skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

 
Email address: 
Start date : 
October, 2020
Thesis Topic: 
Understanding the Causes and Motivations of the Tokusei Protests 1428-1467. Understanding the Causes and Motivations of the Tokusei Protests 1428-1467 The tokusei protests (lit. virtuous governance) were a series of rural protests that occurred throughout the Kinai region of Japan between 1428 and 1467. Rural communities marched on Kyoto and Nara demanding a clearance of personal debts and a reduction in annual tax; when refused, they destroyed the property of temples and moneylenders. Military intervention by the shogunate against the protesters ignited a series of uprisings throughout the region. The origins of these protests have exclusively been understood in structural terms: socio-economic deprivation, political opportunity and the mobilising force of the packhorse drivers have been highlighted as the principle causes of the protests. This methodology has downplayed considerations of agency: what motivated, rather than stimulated, the rural population to rise up? Using insights from social psychology, this project aims to shed light on the identity of the tokusei protester and question how they articulated and interacted with the context of fifteenth century rural Japan.