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13864Re: [SCA-JML] Gokenin

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  • Solveig
    Apr 1, 2004
      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      First of all you should read the stuff put out by Farris and Mass both of
      whom have written extensively on pre-modern Japan. You should also check
      out the appropriate volume of the Cambridge History of Japan.

      >If any have information they can add to or which would correct this
      >description, I would be glad to hear of it. For instance: Is being a
      >gokenin an inheritable position by law or practise?

      Most everything in Japan was dejure appointive and defacto heritable.
      However, inheritance was most emphatically not necessarily to the eldest
      son. Generally, the holder of position would try to arrange succession
      during their lifetime by the most capable candidate. For ordinary property,
      family headship, and stuff like that, succession could go to females as
      late as the middle of the Kamakura period.

      >Was the position bought by bribery?

      I wouldn't rule it out, but it was not all that normative. Another way
      to look at things. For example, the imperial court had a number of ways
      it could persuade people to do things. They could offer titles, opportunities
      to participate in important ceremonies, and things like that as inducements.
      While their was exchange value in this sort of arrangement, the initiative
      was often more with the superior than you appear to be suggesting. Money
      was often obtained by other means. A lot of civic construction was financed
      by "subscriptions" with groups of officials going around collecting for these
      efforts.
      --

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar

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