Episode 379 – So Close, and Yet So Far

 
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By Isaac Meyer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week, we’re starting off a month of Sengoku-themed content with a look at one of the remoter areas of Japan: Tosa province on Shikoku, now known as Kouchi Prefecture. Specifically, we’ll be diving into the history of the one-time lords of the area, the Chosokabe family, who rose from minor status to lords of all of Shikoku in two generations, and were then annihilated in the very next.

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Sources

Jansen, Marius B. “Tosa in the Sixteenth Century: The 100 Article Code of Chosokabe Motochika.” Oriens Extremus 10, No 1 (1963). (This is the source with the complete translation of the 100 Article Code in it)

Nagahara, Keiji and Kozo Yamamura. “Shaping the Process of Unification: Technological Progress in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Japan.” Journal of JApanese Studies 14 No 1(Winter, 1988).

Brown, Philip C. “The Mismeasure of Land: Land Surveying in the Tokugawa Period.” Monumenta Nipponica 42, No 2 (Summer, 1987).

Images

An Edo era depiction of Chosokabe Motochika, from the Taiheiki Eiyuuden. Like other famous figures of the era, Motochika became something of a pop cultural figure.
A painting of Motochika in a court outfit.
Site of the former Okou castle, since demolished. From castle.jpn.org.
Chosokabe Motochika’s grave in Kouchi’s Nagahama district.
A map of the 60 traditional provinces of Japan; Kouchi is in red.
A satelite map of Kouchi, courtesy of the fine folks of Google. Even today, you can see how it’s the one fairly flat and unforested bit in the region.

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