The Sakoku Edicts and the Politics of Tokugawa Hegemony

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Author:Michael Laver (College of Liberal Arts)

In this exploration of Japanese history, Michael Laver, assistant professor of history, offers a translation and examination of Japan’s Sakoku, or “closed country,” Edicts. The series of laws was designed to restrict the influence of European trade, culture and Christianity on Japanese society and continued to characterize Japan until the 1850s.

The book provides a translation of the edicts and their many amendments and analyzes the cultural and historical factors that led to their development. Laver also examines the domestic factors that enhanced the use of the edicts by the ruling Tokugawa clan as political and foreign policy tools.