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Political/Social System of Edo Japan. A look at how everything was set up!. Two Levels of Government. Was very hierarchical Domains (provinces) were controlled by the Daimyos Their local control was called the Han Was also a central government (Bakufu) controlled by the shogun

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Political social system of edo japan

Political/Social System of Edo Japan

A look at how everything was set up!

Two levels of government
Two Levels of Government

  • Was very hierarchical

  • Domains (provinces) were controlled by the Daimyos

    • Their local control was called the Han

  • Was also a central government (Bakufu) controlled by the shogun

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P5Zfh0EdnA


  • Each varied in size and income

    • Had to make enough koku (rice) to become a Han/be ruled by a daimyo

  • Leadership of the Han was inherited

    • The Bakufu had the power to change the daimyos or re-distribute the land

Three classes of daimyo
Three Classes of Daimyo

  • Most trusted and loyal

    • I like you

  • Nobles of the Tokugawa family

    • What up fam?????

  • Those who had opposed shogun before he got powerful

    • Watch your back yo!!!!

All powerful bakufu
All powerful Bakufu

  • Passed some laws to make sure the diamyos couldn’t obtain more power

    • No contact with other daimyos

      • They will be watching you

    • Only one castle in each domain

    • Daimyo must pay for public building projects

    • Must spend every 2nd year in Edo

    • All commoners must register at Buddhist temples

    • Must get permission when getting married

    • Travel and shipbuilding restricted

More control
More Control

  • Ranking of daimyos greatly affected your lives

    • Determined location/size of residence

    • Where he would be sat in palace

    • Credit rating/commercial relationships with artisans/merchants depended on rank

    • Could be abolished if they made Bakufu angry

Social class

Social Class

A look at the hierarchy during isolation


  • Not seen by regular people

  • Hi level of respect for him

  • Was considered a deity

  • Top of the social chain (but the Shogun how held the most power)


  • Man in charge of the government

    • Bakufu

  • Was in control of the military

  • Helped affirm the social system

  • Had the most power


  • Most prestigious decision next the the Shogun

  • Followed bushido (way of the warrior)

    • Had to be models for society

  • Most lived in towns

  • During time of peace, they did administration type stuff and worked for Daimyos


  • Bakufu could give Samurais court titles

    • Would give high ranks to supporters

  • Was the first class to become literate

  • Eventually did not have enough jobs/work to do

  • Did not make as much money

  • Eventually (we will look at it) this class was abolished

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  • Were right below the Samurai because they produced the most important commodity and fed the country

  • Were not allowed to leave their lands/village

  • Restricted rules on their dress

  • Honbyakusho – principal farmers (basically supervisors) could own farms

  • Hyakusho – ordinary tenant farmers

  • Treated with respect because the daimyo feared rebellion (not as high taxed)


  • Were the townspeople

  • Contributed to society by making objects to use and decorated homes

  • Created goods that could be traded


  • Became important as cities grew

  • Provided/transported goods

  • Established the banking industry

  • Did international trade (until borders closed)

  • Eventually helped Japan become modernized

  • Reason they are not as high in the social class is because they don’t produce anything

Eta outcasts
Eta (outcasts)

  • Had to live outside villages and towns

  • Occupations would be anything dealing with DEATH

  • Went against Buddhist doctrine, so they were shunned

  • Could sell things in towns but were not allowed to enter stores

  • Had to leave the town before dark

  • Inherited your families job

Non humans hinin

  • Became part of this class by your occupation

  • Fortune telling, begging, acting, and prostitution got you into this class

  • Lived outside the hierarchy and rules, which made them disrespectful and not accepted

  • Not illegal to kill a hinin because they are non-humans

Hierarchy into law
Hierarchy into Law

  • Hinin and eta existed before made into law

  • Edo period, Bakufu made the hierarchy into law

  • Made it basically impossible to move social classes

  • Prejudice between social classes was very strong