Prof. Luke Roberts, History Department, University of California at Santa Barbara. “Humanitarian Governance During Times of Disaster in Early Modern Tosa—A Look at the Touring Inspections of the 1780s” 「近世土佐の災害と仁政──天明改革の巡見を中心に」
Daimyo sometimes went on formal processions of inspection through their domains in the Edo period, and even more frequently sent their representatives on such formal domain tours. These were largely choreographed, almost theatrical occasions designed to express the idealized relationships between the ruler, the ruled, and the specific places in the political order of the many people involved. Many exchanges of money, goods, and words took place, and they can be read by modern historians as expressions of the ruler’s ideal polity. The benevolent interest and care provided to the people by the daimyo is one message enacted in these exchanges, and other messages of people’s worth and place in history and economy are apparent as well. This was especially important in times of natural disaster. This paper will investigate records of such a procession in the Yamauchi daimyo domain of Tosa in the late eighteenth century, when immense rains and floods followed on four years of cold and drought.