Episode 379 – So Close, and Yet So Far

This week, we’re starting off a month of Sengoku-themed content with a look at one of the remoter areas of Japan: Tosa province on Shikoku, now known as Kouchi Prefecture. Specifically, we’ll be diving into the history of the one-time lords of the area, the Chosokabe family, who rose from minor status to lords of all of Shikoku in two generations, and were then annihilated in the very next.


Jansen, Marius B. “Tosa in the Sixteenth Century: The 100 Article Code of Chosokabe Motochika.” Oriens Extremus 10, No 1 (1963). (This is the source with the complete translation of the 100 Article Code in it)

Nagahara, Keiji and Kozo Yamamura. “Shaping the Process of Unification: Technological Progress in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Japan.” Journal of JApanese Studies 14 No 1(Winter, 1988).

Brown, Philip C. “The Mismeasure of Land: Land Surveying in the Tokugawa Period.” Monumenta Nipponica 42, No 2 (Summer, 1987).


An Edo era depiction of Chosokabe Motochika, from the Taiheiki Eiyuuden. Like other famous figures of the era, Motochika became something of a pop cultural figure.
A painting of Motochika in a court outfit.
Site of the former Okou castle, since demolished. From castle.jpn.org.
Chosokabe Motochika’s grave in Kouchi’s Nagahama district.
A map of the 60 traditional provinces of Japan; Kouchi is in red.
A satelite map of Kouchi, courtesy of the fine folks of Google. Even today, you can see how it’s the one fairly flat and unforested bit in the region.


3 thoughts on “Episode 379 – So Close, and Yet So Far”

  1. I just found your podcast after watching Age of Samurai on Netflix. It was very interesting, I’ve been intrested in the Sengoku period for a long time, since I lived in Japan in the U.S. military, but I wasn’t as familiar with Hideyoshi’s invasions of Korea. You seem very well informed on Japanese history and it looks I have a lot of back content to look at here. Do you have any highlights new listeners should check out?

  2. Thanks for the J-Stor reference. The 100 articles are sometimes scary. Just having bad thoughts or starting rumors was dangerous. Seems consistent with the reticent society it was.

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