Sample Essay

This blend of good and bad provides a new perspective on the lives of ordinary Japanese that is found absent in the chronicles or history books. Many historians have attempted to trace the history of Japan in the Tokugawa era as how the glorious period was receptive to the modern changes and art. Marcia Yonemoto is one of the authors who have written many books on the issue. In her essay ‘Tokugawa Japan: An Introductory History’   Yonemoto shows the changes emerging in the Tokugawa period although the Samurais served to throw hurdles in the process of modernization in economy as being warriors they were to be confined to fighting only leaving the trade to the merchant class in order to maintain the responsibilities posed over the specific social class. The inclusion of the Samurais in the business could have undermined the social stratum as it did when the Samurais intervened in the trade hence corrupted their honor and betrayed the code consequently. The Samurais were overcome by the rising class of merchants and as a result they lost their importance as warriors. ‘

Yonemoto in the notes of her essay recommends ‘Maui’s story’, ‘For an absorbing account of a ne’er do well samurai in the early 19th century who claimed to have overcome the illiteracy in order to write his autobiography’ (Yonemoto).  Yonemoto starts her essay with dismissing the view of Sir George Samson who described Tokugawa period as that of oppressive era with a rigid hierarchy of social classes where the Samurais enjoyed power because of their brutality and merchants were disliked as profiteers, moreover the repressive government deprived the Japanese society from the fruits of modern technology of the Western world.

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