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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Was the day of the Hidetsugu tragedy


Avoid heavy drinking.

(3) Be on your guard against women.

(4) Be not contentious or disputatious.

(5) Rise early.

(6) Beware of practical jokes.

(7) Think of your own future.

(8) Do not tire of things.

(9) Beware of thoughtless people.

(10) Beware of fire.

(11) Stand in awe of the law.

(12) Set up fences in your hearts against wandering or extravagant thoughts.

(13) Hold nobody in contempt.

The sumptuary rules referred to above were that, so far as a man's means permitted, all garments except those worn in winter should be lined with silk, and that this exception did not apply to the members of the Toyotomi family a strange provision showing that Hideyoshi did not expect his own kith and kin to set an example of economy, however desirable that virtue might be in the case of society at large. Further, it was provided that no wadded garment should be worn after the 1st of April--corresponding to about the 1st of May in the Gregorian calendar; that pantaloons and socks must not be lined; that men of inferior position must not wear leather socks, and that samurai must

use only half-foot sandals, a specially inexpensive kind of footgear. Finally, no one was permitted to employ a crest composed with the chrysanthemum and the Paulownia imperialis unless specially permitted by the Taiko, who used this design himself, though originally it was limited to the members of the Imperial family. So strict was this injunction that even in the case of renovating a garment which carried the kiku-kiri crest by permission, the badge might not be repeated on the restored garment. Supplementary regulations enjoined members of the priesthood, whether Buddhist or Shinto, to devote themselves to the study of literature and science, and to practise what they preached. Moreover, men of small means were urged not to keep more than one concubine, and to assign for even this one a separate house. It was strictly forbidden that anyone should go about with face concealed, a custom which had prevailed largely in previous eras.


The 7th of August, 1595, was the day of the Hidetsugu tragedy, and the above regulations and instructions were promulgated for the most part early in September of the same year. It is not difficult to trace a connexion. The provision against secret alliances and unsanctioned marriages between great families; the veto against passing from the service of one feudal chief to that of another without special permission, and the injunction against keeping many concubines were obviously inspired with the purpose of averting a repetition of the Hidetsugu catastrophe. Indirectly, the spirit of such legislation suggests that the signatories of these laws--Takakage, Terumoto, Toshiiye, Hideiye, and Ieyasu--attached some measure of credence to the indictment of treason preferred against Hidetsugu.


The agrarian legislation of Hideyoshi is worthy of special attention. It shows a marked departure from the days when the unit of rice measurement was a "handful" and when thirty-six handfuls made a "sheaf," the latter being the tenth part of the produce of a tan. In Hideyoshi's system, all cubic measurements were made by means of a box of accurately fixed capacity--10 go, which was the tenth part of a koku (5.13 bushels)--the allowance for short measure was limited to two per cent., and the rule of 360 tsubo to the tan (a quarter of an acre) was changed to 300 tsubo.

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