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Lust, Commerce, and CorruptionAn Account of What I Have Seen and Heard, by an Edo Samurai$
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Mark Teeuwen and Kate Wildman Nakai

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166447

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166447.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Buyō Inshi and his Times

Buyō Inshi and his Times

Chapter:
(p.1) Part 1 Buyō Inshi and his Times
Source:
Lust, Commerce, and Corruption
Author(s):
Mark Teeuwen, Kate Wildman Nakai, Miyazaki Fumiko, Anne Walthall, John Breen, Mark Teeuwen, Kate Wildman Nakai
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231166447.003.0008

This volume contains the translation of Matters of the World: An Account of What I Have Seen and Heard (Seji kenbunroku or Seji kenmonroku), which examines Japanese society critically in its entirety, from shogunal worthies at the top to outcasts of various kinds at the bottom, during the Edo period. Written by a samurai author who uses the pseudonym Buyō Inshi, “a retired gentleman of Edo,” the work provides a firsthand compelling account of the social and economic contradictions of late Edo life as well as Edo Japan's financial and legal doings. This section examines the historical context in which Matters of the World was written by taking a closer look at the larger structures of society in mid-Edo, with particular emphasis on warriors, farmers, artisans, and merchants as well as clergy, the imperial court, townspeople, outcasts, and idlers. It also describes some of the events in the period that must have formed Buyō's worldview: the decades around 1800. Finally, it traces Buyō's major concepts and categories and outlines the intellectual landscape that informed his outlook.

Keywords:   warriors, Matters of the World, Japanese society, Edo period, Buyō Inshi, farmers, artisans, merchants, clergy, outcasts

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