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Tour of DutySamurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern Japan$
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Constantine Nomikos Vaporis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832056

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832056.001.0001

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Life in the Capital

Life in the Capital

(p.172) 6 Life in the Capital
Tour of Duty

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents a passage in the writing of the Confucian scholar Ogyū Sorai, stating that “for the period of each alternate year, during which the daimyo live in Edo, they live as in an inn (ryoshuku no kyōkai). Their wives, who remain in Edo all the time, live permanently as in an inn.” His comments were critical of the social effects of alternate attendance and were part of a broader critique of the policies that removed the samurai from the land. Sorai's notion of returning the samurai to the land and reducing the period of residence in Edo were never adopted by any shogun, and so the daimyo and their entourages plied the roads between their castle towns and Edo for almost two hundred more years.

Keywords:   Ogyū Sorai, social effects, alternate attendance, samurai, Edo

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