Early Modern Hakata and the Twin Cities (Part 6)

Early Modern Hakata and the Twin Cities (Part 6)

Early Modern Hakata and the Twin Cities (Part 6)...The Shogunate system and the Suppression of Hakata Merchants

 - Some Hakata merchants with a strong rebellious spirit dared to defy the Shogunate and were forcefully suppressed under the Shogunate system(Bakuhan Regime). This was a tragic incident in which the conflict between Fukuoka and Hakata (or the Shogunate and Hakata) reached its extreme.

 - A prime example is the tragic case of Ito Shozaemon, a Hakata merchant whose family was condemned to death in 1667 when it was discovered that they were engaged in smuggling with Korea, a trade forbidden by the Edo shogunate. The smuggling operation was a large-scale one that extended from Nagasaki, Hakata, and Tsushima to Osaka in the upper part of Japan, and Ito Shozaemon was blamed for it.

 - The suppression was so severe that Ito Shozaemon was crucified and his two young sons were beheaded. In addition, more than 40 people were beheaded or put to death in prison, and more than a hundred were exiled to exile.

 - Another example of oppression is the famous case of Suetsugu Heizo, a wealthy merchant in Hakata (and Nagasaki local governor) who controlled all the rights to the shogunate-authorized Shuinsen trade in the early Edo period. He was forfeited for the crime of nagegane (loaning money at high interest rates on the sea), which was forbidden by the shogunate.

 * The picture is an image of Dejima, Nagasaki. /



 - 反骨精神が旺盛な一部の博多豪商らは、敢えて幕府に刃向かい、幕藩体制下で強権的に弾圧されてゆきました。福岡と博多(あるいは幕府と博多)の対立が極限に達した悲劇的な事件が起こったのです。

 - 1667年、江戸幕府が禁じた朝鮮との密貿易が発覚し、一家断罪の刑に処せられた博多商人の伊藤小左衛門の悲劇的な事件がその代表例です。密貿易は、長崎・博多・対馬から上方の大坂にまでおよぶ大掛かりなもので、その張本人が伊藤小左衛門とされました。

 - 弾圧は過酷なもので、小左衛門は磔刑となり、2人の幼い男児も斬首されました。そのほか40名余が斬首・獄門の死刑、百数十人が流罪となったそうです。

 - もうひとつの弾圧の例として、江戸初期に幕府公認の朱印船貿易の利権を一手に握り、幕府が禁じた投銀(なげがね=海上での高利貸付)を行なった罪で闕所(財産没収)となった博多の豪商(兼長崎代官)の末次平蔵の事件などが有名です。