chapter  8
22 Pages

Early Edo: Low Life & High Life

IF IT IS TRUE that a gradual decline of the Shogun's regime was about to begin after the death of Iemitsu, it was not the case in Edo, the capital, which was to reach the peak of its expansion towards the end of the century. Its history can be divided into four periods: the first, from its foundation to about 1688; the second which lasted until 1703, the shining era of Genroku (the name of the era) marked by the influence of the culture from Kyoto; the third, in which the dominating factor seems to have been the commercial influence from Osaka; and the fourth, in which the power and the culture of Edo was in full bloom but accompanied by a growing corruption of morals: this era lasted from 1764 until the downfall of the shogunate in 1868.