By Brett L. Walker
This version monograph is the 1st scholarly research to place the Ainu-the local humans residing in Ezo, the northernmost island of the japanese archipelago-at the guts of an exploration of eastern enlargement throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, the peak of the Tokugawa shogunal period. encouraged via "new Western" historians of the us, Walker positions Ezo now not as Japan's northern "frontier" yet as a borderland or center floor. via framing his examine among the cultural and ecological worlds of the Ainu sooner than and after centuries of sustained touch with the japanese, the writer demonstrates with nice readability simply how a ways the Ainu have been included into the japanese political economic climate and simply how a lot their ceremonial and fabric life-not to say affliction ecology, clinical tradition, and their actual environment-had been infiltrated through jap cultural artifacts, practices, and epidemiology via the early 19th century. Walker takes a clean and unique process. instead of featuring an insignificant juxtaposition of oppression and resistance, he deals a sophisticated research of ways fabric and ecological adjustments brought about by way of alternate with Japan set in movement a reorientation of the complete northern tradition and panorama. utilizing new and little-known fabric from data in addition to Ainu oral traditions and archaeology, Walker poses a thrilling new set of questions and concerns that experience but to be approached in so leading edge and thorough a way.
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Extra info for The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion,1590-1800
After Shakushain’s War, discussed in chapter 2, Matsumae officials divided Ezo into two spheres, Wajinchi and Ezochi. There is some reason to believe that the border between the two was established in 1633, just prior to a shogunal inspection; but the important point is that the border constantly moved northward, and this movement in effect led to the slow absorption of Ainu territory as commercial growth sparked increased Japanese settlement. The border was created to restrict Ainu and Japanese movement in Ezo, and in 1669 the border stretched between Kumaishi and Shinori, in the east near the Óno Mountains.
The three major ethnic groups of the Japanese Archipelago—the Ainu, the Ryukyu Islanders, and the dominant Japanese—all appear to be of Southeast Asian descent, although they developed distinct cultural traditions. Prior to the Heian period, elite Japanese viewed the Emishi more as “crude and unrefined people,” or people who rejected the political and cultural practices of the court and its courtiers. 3 However, as political and cultural outcasts, the Emishi neatly served t h e c o n s o l i dat i o n o f t h e e a r ly - m o d e r n s tat e 21 the purposes of the Japanese elite.
The Matsumae family was obviously not an English company, nor was Ieyasu interested in territorial claims when he issued the black-seal order to Yoshihiro. He was simply placing foreign trade and realm-related security concerns within a broader framework. 62 Moreover, the finances of the Matsumae family were not wholly unlike those of the Massachusetts Bay Company: both were invested with commercial rights to provide commodities extracted from the natural environment of foreign lands. These rights eventually included, in the case of Matsumae, the right to distribute trade fiefs (akinaiba), located throughout Ezochi, to domainal vassals.
The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion,1590-1800 by Brett L. Walker