Yubitsume is a Japanese ritual to atone for offenses to another, a way to be punished or to show sincere apology and remorse to another, by means of amputating portions of one's own little finger. In modern times, it is performed by the yakuza, one of the most prominent Japanese criminal organizations; the act of committing yubitsume is referred to as yubi o tobasu, meaning "finger flying". The ritual is thought to have originated with the bakuto, itinerant gamblers who were predecessors of the modern yakuza. If a person was unable to pay off a gambling debt, yubitsume was sometimes considered an alternative form of repayment. In Japanese swordsmanship, or Kendo, the little finger's grip is the tightest on the hilt. A little finger-amputee was therefore unable to grip his sword properly, weakening him in battle and making him more dependent on the protection of his boss. To perform yubitsume, one lays down a small clean cloth and lays the hand onto the cloth facing down. Using an sharp knife, or tantō, the person cuts off the portion of his left little finger above the top knuckle on the finger or the tip of the finger.
He wraps the severed portion in the cloth and submits the "package" graciously to his oyabun, referred to as a kumicho. If more offenses are committed the person moves on to the next joint of the finger to perform yubitsume. More infractions could mean removing portions of the right little finger when no more joints of the left finger remain. In some cases, a person expelled from a yakuza gang might be required to perform the yubitsume ritual; the finger of the yakuza directly responsible for an offense is called an iki yubi, "living finger", while the finger of the yakuza, directly in charge of him is called a shinu yubi, "dead finger". A yubitsume scene is a staple of Japanese yakuza movies. Yubitsume appears in several of Kinji Fukasaku's films, including Street Mobster and the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series. American films in which the ritual appears include the 1975 Sydney Pollack film The Yakuza, starring Robert Mitchum. Yubitsume was portrayed in a more humorous light in a skit on the TV show Saturday Night Live.
The skit featured an American character, played by Chris Farley, who unwittingly went on a game show while on vacation in Japan. Not speaking Japanese, the protagonist was horrified to see the other two contestants that incorrectly answered a question have a finger chopped off as a penalty. Yubitsume occurs in four of Takeshi Kitano's films: Boiling Point, Brother and Beyond Outrage; the Yubitsume ritual is seen in the movie Showdown in Little Tokyo, starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee. The Yubitsume ritual is featured in the book Shimotsuma Monogatari, where the main character's father took a portion of the money for his family, he proclaims, "Not that one, that's my piano playing finger!" In the 2001 movie Ichi the Killer, the character Kakihara cuts off the tip of his tongue with a sword after a yakuza boss tells him a finger alone will not be enough to pay back for his crimes of brutally torturing an innocent member of his group. There is a similar scene in Oldboy. Lady Vengeance, a 2005 Korean film, features a scene where the female protagonist cuts off her little finger in front of the parents of a young girl she is complicit in kidnapping in an attempt to seek forgiveness.
She proclaims that she has committed an unforgivable sin and will continue cutting off her fingers until they forgive her. The parents are aghast and rush her to the hospital after she separates her pinkie finger on their dining room table. In the oneshot Horror manga Mr. Sarubato's Rowdy Classroom by Waita Uziga, the students are forced by their mentally unstable sensei Mr. Sarubato to have one of their limbs severed by him as punishment for inappropriate behavior in class; as a result, many of the students in his class have missing limbs or other body parts depending upon the seriousness of the offense. In the 2006 movie Dirty Sanchez: The Movie, Matthew Pritchard has the end of his little finger on his right hand cut off in Japan with a cigar cutter. In the 2006 movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, a yakuza member starting the final race is shown to be missing four fingers. Michael Slade's novel Kamikaze has many instances of yubitsume as a punishment for failing the kumicho of the local yakuza.
Roald Dahl's short story Man from the South describes a betting game in which a man wagers his left little finger. William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer contains a passing reference to Yubitsume. In the 1990 movie Darkman, the underworld boss Robert G. Durant uses a cigar cutter to remove the fingers of his rivals. In the opening scene, each time he made a point to a rival mobster; when he got to point three, he said that he had seven more points to make, before cutting off the third finger. Yubitsume is a recurring element in the Yakuza series of Japanese video games. Yubitsume is performed, offered or demanded both as a test of loyalty to a superior or to a clan, as punishment for actual or perceived mistakes, including by higher-ranking members for the mistakes of their underlings. An early scene in the original game has a finger being offered along with millions of yen as part of an apology payment, while an early scene in Yakuza 0 has a lieutenant being forced to cut off his finger for the shame of
Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto. The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. For most of its history, the area was never a single political entity during the Tokugawa period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889, its name comes from kanbe. Kobe became one of Japan's designated cities in 1956. Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1853 end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan and nuclear-free zone port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished much of Kobe's prominence as a port city, it remains Japan's fourth-busiest container port.
Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asian or Japanese headquarters in the city, such as Eli Lilly and Company, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim, Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef, as well as the site of one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen. Media related to History of Kobe at Wikimedia Commons Tools found in western Kobe demonstrate the area was populated at least from the Jōmon period; the natural geography of the area of Wada Cape in Hyōgo-ku, led to the development of a port, which would remain the economic center of the city. Some of the earliest written documents mentioning the region include the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. During the Nara and Heian periods, the port was known by the name Ōwada Anchorage and was one of the ports from which imperial embassies to China were dispatched.
The city was the capital of Japan in 1180, when Taira no Kiyomori moved his grandson Emperor Antoku to Fukuhara in present-day Hyōgo-ku. The Emperor returned to Kyoto after about five months. Shortly thereafter in 1184, the Taira fortress in Hyōgo-ku and the nearby Ikuta Shrine became the sites of the Genpei War battle of Ichi-no-Tani between the Taira and Minamoto clans; the Minamoto prevailed. As the port grew during the Kamakura period, it became an important hub for trade with China and other countries. In the 13th century, the city came to be known by the name Hyōgo Port. During this time, Hyōgo Port, along with northern Osaka, composed the province of Settsu. During the Edo period, the eastern parts of present-day Kobe came under the jurisdiction of the Amagasaki Domain and the western parts under that of the Akashi Domain, while the center was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate, it was not until the abolition of the han system in 1871 and the establishment of the current prefecture system that the area became politically distinct.
Hyōgo Port was opened to foreign trade by the Shogunal government at the same time as Osaka on January 1, 1868, just before the advent of the Boshin War and the Meiji Restoration. The region has since been identified with the West and many foreign residences from the period remain in Kobe's Kitano area. Kobe, as it is known today, was founded on April 1, 1889, was designated on September 1, 1956 by government ordinance; the history of the city is tied to that of the Ikuta Shrine, the name "Kobe" derives from kamube, an archaic name for those who supported the shrine. During World War II, Kobe was bombed in the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942, along with Tokyo and a few other cities, it was bombed again with incendiary bombs by B-29 bombers on March 17, 1945, causing the death of 8,841 residents and destroying 21% of Kobe's urban area. This incident inspired the well-known Studio Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies and the book by Akiyuki Nosaka on which the film was based. Following continuous pressure from citizens, on March 18, 1975, the Kobe City Council passed an ordinance banning vessels carrying nuclear weapons from Kobe Port.
This prevented any U. S. warships from entering the port, policy being not to disclose whether any warship is carrying nuclear weapons. This nonproliferation policy has been termed the "Kobe formula". On January 17, 1995, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred at 5:46 am JST near the city. About 6,434 people in the city were killed, 212,443 were made homeless, large parts of the port facilities and other parts of the city were destroyed; the earthquake destroyed portions of the Hanshin Expressway, an elevated freeway that toppled over. In Japan, the earthquake is known as the Great Hanshin earthquake. To commemorate Kobe's recovery from the 1995 quake, the city holds an event every December called the Luminarie, where the city center is decorated with illuminated metal archways; the Port of Kobe was Japan's busiest port and one of Asia's top ports until the Great Hanshin earthquake. Kobe has since dropped to fourth in 49th-busiest container port worldwide. Wedged between the coast and the mountains, the city of Kobe is narrow.
To the east is the city of Ashiya, while the city of Akashi lies to its west. Other adjacent cities include Takarazuka and Nishinomiya to the
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
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In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
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Yakuza known as gokudō, are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan, while the Yakuza call themselves ninkyō dantai; the Western equivalent for the term Yakuza is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization. The Yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct, their organized fiefdom nature, several unconventional ritual practices such as "Yubitsume". Yakuza members are described as males with tattooed bodies and slicked hair, yet this group is still regarded as being among "the most sophisticated and wealthiest criminal organizations."At their height, the Yakuza maintained a large presence in the Japanese media and operated internationally. In fact, in the early 1960s police estimated that the Yakuza had a membership of 184,100. However, in recent years their numbers have dwindled with the latest figure from the National Police Agency estimating that as of 2016 the number of members in all 22 designated gangs was 39,100.
This decline is attributed to changing market opportunities and several legal and social developments in Japan which discourage the growth of Yakuza membership. Yet, despite their dwindling numbers, the Yakuza still engage in an array of criminal activities, many Japanese citizens remain fearful of the threat these individuals pose to their safety. However, there remains no strict prohibition on Yakuza membership in Japan today, although much legislation has been passed by the Japanese government aimed at increasing liability for criminal activities and impeding revenue; the name Yakuza originates from the traditional Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu, a game in which the goal is to draw three cards adding up to a score of 9. If the sum of the cards exceeds 10, the second digit is used as the score instead, if the sum is 10, the score is 1. If the three cards drawn are 8-9-3, the sum is 20 and therefore the score is zero, making it the worst possible hand that can be drawn. Despite uncertainty about the single origin of Yakuza organizations, most modern Yakuza derive from two classifications which emerged in the mid-Edo period: tekiya, those who peddled illicit, stolen, or shoddy goods.
Tekiya were considered one of the lowest social groups during the Edo period. As they began to form organizations of their own, they took over some administrative duties relating to commerce, such as stall allocation and protection of their commercial activities. During Shinto festivals, these peddlers opened stalls and some members were hired to act as security; each peddler paid rent in exchange for a stall protection during the fair. The tekiya were a structured and hierarchical group with the oyabun at the top and kobun at the bottom; this hierarchy resembles a structure similar to the family as the oyabun was regarded as a surrogate father, the kobun as surrogate children. During the Edo period, the tekiya were formally recognized by the government. At this time, the oyabun were appointed as supervisors and granted near-samurai status meaning they were allowed the dignity of a surname and two swords. Bakuto had a much lower social standing than traders, as gambling was illegal. Many small gambling houses cropped up in abandoned temples or shrines at the edge of towns and villages all over Japan.
Most of these gambling houses ran loan sharking businesses for clients, they maintained their own security personnel. The places themselves, as well as the bakuto, were regarded with disdain by society at large, much of the undesirable image of the Yakuza originates from bakuto; because of the economic situation during the mid-period and the predominance of the merchant class, developing Yakuza groups were composed of misfits and delinquents that had joined or formed Yakuza groups to extort customers in local markets by selling fake or shoddy goods. The roots of the Yakuza can still be seen today in initiation ceremonies, which incorporate tekiya or bakuto rituals. Although the modern Yakuza has diversified, some gangs still identify with the other. During the formation of the Yakuza, they adopted the traditional Japanese hierarchical structure of oyabun-kobun where kobun owe their allegiance to the oyabun. In a much period, the code of jingi was developed where loyalty and respect are a way of life.
The oyabun-kobun relationship is formalized by ceremonial sharing of sake from a single cup. This ritual is not exclusive to the Yakuza—it is commonly performed in traditional Japanese Shinto weddings, may have been a part of sworn brotherhood relationships. During the World War II period in Japan, the more traditional tekiya/bakuto form of organization declined as the entire population was mobilised to participate in the war effort and society came under strict military government. However, after the war, the Yakuza adapted again. Prospective Yakuza come from all walks of life; the most romantic tales tell how Yakuza accept sons who have been abandoned or exiled by their parents. Many Yakuza start out in junior high school or high school as common street thugs or members of bōsōzoku gangs; because of its lower socio-economic status, numerous Yakuza me
The Tokugawa Shogunate known as the Tokugawa Bakufu and the Edo Bakufu, was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. The head of government was the shōgun, each was a member of the Tokugawa clan; the Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern. Following the Sengoku period, the central government had been re-established by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Society in the Tokugawa period, unlike in previous shogunates, was based on the strict class hierarchy established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi; the daimyō were at the top, followed by the warrior-caste of samurai, with the farmers and traders ranking below. In some parts of the country smaller regions, daimyō and samurai were more or less identical, since daimyō might be trained as samurai, samurai might act as local rulers.
Otherwise, the inflexible nature of this social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts that did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value; as a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much larger rebellions. None, proved compelling enough to challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers. A 2017 study found that peasant rebellions and collective desertion lowered tax rates and inhibited state growth in the Tokugawa shogunate. In the mid-19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyō, along with the titular Emperor, succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration; the Tokugawa shogunate came to an official end in 1868 with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, leading to the "restoration" of imperial rule.
Notwithstanding its eventual overthrow in favor of the more modernized, less feudal form of governance of the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw the longest period of peace and stability in Japan's history, lasting well over 260 years. The bakuhan taisei was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government"—that is, the shogunate; the han were the domains headed by daimyō. Vassals provided military service and homage to their lords; the bakuhan taisei split feudal power between the shogunate in Edo and provincial domains throughout Japan. Provinces had a degree of sovereignty and were allowed an independent administration of the han in exchange for loyalty to the shōgun, responsible for foreign relations and national security; the shōgun and lords were all daimyōs: feudal lords with their own bureaucracies and territories. The shōgun administered the most powerful han, the hereditary fief of the House of Tokugawa.
Each level of government administered its own system of taxation. The emperor, nominally a religious leader, held no real power; the shogunate had the power to discard and transform domains. The sankin-kōtai system of alternative residence required each daimyō to reside in alternate years between the han and the court in Edo. During their absences from Edo, it was required that they leave family as hostages until their return; the huge expenditure sankin-kōtai imposed on each han helped centralize aristocratic alliances and ensured loyalty to the shōgun as each representative doubled as a potential hostage. Tokugawa's descendants further ensured loyalty by maintaining a dogmatic insistence on loyalty to the shōgun. Fudai daimyō were hereditary vassals of Ieyasu, as well as of his descendants. Tozama became vassals of Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara. Shinpan were collaterals of Tokugawa Hidetada. Early in the Edo period, the shogunate viewed the tozama as the least to be loyal. In the end, it was the great tozama of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa, to a lesser extent Hizen, that brought down the shogunate.
These four states are called Satchotohi for short. The number of han fluctuated throughout the Edo period, they were ranked by size, measured as the number of koku of rice that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year; the minimum number for a daimyō was ten thousand koku. Regardless of the political title of the Emperor, the shōguns of the Tokugawa family controlled Japan; the administration of Japan was a task given by the Imperial Court in Kyoto to the Tokugawa family, which returned to the court in the Meiji Restoration. While the Emperor had the prerogative of appointing the shōgun, he had no say in state affairs; the shogunate appointed a liaison, the Kyoto Shoshidai, to deal with the Emperor and nobility. Towards the end of the shogunate, after centuries of the Emperor having little say in state affairs and being secluded in his Kyoto palace, in the wake of the reigning shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi, marrying the sister of Emperor Kōmei, in 1862, the Imperial Court in Kyoto