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are tozama and fudai meaningful categories?

 
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: are tozama and fudai meaningful categories? Reply with quote
Prof. Mark Ravina recently shared a brief blog post in which he argues that the handful of especially large/powerful tozama han (e.g. Satsuma, Kaga, Chôshû) skew our understanding of what an average tozama han was like.

Though the distinction between fudai and tozama is relevant and important for understanding the way the Tokugawa state was constructed, the way domains were handed out, etc., initially, by the 18th century, once the post-Sekigahara dust has settled, and those distinctions are politically perhaps not quite as relevant anymore, were tozama and fudai really all that different?

Ravina shows, via a set of graphs, that in fact the vast majority of fudai and tozama han had very similar kokudaka, and that it's only a handful of outliers that really work to skew the numbers to give us the impression of a dramatic difference. Perhaps we ought to stop thinking of Kaga, Satsuma, or Sendai as the standard model or example of what a typical tozama han was like, and instead consider those exceptions, taking places like Uwajima han (Shikoku, Date clan, 70-100,000 koku) as our model for a "typical" tozama domain instead.

Incidentally, he also uses the term "kusadaka" 草高 instead of kokudaka 石高. I've never heard of this term, but a quick dictionary search seems to indicate that it means "the total sum of agricultural production of a territory", and, certainly, the way he's using it it seems to be meaning more or less the same thing as kokudaka in terms of it being a measure of a domain's size & power. LtDomer, others of the rice-counting faction, thoughts?
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Tornadoes28
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's more than kokudaka value, fudai, at least many of the more important, had more political involvement and influence in the Tokugawa government. It was the fudai who acted as the powerful bureaucrats in the national government.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very true. Members of tozama families, for the most part, as far as I know, did not hold positions in the central shogunate bureaucrat. An excellent point.
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