By Takeshi Moriyama
Crossing barriers in Tokugawa Society provides a bright picure of the lifetime of Suzuki Bokushi (1770-1842), an elite villager in a snowy province of Japan, targeting his interplay with the altering social and cultural atmosphere of the overdue Tokugawa interval (1603-1868).
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Extra info for Crossing boundaries in Tokugawa society: Suzuki Bokushi, a rural elite commoner
804–06. 34 chapter one The following day [after I received the commendation], upon consulting with [the headman and an elder of Shiozawa], I secretly (‘hisokani’) offered a gift of a nanryō silver (an eighth ryō) each to the superintendent and the intendant through their assistant. Bokushi’s meetings with officers of the Muramatsu and Nagaoka domains took place when the Suzuki family offered overnight accommodation or lunch to the daimyo’s doctors or secretaries ( yōnin) on their journey for ‘alternate attendance’.
26 Ultimately, people’s experiences are diverse and distinctive, because individuals have different attributes, encounter various events in different ways and at different times, and are affected by social conditions to different degrees. Bokushi’s life was indeed subject to unexpected events. Domestic incidents that affected the course of his life include his marriage breakdowns, the deaths of his heir and his wife of many years, and his confrontation with his son-in-law. ), Niigataken-shi shiryōhen (hereafter NKS-S), vol.
Finally, this book also takes account of historians’ awareness of the importance of an individual’s personal attributes, and of historical accidents. Thus I highlight these factors when examining Bokushi’s interaction with his social context. Social structure and conditions are crucial dimensions of anyone’s life in any period. 26 Ultimately, people’s experiences are diverse and distinctive, because individuals have different attributes, encounter various events in different ways and at different times, and are affected by social conditions to different degrees.