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. /