- sankin kōtai
In Japanese history, a system of alternating residency practiced during the Tokugawa period (1603–1867).The daimyo (domain lords) were required to reside alternately in their han (feudal domains) and in Edo (modern Tokyo), the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate. The system, inaugurated in 1635, lasted until 1862. It kept the daimyo from building up power bases in their domains that could threaten the shogunate, and, because of the expense of maintaining two residences, prevented them from building up wealth. It also contributed to the flowering of an urban culture and a commercial economy and encouraged improvements to roads and communications.
* * *▪ Japanese historysystem inaugurated in 1635 in Japan by the Tokugawa (Tokugawa Iemitsu) shogun (hereditary military dictator) Iemitsu by which the great feudal lords (daimyo) had to reside several months each year in the Tokugawa capital at Edo (modern Tokyo). When the lords returned to their fiefs, they were required to leave their wives and families in Edo. The system, which was imitated by the various daimyo in their own fiefs with their own retainers, ensured the continued subservience of the great lords to the Tokugawa shogunate. It also led to the improvement of communications and the development of a commercial economy, as merchants gathered in the provincial and metropolitan capitals to supply the needs of these lords. On the other hand, the lords became divorced from the government of their fiefs, and their debts piled up.In the face of rising dissatisfaction with shogunal policies, the sankin kotai system was virtually abolished in 1862. An attempt to reestablish it in 1865 failed, and the shogunate was overthrown a short time later.
* * *