5/26/2013

mibun seido class system

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 

The Class System of Edo
mibun seido 身分制度 (みぶんせいど) status system, Klassensystem

At the end of the Edo period, there were about
6-7% samurai,
80-85% farmers,
5-6% merchants and craftsmen,
1.5% priests for Shinto and Buddhism - - - and
1.6% Eta and Hinin.


shinookooshoo 士農工商 Shinokosho - Shi-No-Ko-Sho
the four social classes of
warriors, farmers, craftsmen, and merchants


source : blog.katei-x.net/blog

Once a person was born into one class, it was almost impossible to make its way up to a higher class.

A similar system of classification in India is called "cast system".


Above these four classes were the aristocrats, the Shogun in Edo and the Emperor himself with the Imperial Family.


. kuge 公家 aristocrats .

. soo, sō 僧 Monk, Priest / oshoo 和尚 Osho .




source : skyivory.net
four ivory figures of representatives of the four classes

....................................................................................................................................................


. samurai 侍, buke 武家, bushi 武士   .
Lord of a Domain, Daimyo, daimyoo 大名
"light legs", ashigaru 足軽 common foot soldier


....................................................................................................................................................


. farmer 農民 noomin, hyakushoo 百姓
Edo no noogyoo 江戸の農業 farming business .







....................................................................................................................................................


. shokunin 職人 craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .
koojin 工人 artisan

. daiku 大工 carpenter .
tooryoo 棟梁  master carpenter

. “Hida no Takumi” 飛騨の匠 Hida’s Master Builders. .

....................................................................................................................................................


merchants 商人 shoonin

Echigoya Merchant 越後屋 and Mitsui 三井

Omi Hino Shoonin 近江日野商人 Hino Merchants from Omi

Zeniya Gohei 銭屋五兵衛 merchant and engineer


....................................................................................................................................................


craftsmen and merchants were also called
choonin, chōnin 町人 "townspeople", Chonin

- quote -
Chōnin 町人, "townsman"
was a social class that emerged in Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa period. The majority of chōnin were merchants, but some were craftsmen, as well. Nōmin (農民, "farmers") were not considered chōnin. The socioeconomic ascendance of chōnin has certain similarities to the roughly contemporary rise of the middle class in the West.
- - - - - Origins
By the late 17th century the prosperity and growth of Edo had begun to produce unforeseen changes in the Tokugawa social order. The chōnin, who were theoretically at the bottom of the Edo hierarchy (shinōkōshō, samurai-farmers-craftsmen-merchants, with chōnin encompassing the two latter groups), flourished socially and economically at the expense of the daimyo and samurai, who were eager to trade rice (the principal source of domainal income) for cash and consumer goods. Mass-market innovations further challenged social hierarchies.
For example, vast Edo department stores had cash-only policies, which favored the chōnin with their ready cash supply.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


CLICK for more photos of the Chonin life in Edo !
江戸町人の生活 (目で見る日本風俗史1)
岸井良衛監修



江戸町人の生活空間 -- 都市民の成長
戸沢行夫

Coming mostly from far-away regions to Edo with the Daimyo lords, these new "townspeople" had to adjust to the new life, with flooding, fires and epidemics. They were a strong and proud kind and always fell back on their feet, helping each other to rebuild, restructure, renovate and live as best and joyful as they could.

Edo Culture: Daily Life and Diversions in Urban Japan, 1600-1868
Matsunosuke Nishiyama, ‎Gerald Groemer - 1997
This team undertook a detailed examination of the social history of Edo's artisan and merchant classes (collectively known as chonin, "townspeople") ...
- reference source : books.google.co.jp -



- quote -
Nishiyama Matsunosuke
is one of Japan's most prominent historians of Edo popular culture. Edo Culture. Daily Life and diversions in Urban Japan, 1600-1868 contains thirteen of his articles in English translation. The translator and editor Gerald Groemer added an introduction, notes, a bibliography, and a glossary to facilitate the English reader. The articles included in this volume are a small selection of Nishiyama's complete works.

Nishiyama's most influential work, his study of the iemoto system (Iemoto no kenkyu-) appeared in 1959. Iemoto is defined in Groemer's glossary as 'a hierarchical system in which a real or nominal family head (iemoto) passes on a 'house art' to disciples who in turn may have their own pupils' (p. 272). The iemoto system as the central organizing principle of the life of Edo artisans and merchants is an important element in all of Nishiyama's writings. Other recurrent themes are the adoption of elite traditions by the emerging class of townspeople and the cultural exchange between urban and rural areas. Nishiyama also led the 'Edo Townspeople Study Group' (Edo cho-nin kenkyu-kai), which resulted in the publication of the five-volume Edo cho-nin no kenkyu- (1973-1975). This work still stands out as one of the most important publications on the daily life and activities of the people of Edo. Nishiyama's collected works appeared as a set of seven volumes in the 1980s.

In the author's introduction, Nishiyama explains his basic ideas regarding Edo popular culture. In Nishiyama's view, scholars in the past have too easily dismissed Edo-period culture as inferior to other periods. However, the value of Edo culture should not be looked for in extant artefacts, but in the unprecedented breadth and diversity of cultural activities. The general involvement of all kinds of people in artistic life and cultural pursuits constitutes the unique quality and importance of Edo culture, and it is this aspect that should be the focus of study.

The subsequent twelve chapters are divided into three parts. In Part One, called Edo: The City and Its Culture, the first chapter describes Edo as the capital of the Tokugawa shogun and as a warrior city. The second chapter focuses on the other inhabitants of this town: artisans and merchants who were proud of their own distinct city culture and their identity as Edokko (children of Edo). The third chapter considers aesthetic concepts which were central to the life and ideals of Edo in general and of the pleasure quarter, Yoshiwara, in particular. In the fourth chapter Edo publishers and the production process of books and prints is described. The final chapter of this part is devoted to the religious life of Edoites and is based mainly on Edo meisho zue, a 26-volume guide on annual customs which was published between 1834 and 1836.

The second part of the book, called The Town and The Country,
consists of three chapters which describe various aspects of the relation between urban and rural culture. Chapter Six discusses the provincial culture of the Kasei period (1804-1830) in which contacts and cultural exchange between urban centres and rural areas became particularly strong. Increased cash-crop cultivation and other forms of trade intensified the communication between city people and rural population. Chapter Seven focuses on the numerous travellers in Japan and their role as cultural intermediaries. Both professional travellers such as performing artists, exorcisers, priests and monks, as well as the huge crowds of common pilgrims are taken into consideration. Chapter Eight examines the iemoto of culinary schools and the transmission of secret culinary information.

The third part of the book is called Theater and Music: From the Bakufu to the Beggar.
Chapter Nine considers the widespread influence of No-, which is usually viewed in the limited context of samurai cultural life. Nishiyama however, shows the considerable influence that No- music and songs exerted on popular culture, and follows the process of adaptation of some No- schools to the rapidly increasing numbers of students. Chapter Ten continues on the theme of iemoto and performing arts, and highlights the possibilities for upward social mobility of musically talented individuals. In Chapter Eleven the Kabuki theatre is considered in relation to annual events. It also discusses the role of actors as instigators of new forms of fashion. The final chapter examines various forms of performing arts in the period of transition to the modern era.

Nishiyama is a pioneer in the study of the popular culture of the Edo period. Although his essays tend to be somewhat superficial and often lack the precise data and definitions required by modern scholarship, his importance in the development of the study of Edo popular culture cannot be overestimated. By adding valuable background information, the translator and editor Gerald Groemer has made up for much of the lack of concrete data. One of the good aspects of Nishiyama's work is his strong reliance on contemporary publications as sources of evidence. In the English translation, this use of contemporary works is elaborated by including many illustrations from Edo-period publications.
Edo Culture is well worth reading for anyone interested in Edo literature and in the social context of art production and consumption in the Edo period.
- source : Margarita Winkel - Leiden University -

....................................................................................................................................................


. eta 穢多 (えた) "filthy mass" , burakumin .
the "untouchables" of the Edo period - die Unberührbaren
burakumin (部落民, Literal translation: "small settlement people") - hamlet people





CLICK for more illustrations.


....................................................................................................................................................


Sanctuaries of the City: Lessons from Tokyo
Anni Greve
source : books.google.co.jp


under construction
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

- - - - - H A I K U - - - - -

下々に生れて夜もさくら哉
shimojimo ni umarete yoru mo sakura kana
shimo-jimo ni

born lower class
they view cherry blossoms
at night, too

Tr. Chris Drake


This hokku is placed at the end of a haibun Issa wrote at the end of the 1st month (probably March) in 1811, while he was in Edo, and the hokku refers to the haibun. In this short piece Issa describes getting up very early and going out before dawn, presumably to see the cherry blossoms, on the first fair day after a period of extended rain. The horizon is beginning to grow light, and as he walks along a bank of the Sumida River, he can just make out the dim shape of the big boat used by the shogunate, and he guesses that the shogun will also be going out to view the blossoms today. This leads to remarks on the peaceful conditions in shogun-ruled Japan, especially in Edo, where it's comparatively safe to go out blossom-viewing at any time.

When Issa reaches some cherry trees, he sees an apparently itinerant old monk gazing at the blossoms and talking to himself. Then a stylish woman appears and walks around among the blossoming trees as she cleans her teeth with a toothpick. Her mussed hair indicates she's just gotten up, so she may be out watching the cherries very early because the shop she runs opens early -- or she might be a sex worker resting after work. In any case, Issa says she looks so experienced she must have gone through ten husbands.

Then five or six men carrying large buckets go by. The men's job is cleaning city people's privies and carrying the contents to boats that take it as fertilizer to farms just outside Edo. When the men jokingly insult the woman, she humorously returns the insult with interest, sizzling the men's earlobes. Issa says she uses "very unfeminine foul language." None of this, however, disturbs the peaceful feeling created by the cherry blossoms scattering in the breeze like snow. All of this is just the way, Issa implies, "lower-class" people enjoy spring blossoms around the clock, and he further implies that they know more about the beauty of star- and dawn-lit blossoms than their rulers do. He of course includes himself in this collection of commoners.

The term "lower-class people" in the first line of the hokku is used rather ironically by Issa, since it is a phrase normally used by upper-class samurai and Kyoto aristocrats. By using the phrase, Issa is parodying the point of view of the people onboard the shogun's boat in the river who are preparing for a ruling-class blossom-viewing outing filled with daylight and spectacle that will be attended by the shogun himself. Samurai sometimes view cherry blossoms at night, but they bring along so many outdoor lamps that they might as well be viewing the blossoms in daylight.

In contrast, most commoners have to work both night and day to make ends meet and can view the cherries only at odd times after, before, or while they do their jobs. But even latrine cleaners love cherry blossoms and will visit while it's still dark as well as during the day just to be near the cherries for a short while. These night visits are no doubt more precious to the commoners who make them than even the grandest blossom-viewing party is to the shogun.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 Issa in Edo .




Hanami in Ueno 江戸風俗図巻

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 

No comments: