And here's the second paper--again, just copying and pasting at the moment, so ignore any formatting issues. Enjoy, leave feedback, and I'm sure you'll be able to see the differences and some inconsistencies from the last one to this one. One day I'll edit them and stitch them together. Or I'll can them and start all over...
security, but guaranteed (for the most part) “domestic” freedom of action. What, however, of constructivism? In my previous paper I made the following statement:
Shifting Viewpoints of History Through Political Theory:
Applying Constructivist Concepts to Describe Daimyo State Behavior
There are significant advantages to being a student of Area Studies, as opposed to a student of one specific discipline. As a member of the Asian Studies department, my curriculum allows me the flexibility to study multiple facets of my specialty country, Japan, and develop a more complete understanding of its history, institutions, culture, and people than I could if I focused exclusively on history, politics, art, or linguistics. The counterargument that any scholar of a specific discipline could make is that I, as an area studies researcher, am building a breadth of knowledge about Japan without any depth in any particular area. This is a fair point; after all, time devoted to studying sixteenth century military activity is time I do not have to spend analyzing modern Japanese literature, or examining the nuances of transition in Japanese political parties of the 1990’s and 2000’s.
A focus on “Japan,” as opposed to political science, language, art, or history, however, provides the Area Studies student with a unique academic opportunity: the ability to take theoretical methodologies from one discipline and apply them to others in a form of academic experimentation. While there is no guarantee that this will be productive in all cases, discovering that a certain methodological approach does not tell us anything new about a particular subject can tell us just as much as if it did, if the scholar takes care to understand why it does or does not work. Cross-discipline approaches, when applied judiciously, have enormous potential for opening new avenues of research. Critical analytical methods developed in the field of literary study have made an enormous impact on all fields of humanities research: historians now understand that they must not only read original primary sources but also evaluate the motivations and viewpoints of the authors, political scientists likewise recognize the need to understand the goals and ideological frameworks of the political groups they study, and art scholars see the need to understand the historical, political, and economic circumstances surrounding the creation of works of art that affects said creation.
Taking approaches from one discipline and applying them to problems in another discipline is central to my study of sixteenth century Japanese history. I have analyzed a particular Japanese battle through the framework of current military doctrinal models used by the United States Army, revealing the limitations of previous historical scholarship focused almost entirely on historical literary accounts and providing credible answers for many of the hitherto unanswered questions about that specific event. I have also analyzed the behavior of regional warlords, or daimyo, of the sixteenth century in terms of international relations theory, observing that neorealist, neoliberal, and constructivist examples of behavior were all exhibited at some point by the Japanese sengoku daimyo. In both instances, I take theories from other disciplines that have been developed using historical examples, and apply them backwards to see what new information can be gleaned, both about the historical events and the theories themselves.
This paper is a continuation and refinement of the second project. In my previous work, I concentrated on analyzing the daimyo as a state actor and describing their behavior vis-à-vis other “states” in the limited “international” system of sixteenth century Japan. Consistent with my own familiarity with realist and neoliberal international theory, I concentrated on the state to state relations and external pressures on daimyo behavior. While I addressed the possibility of constructivist behavior, it was not a major part of my analysis.
Recent exposure to different approaches to contemporary political analysis of Japan, however, causes me to reevaluate that approach. Specifically, the work of Petrice Flowers and David Leheny, both of whom examine the domestic process of adopting and implementing international norms by the Japanese through a constructivist framework, and that of Igurashi Yoshikuni and Franziska Seraphim, who write about interest group involvement in the construction of postwar Japan’s memories of World War II experiences, highlighted the influence of sub-state actors (primarily interest groups) in state policy. Thinking back to my previous research, I realized I had paid little attention to the potential of domestic groups within a daimyo’s domain driving daimyo policy.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to reexamine the “daimyo as state” concept with an emphasis on domestic pressures to answer the following questions: were there “interest groups” with the ability to lobby and influence daimyo policies? What methods of influence did these groups use, and how effective were they? And how can these understandings refine our picture of daimyo domains as political entities?
Defining the Daimyo State
In order to analyze daimyo behavior as state behavior in international relations theory, we must begin by defining the “state”, and then determine whether or not daimyo domains fit the description. The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933) provides the following requirements for statehood: 1. a defined territory; 2. a permanent population; 3. a government; and 4. a capacity to enter into relations with other states. This is known as the “declarative theory” of state sovereignty. Thus some form of ruling body as “government” exhibits internal and external sovereignty, or control over domestic policy and relations with entities outside of the defined territorial and population boundaries of the state.
Daimyo Domain as State
Prior to the Ônin War (1467-1477), the Ashikaga Shogunate functioned as an overarching “national” government that controlled the provinces through their regional deputies, or shugo. Owing their regional power to their appointments by the Shogun in Kyoto, shugo necessarily were drawn into the conflict amongst various factions within the Ashikaga government. This focused their attention away from the provinces, as they fought a war of annihilation in the center which culminated in the effective dissolution of centralized “national” control, though the Ashikaga would continue as shoguns in name for another one hundred years. In the absence of strong central authority, regional leaders, or daimyo, began to consolidate power in their own hands. Regardless of whether they were shugo who managed to maintain local control, shugo underlings who usurped their masters’ positions, or local notables who completely overthrew any remnants of central power structures, these new daimyo established control over the local warriors and cultivators, ruled territory on their own authority, and came to be the dominant political entity of sixteenth century Japan.
The collapse of the center meant that as long as a daimyo overcame local opposition, there was no external mechanism that could challenge his control. Daimyo could carve out small but geographically contiguous territories that were easily administered and defended. Their physical location within their domain, rather than the absentee control practiced by estate owners, governors, and shugo in the past, led to tighter land control, stronger control over the local warrior bands, and stronger independent domains. In other words, they demonstrated control over a territory defined by their ability to control it militarily, with a population of cultivators and warriors underneath their control; this demonstrates the first two conditions of declarative state sovereignty.
The daimyo also served as head of state for his domain, forming a “government” to control and administer his territory. “State-building” took place as daimyo created their own laws and administrative systems to maximize the economic resources and preserve the peace within their territories. This concentration of power at the local level led to a “conglomeration of tightly organized regional units that were politically independent.” These domains were effective enough as administrative units that they remained the basis of government administration until the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868. Thus we see daimyo governance of the domain fulfill the third condition of declarative state sovereignty.
The collapse of central control meant there was no higher “national” (meaning archipelago-wide) authority to which a daimyo owed any meaningful allegiance or obedience, even if imperial and shogunal institutions did not cease to exist completely. The daimyo in the provinces could, and did, simply ignore them. Rather than attempt to use their local power bases to influence “national” politics, the daimyo recognized that “national” politics ceased to exist. The territory we now recognize as “Japan” was less one national entity, and more a semi-closed “international” system. The daimyo became the highest level of authority in whatever territory upon which he could impose his will. “National” archipelago-wide politics only resurfaced later in the period as a legitimating device for daimyo that had gathered enough power to seek hegemony. In the absence of central authority, the daimyo determined his relations with other daimyo independently. Daimyo made the decisions to go to war, to declare peace, to enter alliances, or to begin trade agreements. Relations with other states, daimyo or otherwise, the fourth condition for being a state, fell under their purview.
By fulfilling the criteria for state sovereignty (1. a defined territory; 2. a permanent population; 3. a government; and 4. a capacity to enter into relations with other states), daimyo indeed behaved like independent political states. This observation was shared by the daimyo of the sixteenth century themselves; daimyo conceptualized themselves as independent political entities rather than parts of a coherent archipelago-wide whole. Ravina points out that the word “kokka” (国家), which in modern Japanese is used to describe the centralized state, was used by daimyo to refer to either their territorial domains, or their family and retainers. Indeed, daimyo would appeal to “national” security and the “good of the domain” in order to mobilize retainers and cultivators alike for both war and development projects. Though they retained a shared cultural identity with other locales, the individual daimyo domain demonstrably developed as independent political entities, or states, in the aftermath of the Ônin War.
Daimyo State as Political Construct[NL1]
In the last twenty-five years, the end of the Cold War has contributed to the diffusion of international politics to a more regional level. Local and regional dynamics give states greater latitude in shaping their immediate environments, which were effectively frozen during the bipolar competition of the Cold War. The same could be said of the state system in 16th century Japan. With the collapse of the Ashikaga Shogunate as a central normalizing structure, regional and local powers were free to utilize whatever means necessary and available to create their own independent localized states, and to build those states through internal controls and external relations with their neighbors, who were doing the same thing. As the century progressed, certain daimyo successfully subdued their regional neighbors, and made attempts at “international” hegemony. Early in the post-Onin War period, international realism was the prevailing model of relations between daimyo states: survival was the highest priority, and daimyo fought internal and external threats to establish secure rule. Expansion and conflict were the normal form of inter-domainal interaction, and though alliance occurred, it was generally short-lived and used by smaller daimyo to balance the greater threat of invasion by larger warlords. As larger daimyo states absorbed smaller ones and power coalesced in the hand of a few regionally dominant lords, the cost of conflict became too costly. Historian Mary Berry describes the political situation at the end of the sixteenth century as a “federation,” with regionally dominant lords accepting the national sovereignty of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in return for confirmation of their suzerainty over their own localized domains. This arrangement can also be described in neoliberal terms, as Hideyoshi’s regime served the function of an international regulating body that constrained the actions of the participating daimyo states relative to each other in order to preserve group
security, but guaranteed (for the most part) “domestic” freedom of action. What, however, of constructivism? In my previous paper I made the following statement:
A reexamination through a constructivist lens would challenge my previous assertion, as interactions with local warriors, cultivators, and merchants would be as important to the daimyo as his interactions with his external rivals.
Constructivism takes a post-modern approach to international politics by recognizing that anarchy and other international conditions are social constructs, created and accepted by the international community on the basis of historical understanding and culture. The international system is composed of known practices, which limits the options available to states to those their history and culture deem possible. “Culture defines choices”. Further, identity is an important factor to constructivists, as identity concepts such as “nation,” race, religious unity, etc. are seen to have influence on state behavior and can be state core values equal to or greater than the desire for political independence. Constructivists argue that because of conflicting notions of identity within a state, the realist assumption of states as cohesive units does not hold, and this internal conflict must be accounted for in international behavior. The state could in fact be an “oppressor” that denies its constituent peoples security, and for a constructivist, only a regime with the consent and support of the people has legitimacy.
Culture and custom did limit daimyo state options, especially as daimyo grew more powerful. The question has often been asked, for instance, why Oda Nobunaga or Toyotomi Hideyoshi or Tokugawa Ieyasu (or even their historical predecessors in archipelago-wide power, the Ashikaga and Kamakura shoguns) did not simply abolish the Imperial system and claim the throne for themselves. While there are a variety of answers that have been more eloquently stated than I can here, constructivist views would tell us that custom and history created a situation in which the thought of supplanting the Imperial line did not occur to them as an option, and was unnecessary for the exercise of central political power. Further, the recognition of differing groups and their role within a state is a critical difference between constructivism on the one hand and realism and liberalism on the other. Updating my analysis of the daimyo domain as state through this constructivist concept draws attention to domestic groups previously overlooked. Focusing on three “domestic” interest groups (the warrior retainers, the cultivator class, and the merchant class), I examine how these groups interacted with the daimyo “government” and influenced policy. Consistent with the observations of Petrice Flowers and David Leheny that policy change can be instigated and pushed by either interest groups or the government, I find examples of both interest group driven changes and daimyo driven policy intended to manage the interest groups.
Balancing Act: Local warriors vs. Cultivators in the Daimyo Domain
Though the daimyo of Japan and their samurai retainers all consisted of the same cultural group, with the same historical and cultural background, identity did play a role in daimyo state actions. Identity differences never coalesced into a class struggle along economic lines between peasantry and warrior classes, but competition and cooperation did take place as these three groups began during this period to separate themselves from each other. I discuss the local warriors (variously known as kokujin, jizamurai, or kunishû, all of which are variations of “warriors of the province”) together with the cultivator class known as hyakushô, because it is during the sixteenth century that these groups begin to separate, largely at the instigation of the daimyo. This would culminate eventually in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s heinô bunri (separation of warriors and farmers) at the end of the century.
Like any political regime, a daimyo had to secure his position of leadership within his own domain. First, a daimyo had to eliminate conflicting centers of authority within the territory he was trying to control. As the Ashikaga state crumbled, this meant sweeping away or subsuming the old shugo (regional shogunal deputy) structure, and we see that some daimyo transitioned themselves from shugo to sengoku daimyo, where others usurped the political power of the prior shugo either from positions within the administrative framework (deputy shugo and the like claiming power for themselves) or from without. This process of gekokujô, or “the lower commanding the upper,” refers to an inversion of hierarchies throughout Japanese society at this time. This was not confined to former officials resisting central Ashikaga control, however. Souryi quotes the abbot of the Daijoin Temple, in 1485:
By the late 1400s it was became common for groups of local warriors to ban together in leagues called ikki as a collective self-governing organization in the absence of strong central control; cultivators and townsmen (urban merchants) did the same. Some daimyo rose to local power from leadership positions within their ikki peer group, turning the other warriors into his retainers. Many of these kokujin or jizamurai retainers were also cultivators who became wealthy enough to acquire weapons and men underneath them, giving them rudimentary military power. The daimyo achieved and maintained local control through effective organization and leadership of this warrior band, sometimes by assuming the titles of the old structure and sometimes by completely destroying it.[M2]
Daimyo Policies to Control Retainer/Cultivators
The major policy the daimyo used to strengthen internal control was the land survey. Surveying the cultivated land had several effects, first of which was to give the daimyo an accurate picture of potential agricultural yield, on which he could base his taxation policies. Surveying was not a common practice under the shugo, and so typically tax yields were calculated on historical precedent that did not take into account any fields newly cultivated. The cadastral surveys allowed the daimyo to set taxes based on actual figures produced, and to reassess this as they saw fit. As Birt shows in his study of the Hôjô domain, the income from newly assessed fields was claimed by the daimyo as “public costs” to be used for the collective defense of the domain. This justification of “public defense and welfare” provided a legitimating reason for cultivators and retainers to accept daimyo surveys, and helped reify the position of daimyo as public leader. In some domains, primarily in the Kanto area, daimyo began calculating tax obligations in coin (kandaka) rather than rice (kokudaka). This had several benefits for the daimyo: the burden of conversion was placed on the taxpaying cultivators rather than the daimyo; cash was easier to trade for military and other supplies than rice; warrior retainer fiefs calculated in cash value made them more transferable, helping the daimyo to move warriors around as he saw fit and paving the way for a salaried warrior class rather than warrior/proprietors; and it eliminated the warrior/proprietor as middlemen between the daimyo and the village, bringing the cultivator class into the daimyo’s economic orbit.
This new system had advantages for the cultivator as well. Accepting daimyo suzerainty provided an authority to settle disputes between the village and the proprietary samurai retainers. Previously, samurai proprietors could run roughshod over the cultivators within their fiefs, as the daimyo would not have interfered as long as the proprietor paid taxes and rendered military service. Placing the tax obligation directly on the cultivator increased their responsibility to the daimyo, but removed the likelihood of predation by the retainer middlemen. Daimyo like the Hôjô established direct connections with the village, and encouraged cultivators to report malfeasance by local warriors. As Birt puts it, “they exchanged a reduction of samurai influence for the protection and standardization of tax obligations afforded by the daimyo.” Further, individual cultivators could increase their own holdings by buying into the daimyo’s system. The Imagawa, for instance, would confiscate land from cultivators not meeting their tax quota and give it to cultivators willing to produce satisfactorily. Cultivators who also provided military service as lower ranking warriors would receive lower tax rates on their farm land; through this the daimyo not only integrated the village into his economic control and eliminated the middle layer of retainers from the tax process, but also established a base of military strength independent from the jizamurai and loyal directly to the daimyo house. Particularly talented and compliant village members could even be given supervisory status over other cultivators and given official titles to confirm their status as extensions of daimyo authority.
This direct connection between the daimyo and the village could have put the daimyo at odds with his retainer support base had the daimyo not pursued changes to that relationship as well. In this, the daimyo’s military success was key. A daimyo had to not only protect current land holdings, but expand his territorial control as a demonstration of martial leadership and as a source for new land revenue. More senior retainers were “entrusted” with the administration of newer and larger lands as the daimyo expanded his domain. Placing newly conquered lands in the hands of trusted senior retainers was an important step to integrating the new territory, but also served as a check on senior retainer power. First, it confirmed the domainal hierarchy, as the retainer moved at the behest of and in service to the daimyo. Second, it removed the senior retainer from any local powerbase he may have possessed, thereby forcing him to re-establish himself in a place he did not have roots and compelling his reliance on the authority and strength of the daimyo. However, the increased standing within the domainal structure and increased income from larger and newer lands made this attractive to the retainer instead of a source of friction. A corollary effect was that, since the samurai retainer was now on a stipendiary payment system rather than being granted a landed fief as salary, it was no longer in a retainer’s interest to withhold taxes from his lord. Previously, retainers were responsible for the taxing of the land, and kept whatever amount of collected taxes they could get over the required tax amount intended for the daimyo; in other words, extortion of the cultivator class was encouraged because as long as the retainer met his tax obligations to the lord, he could keep anything else he could find. The new systems of land surveys, taxation in coin, and retainer payment in cash put in place by the sixteenth century daimyo removed this incentive—it was in the retainer’s best interest to see that the daimyo received all the income he could, as it meant more to be distributed by the daimyo to his samurai retainers, and the wealthier the daimyo, the stronger military force he could field, providing collective security for the entire domain.
Interest Group Pressures on the Daimyo
The daimyo’s domestic policies could not have unilateral benefits, and I have discussed the positive effects these policies had for the cultivator and warrior retainers, even while integrating them further under the daimyo’s control. Things did not always proceed smoothly, however, and often the two “interest groups” had to make their voices heard before the daimyo would consider their interests in his policies. As noted by the abbot of the Daijoin in the quote previously mentioned, the warrior retainers on both sides of the fighting during a succession dispute in the Hatakeyama house decided in 1485 that supporting the two contenders was no longer of political benefit; banning together with a similarly minded league of the local villagers, the warriors of both sides decided to leave the battlefield and abandon the two brothers fighting for the daimyoship, and the cultivators repeatedly demonstrated for tokusei, or debt cancellations, to relieve the burdens caused by the devastation. The warriors and cultivators formed “provincial commune,” complete with governing assemblies, which administered southern Yamashiro province for three years until another shugo governor was assigned from Kyoto to replace the feuding Hatakeyama. As many daimyo rose to local prominence as the leaders of anti-shugo movements similar to this, successful daimyo understood that village and retainer concerns must be addressed if they wished to avoid the same type of conflict.
Cultivators practiced the same types of protest as they had for centuries. However, the closer economic and social links to regional leadership formed by new daimyo policies meant the effects of protest were felt at a higher level, increasing the likelihood of change. Villages withheld taxes, deserted their fields, absconded to other domains or to urban centers, and petitioned the daimyo regarding unfair treatment and local warrior-proprietor abuse. The daimyo encouraged the last, as it gave justification for stronger controls over their retainers’ behavior and justified actions to take direct control of the taxation process. In fact, on occasion village protests would demand the daimyo conduct land surveys to stabilize the tax rate and prevent local samurai from extorting more than their allotted tax share; this further legitimated the land system survey so vital to daimyo domestic control. Village protest could even rely on historical precedent to make their case; Shibata Katsuie, a subordinate lord of Oda Nobunaga, rescinded tax orders on shrine land in Omi province when villagers protested that the local shrine had never paid tax previously to warrior-proprietors. The daimyo could also benefit when cultivators absconded from their land and moved to the market town or to daimyo-held land, increasing his labor pool at the expense of his land-owning samurai retainers. The choice to return cultivators to their fields or let them stay gave the daimyo another control measure over his warrior-proprietors. As Michael Birt notes:
However, daimyo did have to consider the interests of their warrior retainer band as well, or face negative consequences, as numerous historical examples demonstrate. The Ouchi daimyo met his fate in 1551 when his senior vassal, Sue Harukata, assassinated him for incompetence. Oda Nobunaga, the first of the “three unifiers” that brought an end to the Warring States period, met the same fate at the hands of his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide in 1582, ostensibly because Mitsuhide resented the way Nobunaga had treated him. The retainers of the Rokkaku house drafted a domain-wide set of laws and forced their daimyo to sign it in a scene reminiscent of English nobles forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta.
Successful daimyo even took the conditions of the cultivators and their retainers into account when planning warfare. According to Farris’s study of mortality and famine in medieval Japan, the daimyo Uesugi Kenshin began his campaigns in the late fall, when his home province of Echigo, too far north for double-cropping, had completed the harvest. Knowing other daimyo domains to his south were still farming, Kenshin could set off and raid the enemy’s harvest. This had the double advantage of removing the large number of hungry mouths in his army from consuming his own domain’s food supply and supplementing that supply with captured supplies from enemy domains, and reducing the enemy’s provisions. Takeda Shingen, Kenshin’s rival to the south, reportedly called the fourth month or the year “the time of no provisions,” as this was when winter stores ran empty. Farris describes this phenomenon as the “Spring Hungers,” a time of increased death from malnutrition. Accordingly, Shingen’s campaigns frequently began as the “Spring Hunger” period began, with the frequent goal of stealing food from the enemy, much like the Uesugi.
Financing the Daimyo: Daimyo and Merchant Interaction
Unlike the cultivator and the warrior-proprietor, the mercantile class can be viewed as an external group with which the daimyo had to interact, rather than a constituency group for the daimyo to integrate into the domain. To be sure, the relative independence of the merchant townsmen of Kyoto and Sakai from provincial daimyo rule for much of the sixteenth century does present this picture. However, merchants and artisans existed in every domain, and more often than not the relationship with the daimyo was one of mutual benefit and dependence, rather than independence. As certain daimyo like Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi grew in power and exerted control over larger portions of Japan and came closer to restoring centralized control, the independent mercantile centers faced the same conclusions local merchants did in smaller domains: profit and power came from working with, or for, the political leadership. The daimyo and the merchants saw economic gains and increased prestige from working together.
Control of commercial action within his domain was necessary for a daimyo to consolidate his control and provide resources for expansion. Most daimyo had insufficient resources within their territory to meet all of their military needs, especially when firearms were introduced into warfare beginning in the 1540’s. Daimyo had to rely on importing them through the great trade centers like Sakai or purchasing them from production centers like Kunitomo in Omi Province; thus it was necessary to use local merchants as brokers for these transactions. In this manner, regional daimyo had both a conduit to, and a counterbalance for, more established economic networks in the capital. Merchants also procured items that were non-military, but still essential for the daimyo domain, such as salt and fish not available readily to land-locked territories. The Takeda of Kai secured such products through a license with the Sakata family of merchants. These specialized relationships frequently evolved to either granting a monopoly or granting a supervisory role over other local merchants trading in the same business. As Sasaki and Hauser explain, “Many daimyo appointed powerful merchants within their domains who were active in long-distance trade as agents or supervisory merchants, granting them special status and prestige within the local community.” Curtis describes similar roles for leading domainal artists supervising others practicing the same craft. The benefits to the merchant, and therefore motivations for cooperation with the daimyo, are obvious. These “contractual patron-client relationships” with the daimyo protected artisans and merchants from rivals and taxation by other lords. Some merchants were so integrated into the daimyo’s control of commercial activities they were given bugyonin, or commissioner, status in the daimyo’s administration; this also carried with it the prestige of “warrior-retainer” status, even if military service was not part of the obligation. In this manner, daimyo co-opted merchants into a lord-vassal relationship. Daimyo later in the sixteenth century went further in making trade reforms; Oda Nobunaga declared the markets at his newly built capital of Azuchi to be “free markets and free guilds” (rakuichi rakuza) in 1577. He outlawed guilds in the city, abolished the tolls on highways leading in and out, required all merchants passing through to stop for a time to trade, ordered all horse trading to take place in the city, and guaranteed that there would be no tokusei cancellation of debts. Such freedoms and guarantees were highly attractive to merchants, who moved to Azuchi to take advantage of these new conditions, and this later became the standard at most castle town market centers.
Merchants and daimyo traded prestige as well as goods. Privileged status received from a powerful daimyo patron carried with it not only the power to supervise or squeeze out rival merchants and artists, but social status as well. The daimyo also benefited; patronage of the arts was traditionally the purview of the Kyoto aristocracy, so being the patron of a producer (artist) or procurer (merchant) of works of art lent a daimyo a sense of nobility and separated him from his provincial peers. Daimyo could even use their political influence to secure official court recognition for the artists they patronized. Curtis recounts that the title Hida no kami (“Governor of Hida Province”) was traditionally bestowed as an honorary title on gifted woodworkers, as Hida was famous for the quality of wood products originating there. This may also explain the prodigious number of swordsmiths who claimed the title of Bizen no kami (“Governor of Bizen Province”) Though there was no material benefit such as a stipend associated with the title, the prestige made any receiving artist an unassailable expert within his community. Further, it allowed the daimyo to demonstrate their close connections with the title-dispensing authority, the Imperial court.
The tea ceremony was another way that artists, merchants, and daimyo came together to enhance each other’s prestige and political reach. Artists crafted the tea bowls, pots, and other utensils used in the ceremony. Merchants like Imai Sôkyû and Sen no Rikyû of Sakai not only sold these items, but functioned as the arbiters of taste in appraising them and choosing which pieces were “art” and which were not, thereby creating the guiding aesthetic principles of the whole endeavor as “tea masters.” Wealthy daimyo provided the patronage, and profited by the association with men of taste, as cultural leadership was socially equated with political leadership. Major daimyo like Oda Nobunaga or Toyotomi Hideyoshi went even further, hosting grand-scale tea ceremonies as ostentatious displays of power and smaller, intimate affairs as private meetings where alliances and agreements were negotiated. Merchant tea masters officiated at both types of ceremony.
Oda Nobunaga’s relations with the merchant city of Sakai provide a useful summation of the political interplay between merchants and daimyo. Sakai (part of present day Osaka) was a free city governed by a coalition of merchant families, the Egôshû. Both Sen no Rikyû and Imai Sôkyû were members of this ruling group. For Nobunaga to complete his control over central Japan, it was necessary for him to bring Sakai under his authority. The economic power of Sakai, not to mention the European guns being traded in its markets, would be a powerful tool for his conquest, or a serious obstacle if used against him. Despite his control of the capital, Sakai had not submitted to him by 1568. Nobunaga reached out to the two most prominent members of Sakai’s merchant community, Sen no Rikyû and Imai Sôkyû, to secure Sakai’s submission, and it worked. Sen no Rikyû subsequently became Nobunaga’s (and later Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s) personal tea master. For such an exalted artist to serve him clearly demonstrated to all the prestige and power of Nobunaga; conversely, the patronage of the most powerful man in Japan is a large reason why Sen no Rikyû is still known today as the most famous tea master in Japanese history and founder of the aesthetics of the art. Imai Sôkyû also served on occasion as a tea master to Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, but even more valuable was his role as a major trader of guns and gun powder. After Sakai’s submission, Nobunaga named Imai the administrator for five of the city’s districts and gave him a stipend of 3000 bushels of rice, a nice reward that gave Imai local power over his merchant competitors while placing him underneath Nobunaga’s political authority. In this way Nobunaga and the merchant leaders of Sakai each benefited greatly from their association.
Reevaluating daimyo governing policies through a constructivist viewpoint highlights several facts that a realist or liberal approach to international policy would overlook. Daimyo had to continue to expand their domains not only to defeat external threats, but to demonstrate leadership and provide increased income for their retainer bands to keep the samurai happy and obedient. They had to separate the samurai from the cultivators and guarantee standardized taxation levels to keep cultivators happy and producing. They even had to plan the timing of their military campaigns in ways to decrease the burden on cultivators and the food economy in general. Daimyo had to cultivate connections with local merchants and artisans to guarantee the flow of military and other supplies into their domain and an image of noble patronage through cultural connections. Each of these “interest groups” had methods to register protest or outright challenge the daimyo for domainal control. Realist or liberal assumptions of a daimyo “state” as a unitary entity miss the complicated reality of daimyo domain construction.
I am under no illusions that these conclusions represent a breakthrough in the understanding of daimyo behavior in the sixteenth century. Rather, my purpose is to illustrate the utility of cross-applying theoretical models from one discipline into another. The use of political theory in historical analysis usually concerns the ideology of the historian: Marxist historians look for evidence of class struggle and progression from feudalism to capitalism to communism, for instance. Political scientists, on the other hand, base their theories on historical events; however, the typical focus on contemporary events limits the scope of historical analysis to the perceived “origins” of their target political phenomena, rather than a broader application of theory. Both disciplines would likely assume sixteenth century Japan to be a realist international system, as it is characterized as one of constant warfare between independent daimyo states. A historian would be unlikely to apply other international system theories because those theories belong to another discipline; conversely, a political scientist likely would not apply another international system theory to the sixteenth century because liberalism becomes a viable system with the creation of international organizations like the United Nations or comprehensive treaties like the Washington Naval Treaty of the 1920’s, and constructivism is a product of a post-modern viewpoint, so why would it be applicable to a premodern system? For a scholar of Japan, however, I hope I have demonstrated the usefulness of cross-applying methodological concepts: I have developed a more complete understanding of daimyo state behavior than I had produced in a previous work because I refocused my frame of reference to look at the types of things constructivism focuses on that liberalism or realism do not.
An ideologically dedicated historian may not see the value in this approach, as it does not shed light on a specific developmental timeline or uncover any new historical facts, though new approaches certainly could do that. A political scientist could take issue with moving back and forth between international systems theories and using them as analytical lenses rather than attempting to prove one is more valid than the other. Both of those are understandable criticisms from people with vested interests in arguing over theory within their respective disciplines. As an area studies scholar I can use different theories to help flesh out the understanding of the subject instead of than trying to find different subjects that support or contradict any particular theory. Neither approach is more or less useful than the other; rather, each informs the other, as theories provide frameworks to learn new facts, which then help redefine and refine theory.
Alagappa, Muthiah. Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1998. Print.
Amino Yoshiko. Rethinking Japanese History. Alan S. Christy, trans. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2012. Print.
Bender, John. E. The Last Man Standing: Causes of Daimyo Survival in Sixteenth Century Japan. Masters Thesis. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 2008. Web. <http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10123/20636> accessed 15 November 2011.
Berry, Mary Elizabeth. Hideyoshi. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1982. Print.
Birt, Michael P. “The Transformation of the Sixteenth-Century Kanto.” Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Summer, 1985). Print. Pp. 369-399
Council on Foreign Relations. “Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States” Web. <http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897> accessed November 29, 2011.
Curtis, Paula Renee. Purveyors of Power: Artisans and Political Relations in Japan’s Late Medieval Age. M.A. Thesis, The Ohio State University, 2011. Web. <http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Curtis%20Paula%20Ren233e.pdf?osu1306860342> accessed 25 April 2012.
Farris, William Wayne. Japan’s Medieval Population: Famine, Fertility, and Warfare in a Transformative Age. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2006. Print.
Flowers, Petrice R. Women and Weapons: International Norm Adoption and Compliance in Japan. Stanford University Press, 2009. Print.
Gemus, Adam. Politics, Society, and Chanoyu: A History in Transformation. Bachelor of Arts Thesis. Lewiston, Maine: Bates College, 2005. <http://abacus.bates.edu/eclectic/vol4iss2/pdf/ag_thesis.pdf> Accessed 25 April 2012.
Igurashi Yoshikuni. Bodies of Memory: Narratives of War in Postwar Japanese Culture, 1945-1970. Princeton, 2000. Print.
Leheny, David. Think Global, Fear Local: Sex, Violence, and Anxiety in Contemporary Japan. Cornell, 2009. Print.
Morillo, Stephen. “Guns and Government: A Comparative Study of Europe and Japan”. Journal of World History, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring, 1995), pp. 75-106. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1995. Print
Nagahara Keiji and Kozo Yamamura. “The Sengoku Daimyo and the Kandaka System.” Japan Before Tokugawa: Political Consolidation and Economic Growth, 1500-1650. John Whitney Hall, Nagahara Keiji, and Kozo Yamamura, eds. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.
Ravina, Mark. “State-Building and Political Economy in Early-modern Japan” The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4, (November 1995).Web: <http://www.jstor.org/stable/2059957> accessed November 23, 2011.
Sasaki Gin’ya and William B. Hauser. “Sengoku Daimyo Rule and Commerce.” Japan Before Tokugawa: Political Consolidation and Economic Growth, 1500-1650. John Whitney Hall, Nagahara Keiji, and Kozo Yamamura, eds. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.
Seraphim, Franziska. War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2006. Print.
Souryi, Pierre François. The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. Print
Tonomura, Hitomi. Community and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan: The Corporate Villages of Tokuchin-ho. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press 1992. Print
US Legal.com. Definition of Declarative Theory of Statehood. Web. <http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/declarative-theory-of-statehood/> Accessed 7 December 2011.
Notes & Citations:
 Flowers, Petrice R. Women and Weapons: International Norm Adoption and Compliance in Japan. Stanford University Press, 2009.
 Leheny, David. Think Global, Fear Local: Sex, Violence, and Anxiety in Contemporary Japan. Cornell, 2009.
 Igurashi Yoshikuni. Bodies of Memory: Narratives of War in Postwar Japanese Culture, 1945-1970. Princeton, 2000.
 Seraphim, Franziska. War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005. Harvard 2006.
 This section, with modifications, is taken from my previous work, Domain as State: The Sengoku Daimyo Seen Through International Relations Theory, completed for Prof. Lonny Carlile’s ASAN 629 class in December, 2011.
 Council on Foreign Relations, Web.
 Morillo 82, Bender 1
 Bender 1
 Morillo 90
 Morillo 88
 Morillo 90
 Bender 74
 Bender 2
 Morillo 83
 Relations between individual daimyo and non-Japan based political entities (China, Korea, Okinawa, Europeans, etc.) did take place of course, but it is important to understand that these interactions were at the daimyo level, and not until Hideyoshi established control over the entire archipelago did they take on the character of a Japan-wide policy.
 For the purposes of this analysis, I focus on daimyo-controlled political entities. However, during the 15th and 16th centuries, a number of different political models surfaced as experiments, including peasant communes, merchant controlled urban organizations, confederations of small local warriors, and religious-based groups spanning multiple provinces. The daimyo, led by Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and then Tokugawa Ieyasu, established the primacy of their political model at the end of the 16th century, but this was by no means the inevitable political outcome. I view these alternative models as competing “international” actors, but the line is admittedly fuzzy, as daimyo frequently had to contend with them as threats to internal domain control.
 Ravina 1008
 Morillo 91
 Alagappa 4
 State system—a group of states in which the behavior of each is a necessary factor in calculations of others. Kaufman, Little, & Wohlforth 6, quoting Bull & Watson 1984.
 Berry 4-5
 These two themes of realist and liberal international behavior are detailed in my previous paper, and presented simply here to serve as background.
 Alagappa 19
 Alagappa 60
 Alagappa 21
 Alagappa 34
 Alagappa 30-31
 The translation of the term hyakushô is problematic; conventional translation for the term is “peasant” and indicates a subservient agricultural existence. Amino Yoshihiko’s research, however, indicates period usage of the term would render “villager” a more accurate translation; the Marxist ideological associations with the term “peasant” are not present in the time period, and hyakushô participated in a wide variety of occupations and economic activities outside of farming. For the purposes of this paper, I use the term “cultivator,” as the focus is on the hyakushô’s rice producing taxable activity. Amino 3-6.
 Birt, 380
 Bender 74
 Souryi 181
 Souryi, title page
 Souryi 182
 Bender 7
 Birt 382, Nagahara & Yamamura 37
 Birt 394
 Birt 382, 392, Nagahara & Yamamura 27
 Birt 382
 Birt 383
 Nagahara and Yamamura 43
 Nagahara and Yamamura 46, Birt 379
 Birt 376-377
 Birt 375
 Bender 77
 Souryi 188-189
 Birt 381
 Birt 384
 Tonomura 157
 Birt 370-371
 Bender 88
 Bender 85
 Farris 197-199
 Farris 197
 Sasaki and Hauser 125
 Sasaki and Hauser 128
 Curtis 37
 Sasaki and Hauser 129
 Sasaki and Hauser 131
 Sasaki and Hauser 130
 Curtis 38
 Curtis 35
 Sasaki and Houser 141-142
 Tonomura 154
 Curtis 38
 Curtis 40
 Gemus 24
 Gemus 20
 Gemus 23
 Gemus 21
 Gemus 20
[M2]Since you are not providing detailed historical evidence to back up your point, the appropriate wording (assuming I understand the content of the Bender work correctly) would be something like” As Bender shows in his analysis of the establishment of local control in X domains, . . . “ You make it clear that you are borrowing the authority of Bender’s more detailed study to justify your claim.