NOTES

CHAPTER I: JAPAN IN THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY
1.
In Tokugawa Japan it was usual to indicate the extent of landholding not by area, but by the estimated annual crop which the land would yield. This was expressed in koku of rice: 1 koku equals approximately 5 bushels.
2.
Wherever possible I refer to a domain by the name of its castle-town, which is relatively easy to identify on a map. However, the greatest of them were often known by the names of the provinces which they comprised, and these names have been used extensively in books written in western languages. Where this is so, I give the name of the province in brackets and often use it alone. The most important examples are those of domains which played a major part in nineteenth-century politics: Kagoshima (Satsuma); Yamaguchi (Choshu); Kochi (Tosa); and Saga (Hizen).
3.
Translated in W. T. de Bary (ed.), Sources of the Japanese tradition ( New York, 1958), pp. 409-10.

It might be relevant here to comment briefly on the subject of samurai literacy. All samurai were encouraged to study the Confucian classics; and although many achieved only the sketchiest knowledge of them, most had an education of sorts and some became scholars of great repute. Certainly the society in which they lived set a great value on books and learning, so that their opportunities for reading were considerable. The technique of printing, which had been brought to Japan from China in very early times, was much improved by the use of movable type, learnt from both Europe and Korea at the end of the sixteenth century; and this helped to bring about a great increase in the number of books available. They were soon being printed not only by the Tokugawa and domain governments, but also by commercial booksellers, now emerging for the first time in the great cities. The libraries of feudal lords, usually open to samurai of their domains, were numerous and often large, while the poorer samurai and merchants were in a position as a rule to borrow books from their more affluent friends and neighbours. Even residents of the countryside were able to read the more popular works, by borrowing them from itinerant pedlars for a fee.

4.
Donald Keene, Anthology of Japanese literature ( London, 1956), p. 358.
5.
Population figures for the period are unreliable in detail, but are a reasonable enough guide to relative size. They were drawn up for tax purposes and therefore exclude figures for samurai families; and this makes the real size of towns a matter of some conjecture, since most samurai were towndwellers and they accounted in all for about 2,000,000 persons of a national total of some 30,000,000 in the nineteenth century.
6.
G. B. Sansom, Japan. A short cultural history (rev. ed., London, 1952), p. 477.

CHAPTER II: ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND REFORMS
7.
The ryo was a gold coin which in the money markets of Edo and Osaka exchanged on average for about 60 momme (225 gm.) of silver in the period 1750-1800, about 64 momme (240 gm.) in 1800-50. Since this, despite fluctuations, was also approximately the price of 1 koku of rice, one can roughly

-335-

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