thesoilpaper - Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow Gilmartin - HI264...

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Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow Gilmartin - HI264 Paper Assignment I February 13, 2008 Community Organization in Rural Meiji Japan In the rural societies of Meiji Japan, community organization played an important role in the villages throughout the country. It was a complex system based on a combination of formal and informal means involving both the law enforcement and people in each village. Nagatsuka Takashi kept these ideas in mind when writing his novel The Soil . Throughout the novel both implications of organization can be found in different situations, mainly focusing around the main characters: Kanji’s family. Furthermore, these ideas, as portrayed by Nagatsuka amongst the Kanji family, give a general overview of how these types of organization among rural communities are laid out throughout the whole country of Japan during the Meiji era. Generally, rural communities in Japan were set up with the same feudal hierarchy throughout all of Japan; this assumption can be made by patterns seen throughout Nagatsuka’s novel. The general hierarchy consisted of a land lord or multiple land lords who controlled parts of a particular village who in turn had to eventually answer to the emperor. Beneath the landlords, there were the peasants who lived in the villages and worked the fields. These peasants kept a farm owned by the land lord and paid the rent with a fraction of their harvest; the remaining harvest was to be kept and used to feed the family. Among the villages, in case of theft, family turmoil or other issues, there was also law enforcement present. A little above the
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course HI 264 taught by Professor Gilmartin during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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thesoilpaper - Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow Gilmartin - HI264...

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