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Cultivating CommonsJoint Ownership of Arable Land in Early Modern Japan$
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Philip C. Brown

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833923

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833923.001.0001

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Origins and Geopolitical Contexts

Origins and Geopolitical Contexts

(p.18) 2 Origins and Geopolitical Contexts
Cultivating Commons

Philip C. Brown

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter reviews the origin and geographical context of shared ownership (warichi) in Japanese villages. It states that the Tokugawa era is seen as the origin of the various joint forms of landholding. Early studies established that during that time joint ownership of agricultural lands was highly varied in its content, making generalization a challenge. In a given village, the practice might be applied only to seedbeds, or just to mountain fields, or to all of the arable land in a village. In addition, there was a range of community rights in land evident in Tokugawa villages. At one end of the continuum were those villages that exercised joint community control over village common lands but not over ordinary farmlands.

Keywords:   Japanese villages, Tokugawa era, agricultural lands, mountain fields, ordinary farmlands, community control

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