away from Edo?

Under Buke Shohatto, the marriages of daimyo had to be approved by shogunate - meaning that the daimyo had not freely chosen their wives to begin with.

The value of a hostage, however, lies in the love of the people outside for the hostage.

Was there any risk that the daimyo might have sex while in his domain, make babies other than the hostages in Edo - and rebel being well rid of the wife and children he never chose or loved to start with?
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
Jaak wrote:
Under sankin kotai, daimyo were to spend half a year or a year in Edo, depending on how far the domain was, and on spending the other half or full year leave his women and children as hostages in Edo.

Did the daimyo observe celibacy for the whole year they were away from Edo?




No. Mistresses, prostitutes, random serving wenches, male companions, boys...whatever the daimyo was into. There was no concept of monogamy for men in Japan, especially for men of means and status.

Quote:
Under Buke Shohatto, the marriages of daimyo had to be approved by shogunate - meaning that the daimyo had not freely chosen their wives to begin with.

The value of a hostage, however, lies in the love of the people outside for the hostage.


No, the value of a hostage lies in their value. Wives are important not because the daimyo loves them, but because they are the source of HEIRS. There may or may not have been emotional attachment, but the wife was important because she was the mother of the daimyo's children, especially male children, and they would have resided with her in Edo.

Quote:
Was there any risk that the daimyo might have sex while in his domain, make babies other than the hostages in Edo - and rebel being well rid of the wife and children he never chose or loved to start with?


First part of your question--of course he was having sex in his domain, and of course children occurred. Second part--no, for several reasons:

1. Family being held hostage in Edo was only one means of bakufu control, and by far not the only means.

2. See above--the wife was the mother of his heirs, and therefore the wife and children were important, regardless of any feelings of what we would call "love". A son beget from a random maid or whatever he slept with to work out the kinks isn't going to replace his son and heir.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Also, remember that marriages were often political arrangements. I don't know about the Edo period (strangely), but at least in the Sengoku, it was extremely common to be married to someone in order to effect, or strengthen, alliances between clans.
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wiranobu
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This might sound sad, but just like in modern times, most of times LDR don't work Very Happy

I think while they are in Edo they would prefer to go to Yoshiwara to have fun Cool
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Jaak
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:


Quote:
Under Buke Shohatto, the marriages of daimyo had to be approved by shogunate - meaning that the daimyo had not freely chosen their wives to begin with.

The value of a hostage, however, lies in the love of the people outside for the hostage.


No, the value of a hostage lies in their value. Wives are important not because the daimyo loves them, but because they are the source of HEIRS. There may or may not have been emotional attachment, but the wife was important because she was the mother of the daimyo's children, especially male children, and they would have resided with her in Edo.

But then it is the emotional attachment to her sons which is the issue. If the daimyo never loved his official wife or her sons to begin with and had better loved sons outside the bakufu clutches....
ltdomer98 wrote:

Quote:
Was there any risk that the daimyo might have sex while in his domain, make babies other than the hostages in Edo - and rebel being well rid of the wife and children he never chose or loved to start with?


First part of your question--of course he was having sex in his domain, and of course children occurred. Second part--no, for several reasons:

1. Family being held hostage in Edo was only one means of bakufu control, and by far not the only means.

2. See above--the wife was the mother of his heirs, and therefore the wife and children were important, regardless of any feelings of what we would call "love". A son beget from a random maid or whatever he slept with to work out the kinks isn't going to replace his son and heir.

Children were important because their father loved them. Yes, multiple "random maids" may not have offered a replacement for the hostages at Edo; but how about a steady mistress?
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Also, remember that marriages were often political arrangements. I don't know about the Edo period (strangely), but at least in the Sengoku, it was extremely common to be married to someone in order to effect, or strengthen, alliances between clans.

Yes, but in Edo period, the marriages were controlled by bakufu and therefore likely to be alliances against the interest of the daimyo.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
[quote="Jaak]But then it is the emotional attachment to her sons which is the issue. If the daimyo never loved his official wife or her sons to begin with and had better loved sons outside the bakufu clutches....[/quote]

No, it's not emotional attachment. It's not "love". It's "I need someone to carry on my name and become daimyo after me." Illegitimate children didn't serve this function. Legitimate children did.

Quote:
Children were important because their father loved them. Yes, multiple "random maids" may not have offered a replacement for the hostages at Edo; but how about a steady mistress?


Again, "love" isn't the issue at all. A steady mistress would not have served as a replacement for a wife in Edo, other than in a sexual sense.

Quote:
Yes, but in Edo period, the marriages were controlled by bakufu and therefore likely to be alliances against the interest of the daimyo.


Not necessarily. You're painting with quite a broad brush. Marriages had to be approved, but there wasn't a bureau dedicated to matchmaking, which is what it would have taken to manage 500+ daimyo's marriages.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
It's "I need someone to carry on my name and become daimyo after me." Illegitimate children didn't serve this function. Legitimate children did.
The sons of legal wives did have priority for becoming heir, especially because of the relationship with the wife's family, but unlike most western traditions, the sons of concubines could be heirs. For example, except for Ieyasu and Iemitsu, I believe none of the shoguns were sons of wives. The mothers of Ienobu and Yoshimune were of quite low position, I don't think even regular concubines.

But a far as being hostages, as Ltdomer said, the family being held hostage in Edo was only one means of bakufu control, and by far not the only means. In fact, I have the feeling that giving them as a hostage itself as a public act was as important to a daimyo as his private feelings about whether they lived or died. Anyway, in the Edo period the possibility that they would be killed was slight.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: Re: Who did daimyo love? Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
The sons of legal wives did have priority for becoming heir, especially because of the relationship with the wife's family, but unlike most western traditions, the sons of concubines could be heirs. For example, except for Ieyasu and Iemitsu, I believe none of the shoguns were sons of wives. The mothers of Ienobu and Yoshimune were of quite low position, I don't think even regular concubines.


Point granted. Perhaps someone like Ameth who is more familiar with Sankin Kotai can chime in, but I would assume any "official" relationship status, whether primary wife or a concubine, would be required to stay in Edo, along with any offspring. Any relationships back home in the daimyo's han would presumably not be one that was intended to create children, ie the purpose was sexual release for the daimyo, and while any children that resulted wouldn't be outcast like bastards in a European context, they wouldn't be first, second, or even eighth in line to succeed the daimyo unless no one else, even adopted children, were available. And if they were, then they'd be obliged to live in Edo, not the Han.

The bottom line, I think, is, as the great philosopher Tina Turner put it, "What's love got to do, got to do with it?"
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sadly, my copy of Tour of Duty is in a box on a ship right now, so I can't go and double-check, but I think LtDomer has pretty much the gist of it.

The primary heir, I think, often traveled to the Han whenever the daimyo was in Edo, thus preventing them from developing too close a relationship with one another (i.e. to keep the daimyo's power in check, to prevent the daimyo and his heir conspiring or whatever); other children would have stayed, for the most part, in Edo with their mothers.

I think that, of course, love has to play a part in all of this - but you really do have to acknowledge the political dimension. The threat of harm being done to wives and heirs is equivalent to the threat of the destruction of the clan (or of its possession of holdings). This is why the hostage situation was so powerful - because, while granted the bakufu could take away anyone's domain at any time for any reason, killing wives and heirs was an even more powerful blow to the prosperity and survival of a daimyo's lineage. So, in the political terms of maintaining power, wealth, and the continuation of one's family, this was a very powerful thing, going beyond merely questions of personal affection.
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