Posts Tagged Under: Edo period

  • BLOG


During the Edo period, Japan closed its country border and did not trade with foreign nations except for China, Korea and the Netherlands. All ships from overseas had to stay in Nagasaki and all non-Japanese had to live in a small island dedicated to only foreigners. Japanese were banned from visiting foreign countries and local feudal lords were not allowed to build ships. Only boats were allowed to be made for domestic transportation.

In the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese ships with Catholic priests were sent to Japan to spread Christianity. Some local warriors allowed the spread of Christianity because the trading with western countries accompanied with Christianity brought them a lot of profit. However, rulers gradually began to realize that the Read More

  • BLOG

Tokugawa dynasty developed social class system which was composed with warriors/feudal lords (samurai), farming peasants, crafts professionals and merchants. Nobilities, Buddhist monks, Shinto priests were out of this hierarchy system. During Edo period, people did not have freedom to choose their social class and place to live. Social class was hereditary and place of living was precisely separated by classes. Farming peasants were living in village whereas people of other three classes were living in castle town. Inside the castle town, each class was divided by blocks and living separately.

The lives of people were constrained by various rules, not only where to live but also fashion, hair style, and accessories. People were easily identified the class they belong by their looks. Samurai or feudal lords were given special status and Read More

  • BLOG

edo castle

When you come to Japan, you would find many interesting seasonal events or way of thinking which are related with Shinto and Buddhism. In addition to those two religions, some historical knowledge would help you understand Japanese culture and habits today. The key periods to understand Japanese society are Edo period (1603-1868), Muromachi period (1338-1573) and Heian period (794-1185). In 1603, the capital of Japan was transferred to Edo (Tokyo today, literally means “East capital”) from Kyoto which has been center of Japan since 794. Edo period is important to understand Tokyo and Muromachi and Heian period are closely related to the culture of Kyoto. Let’s review the characteristic of each Read More