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Tour of Duty

Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern Japan

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis
Copyright Date: 2008
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    Tour of Duty
    Book Description:

    This is a study of the internal dynamics of the Indonesian Army in the decade and a half leading up to the fall of Soeharto. While the empirical analysis is limited to the Army, the findings have implications for the military as a whole. Throughout the work, we use the word Army when referring to the single service branch, and the terms "ABRI," "Armed Forces," and "military" interchangeably to refer to the four service branches together. Chapter one examines change in the Army officer corps during the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast to the existing literature, it argues that the increasing frequency of large scale reshuffles of military personnel was primarily neither a response to particular political developments nor the uh_product of individual personalities and cliques. We argue instead that this was a reflection of changes in the size of the officer corps. Tracing these changes to the National Military Academy in Magelang, Central Java, we demonstrate that many of the current changes taking place in the Army are a result of internal structural features of the Army. Chapter two explores the career patterns of Army officers during the 1990s. Through a detailed analysis of succession patterns and the examination of class cohorts from the National Military Academy, this chapter further refines the basic model presented in chapter one. This analysis highlights several forms of institutional rationalization within the Army during the late Soeharto era. Drawing on the macro-level analysis of the Army officer corps in the preceding chapters, chapter three discusses the political implications of these structural changes for military rule in Indonesia. While the changing size of the officer corps has presented the Army with certain new opportunities, it has also raised new conflicts and tensions. Primary among these are questions of changing career prospects, alterations in the nature of the military and its ability to continue its direct role in socio-political affairs, and emerging divisions between active and retired officers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6524-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Every year for more than two and a half centuries, samurai in service to their daimyo marched early modern Japan’s highways back and forth from their domain’s castle town to Edo, the political capital of the realm and the center from which the Tokugawa family governed its domain. Theirs was no recreational trip. It was a forced movement, known as alternate attendance, orsankin kōtai, imposed by legal fiat: The shogun required the daimyo to leave their domains to come wait on him, usually for a year at a time. The daimyo, furthermore, were required to keep their wives and...

  5. 1 Beginnings
    (pp. 11-35)

    In its tokugawa context, alternate attendance represented an important connection with the past, and at the same time it was a significant part of the redefinition of relations between the shogunate and the daimyo that took place during the first half of the seventeenth century. The requirements of participation in the system as it developed in the Edo period consumed much of the daimyo officials’ time and energy and severely depleted domain coffers. This chapter will explore two themes related to the notion of beginnings—the origins of alternate attendance and the preparations for the journey—while examining the basic...

  6. 2 The Road to Edo (and Back)
    (pp. 36-61)

    The requirements of alternate attendance continued largely unchanged for more than two centuries, leading us to believe that the daimyo’s performance of them did likewise. In this chapter it will be argued that this notion is patently false. Like so much involving Tokugawa Japan, the long life of many of its institutions belies significant change in practice—changes that are evident only when one reads broadly and across the long expanse of the historical record. The seeming uniformity in practice also masks the fact that this institution, while in theory imposed uniformly on all the daimyo, could impact them and...

  7. 3 The Daimyo Procession
    (pp. 62-101)

    The movements of the daimyo, who were in a sense portable lords, and their entourages to and from Edo were not done haphazardly. They were a type of group activity that assumed certain distinct forms that marked the cultural landscape of early modern Japan. Alternate attendance was in essence a military exercise, and because of this basic fact, the various elements in the daimyo procession originated in the order of battle. It will be argued here, though, that with the onset of peace, the form of the procession came to mimic rather than replicate those earlier military movements. Once the...

  8. 4 Assignment: Edo
    (pp. 102-127)

    Alternate attendance affected the lives of a broad spectrum of people in Tokugawa Japan: peasants who paid taxes to support the lord’s travel, transported the baggage and men in his procession, and maintained the roads; members of the samurai status group who participated in the system and the support staff who attended to them; and all the members of the daimyo retainer bands and their families. The families’ economic lives were directly impacted by the forced “loans” the lord collected from their stipends, which were largely due to financial exigencies caused by the economic burden of alternate attendance. In addition...

  9. 5 Daimyo Compounds: Place and Space
    (pp. 128-171)

    The mobilization of the daimyo elite through alternate attendance changed the face of what had been up to 1603 simply the castle town of one of the most powerful lords in the country. Unlike Paris, London, and St. Petersburg, cities with which it has sometimes been compared, Edo was built in a frontier region, backward in political and economic terms. Yet with the Tokugawa’s establishment of the shogunate in 1603 and the imposition of numerous controls on the daimyo, including most importantly alternate attendance, the city of Edo was transformed into a national center. Alternate attendance drew tens of thousands...

  10. 6 Life in the Capital
    (pp. 172-204)

    The confucian scholar Ogyū Sorai wrote, “For the period of each alternate year during which the daimyo live in Edo they live as in an inn (ryoshuku no kyōkai). Their wives, who remain in Edo all the time, live permanently as in an inn.”¹ His comments were critical of the social effects of alternate attendance and were part of a broader critique of the policies that removed the samurai from the land. Sorai’s notion of returning the samurai to the land and reducing the period of residence in Edo were never adopted by any shogun, and so the daimyo and...

  11. 7 Carriers of Culture
    (pp. 205-236)

    To say that alternate attendance influenced Japanese culture is a truism of sorts, but there has been little examination of how this actually occurred on either a macro or a micro level.¹ Moreover, in observing the functioning of alternate attendance, scholars in both Japan and America have misconstrued the process: Cultural flow is seen as unidirectional, spreading “Edo culture” from the center to the localities. For example, according to George Tsukahira the system “spread the culture of Edo … to the countryside”; an article by Nishiyama Matsunosuke, a leading Japanese cultural historian, titled “Zenkoku ni hirogaru Edo no bunka” (lit.,...

  12. Conclusion
    (pp. 237-240)

    The tokugawa state mobilized its elite in an unprecedented fashion, calling on the daimyo to attend the shogun in his capital of Edo every other year, a practice that continued for more than two centuries. They squandered great wealth getting to and from Edo, yet this both helped to keep the peace and to generate economic growth across the country. Year after year, the daimyo and their entourages plied the highways between their castle towns and Edo, making visible for all to see the social and political hierarchy of the land. Daimyo paraded through the political landscape, performing their status...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 241-290)
  14. Works and Documents Cited
    (pp. 291-312)
  15. Index
    (pp. 313-318)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 319-320)