@@   Questions and Answers about the Joukyou Uprising

Q:  What was written in the Appeal of Five Articles presented by Kasuke and others?

A:  The farmersf wishes (or rather, their anger) were itemized in five articles, starting with a complaint that the removal of beard was too much of a burden, and going on to ask for a reduction of rice tax.

Q:  What was the order in which the five articles of the appeal were placed?

A:  It was as follows;

1.      Appeal for canceling the requirement of removal of beard.

2.      Appeal for a reduction of rice tax to 2.5 to a bale.

3.      Appeal for a change in the way tax money was calculated concerning five percent of rice tax collected in the form of soy-beans (half of which was collected in cash).  Farmers asked that the tax money be calculated based on the price of rice, not on the price of soy-beans.

4.      Appeal for a reduced obligation concerning the transportation of rice.  The farmers asked that their obligation be limited only as far as the domain limits.

5.      Appeal for canceling the obligation of paying for the personnel cost.

Q:  Who was the lord of the Matsumoto domain at the time?

A:  Mizuno Tadanao was.  But he was away in Edo for alternate-year attendance.  And his subordinates had to respond to the incident while reporting it to the absent lord.

Q:  What became of the Mizuno family after the uprising?

A:  About forty years after the uprising, the domain lord was dethroned because of  mental illness.  Rumored to be karmic retribution.

Q:   What was grice tax of 2.5 to a baleh?

A:   It meant a bale (a capacity of 5 to) should hold as much rice in the husk as would amount to 2.5 to after husked.

Q:   What was gthe requirement of removal of beard,h the first point in the Appeal of Five Articles?

A:   The kind of rice produced in the area at that time (called gkoboreh) had long beard on the husk.  Domain officials required of farmers to remove the beard.

Q:   Why did Kasuke persist on 2.5 to?  In the first response paper handed to the farmers, the officials stated that rice tax would not be raised, but would be the same as usual.  Most of the protesting farmers went home satisfied.  Nevertheless Kasuke and others would not budge.  What was the reason for their persistence?

A:   Apparently because they had a deep-rooted distrust of the domain government.

Q:   Why did so many farmers have to be punished?  Twenty-eight people were executed, and many more were expelled or sentenced to life.

A:   Because of fear.  The harsh punishment implies how much the domain government feared the rage of farmers.

Q:   What kind of farming implements were being used at the time?

A:   gSembakokih was yet to be invented, so, threshing had to be done with a primitive implement called gkokibashi.h  Basically, farmwork was done manually.

Q:  What were villages like during the Edo period?

A:   For demographic composition of that time, we can refer to Shimputouki, and for day-to-day matters, we can refer to Goyoudomenikki.  The latter gives us a general idea of what farmersf lives were and of how villages were governed.

Q:   What does this uprising have to do with the Freedom and Peoplefs Rights Movement (Jiyuhminken-undou)?

A:     Matsuzawa Kyuhsaku, a newspaper journalist from this area, wrote a play entitled Minkenkagami-Kasuke-no-omokage (The image of Kasuke, a model of the Peoplefs Rights Movement) based on the uprising in the Meiji period.  Fujimori Juhei from Toyoshina, Azumino, and Takei Yousetsu from Kiso and others gave Kyuhsaku guidance in studying his legend and the archives.  His works have culminated in the play.

Q:   Why did they decide to raise taxes that year, and why was the tax in the Matsumoto domain higher than in other domains?

A:   Because the domain needed money.  The domain lord of Matsumoto was a fudai(hereditary) daimyou[1], who was obligated to perform many duties, and thus had to spend a lot of money.  For example, the cost of alternate-year attendance was enormous, and the domain government was hard up for money.

Q:   Why was an appeal to the executives of the domain, or to the magistrates forbidden?

A:   Because, in order to maintain the social hierarchy, it was important not to let farmers have their say. 

Q:   Why did both farmersf and domainfs sides make a fuss over removing of beard?

A:   Because farmers didnft want extra work of removing beard, which required huge amount of time and effort.  And on the part of domain officials, they wanted more rice packed in a bale, so they insisted on removing unneeded, space-taking beard.

Q:   Why did the domain government try to keep the incident secret from the central government?

A:   Because the domain feared that the central government would displace the Mizuno family if unfavorable news about the uprising spread.  In fact in the early Edo period, a number of domains had been displaced with reasons ranging from subversion to bad administration.    

Q:   Why was there a discrepancy between what Kasuke asked for and what most of the farmers who took part in the uprising asked for?  Kasuke persisted on 2.5 to, while a majority of farmers were satisfied with 3 to.

A:   Because not all the farmers understood Kasukefs intent.

Q:   Why did Kasuke risk his life in doing all this?

A:   Thatfs a difficult question.  In the old days (hopefully these days, too), some people thought of risking their lives for others as an honorable deed

[1] descendants of those who supported Tokugawa Ieyasu prior to the battle of Sekigahara

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