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The
hearing by the shogun was the last recourse, and before submission to
him the facts had to be investigated by the chamberlains (sobashu),
who thus exercised great influence. A lawsuit instituted by a
plebeian had to be submitted to the feudatory of the region, or to
the administrator, or to the deputy (daikwari), but might never be
made the subject of a direct petition to the shogun. If the feudatory
or the deputy Were held to be acting contrary to the dictates of
integrity and reason, the suitor might change his domicile for the
purpose of submitting a petition to the authorities in Yedo; and the
law provided that no obstruction should be placed in the way of such
change.

LAW

As stated above, the original principle of the Bakufu was to avoid
compiling any written criminal code. But from the days of the sixth
and the seventh shoguns, Ienobu and Ietsugu, such provisions of
criminal law as related to ordinary offences came to be written in
the most intelligible style and placarded throughout the city of Yedo
and provincial towns or villages. On such a placard (kosatsu) posted
up, in the year 1711, at seven places in Yedo, it was enjoined on
parents, sons, daughters, brothers, husbands, wives, and other
relatives that they must maintain intimate and friendly relations
among themselves; and that, whereas servants must be faithful and
industrious, their masters should have compassion and should obey the
dictates of right in dealing with them; that everyone should be hard
working and painstaking; that people should not transgress the limits
of their social status; that all deceptions should be carefully
avoided; that everyone should make it a rule of life to avoid doing
injury or causing loss to others; that gambling should be eschewed;
that quarrels and disputes of every kind should be avoided; that
asylum should not be given to wounded persons; that firearms should
not be used without cause; that no one should conceal an offender;
that the sale or purchase of human being, should be strictly
prohibited except in cases where men or women offered their services
for a fixed term of years or as apprentices, or in cases of
hereditary servitude; finally, that, though hereditary servants went
to other places and changed their domicile, it should not be lawful
to compel their return.

In the days of the eighth shogun, Yoshimune, it being held that
crimes were often due to ignorance of law, the feudatories and
deputies were directed to make arrangements for conveying to the
people tinder their jurisdiction some knowledge of the nature of the
statutes; and the result was that the mayors (nanushi) of provincial
towns and villages had to read the laws once a month at a meeting of
citizens or villagers convened for the purpose. Previously to this
time, namely, in the days of the fourth shogun, Ietsugu, the office
of recorder (tome-yaku) was instituted in the Hyojo-sho for the
purpose of committing to writing all judgments given in lawsuits. But
in the days of Yoshimune, the rules and regulations issued by the
Bakufu from the time of Ieyasu downwards were found to have fallen
into such confusion that the difficulty of following them was
practically insuperable.

Therefore, in 1742, Matsudaira Norimura, one of the roju, together
with the three administrators, was commissioned to compile a body of
laws, and the result was a fifteen volume book called the Hatto-gaki
(Prohibitory Writings). The shogun himself evinced keen interest in
this undertaking. He frequently consulted with the veteran officials
of his court, and during a period of several years he revised "The
Rules for Judicial Procedure." Associated with him in this work were
Kada Arimaro, Ogyu Sorai, and the celebrated judge, Ooka Tadasuke,
and not only the Ming laws of China, but also the ancient Japanese
Daiho-ritsu were consulted.

This valuable legislation, which showed a great advance in the matter
of leniency, except in the case of disloyal or unfilial conduct, was
followed, in 1767, by reforms under the shoqun, Ieharu, when all the
laws and regulations placarded or otherwise promulgated since the
days of Ieyasu were collected and collated to form a prefatory
vol-ume to the above-mentioned "Rules for Judicial Procedure," the
two being thenceforth regarded as a single enactment under the title
of Kajo-ruiten. "The Rules for Judicial Procedure" originally
comprised 103 articles, but, in 1790, Matsudaira Sadanobu revised
this code, reducing the number of articles to one hundred, and
calling it Tokugawa Hyakkajd, or "One Hundred Laws and Regulations of
the Tokugawa." This completed the legislative work of the Yedo
Bakufu. But it must not be supposed that these laws were disclosed to
the general public. They served simply for purposes of official
reference. The Tokugawa in this respect strictly followed the
Confucian maxim, "Make the people obey but do not make them know.":

ENGRAVING: MATSUDAIRA SADANORU

CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

In Tokugawa days the principal punishments were; six: namely,
reprimand (shikari), confinement (oshikome), flogging (tataki),
banishment (tsuiho), exile to an island (ento), and death (shikei).
The last named was divided into five kinds, namely, deprivation of
life (shizai), exposing the head after decapitation (gokumon),
burning at the stake (hiaburi), crucifixion (haritsuke), and sawing
to death (nokogiri-biki). There were also subsidiary penalties, such
as public exposure (sarashi), tattooing (irezumi)--which was resorted
to not less for purposes of subsequent identification than as a
disgrace--confiscation of an estate (kessho), and degradation to a
status below the hinin (hininteshita).

The above penalties were applicable to common folk. In the case of
samurai the chief punishments were detention (hissoku), confinement
(heimon or chikkyo), deprivation of status (kaieki), placing in the
custody of a feudatory (azuke), suicide (seppuku), and decapitation
(zanzai). Among these, seppuku was counted the most honourable. As a
rule only samurai of the fifth official rank and upwards were
permitted thus to expiate a crime, and the procedure was spoken of as
"granting death" (shi wo tamau). The plebeian classes, that is to
say, the farmers, the artisans, and the tradesmen, were generally
punished by fines, by confinement, or by handcuffing (tegusari).
Priests were sentenced to exposure (sarashi), to expulsion from a
temple (tsui-iri), or to exile (kamai).

For women the worst punishment was to be handed over as servants
(yakko) or condemned to shave their heads (teihatsu). Criminals who
had no fixed domicile and who repeated their evil acts after
expiration of a first sentence, were carried to the island of
Tsukuda, in Yedo Bay, or to Sado, where they were employed in various
ways. Blind men or beggars who offended against the law were handed
over to the chiefs of their guilds, namely, the soroku in the case of
the blind, and the eta-gashira in the case of beggars.* Some of the
above punishments were subdivided, but these details are unimportant.

*For fuller information about these degraded classes see Brinkley's
"Oriental Series," Vol. II.

PRISONS

In Yedo, the buildings employed as prisons were erected at Demmacho
under the hereditary superintendence of the Ishide family. The
governor of prisons was known as the roya-bugyo. Each prison was
divided into five parts where people were confined according to their
social status. The part called the agari-zashiki was reserved for
samurai who had the privilege of admission to the shogun's presence;
and in the part called the agariya common, samurai and Buddhist
priests were incarcerated. The oro and the hyakusho-ro were reserved
for plebeians, and in the onna-ro women were confined. Each section
consisted of ten rooms and was capable of accommodating seven hundred
persons. Sick prisoners were carried to the tamari, which were
situated at Asakusa and Shinagawa, and were under the superintendence
of the hinin-gashira. All arrangements as to the food, clothing, and
medical treatment of prisoners were carefully thought out, but it is
not to be supposed that these Bakufu prisons presented many of the
features on which modern criminology insists. On the contrary, a
prisoner was exposed to serious suffering from heat and cold, while
the coarseness of the fare provided for him often caused disease and
sometimes death. Nevertheless, the Japanese prisons in Tokugawa days
were little, if anything, inferior to the corresponding institutions
in Anglo-Saxon countries at the same period.

LOYALTY AND FILIAL PIETY

In the eyes of the Tokugawa legislators the cardinal virtues were
loyalty and filial piety, and in the inculcation of these, even
justice was relegated to an inferior place. Thus, it was provided
that if a son preferred any public charge against his father, or if a
servant opened a lawsuit against his master, the guilt of the son or
of the servant must be assumed at the outset as an ethical principle.
To such a length was this ethical principle carried that in
regulations issued by Itakura Suo no Kami for the use of the Kyoto
citizens, we find the following provision: "In a suit-at-law between
parent and son judgment should be given for the parent without regard
to the pleading of the son. Even though a parent act with extreme
injustice, it is a gross breach of filial duty that a son should
institute a suit-at-law against a parent. There can be no greater
immorality, and penalty of death should be meted out to the son
unless the parent petitions for his life." In an action between uncle
and nephew a similar principle applied. Further, we find that in
nearly every body of law promulgated throughout the whole of the
Tokugawa period, loyalty and filial piety are placed at the head of
ethical virtues; the practice of etiquette, propriety, and military
and literary accomplishments standing next, while justice and
deference for tradition occupy lower places in the schedule.

A kosatsu (placard) set up in 1682, has the following inscription:
"Strive to be always loyal and filial.



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