In this analysis of lower-class life in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868), Gary Leupp vividly portrays the emergence of an urban proletariat during a time of extraordinary economic change. With the rapid increase in commercial activity, products previously restricted to use by the elite became commodities for mass consumption. Likewise, labor power became a commodity as hired laborers replaced traditional corvée workers in the commercial realm and contracted servants supplanted lifetime, hereditary workers in households. Focusing on a class system mediated increasingly by money, Leupp explores the ways employers and employees dealt with each other and the steps taken by government officials to control rising hostilities.
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"This book is especially welcome because it waters a barren desert in the English-language historiography.... This comprehensive book should be read by all scholars interested in modern Japanese society, and especially those interested in urban Japan."--Luke Roberts, The Journal of Asian Studies
"Leupp paints a rich portrait of underclass life. . . . The information presented . . . on servant types and functions will be invaluable to readers concerned with practically any facet of urban society."--Constantine Vaporis, Monumenta Nipponica
"A creative and intelligent examination of the urban working class in Tokugawa Japan.... The most wide-ranging discussion of the subject available in English.... This is not just good social history, it is also fun reading."--William B. Hauser, Journal of Japanese Studies
"Leupp writes in a lively style. He uses an impressive variety of primary sources. . . . The result is a vivid and informative narrative which sustains interest throughout."--Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
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Book Description Princeton University Press, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11069102961X
Book Description Princeton University Press, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M069102961X