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It was Hideyoshi who finalized the "social reorganization" of Japan under the Tokagawa shogonate. There was a great divide finalized between the warrior land-owner class and the farmer class. The divide was so deep that farmers became the equivalent of serfs tied to the land without personal volition. Farmers were forbidden to own weapons. They were obligated to pay taxes in the form of the produce of the land: rice. They were obligated to not neglect their duty to cultivate the land they were tied to. This entrenching of class division is of cultural importance but also of socioeconomic importance.
One of the major social aspects of this period of Japanese history was the way that Japan moved towards a strict social heirarchy. This gave the daimyo or lords complete power, followed by the samurai, with the farmers, traders and artisans at the bottom. The long term impact of this rigid heirarchical system of society was negative for Japan, as crippling taxes were set that brought conflict between peasants and the samurai, leading to much discontent, and occasionally larger rebellions.
This period lasted centuries so there were lots of developments. This was the time during which Japan closed itself off from the outside and Christianity was almost completely eradicated. Merchants came to be wealthier and more powerful even though they had very low official status. Artistically, this was the time in which the distinctive ukiyo-e art was created along with bunraku and kabuki.
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