Tour of Duty Now Available in Paperback

Tour of Duty

[Constantine] Vaporis has written a magnificent book on the sankai kotai, or alternate attendance system. . . . Long considered the central political control mechanism of the Tokugawa period, the system has received surprisingly little scholarly attention until now. Filling a major gap in the understanding of Japanese history, the author provides a detailed account of the mechanics of the system and demands placed on daimyo and retainers on tours of duty in Edo. Exploiting the latest archaeological and archival sources, Vaporis makes clear the economic burden of the system on the daimyo, as well as its role as an engine of cultural, intellectual, and material exchange, from the center in Edo and between regions. The author also provides intimate details of the lives of samurai, both on the road to and from Edo and while serving their time in Edo. For all interested in early modern history. . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice

November 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3470-8 / $23.00 (PAPER)