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Tour of Duty : samurai, military service in Edo, and the culture of early modern Japan

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis


Alternate attendance (sankin kotai) was one of the central institu-JL JL. tions of Edo-period (1603-1868) Japan and one
of the most unusual examples of a system of enforced elite mobility in world history.
It required the daimyo to divide their time between their domains and the city of Edo,
where they waited upon the Tokugawa shogun. Based on a prodigious amount of research
in both published and archival primary sources, Tour of Duty renders alternate attendance
as a lived experience, for not only the daimyo but also the samurai retainers who
accompanied them. Beyond exploring the nature of travel to and from the capital as
well as the period of enforced bachelorhood there, Constantine Vaporis elucidates —
for the first time — the significance of alternate attendance as an engine of cultural,
intellectual, material, and technological exchange.

Vaporis argues against the view that cultural change simply emanated from the center
(Edo) and reveals more complex patterns of cultural circulation and production taking
place between the domains and Edo and among distant parts of Japan. What is generally
known as "Edo culture" in fact incorporated elements from the localities. In some cases,
 Edo acted as a nexus for exchange; at other times, culture traveled from one area to
another without passing through the capital. As a result, even those who did not
directly participate in alternate attendance experienced a world much larger than
their own. Vaporis begins by detailing the nature of the trip to and from the capital
for one particular

Сведения об издании: 
Honolulu : Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2008. - XII
Тематическое подразделение: 
Исторические науки