This paper focuses on the various problems encountered during advance agricultural production co-op (gaoji nongyeshengchan hezuoshe 高級農業生産合作社) of the People’s Republic of China era against the background of conditions in rural society. After implementing its initial land reform, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) executed a plan for agricultural collectivization that began with a mutual aid team (huzhu-zu 互助組) and proceeded through two levels of collectivization (primary and advanced) into socialist production co-op, leading to the formation of people’s communes (renmin gongshe 人民公社). Within this process, compared to the analysis of land reform, primary collectivization and people’s communes, the advanced collectivization era itself and the problems that developed during that time have not been sufficiently examined in the research to date. Moreover, the existing research tends to argue that due to the fact that advanced collectivization was implemented so rapidly, local society at the production base, which had already experienced the destruction of its traditional village autonomy, had no power to resist the Party. However, the question of whether or not rural communities were able to unite in resistance to advanced collectivization is an important problem in terms of understanding the workings of society at the point of production. This article is one attempt to reexamine this problem from the actual situation in Hebei Province, based on archival sources. To begin with, the author finds that the advanced collectivization era was plagued by a large number of problems that prevented a smooth transition from advanced product co-ops to people’s communes. Furthermore, there is evidence that local society did unite at the village level and respond proactively to the actions of other villages and the Party hierarchy. The ultimate response on the part of the majority of production co-op was to demand that their organizations be decentralized into smaller units, and consequently decentralization was promoted, resulting in advanced co-ops initially collectivized on the scale of multiple villages or a whole township (xiang 郷) being broken up into one co-op per rural village (cun 村). In other words, decentralization was won through active resistance on the part of direct producers. It was in this way that the influence of the CCP in rural Hebei Province during the late 1950s was limited by resistance organized by social forces at the grass-root level.
Previous research on the dispatch of tribute ships from Japan to Ming China (kenminsen 遣明船) during the Sengoku period claimed that the Ouchi Clan of the northern Kyushu and western Chugoku regions achieved a monopoly on this activity after the Ningbo Incident of 1523, in which ships dispatched by the Ouchi Clan attacked a ship dispatched by the Hosokawa Clan of the Kinai and Shikoku regions. However, whether this commonly accepted theory reflects the actual situation is questionable. The purpose of this article is to examine this theory by focusing on the ships referred to as “Sakai Totosen” 堺渡唐船 (tribute ships planned to embark from Sakai to China) in the primary sources, considering specifically the parties involved in their dispatch, their crews and passengers, the purpose of their dispatch, and their overall historical significance. First, the parties involved in the project of dispatching these ships are discussed. The sources, including Tenbun Nikki 天文日記, a mid-16th century diary written by the abbot of Honganji Temple, indicate that these ships planned to embark from Sakai and were prepared by the shogunal deputy (kanrei 管領) Hosokawa Harumoto and the Sakai merchants. The other players, Honganji Temple and the Ichijo Clan of Tosa Province, merely supported this project, while Sengoku Daimyo Ouchi Yoshitaka and Hatakeyama Tanenaga attempted to prevent the dispatch. Next, regarding those aboard the ships and the purpose of their dispatch, the author introduces two newly discovered diplomatic documents from Katto 活套, a mid-16th century miscellanea concerning Sakai, the content and dates of which prove that they are related to these ships. According to these documents, the ships were to be outfitted like their predecessors as bearing official tribute to the Ming Court. The Zen monk Chushuku Shojo was meant to be on board as ambassador along with the physician Nakarai Akifusa. The purposes of the dispatch were 1) to present the tribute goods carried by the previous Hosokawa ship and supposedly left behind in China after the Ningbo Incident; 2) to acquire the return of personal belongings of the previous ship; 3) to secure the release and return of Song Suqing, the member of the previous ship; 4) to acquire new tallies (kango 勘合) for tribute trade along with the related gold seal from the Chinese authorities; and 5) to secure permission for Nakarai to study Chinese medicine. Finally, concerning the historical significance of these ships, it is clear that Hosokawa Harumoto and the Sakai merchants intended this project to continue diplomatic negotiations with the Ming Dynasty, which had been carried out by the Muromachi shogun Ashikaga Yoshiharu and the shogunal deputy Hosokawa Takakuni in the aftermath of the Ningbo Incident. The transfer of the previously unknown provisional tally for tribute trade issued in the Jiajing period (Kasei jun-kango 嘉靖准勘合) illuminates the process leading from the original negotiations to this project. Furthermore, when comparing this project with the ships dispatched by Ouchi Yoshitaka in 1539, we find that both were meant to recover cargos related to the Ningbo Incident and to acquire new tallies. While it was previously thought that the Ouchi Clan eliminated competition from the Hosokawa Clan following the Ningbo Incident, the information above shows that the rivalry over the dispatch of tribute ships actually continued unabated.
The present article examines the implementation of Japan’s mass state ideology indoctrination policy through Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines within the undercaste ghettos (hisabetsu buraku 被差別部落) of Nara Prefecture during the 1910s, in relation to changing trends in religious belief systems on the local level. The majority of residents of the ghettos of Nara Prefecture, which remained as segregated residential communities originally created for scheduled castes under the social stratification system instituted in the premodern age were traditionally adherents of the Jodo Shinshu 浄土真宗 sect of pure land Buddhism and thus were not deeply versed in beliefs regarding Shinto gods or particularly active in related festivals promoted by the Meiji state since the 1870s. In response to this adherence to Buddhist beliefs and ceremony, Nara Prefecture adopted, following the Russo-Japanese War, a Buraku Improvement Program, which attempted to strengthen adherence to state religious ideology through such projects as revising Pure Land millenarian beliefs emphasizing the afterlife, inculcating the concept of “shinzoku nitai” 真俗二諦 (there being no contradiction between following the teachings of the Buddha, while submitting to the secular authority of the Emperor), the elimination of special social status for Shinto shrine patrons (ujiko 氏子), the installation of Shinto altars in the home, universal allegiance to the national flag and the promotion of pilgrimages to the national Shinto shrines. The author analyzes the program’s implementation as a process by which modern Japan’s policy regarding the ideological indoctrination of its imperial subjects proactively attempted to mobilize local residents alienated from their traditional beliefs and modes of worship into the state’s new system of ritual centered upon the new Shinto pantheon, stressing the divinity of the Emperor. At the same time, as the agents of its Buraku Improvement Program the Prefectural authorities attempted to enlist the Buddhist priests of local ghetto temples, which had been for centuries an integral part of the daily lives of local residents. The Program also called for these priests to promote the Prefecture’s austerity program of frugality and increased household saving. These activities were hindered by the fact these same clerics were totally dependent on the local community for their livelihood, in accordance with the Buddhist vow of poverty (dāna 檀). As an example of this dilemma, the author cites the expectations expressed by ghetto community leaders who had formed the Yamato Dōshikai 大和同志会 prefectural civil rights advancement association in 1912 that their communities’ temples and priests would participate in the activities of the improvement program, while on the other hand condemning the temples as religious organizations economically exploiting their parishioners. It was during the First World War, in 1916, that Nara Prefecture’s policy of state ideology indoctrination of ghetto residents began to include the introduction of Shinto shrines directly into ghetto communities; for example, preparing designated sanctuaries on the grounds of existing temples, from which to worship Emperor Meiji from afar. This change in policy was an attempt to place the community leaders of each ghetto as the key enablers for local religious reform, in the search for a new set of beliefs by which to promote state ideology.