Tokugawa Shōgunate


Tokugawa Shōgunate
(1600–1868)
   The hereditary feudal military dictatorship of Japan, passed down the male line of the Tokugawa clan, which was toppled in 1868 and resulted in the Meiji Restoration. In 1603, following the warring-states period, political power was centralized by Ieyasu Tokugawa, who took the title of shōgun or military dictator. The shōgun ruled Japan from Edo (present-day Tokyo); the figurehead emperor and the imperial court were kept isolated in Kyoto. The Tokugawa shōgunate maintained a rigid feudal class structure, with the warrior-caste of samurai at the top of the hierarchy and farmers, artisans, and traders at the bottom. The daimyo, or feudal lords, attempted to challenge the rule of the Tokugawa clan but the shōguns were able to dominate them politically and militarily by virtue of their monopoly on the importation of gunpowder. Ieyasu Tokugawa had been in favor of foreign trade but his successors, fearful of foreign influence, placed heavy restrictions on contact with the outside world.
   The isolationist policies of the Tokugawa shōgunate have been credited for two centuries of relative political stability, but they also resulted in economic stagnation. The appearance of Commodore Matthew Perry’s squadron in Tokyo Bay in July 1853 threw the Tokugawa shōgunate into a state of political turmoil. Hoping to avoid the fate of Qing China, the shōguns signed a series of “unequal treaties” with the United States, Britain, France, and Russia, which opened up Japanese ports to foreign trade, granted extraterritorial rights to Western citizens, and ceded control of Japan’s foreign trade tariffs to the Western Powers. The daimyo of Chosu and Satsuma used the opening of Japan to foreign trade to acquire gunpowder superior to the old saltpeter of the shōgunate, and a Tokugawa army dispatched to quell the rebellion in Chosu and Satsuma was defeated. Sensing the weakness of the shōgun, the daimyo allied themselves with the new Meiji emperor, who, in January 1868, declared his own restoration to full sovereignty and the abolition of the shōgunate. The shōgun, Yoshinobu, declared the emperor’s act illegal and attacked Kyoto but was defeated by imperial forces and surrendered unconditionally in May 1868.
   FURTHER READING:
    Duus, Peter. Feudalism in Japan. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993;
    Jansen, Marius, ed. Warrior Rule in Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995;
    Mass, Jeffrey P., and William B. Hauser, eds. The Bakufu in Japanese History. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1985.
   ADRIAN U-JIN ANG

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tokugawa shogunate — Infobox Former Country native name = conventional long name = Edo Bakufu common name = Tokugawa Bakufu continent = Asia region = Japan |year start = 1603 |year end = 1868 symbol type = Mon symbol type article = Mon of the Tokugawa Shogunate |p1 …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Shogunate — n. Tokugawa bakufu, Edo Bakufu, era in Japan from 1603 to 1868 …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Tokugawa Ieshige — Tokugawa Ieshige; 徳川 家重 (January 28, 1712 ndash; July 13, 1761) was the ninth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. The first son of Tokugawa Yoshimune, his mother was the daughter of Okubo Tadanao, known as Osuma no kata. His childhood name …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Ienari — Tokugawa Ienari; 徳川 家斉 (November 18, 1773 ndash;March 22, 1841) was the eleventh shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan who held office from 1786 to 1837. Family lifeFirst wifeIn 1776, the four year old Hitosubash Toyochiyo, a minor figure in… …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa — may refer to:*Tokugawa clan, a powerful family of Japan *Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime of Japan *Tokugawa period, aka Edo period, an era in Japanese historyee also*Tokugawa (surname) …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Ieyoshi — (徳川 家慶, June 22, 1793 ndash;July 27, 1853; r.1837 ndash;1853) was the 12th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan.He was the second son of the 11th shogun, Tokugawa Ienari, and employed Mizuno Tadakuni to conduct the Tenpo reform. Ieyoshi was… …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Iesada — (徳川 家定 (May 6, 1824 August 14, 1858) was the 13th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan who held office for only 5 years, from 1853 to 1858. He was mentally unfit to be shogunFact|date=February 2007. Having risen to power soon after the Black …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Ieharu — (徳川家治 (June 20, 1737 ndash;September 17, 1786) was the tenth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, who held office from 1760 to 1786.Events of the Ieharu s bakufu * Tenmei gannen (天明元年) or Tenmei 1 (1781): The new era name of Tenmei (meaning …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu — Infobox Officeholder | name= Tokugawa Yoshinobu nationality=Japanese small caption=Tokugawa Yoshinobu in French military uniform, c.1867 order=15th Edo Shogun term start=1867 term end=1868 predecessor=Tokugawa Iemochi successor=none (position… …   Wikipedia

  • Tokugawa Ieyasu — In this Japanese name, the family name is Tokugawa . Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康 1st Tokugawa shogun In office 1603–16 …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.