Online ISSN : 2424-2616
Print ISSN : 0018-2478
ISSN-L : 0018-2478
On the legal code established by Chosokabe Motochika
Kazusa HIRAI
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2009 Volume 118 Issue 4 Pages 576-589


This article attempts a textual criticism of the Chosokabe Motochika Shikimoku (hereafter Keicho Shikimoku) purported to have been promulgated in Tosa Province during the Toyotomi Hideyoshi regime in the second year of Keicho (1597). The article begins with a comparison between Chosokabe family institutions and the content of the Keicho Shikimoku, by focusing on a set of provincial-wide bylaws (Chosokabe-shi Okitegaki) promulgated during that same time. The comparison reveals marked differences between the two documents in both wording and institutional arrangements. The author concludes that the content of the Keicho Shikimoku conflicts with Chosokabe family custom in many ways. Next, a comparison is made between the Keicho Shikimoku and the legal codes promulgated by the Yamauchi family for it Tosa Han fief during the Tokugawa Period, revealing similarities between the two documents in both content and form. The author concludes that the so-called "Keicho Shikimoku" was not a legal code of the Chosokabes, but must have been compiled after the formation of Tosa Han sometime during the 17^<th> century or after. In order to pinpoint the date of compilation, the author compares the Keicho Shikimoku with revisions made in the Tosa Han legal codes between Kan'ei 18 (1641) and Genroku 3 (1690), and discovers that the greatest similarity occurs with respect to the revisions made in Kanbun 3 (1663). Moreover, the fact that the Keicho Shikimoku prohibition on samurai attending dance performances and sumo wrestling tournaments reflects the actual situation during the several years following Kanbun 3 also suggests that the 1663 legal code for Tosa Han was its source. As to the reason why the Keicho Shikimoku was written, the author argues that it was an attempt by local samurai facing extinction in the midst of the political upheaval that occurred in Tosa during Kanbun 3 to reinforce their legitimacy by emphasizing historical ties to the Chosokabe family. The author concludes that the Keicho Shikimoku was a fictitious legal code modeled after legal codes in force in Tosa Han during the late 17^<th> century and shows that the Chosokabe family did not use the phrase "ichiryo gusoku" 一領具足 (allowing cultivators to arm themselves; later how local samurai-cultivators referred to themselves) in any of the legal codes it promulgated or any official document it issued, indicating that ichiryo gusoku was merely a popular phrase, not an official legal institution.

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© 2009 The Historical Society of Japan
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