The Tokugawa And Meiji State Ruling Class And Officials

1277 WordsMar 16, 20176 Pages
The Tokugawa and Meiji state ruling class and officials wished to impose their ideology onto their subjects. The ruling class and officials hoped that this would assist them in their endeavors. Their goals differed between time periods; however, one constant is the mechanism they used to perpetuate their ideology, mythistory. In Tokugawa Japan, they used mythistory to create an ideology based on many religions to justify the social hierarchy the officials created (1 - professor). The ­Meiji state used mythistory to obtain national support for industrialization and modernization. These ideologies had many adverse effects on the lives of many peasants. In the Tokugawa period, numerous peasants were harshly taxed, even when they did not have…show more content…
They then would exchange this rice to merchants for currency (1). However, their means of generating wealth were not stable; harsh weather conditions could severely hamper the output of rice that their peasants could produce. This then decreases the number of tax that the Shogun could levy upon their subjects because there is a limit on how much the Shogun can tax his subordinates before they die from starvation. This caused a dilemma: The Shoguns needed to have an immense amount of disposable wealth to be in a position to afford their lifestyle (1). Thanks to the expense of their lifestyle, they forged loans with merchants, without an understanding of how interest rates worked (1). As a result of their loans, many Shoguns increased the tax they imposed onto their subordinates even though many of them barely had enough food for themselves. Therefore, the luxurious lifestyle of the Shoguns coupled with their unstable income resulted in countless hardships inflicted on their peasants. Many subjects of Shoguns participated in counter-mythistory because of the tribulations forced upon them by the Shoguns due to the social hierarchy and their unsustainable lifestyles. The subjects of many Shoguns did not sit quietly when their “benevolent” and “merciful” lord required their subjects to pay a ludicrous and unreasonable amount of tax during famines. Countless of these subordinates lacked sufficient rice to even feed their

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