|The succession of “IE” ;a case study of rural family in the Tokugawa Japan|
|It is assumed for the Japanese that "IE" as family unit was the original of Japan. This family unit had the strong intension to maintain its family name, property and business forever lasting and made succession to the next generation with the paternal line principle.
This basic assumption is, however, not so appropriate when we read directly the historical documents and give some analysis of them. We can find out many variations and patterns corresponding to the scales of family property and business in the "IE" succession. We often face the case of "IE" succession with non-blood children like as the“Muko-Youshi (the husband adoption by the wife’s family)” and “Fufu- Youshi(the young couple adoption by the family)”.
In the 18-19th century, the succession form of Japanese “IE” was as following;1)For upper class farmers, each "IE" had the role of keeping and enlarging their family business and property in the developing market economy. The head of the “IE” took many flexible and impromptu strategies in order to sustain their "IE" organization without adhering to the principle of the paternal line blood relationship. They chose the way of non-blood relationship succession according to need. 2) For lower class farmers, the purpose of “IE” succession was not to maintain family business and property. The main roll of “IE” succession ,for these farmers, was to secure the care and aid of old age. They did not have so many choices to maintain their family budget. They could only maintain their living with being hired or supplied by other big “IE” business or with earning from the small market activity in the rural society.
In this report, I will historically explain following two matters;1)the variations and patterns of farmers’ “IE” succession in the Kamishiojiri-Village, 2)The historical analysis of the Zenzaburo Satos’ “IE” successions from 17th -19th century. These works will contribute to clarify the roll of community in the economic developing rural society in Japan.