13969Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Jito and Shugo, was Gokenin
- Apr 4, 2004Once again, its after midnight and I'm writing my reply from work and I
don't have my library or old rekishi notes at hand. So, fully expecting to
be shot down in flames by Effingham-dono, here�s my two yens worth anyway�
*** On Jito and Shugo-
Weren't the jito originally a pre-Ashikaga Imperial tax collector? They
were supposed to collect the tax and send it back to the Imperial court
noble who technically owned the fief.
At some point this system broke down.
As the samurai class came into its own, the jito (who'd already militarised
to a certain extent to protect their cash) sent a portion of their money
upstream to the shugo rather than to court in order to gain further
protection. The shugo were military rather than bureaucratic governors at
So, the actual control of the land passed from court hands into the hands
of the shugo � who were samurai. These guys bickered and fought amongst
themselves to secure greater numbers of jito. If they acquired enough land
they were called daimyo (doesn�t this just mean �big name�?).
Hmmm� by the time the Warring States period ended, jito had ceased to be.
Or at least, that�s my impression.
There�s a number of terms of which I�m not sure though:
Go-zamurai � samurai who are from farmer stock? Or maybe are traditionally
associated with a given fief?
Hatamoto � senior vassals of a daimyo who control distinct areas of land
smaller than a Han?
Karo � elderly advisers, retired generals, uncles etc.
*** On Stipends-
I don�t believe that all samurai had their own fiefs. Especially once
Tokugawa got in control. A stipend was an income derived from tax gathered
from the Lord�s lands but it was not directly tied to any particular patch
A retainer on a stipend did not own a village which he had to look after.
He was in direct vassalage to his lord and served at his residence (mansion
or castle). He got paid a stipend in the same way that we might collect a
yearly salary. The retainers which had their own plot of land, which were
infiefed, as it were, were go-zamurai or hatamoto perhaps? Hmmm� I lack
enough of the right names to describe this situation properly�
I do remember that Tokugawa Ieyasu had a deliberate policy of
disenfranchising the samurai from their feudal land base. The payment of
stipends or salaries was essential to this. It was just another method he
had of ensuring that samurai did not rise up and rebel. The theory being
that without significant ties to land and the peasant class, their sense of
responsibility for them was diminished and they would also lack a feudal
base of operations to return to and stage rebellions from.
**** Otagiri Tatsuzou�s questions �
1) Some samurai are jito
2) All jito are samurai..
- I don�t think the jito really existed by the mid-sixteenth century, IMHO.
I'm sure someone will tell us though. :)
3) Some jito draw their stipend as a portion of the taxes collected.
- I think that they drew a percentage (of around 50%?) from the taxes
4) Some jito deliver all the taxes directly to their leige.
- Nope, I don�t think so.
5) Some samurai receive stipends directly from their leige in the form of
- Goods? Like rice? Almost certainly, eh. I can�t imagine a town or city
based samurai being paid in rice though. More likely in cold, hard cash�
gold bullion of some sort. Promisary notes?
6) Some samurai receive stipends directly from their leige as cash
- I reckon. :)
And some more questions.
Peasants were encouraged to develop new fields. Were these new fields
incoporated into the existing shoen systems? Were new shoen estates
"registered" somewhere someway? Did significant acreage exist outside
the shoen estates?
- New fields were developed by nanushi, I think (that name doesn't sound
right...). Anyway, the �grass parters�, who reclaimed swamps or cut down
forests. These new lands were often not straight away incorporated into the
shoen system. The jito might still collect tax from it, but they might
keep the rice all to themselves (with very little maneuvering on their
The amount of tax collected depended on how recently the last land survey
was done. A jito might have 5000 tan of land to collect tax from in
theory. But given a bit of growth, he might actually administer 6,500 tan
of land because the taxes were set at the last land survey, say 80 years
Of course, land surveyors could always be bribed to underestimate land size
and production value as well.
I hope this makes sense.
IIRC, Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu were into land surveys in a big way
as it increased their income significantly.
Segayama no Andre
(Andre de Montsegur)
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