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参勤交代 / Sankin Kotai, the Alternate Attendance Policy

2013.09.23 [DISCOVERY,HISTORY,WHAT'S NEW]

Sankin Kotai, the Alternate Attendance Policy

“Sankin Kotai” was a policy initiated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Sengoku period, and perfected
by the Tokugawa Shogunate during the relative peace of the Edo period. Sankin Kotai required the
daimyo, or nobility to spend alternate years between their home domains, and residencies in Edo,
(modern Tokyo). In principal, the practice was to provide military services to the Shogun. A set number
of the daimyo’s samurai would accompany him to Edo, and while stationed there would perform castle
guard duties and other services to the Shogun. In reality, it was a way to impoverish the daimyo,
making them spend twice as much to maintain two households, as their wives and heir were to remain
in Edo as representatives, (read, hostages) and the expense of the “daimyo gyoretsu”, the lavish
processions in and out of the city would prohibit them from being able to afford weapons, armor, extra
samurai and from staging an insurrection. It has been estimated that as much as 25% of a daimyo’s
net revenues were allocated to the Sankin Kotai system to maintain the Edo estate as well as fund the
processions.

 

 

参勤交代。「歴史の授業で習ったなぁ」「でも、何のことだっけ?」そんな人も多いはず。参勤交代とは、
各藩の藩主や大名を定期的に江戸に住まわせるという、江戸幕府の政策の一つ。戦国時代には豊臣秀吉が、
大坂城や伏見城の城下に大名の妻子を住まわせ、大名を1年ごとに行き来させており、これが参勤交代の原形
になったとも言われています。参勤交代の目的の一つは、藩主が権力を持ち過ぎないようにするために
(=幕府の力を維持するために)各藩の財政に負担をかけること。江戸へ出向く際の大名行列、そして領地
以外の江戸での生活。参勤交代のために、自国の領地で大名が必要とする通常の年間の経費の25%を使わな
ければならなかったとも言われています。また妻子を江戸に住まわせることは「人質」を意味しました。
参勤交代は、大名たちに忠誠を誓わせるという、幕府にとっては重要な意味のある制度だったのです。

 

大名行列 / Daimyo Procession

Retinue numbers were decided by the government. Daimyo of 100,000 koku value would have to furnish
at least 250, including 10 cavalry samurai, 80 ashigaru foot-soldiers, and another assorted 150 personnel
to make up these daimyo gyoretsu. As the processions were a status symbol, extra staff would be included,
(The daimyo of Kaga, valued at 1,000,000 koku, once used some 4,000 people in his procession!) and an
appropriate amount of splendor was expected, with fancy clothes worn by all,, with the required amount of
samurai guards, administrative staff, servants, porters and horses. All had to be fed and lodged during the procession,  thus creating a further financial burden on the daimyo.

 

 

参勤交代のための大名行列は、幕府によって人数が定められていました。10万石の大名の場合で、250人(騎馬武者
10騎、足軽80人、そのほか150人程度)ほどだった言われています。しかしながら実際には、各藩の力をみせるため、
それ以上の人数を引き連れて行列を行う藩も多かったのだとか。100万石を誇る加賀藩は、最大4,000人の大名行列を
行ったとも言われています。江戸までの道のりにかかる宿泊費、食費は当然のことながら大名の負担。幕府の狙い通り
大名たちには大きな負担のかかる制度でした。

 

 

参勤交代によって発展した交通と文化
The spreading of Culture and Communications

During these processions, the daimyo would use one of the many highways, the kaido, with the five
main routes being those of the Tokaido, Nakasendo. Koshu-kaido, Oshu-Kaido and the Nikko-Kaido.
Another 25 minor routes were also used. Along each of the highways were designated stops, post towns,
featuring special inns reserved for the daimyo and nobility called Honjin and Waki-honjin. The Hatago
were lodging establishments made available to commoners and merchants.

 

The processions encouraged cultural and economic growth along the highways. Road maintenance also
aided local industry. They improved communication systems across the nation. The Sankin Kotai system
was also imitated by the daimyo within their own domains ensuring peace through the subservience of
their retainers.

 

 

参勤交代のための大名行列には、東海道、中山道、甲州街道、奥州街道、日光街道などの道、そのほか、25の小さな
街道が使われました。このことによって街道は整備され、宿場は繁栄。参勤交代は、交通の発達や文化の交流にも
大きな影響を与えており、大名たちを苦しめるという負の要素だけではなく、日本を発展させる大切な役目も果たし
ました。

 

 

 

The Sankin Kotai system was virtually abolished in 1862 near the end of the Edo period, when the Tokugawa Shogunate was in danger of collapse. Within six months, the population of Edo had halved as the daimyo and
their retinue returned to their provinces. In 1868, the 15th Tokugawa Shogun resigned his position ending 260
years of Tokugawa rule and the nation abandoned feudalism as it entered the Meiji period.

 

1862年頃には、幕府の権力が衰退。参勤交代の制度も緩和、廃止へと向っていきました。参勤交代が終わると、その
半年後には、江戸の人口が半分程度まで減少したと言われています。徳川15代、260年つづいた江戸幕府は、その後、
終わりを告げ、日本は、江戸から明治へと変化を遂げていくのです。

 

 

 


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