Japanese (Tokugawa Shogunate)

Japanese (Tokugawa shogunate): Japan: 1600 - 1867 ce

Nagoya Castle, home of the Owari Tokugawa family


Qing Dynasty


We had little technological development. We did not want to emulate the West.
Our samurai carry long swords. We do not use western weaponry such as firearms. We prefer traditional weapons.


  • Neo-Confucianism - incorporated into the educational curriculum, favored by bakufu, especially because of its emphasis on filial piety and loyalty to superiors
  • We are better than you
  • Our culture is better than yours
  • "Floating worlds" (ukiyo) - centers of urban culture, entertainment and pleasure quarters with teahouses, theaters, and public baths, lots of fun :]
  • kabuki theater - consists of several acts, acting is combined with singing and dancing, features a lot of improv
  • bunraku - puppet theater
  • Our society is divided into samurai, farmers, craftspeople, and traders
  • japanese_dancers.jpg
  • This is a picture of some of our performers found in our floating worlds



blog 1

Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa bakufu as a temporary replacement for the emperor's rule. Bakufu means "tent government." Our shoguns wanted to stabalize Japan after the era of sengoku ("the country at war") and prevent another civil war. The shoguns took control of the daimyo, who ruled most of Japan during the sengoku era, with the policy of "alternate attendance." With this policy, the daimyo were required to spend every other year at the Tokugawa court. The daimyo spent money on luxuries instead of investing it in military forces that could challange the bakufu or start another civil war. The lives of the daimyo were controlled by the bakufu; marriage alliances, meetings with the emperor, and construction work on castles had to be approved by the bakufu.
blog 2

Our shoguns restricted our relations with foreigners. They were afraid that European influences would destabalize Japan. We knew the Spanish conquered the Philippines, and we did not want such a fate. The shoguns were also afraid that Europeans would supply daimyos with weapons. The shoguns issued edicts inorder to control foreign relations. We were forbidden from going abroad and constructing large ships. Foreigners were not allowed to trade in Japanese ports. The shoguns even prohibited foreign books. Some trade with foreigns was allowed, but even this was carefully controlled. Some Chinese and Dutch merchants were allowed to trade at Nagasaki.
blog 3

The shoguns ordered Christian missions in Japan to end. They also commanded Japanese Christians to renounce Christianity. Christians were tortured and executed if they refused to leave Japan or give up Christianity. Mostly, Christians were crucified or burnt at the stake. We are proud of our history, culture, and identity, and we do not want European influences corrupting Japan.

The Wall

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.