Journey into Japan
I have just arrived in Japan 1600 and there is a large population considering the size of the country. They have lush gardens and vegetation along with steep mountains, volcanoes and quick-to-change weather patterns. On my fist few days a typhoon rolled in. To just my luck a teenage local invited me into their home to wait out the storm. As we waited, the family told me stories about their way of life and how it is affected by the geography. They told me about the rice, and how land was priced on how good its crops grew. Your social status is based upon
Rules of the Shogun
1. Only The Samurai are allowed to carry a sword.
Reasoning: to prevent the lower-class from uprising.
2. Higher class women must wear twelve silk kimonos with the correct contrast of colour.
Reasoning: To show class and etiquette.
3. Peasants must not wear silk clothing of any sort. The silk worm farmers included.
Reasoning: to separate the upper class from the lower.
4. Artisans must teach their son to do the same craft as they do.
Reasoning: To maintain order and equal amount of craftsmanship.
5. Outcast are not allowed to be in the city or go into a peasants house after the hour of 8:00pm and before the hour of 8:00am
Reasoning: To maintain a peaceful nightfall and dawn for the cities.
6. Peasants are forbidden to smoke or drink wine within working hours of daylight.
Reasoning: to enforce hard working effort and non drunk decisions
7. Outcasts are not allowed to wear bright colours.
Reasoning: To show status and detachment.
8. All Merchants must wear the designated sash of sales.
Reasoning: To make their sales easily seen by public.
9. If anybody is caught supporting or planning a rebellion the may be executed or put to into prison
10. All upper-class women must wear the ceremonial make-up to special occasions.
Reasoning: To show status and appear more festive.
Rice was used as currency and could be grown. They did not use or import any other type of money. Currency could also be destroyed. Japan only traded within their country limiting resources. This also cut off influences of other cultures.
The social structure in Japan during isolation was the it was because the people didn't know another way. It was based on production and what you do for a living. Merchants were below Artisans because they sold the items that the Artisans made. The Artisans were below the Peasants because they used the produce to make the items.
The shogun kept in power by enforcing rules. The isolation helped the emperor and the shogun stay in power. Other countries and rulers didn't know about Japan so they would not try to take over. Japan also did not try to take over other countries.
Changes from Edo to Meiji
In Edo they had a very strict dress code, such as the upper class women had to wear twelve kimonos in a way so the colours contrasted correctly. In the Meiji period they let the people dress as they choose. Aside from military and civil officials, people can now choose what they want to do with their life where as in Edo their occupation was hereditary. Old Edo laws were abolished and the new Meiji laws were nature based.