63 minutes | May 23, 2022

The Troubles Shoguns Created in Japanese Food Markets (And How Ordinary Citizens Solved Them)

Our guest today is Akira Shimizu who is the associate professor of History at Wilkes University and his focus has been our favorite topic: food. 

Professor Shimizu recently published an intriguing book titled, “Specialty Food, Market Culture, and Daily Life in Early Modern Japan: Regulating and Deregulating the Market in Edo, 1780–1870”

The book features the very unique period of Japanese history. The Edo era was a more peaceful time than ever thanks to the strong leadership of the shoguns. But because of the strong shoguns, the food supply system was highly regulated and manipulated back then. Professor Shimizu unfolds how the system unfairly worked for small players and how they tried to change it with fascinating examples. 

In this episode, we will discuss how the shoguns managed to eat the best of the best foods in the market, how privileged merchants enjoyed and suffered their status at the same time, how ordinary citizens bravely challenged the system, lessons we can learn from the Edo period, and much, much more!!!

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