The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)

  

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce struck the lives of common people.

日米修好通商条約は庶民の生活に打撃を与えました。

Japan had no customs autonomy.

関税自主権はありません。

Japan couldn't protect its domestic market against imported products.

国内市場を守ることができませんでした。

In Britain, the Industrial Revolution had led to mass production.

イギリスは産業革命で大量の製品をつくっていたのです。

Large quantities of cheap products especially in textile industries entered the market.

海外から安い繊維製品が大量に入ってきました。

There were no experts who specialized in economic matters in the shogunate. They didn't know how to deal with the difficult situations.

 

幕府には経済官僚はいませんから、どうすることもできませんでした。

Meanwhile,  a lot of raw silk which had traditionally consumed in the domestic market began to be exported. As the result, the price of raw silk roared.

一方で、国内に出回っていた生糸が海外に輸出され、国内の生糸が急騰したのです。

Textile companies went to bankruptcy one after another.

織物業者が次々と倒産する事態にいたりました。

The market was in the state of confusion.

国内市場は大混乱におちいりました。

In those days farmers accounted for 70 percent of the population. They supported samurai, 10 percent of the population. Samurai didn't engage in production activities.

当時の日本は、七割が農民です。彼らが一割を占める武士を養っていたのです。武士は生産活動には従事しません。

 

Rich harvest means a lot of rice is supplied in the market, which resulted in price reduciton of rice.

豊作になれば、米が市場に大量に出回り、値段は下がります。

Of course, poor harvest  struck farmers directly.

The tax system at that time was based on not the harvest of the year but the size of land. Farmers had to pay a fixed tax. 

凶作になっても、税の定免制のために、所定の年貢ははらわなければなりませんでした。

Farmers who couldn't pay taxes were forced to give up their lands and became tenant farmers.

年貢を払えない農民は土地を手放し、小作農になります。農民の体力を次々に奪っていったのです。

Riots by farmers took place across the country in the end of the Edo shougunate.

江戸時代の末は全国で一揆が頻発しました。

Since the black ships entered Uraga port, people's lives became worse.

黒船が来航して以来、人々の暮らしは悪化するばかりでした。

The lives of samurai warriors were also affected.

武士だって同じです。

As is shown in the list of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, many of them were lower rank warriors.

明治維新の顔ぶれを見るとわかりますが、幕末の尊王攘夷の志士の大半は下級武士出身です。

To be sure, samurai had a privilege over common people, but that was only in name. In reality they couldn't maintain their daily lives without asking for a debt. 

 農民に寄生して生きていた彼らでしたが、彼らの安月給では日々の暮らしを維持することすら難しかったのです。

Since the arrival of the black ships, they feared that they might lose their privileged positions and worried about their future.

黒船が来て以降、自分たちはリストラされるのではないか、と将来を案じました。

They came to direct hate and anger toward foreigners.

生活の苦しさのため、人々はその怒りを外国人に向けるようになりました。

Thus, anti-foreigner feelings gradually turned into anti-government feelings.

尊王攘夷の機運はやがて徳川幕府に対する反発と変わっていったのです。

Foreign residents were sometimes attacked by samurai.

外国人に対する襲撃事件も起こりました。

 

 

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