This week, we conclude our up close look at the Shimazu family and Satsuma domain with a consideration of how the domain fit into Edo society, and its position in modern Japan.
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Beasley, W.G. The Collected Writings of W.G. Beasley
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Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan.
Sekisho (checkpoints) like this one dotted Tokugawa Japan. This particular example is from Honshu, but the basic principle is the same — the gate allows for controlled access, giving samurai officials a chance to inspect traveler’s documentation.
A marker for one of the old sekisho in Kagoshima itself.
Today it’s a trendy tourist area, but in the early Edo Period, Bonotsu, just a short distance northwest of Kagoshima, was home to a Chinatown from which an illicit smuggling operation of Chinese goods into Kagoshima was operated.
Zusho Hirosato (Shouzaemon), who rescued the Shimazu clan’s finances from near disaster.
The Japanese government and the Kagoshima prefectural government run a museum dedicated to the history of Satsuma and the Shimazu — the Shokoshuseikan, shown here.
Kagoshima today — a modern city with a very distinct regional identity.