Due to the mid-sixteenth century "Single Whip Tax" reform one of the labor service duties called the Miscellaneous Labor Tax (雑役) was transformed into a tax paid for with silver. In three Nan-chih-li prefectures -Soochou, Sungchiang, and Ch'angchou...and two Chekiang prefectures -Huchou and Chiahsing the Miscellaneous Labor Tax duties related to grain transport and storage, however, remained unchanged as actual labor service duties. It is wrong to view these labor posts (the 解戸 and 斗級) as existing independently as labor taxes, for they were, included among the labor services of the village chief (里長) and grain chief (糧長). Thus, the reform of these particular miscellaneous labor tax duties became a problem that was dealt with by the "equal fields equal labor sevices measure". At its Inception this measure was called either the equal fields (均田) or the equal chia (均甲) proposal in Chekiang and the limited fields proposal (限田議) in Nan-chih-li. This measure aimed at equalizing each village's and chia's capability of bearing the labor tax by forming villages and chia according to an equal land quota. To achieve this the government had to restrict the gentry's labor service exemption privilege (優免) by strictly treating all gentry owned land beyond the set exemption quota as labor taxable land -just as if a commoner owned it. In actual fact, the gentry proved unwilling to bear this tax, and so the problem remained unsolved. Instead, it turned out necessary to carry out other reforms : (1) labor taxes were to be assessed according to land ownership and paid for in silver ; (2) in assessing the labor service tax the government was to accord a rank to each household, including urban resident households and gentry households, whereby its labor tax burden would be set ; (3) the formation of tax-bearing and labor service groups (called 官図 and 官甲) exclusively for the gentry ; (4) transport is to be carried out by the government ; (5) a labor tax was to be borne by urban residents ; (6) taxpayers were to pay in their taxes directly without the intermediary services of tax farmers.
Dr.T.Kawashima holds that Nakae Toju interpreted the Confucian concept of filial piety on the basis of the concept of compassion (恩) and that Nakae's interpretation of filial piety was unknown in Chinese thought and peculiar to Japanese feudal thought. Dr.Kawashima's view has, in fact, laid the grounds for Dr.J.Morimoto's studies of the intellectual history of the Edo period. This author, however, disagrees. First, the concept that filial piety is based on compassion is found in some Chinese philosophical writings. Second, Nakae Toju, was not the first Japanese thinker to mention this relationship between filial piety and compassion. Long before Nakae Toju, a Heian Buddhist monk, Kukai, had held such a view, though he understood it in a Buddhist way. Many later Japanese thinkers noticed the same conceptual link, and Nakae Toju was just one of those thinkers. Thus, it is wrong to claim that Nakae Toju's interpretation of filial piety shows a "feudalistic character" peculiar to the Edo period. Dr.Kawashima also believes that filial piety served principally as the morality of everyday life. But the most dominant aspect of this concept of filial piety in East Asia is a religious one.... as expressed in ancester worship, the desire to hand down one's life to one's children, etc. The function of filial piety as a morality for everday life is secondary to this. In fact, it was none other than Nakae Toju who stressed this religious aspect of filial piety.