Scribe Figaro (scribefigaro) wrote in little_details,
Scribe Figaro

Farming life in Eastern Japan 1545-1590

I'm looking for sources - websites and texts - relating to the daily life and attitudes of the common people (i.e., farmers, peasants, hyakushou) of the Kanto region of Japan during the period of approximately 1545 to 1590, when the Lesser Houjou had control of the region.  Information relating to other regions of Japan at or before that time is also very helpful.  [ETA: If this is too specific, I'll gladly expand my interest to the entire Muromachi Era (1336-1573)]  Information about life during Tokugawa is plentiful, but probably not helpful due to the rapid change in social structure and tighter restrictions on daily life.

Specific questions are:
  • For a particular crop or group of crops, what was the daily routine during each season?
  • How did a person, family, or village manage money and resources?
  • What was the structure within the farming community?  I have a source stating that villages at the time were substantially democratic, but gives no detail as to how leaders were selected, what they were called, what their jobs entailed, how order was enforced, and how they interacted with higher classes, such as providing taxes or tribute to representatives of the daimyou.
  • What foods were common and uncommon to a person's diet?
  • Intra-family and inter-family relations.  Where would a person put the lines which separate family, friends, neighbors, villagers, outsiders, etc.?  Is marriage most commonly arranged?  For what specific purpose?
  • Sexual attitudes. Concepts of sexual maturity, body image, nudity, and intimacy.  Commonality and acceptability of pre-marital sex, homosexual and lesbian relationships, incest, prostitution, and prurient entertainment; attitudes toward sexual function, menstruation, and pretty much anything else.
Google and library searches yielding nothing topical:
momoyama period farming
history of japanese farming
japanese peasants
peasants of musashi

Personal excursions:
Several museums in Japan.  The Tokyo-Edo museum in Ryougoku was proably most helpful and gave me what little information I know.  (Homes, household items and tools, birth procedures.)

I already know:
  • answers to the above questions for the buke/samurai during most of Japan's history
  • answers to the above questions for Meiji and modern Japan
  • answers to several of the above questions for Tokugawa Japan
  • history, war and political division of the region
  • more than I need to know about samurai
  • hyakushou clothing
  • ninjas are mammals

I have the feeling there exist some relevant texts, but I can't dig them out under the pile of information relating to samurai and modern Japanese life.
Tags: 1500-1599, japan: history

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