Tokugawa Japan 1603–1867

The military leaders of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868) helped to stabilize Japanese society after a long period of civil wars and social disorder. This map represents a reunified Japan and the Tokugawa clan. Its many cities became vibrant, bustling places, especially as the elite samurai (the warrior class), left with no wars to fight, settled in urban centers to work (and play). Though the shogunate imposed strict social order, they also provided education to common classes of people. This in turn produced demand for new literatures that reflected common, everyday life. Important writers of the period included the poet Basho, whose journey from Edo to Ogaki is narrated in the poetic diary, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (NAWOL, Volme D).