Legal History Review
Online ISSN : 1883-5562
Print ISSN : 0441-2508
ISSN-L : 0441-2508
On the Feudal Lord in the Late Medieval Village Community
Ryo HATAKEYAMA
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2001 Volume 2001 Issue 51 Pages 101-124,en7

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Abstract

Recent studies of the late medieval Japanese constitutional history focus on regional communities, and place special focus on the fact that the structure of social order was autonomous and self-enforced by the people themselves. These viewpoints are based upon the concept of the Kubo, which has a meaning of keeping the village community peace. Examining the term Kubo mainly, I will reconsider the position of the feudal lord in the late medieval village community.
From the research of the Kubo in Suganoura during the Muromachi era, I found that the concept of the public (Oyake, [_??_]) in the late medieval regional community has a strong relationship with the govern-mental authorities. This means that we have to attach more importance to the substance of the Kubo - the governmental authorities, to say more, being the lord of the manor.
Considering above, I carried out the research on the position of the feudal lord by examining Kujo Masamoto, who was a lord of Hine-no-sho. Kujo was struggling with the Hosokawa family (Shugo, _??__??_) and the heads of the Negoro-temple for the dominance of the Hine-no-sho. Kujo's power base was not as strong as Hosokawa's, but the regional community never prevented Kujo from being the lord of the manor. This was because of the legitimacy derived from his position as the Kubo. I can also find that the Negoro-temple possessed the necessary qualities for the position as lord, as they had not only sufficient military forces but also religious authority accepted by the regional community. The Negoro-temple therefore succeeded Kujo as the next lord with few complications.
In conclusion, although recent studies place too much emphasis on the said concept of the Kubo, it is impossible to clarify the whole constitutional situation during the late medieval period from these onesided views. It is therefore necessary to regard the feudal lord from a more holistic perspective, in other words, by attaching importance not only to the concept of the Kubo but also to the substance of it.

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