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Alternate Attendance
Power and culture in early modern Japan
“Alternate Attendance” was the
requirement, in early modern Japan,
(c. 1600-1860) that all provincial lords
travel to capi...
While its purpose was to control
potential rivals, alternate attendance
had widespread effect on the
economy of the time a...
About once every two years a provincial lord,
or daimyo, accompanied by his retainers,
marched to the capital, Edo.
The daimyo procession was both military maneuver and
spectacular parade.
The Tosa daimyo traveled with over 4000 people. H...
Although the common people
were required to kneel when
the procession went by, many
went to see the the
impressive parades...
In addition to the expense of the march,
daimyo also had to maintain a large
residence in Edo.
These financial layouts dep...
The wife and children of a daimyo were required to
live in Edo as hostages to his good behavior.
Service in the capital al...
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Sankinkoutai2

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Sankinkoutai2

  1. 1. Alternate Attendance Power and culture in early modern Japan
  2. 2. “Alternate Attendance” was the requirement, in early modern Japan, (c. 1600-1860) that all provincial lords travel to capital the serve the military ruler, or Shogun. Above: Tokugawa Ieyasu,(1543-1616) founder of the Tokugawa military government
  3. 3. While its purpose was to control potential rivals, alternate attendance had widespread effect on the economy of the time and lasting effect on Japanese culture.
  4. 4. About once every two years a provincial lord, or daimyo, accompanied by his retainers, marched to the capital, Edo.
  5. 5. The daimyo procession was both military maneuver and spectacular parade. The Tosa daimyo traveled with over 4000 people. However, some processions were as small as several hundred. A retinue might set out before dawn and stop only after dark, most of the retainers travelling on foot.
  6. 6. Although the common people were required to kneel when the procession went by, many went to see the the impressive parades. A contemporary witness reported seeing a formation of marching retainers whose height varied less than one inch.
  7. 7. In addition to the expense of the march, daimyo also had to maintain a large residence in Edo. These financial layouts deprived the daimyo of resources that could be used against the Shogun.
  8. 8. The wife and children of a daimyo were required to live in Edo as hostages to his good behavior. Service in the capital alternated between daimyo of neighboring provinces, depriving them of the opportunity to plot effectively against the Shogun while in their home provinces.

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