S7_16
Interconnecting (hi)stories: Reconsidering Japan and Maritime Asia in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Convenors:
Takashi Kawato (Chiba Keizai University)
Discussant:
Elisabetta Colla (School of Arts and Humanities/Lisbon University)
Stream:
History
Location:
Bloco 1, Piso 0, Sala 0.05
Start time:
1 September, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel aims to develop a new historical perspective on the era of from the 16th to 17th centuries and explains mutual exchanges of political, economic, and social aspects between Japan and maritime Asia, and review the periodization in the learning of "Japanese history" as national history.

Long abstract:

This panel aims to develop a new historical perspective on the era from the sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries, which was divided according to traditional periodization into the medieval and early-modern periods. Therefore, this panel will explain the mutual exchange of political, economic, and social aspects between Japan and maritime Asia from the sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries, and then discuss reviewing the traditional periodization in the learning of "Japanese history" as national history. Until the 1960s, the period following WWII, there was controversy regarding this periodization and cadastral surveillances by the Toyotomi regime (Taiko Kenchi 太閤検地) was regarded as the period of transit from the medieval to the early-modern period. This view has been established until now not only in research but also in education, textbooks on Japanese history, and even in the course classification of universities. Formerly, it was considered that the medieval was the era of the shoen system荘園制 and the early-modern was that of the feudal system. However, this panel believes that this distinction needs to be revised now because it was formulated for Japanese national history in isolation and not considering surrounding regions like maritime Asia. Specifically, this panel will mainly explain material and human interactions, such as the activities of Portuguese merchants and monetary circulations, in Japan and maritime Asia. It will also verify how these interactive aspects can be depicted in the textbook of "Japanese history" education. For instance, a critical discussion is made on whether the fact that a huge number of Europeans visited Japan in the sixteenth century can be reasonably considered an epoch in "Japanese history." In this manner, this panel considers the period from the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries as one unit and then discusses this period as a bridge between the medieval and early-modern periods. Finally, the panel aims to be able to create a new form of periodization and draw up meaningful suggestions to contribute to future research.