By Takeshi Moriyama

Crossing barriers in Tokugawa Society offers a brilliant 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 setting of the overdue Tokugawa interval (1603-1868).

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4, pp. 18–21, 24–35. 10 Watanabe Sansei, ‘Bakuryō azukarisho ni okeru shihai no seikaku ni tsuite: Echigo no kuni Ojiyamachi no baai’, Chihō-shi kenkyū, No. 96 (1968): 10–18. Documents compiled by Aizu officials in 1754–55 contain several reports from the district magistrate (kōri bugyō) in charge of the trust land, including Uonuma County. These reports emphasize the difficulty of handling the trust land in comparison with the daimyo’s own territory, in terms of land assessment for taxation, cost of running local offices, and problems in transportation and communication between the castle and the trust land across distance and geographical barriers.

25 HS-Iwanami, p. 31. The translation is taken from SCT, p. 20. 26 ‘Santō Kyōzan shokanshū’, in SBZ2, p. 304. 27 The Rural Town of Shiozawa Shiozawa in Bokushi’s day is best understood as a ‘rural town’ or ‘zaikata machi’ in the terms used in historical studies of Tokugawa Japan. Officially it was a village (mura) but people seldom called it ‘Shiozawa mura’ any more. 28 Otherwise, he referred to his home place as ‘Shiozawa’ without any administrative title, or ‘the poststation of Shiozawa’. Like others, Bokushi used the term ‘mura’ to refer to surrounding smaller communities.

From the 1670s onwards, Shiozawa was one of those rural market-places, continuing steadily to develop its commercial functions. 1). According to his family chronicle, ‘Eisei kirokushū’, the Suzuki family derived from a vassal of the Uesugi clan, a powerful daimyo house based 16 ‘Eisei kirokushū’, SBZ2, p. 24. 17 See NKS-T, vol. 3, pp. 7–12; NKS-T, vol. 4, pp. 631–33; Tanaka Keiichi, ‘Echigo Uonuma “machiba hyakushō” no kenkyū: shōhin seisan kara no shiten’, Essa kenkyū, No. 54 (1997): 1–17. 18 In 1606, however, the family was deprived of samurai status during the political turmoil after the Uesugi corps had been defeated by the Tokugawa-led allied forces.

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