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Unformatted text preview: d by the shogunate authorities
and is accusingly told by one of them that, although he may have come to
Japan to save souls, in fact it is Japanese “souls” that are dying for him:
And whenever a [European priest] is captured it is Japanese blood that will
flow. How many times have I told you that it is the Japanese who have to die
for your selfish dream. It is time to leave us in peace.4 In addition to God’s silence, Endò’s book deals also with the great
issue of how the Japanese adopt or reject elements of foreign cultures.
Rodrigues’s inquisitors, for example, inform us that even when the Japanese of the late sixteenth century seemed to be accepting Christianity,
they were actually transforming the Christian God into a deity of their
own, a deity compatible with their religious traditions. Silence is an important intellectual inquiry into cultural borrowing as a major phenomenon in Japanese history.
The Tokugawa held approximately one-quarter of the agricultural land
of Japan. In addition, they directly administered a number of the major
cities, including Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagasaki, as well as certain important
mining sites. The remainder of the country was divided into the domains
or han of the daimyos. During the Tokugawa period there were two principal kinds of territorial lords: hereditary ( fudai) daimyos, who had
pledged personal loyalty to the Tokugawa before Sekigahara and were
raised to daimyo status after this great victory; and “outside” (tozama)
daimyos, who had been peers of the Tokugawa family head before 1600
and, whether friends or foes at Sekigahara, submitted to him only after
he became national hegemon. Because of their long-standing allegiance
to the Tokugawa, the fudai daimyos were allowed to serve in the shogunal
government; the tozama daimyos, on the other hand, were barred from all
participation in the ruling affairs of Edo. 168 The Flourishing of a Bourgeois Culture In theory, the daimyos remained autonomous rulers of the han. In
practice, the sho...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13