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  • Sanctions, Targetism, and Village Autonomy: Poor Relief in Early Modern Rural Japan

    Mitsuo Kinoshita

    Chapter from the book: Tanimoto M. & Wong R. 2019. Public Goods Provision in the Early Modern Economy: Comparative Perspectives from Japan, China, and Europe.


    This chapter, by Mitsuo Kinoshita, discusses autonomous villages in early modern Japan that were delegated the primary responsibility for ensuring the subsistence of community members by their lords. Each village decided independently when communal relief should be carried out, what the duration and amount should be, and who the “deserving” were at that time. Villagers maintained an attitude of willingness to provide relief when help from personal relationships became overburdened, but they did not hesitate to shame and punish the recipients, who were treated as dependents or a burden on their community. The author shows that all these characteristics were underpinned by the micro-politics that evolved in each individual village.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Kinoshita, M. 2019. Sanctions, Targetism, and Village Autonomy: Poor Relief in Early Modern Rural Japan. In: Tanimoto M. & Wong R, Public Goods Provision in the Early Modern Economy. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.63.e

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Jan. 15, 2019


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