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Eating Edo, sensing Japan: food branding and market culture in late Tokugawa Japan, 1780-1868

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Title: Eating Edo, sensing Japan: food branding and market culture in late Tokugawa Japan, 1780-1868
Author(s): Shimizu, Akira
Director of Research: Toby, Ronald P.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Toby, Ronald P.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Crowston, Clare H.; Koslofsky, Craig M.; Botsman, Daniel
Department / Program: History
Discipline: History
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Japan Tokugawa period, 1600-1868 Bakumatsu Food Trade Economy Politics
Abstract: This dissertation explores the roles specialty foods in the political capital of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) in the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). The development of infrastructures as well as the proliferation of the publishing industry resulted in a considerable scale of information and material circulations in Japan. Cookbooks, travel and shopping guides, and gazetteers introduced different kinds of foods, including regional specialties, prestigious food shops, which contracted the bakufu and other powerful officials, luxury foods to which commoners did not have access, and foods, eating of which was considered taboo. From the early eighteenth century, wholesalers in Edo formed trade associations to secure the shipments of various commodities from origins of production. They paid fees to the bakufu (military government) for the protection of their rights to handle commodities and trade channels; the bakufu required them to supply certain commodities to Edo Castle. However, in the end of the eighteenth century, independent merchants who were not affiliated with trade associations and peasants and fishermen whose products and catches were not acknowledged as “specialties” began disrupting the bakufu-protected trade channels. This disruption was particularly problematic in the trade of specialty foods. By focusing on five foods, eggs, kelp, grapes, pork, and whitefish, this dissertation examines how they sought to promote their foods outside the network of trade associations and how trade associations attempted to maintain their rights. It is my hope that the five case studies will show the process through which independent merchants, peasants, and fishermen challenged the existing trade network and trade association proactively protected their rights to handle certain foods.
Issue Date: 2011-08-26
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26416
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Akira Shimizu
Date Available in IDEALS: 2013-08-27
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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