Why did the modern economy arise first in Northwestern Europe and Japan? And what distinguishes those few economies that have achieved sustained economic growth? These are the important puzzles that John P. Powelson answers in this original and important work. Building from an intriguing and neglected parallel between the histories of Japan and Northwestern Europe, he explores the paths of social and political development in those two regions to isolate a significant linkage between economic development and the distribution of political power. He then turns to other regions of the world, explaining why they have not experienced similar levels of economic success. Powelson offers a powerful theory that aids our understanding of many current issues, including the problems of the Third World and the long-term health of our own economy. "Extremely exciting. . . . Leverage . . . is a very important concept which I have never really seen stated in this way before." --The late Kenneth Boulding "A valuable piece of work, one which shows an immense breadth of reading. Very impressive!" --Douglass North, Nobel Laureate, 1993, Washington University, St. Louis "A major contribution . . . a big work done by an acknowledgedly careful scholar." --Mark Perlman, University of Pittsburgh John P. Powelson is Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Colorado.
Tsunayoshi (1646–1709), the fifth Tokugawa shogun, is one of the most notorious figures in Japanese history. Viewed by many as a tyrant, his policies were deemed eccentric, extreme, and unorthodox. His Laws of Compassion, which made the maltreatment of dogs an offense punishable by death, earned him the nickname Dog Shogun, by which he is still popularly known today. However, Tsunayoshi’s rule coincides with the famed Genroku era, a period of unprecedented cultural growth and prosperity that Japan would not experience again until the mid-twentieth century. It was under Tsunayoshi that for the first time in Japanese history considerable numbers of ordinary townspeople were in a financial position to acquire an education and enjoy many of the amusements previously reserved for the ruling elite. Based on a masterful re-examination of primary sources, this exciting new work by a senior scholar of the Tokugawa period maintains that Tsunayoshi’s notoriety stems largely from the work of samurai historians and officials who saw their privileges challenged by a ruler sympathetic to commoners. Beatrice Bodart-Bailey’s insightful analysis of Tsunayoshi’s background sheds new light on his personality and the policies associated with his shogunate. Tsunayoshi was the fourth son of Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604–1651) and left largely in the care of his mother, the daughter of a greengrocer. Under her influence, Bodart-Bailey argues, the future ruler rebelled against the values of his class. As evidence she cites the fact that, as shogun, Tsunayoshi not only decreed the registration of dogs, which were kept in large numbers by samurai and posed a threat to the populace, but also the registration of pregnant women and young children to prevent infanticide. He decreed, moreover, that officials take on the onerous tasks of finding homes for abandoned children and caring for sick travelers. In the eyes of his detractors, Tsunayoshi’s interest in Confucian and Buddhist studies and his other intellectual pursuits were merely distractions for a dilettante. Bodart-Bailey counters that view by pointing out that one of Japan’s most important political philosophers, Ogyû Sorai, learned his craft under the fifth shogun. Sorai not only praised Tsunayoshi’s government, but his writings constitute the theoretical framework for many of the ruler’s controversial policies. Another salutary aspect of Tsunayoshi’s leadership that Bodart-Bailey brings to light is his role in preventing the famines and riots that would have undoubtedly taken place following the worst earthquake and tsunami as well as the most violent eruption of Mount Fuji in history—all of which occurred during the final years of Tsunayoshi's shogunate. The Dog Shogun is a thoroughly revisionist work of Japanese political history that touches on many social, intellectual, and economic developments as well. As such it promises to become a standard text on late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth-century Japan.
The Dutch East India Company was a unique, hybrid organization acting as both company and state, aggressively intervening in Asian political matters in which it had no place. This study focuses on the company’s clashes with Tokugawa Japan in the seventeenth century, particularly in the areas of diplomacy, sovereignty, and violence. In each encounter, the Dutch were forced to abandon claims to sovereign powers and refashion themselves—from subjects of a fictive king to loyal vassals of the shogun, from aggressive pirates to meek merchants, and from insistent defenders of colonial rule to legal subjects of the Tokugawa state. The first book to treat the Dutch East India Company as more than a commercial enterprise, this text offers unprecedented perspective on one of the most important, long-lasting unions between an Asian state and a European overseas enterprise and the surprisingly limited influence of Europeans operating in early-modern Asia.
The Meiji Restoration - as history calls it - toppled the shogunate, and brought a seventeen-year-old boy emperor back from the secluded Imperial Palace in Kyoto to preside over what amounted to a political and cultural revolution. With this, Japan's extraordinary self-modernization began in earnest.
Shogun age exhibition is being held in hopes of imparting a better understanding of Japanese history and traditional culture to the American and European people. This exhibition is mainly composed of articles used by the daimyo (such as swords, armor, household effects, and tea ceremony utensils), which have been handed down from generation to generation for more than tree hundred years within the Tokugawa family--the family that played a significant role in the pre-modern history of Japan. Approximately three hundred items have been carefully selected from the collection of the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya for exhibition. Most of these valuable items have never been allowed out of Japan before, and the fact that they will be on exhibition in several cities in the United States and Europe for two and a half years is also unprecedented. The family of the Tokugawa shoguns exerted its authority in every aspect of Japan's pre-modern period as the supreme power in the land. In particular, the culture developed by the shogunal family was revered by the common people as the ideal culture of that time, and has been regarded as the source of traditional Japanese art. This catalog introduces all three hundred exhibit items in magnificent color photos, and with text that explains in readily understandable terms the significance fo the age of the shoguns, the authority wielded by the shogun, and the aesthetic sensiblilities fo the members of the samurai class.