From “Feudal” Lords to Local Notables: The Role of Regional Society in Public Goods Provision from Early Modern to Modern Japan
Chapter from the book: Tanimoto M. & Wong R. 2019. Public Goods Provision in the Early Modern Economy: Comparative Perspectives from Japan, China, and Europe.
Part 1 of the volume is devoted to investigating the structure of public finance in early modern Japan. This chapter, by Masayuki Tanimoto examines the relative size of the Tokugawa shogunate, as well as domains’ public finance. The chapter then evaluates the changing role of rulers in the latter half of Tokugawa era and goes on to discuss the role of the regional society in public-goods provision and as an incubator of industrial development by focusing on the activities of local notables—wealthy farmers, land owners, brewers, and local merchants. Overall, the chapter evaluates the substitutable and complementary roles of regional society as a provider of public goods in early modern and modern Japan.