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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

But if the harvest exceed that figure


No subordinate shall leave his liege lord without the latter's permission, nor shall anyone give employment to a violator of this rule.

(2) Farmers must remain on the land assigned to them and must never leave it untilled. On the other hand, landowners should visit their tenants and should investigate in company with the latter the actual amount of the harvest reaped. One-third of this should be left to the farmer and two-thirds should go to the owner of the land.

(3) If owing to natural calamity the harvest be less than two bushels per acre, the whole of the yield shall go to the farmer. But if the harvest exceed that figure, it shall be divided in the proportions indicated in (2).

(4) No farmer shall move away from his holding to avoid the land-tax or to escape forced labour. Anyone harbouring a violator of this rule shall expose to punishment not only himself but also the inhabitants of the entire village where he resides.

(5) The lord of a fief must issue such instructions as shall guarantee his agricultural vassals against trouble or annoyance, and shall himself investigate local affairs instead of entrusting that duty to a substitute. Landowners who issue unreasonable orders to farmers shall be punished.

(6) In calculating cubic contents, the regulated unit of measure shall be used, and two per cent,

shall be the maximum allowance for shortage.

(7) Embankments injured by floods and other mischief wrought by natural calamities must be repaired during the first month of the year when agriculturists are at leisure. In the case, however, of damage which exceeds the farmers' capacity to repair, the facts should be reported to the taiko who will grant necessary assistance.

There follow various sumptuary regulations. We have next a series of interesting instructions known as "wall-writings" of the castle of Osaka:

(1) Intermarriages between daimyo's families require the previous consent of the Taiko.

(2) Neither daimyo nor shomyo is permitted to enter into secret engagements or to exchange written oaths, or to give or take hostages.

(3) In a quarrel the one who forebears shall be recognized as having reason.

(4) No man, whatever his income, should keep a large number of concubines.

(5) The amount of sake imbibed should be limited to one's capacity.

(6) The use of sedan-chairs shall be confined to Ieyasu, Toshiie, Kagekatsu, Terumoto, Takakage, the court nobles, and high priests. Even a daimyo, when young, should ride on horseback. Those over fifty years of age may use a sedan-chair when they have to travel a distance of over one ri (two and a half miles). Priests are exempted from this veto.

Very interesting, too, is the Taiko Shikimoku, consisting of seventy-three articles, of which thirteen are translated as follows:

(1) Free yourself from the thraldom of passion.

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