Edo shigusa


Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Edo shigusa 江戸しぐさ manners of Edo

The Chinese characters are not 仕草
but 思草.

“Edo Shigusa” is the wisdom and behavior of the merchants in Edo era. The fundamentals of “Edo Shigusa” are based on the happiness and the peace of the community.
source : Piazza Trading Co.


"Edo Shigusa" as the Sensibility of Edo Culture
Koshikawa Reiko

One would be entirely justified in saying that "Edo shigusa," the collective name for the particular manners and customs of the city of Edo, expresses the sensibility of a specific time and place that could pass for a global standard today. By Edo, we mean the actual leaders of the city, those who were comparable to the members of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) today.

Edo shigusa consists of the principles, philosophy and secrets (the knacks, manners and coordination) necessary for the daily life of the leaders among the residents of the castle town of Edo. It is composed of the concrete know-how, the essential skills one needed to do business and live day by day in the huge city.

A true resident of Edo was called an Edokko, and there were four specific qualifications for that title.

(1) You should consider the person before you as an incarnation of the Buddha.
(2) You should not be a "time thief," one who takes up another's time without asking permission.
(3) Irrespective of their status, upon meeting someone you should treat them as equals, asking neither their age, occupation nor position.
(4) You should possess a sense of playfulness as well as a sense of competitiveness in resourcefulness and physical and mental skills....
source : www.jef.or.jp


There are quite a few books in Japan.

source : tsuiteru-reosan

source : www.tokyobunka.ed.jp


Nihonbashi-bijin and Edo-Shigusa

Edo-shigusa is more appropriately described as a combination of philosophy and actions that were created and refined by merchants in order to successfully live in Edo, a metropolis centered on Nihonbashi.

Strolling through Nihonbashi, you come across women who are dignified and alert, and who exude the beauty of body and mind that makes them deserving of being called Nihonbashi-bijin. Such enchanting women cultivate their sense of consideration for others in human relations, improve themselves through exposure to superior traditions and culture, and are continually honing their senses. I hope that many women will take the opportunity to adopt the attitude and apply the daily effort typified in the spirit of Edo to become an attractive Nihonbashi-bijin and an embodiment of Edo-shigusa.
source : www.tokyochuo.net


Edo shigusa janomegasa ni shigeri-yure

manners of Edo -
they thrive and blossom
under the Edo-umbrella

Hookoobito 彷徨人 "wanderer"

source : bousousyouyoubito

ja no me gasa, janomegasa 蛇の目傘 Edo-umbrella


Opinion divided
on value of teaching Edo-era etiquette in schools

by Shusuke Murai (Japan Times April 2015)

Perhaps every country has something to learn from its ancestors. But when the roots of time-honored wisdom are dubious, should such wisdom still be taught to schoolchildren?

Now Edo shigusa, actions and behavior apparently practiced and handed down from ancestors in the Edo Period (1603-1868), have sparked controversy amid recent moves by schools to introduce such etiquette.

Proponents of Edo shigusa say its lessons, which they believe were practiced by merchants during the period, embody the compassion and humbleness inherent among Japanese.

Such acts show “the way for diverse people in society to live in harmony,” said Izumi Tsurumi, executive director of Tokyo-based nonprofit group Edo Shigusa.

One example of Edo-style etiquette advocated by the group is kasa kashige (umbrella-leaning), the practice by people passing others on a narrow street to tilt their umbrellas slightly away from each other to avoid getting others wet.

The compassion demonstrated in kasa kashige is “at the root of Edo shigusa,” Tsurumi said. “But it’s not about imposing a certain behavior on people. . . . It’s about having the mind to care for others . . . (to) show compassion for others.”

The group also offers examples of the merchant practice of kobushi ukase, which refers to the behavior of moving over on a bench to make space for others.

Proponents believe these traditions, which are not documented on paper and have been handed down only verbally, were on the brink of extinction until a man known for his pseudonym Mitsuakira Shiba, whose background is little known but who, legend has it, was a descendant of an Edo merchant, started a campaign to restore the Edo Period practices in the 1970s, based on what he had heard from his grandfather, according to the group.

With Reiko Koshikawa, a retired entrepreneur who was apprenticed under Shiba in the early 1990s, serving as its honorary chairwoman, the nonpofit organization was established in 2007 to educate the public about these little-known Edo-style practices as well as to create certified groups to spread them.

In recent years, many public schools have started teaching such Edo-style etiquette.

This month the board of education in the city of Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture, launched a pilot project to teach Moriya shigusa, which is inspired by Edo shigusa, to its elementary and junior high schools. The city has created a booklet that includes 24 “encouraged” behaviors to be used in its public elementary and junior high schools.

“With this booklet we hope to help both teachers and students contemplate together on each act described . . . so as to help students grow up as independent, thoughtful youths,” said an official with the board of education who declined to be named.

Such moves by schools, however, have met with heavy criticism.

Some say Edo-style etiquette is not backed up by historical evidence, and that teaching such behavior as if it were a part of the nation’s history may distort Japanese moral education, which includes teaching not to lie to others.

“Lessons of Edo shigusa are indeed ethically sound . . . but that doesn’t mean they can tell a lie,” or otherwise children may mistakenly consider lying is OK as long as it is good for people, said Minoru Harada, an author and independent researcher of pseudohistory.

Harada published a book last year to critically review the purported Edo shigusa lessons, which he argues is “Shiba’s sheer fabrication based on his own assumption of how the Edo Period was supposed to be,” citing apparent evidence to the contrary from that era.

For example, Harada denies umbrella-tilting was a common custom in Edo, explaining umbrellas back then were a luxury item for ordinary citizens. It’s therefore unrealistic, he says, for such a rare situation of two people with umbrellas encountering each other in an alley, for tilting them to become a recommended practice.

“When Edo shigusa started to be advocated, I thought it was so absurd that no one would believe it,” Harada said. “But now, such behavior is even included in official moral education textbooks for elementary school students.”

Harada suspects the central government is behind the spread of Edo-style etiquette among schools. “Their ultimate aim is to standardize the students’ mindset,” he said, adding that Edo shigusa has served as a convenient propaganda tool for people to act in certain ways.

Proponents disagree.

Tsurumi said the inclusion of his group’s Edo ideas in school textbooks was “totally unexpected,” as it never asked the government to promote its philosophy, nor had the government contacted the group before deciding to include its concepts in the textbooks.

“We have never, even once, intended to claim that Edo shigusa represents the Edo culture,” she said, adding that the emphasis should be placed not on whether such behavior was actually commonly practiced but on using the concept to deepen people’s understanding of morals.

“I think the truth is sometimes left unwritten,” she said, including Edo-style etiquette.
- source : japantimes.co.jp


. Edo, The City That Became Tokyo .
- Edopedia - Introduction -

. Edo - on facebook .

Daruma Pilgrims in Japan


1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

iki いき / イキ / 粋 / 意気 the CHIC of Edo

The Structure of "Iki" 「いき」の構造, "Iki" no kōzō
Shūzō Kuki 九鬼 周造 Kuki Shūzō, Kuki Shuzo,
(February 15, 1888 – May 6, 1941)