- 山形大学紀要. 社会科学 (ISSN:05134684)
- vol.34, no.1, pp.81-114, 2003-07-31
In this study, I examine the structure of regional society in Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries. The purpose of this research is to promote the study of regional society, which has been vigorously pursued recently in the field of pre-modern history from the perspective of economic history. It is an examination, in particular, of the manner in which gono (rich farmers involved land ownership, financial business, production and commerce) consolidated and restructured political and economic aspects of regional society. I pursue the study citing as an example the family of Horigome Shiroubei, who lived in Yachi-go, Murayama-gun, in the land of Dewa (the present Kahoku-cho, Nishi-murayama-gun, Yamagata Prefecture). The Horigome family, a large-scale gono (rich farmer) family that held economic sway over the society of the region, undertook wide-ranging business activities while cooperating with village representatives and goyado in Murayama-gun. This research is divided into a number of sections. As part 4 of the research, I report on how the Horigome family conscripted peasants organized as a force in preparation for peasant protests and how it sought to control commercial distribution in Murayama-gun in cooperation with the Shogunate's local administration office and examine the process by which large-scale gono expanded as a political force in regional society. Finally, I outline the various stages of development in the business activities of the Horigome family and raise a number of issues relating to the approach to research in regional society, which has become a focus of attention in this academic field.