1. Pre-history



Jomon ca. 10,000-300 bc


Yayoi ca. 300 bc-300 ad


Kofun or Tomb Pd. 300-700 ad

(around 400-450 armor and horse-trappings begin to appear on Haniwa in tombs; era of Ojin tenno and formation of early state?)


2. Recorded History: 3 Principal Strata

The Kojiki appears in 712 AD

The Manyoshu  appears in 758 AD, = a Poetic Anthology "A Collection of 10,000 Leaves"



Classical Era 710-1160s =

Aristocratic Bureaucracy


Medieval Era 1160s-1600 =

Feudal Fluidity


Early Modern 1600-1868 =

Integral Bureaucracy


4. Establishing the Integral Bureacracy


A. Wars of Unification

The 3 Great Unifiers:


Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582)


Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598)


Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1615)

On the Battle of Sekigahara:

A "heads inspection" was performed at Lord Tokugawa's final encampment just north of Sekigahara along the Hokkoku Road, where he viewed the nearly 4,000 enemy heads taken in battle. Within three days, Lord Ishida Mitsunari was captured in the area of Mount Ibuki and taken to Kyoto with other captive leaders of the Western Army. All were executed on the river bed within a matter of days. Having
cleared the path to become the next shogun, Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu sat back on his stool and mused to those in his presence,"After victory, tighten the cords of your helmet."

originally adapted from: http://www.koreanhistoryproject.org/Ket/Idx/KETIndex1304.htm

Two sayings, one in poetic form, are useful to recall here:

I. A poem about the "hototogisu" or cuckoo:

Nobunaga: Nakanakuba, koroshite shimau--Hototogisu: "If the hototogisu doesn't sing, I will kill it."


Hideyoshi: Nakanakuba, nakasete miseyou --Hototogisu: "If the hototogisu doens't sing, I will make him sing!"


Ieyasu: Nakanakuba, naku made matou--Hototogisu: "If the hototogisu doesn't sing, we'll wait until he does." Suggesting Ieyasu possessed patience and cunning.


II. A saying drawing upon the making of Rice cakes: "Nobunaga pounded the mochi to make the rice cake. Hideyoshi kneaded it and baked it. Ieyasu was the one who got to sit down and enjoy eating it."

As McClain notes in his textbook on Modern Japan, on p. 5, how in 1603, representatives of the Emperor of Japan, the tenno, or Heavenly Soverign, entered Ieyasu's castle at Fushimi and presented him in an elaborate ceremony with an Edict of Appointment naming him Shogun of Japan. "Shogun" was an ancient Imperial appointment the original purpose of which was the qwell or "pacify" barbarians in the northern part of Japan. In 1603, it represented something rather different: Tokugawa Ieyasu was recognized as the biggest and highest-ranking military leader in Japan, one who ruled over a large domain of his own (some 25% of Japan's land space and resources) and indirectly with his allies, controlled another 35% of Japan making him the most powerful warlord, but not an absolute ruler. There were still some 250 other Daimyo who controlled their own domains or territory called han. Ostensibly they shared power and governed collaboratively but there was never any doubt that the Tokugawa were in charge.



5. Pax Tokugawa: the bakuhan-taisei

Interestingly, the villages were virtually free from samurai presence. How do you think that worked?