Commissioned Research: Survey on the Kamitokikuni and Tokikuni Family Documents of Wajima City
Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture
The survey on the Kami-Tokikuni and Tokikuni Family documents is research commissioned by the Wajima City government and is a continuation of the research on the historical documents of the Konishi Lacquerware Store in Wajima. From around 1952 to 2000, the research institute intermittently conducted surveys and studies on the Tokikuni Kentaro family documents (Ishikawa Prefecture designated cultural property “the Kami-Tokikuni Family Documents”) and the Tokikuni Nobuhiro family documents (Wajima City designated cultural property “the Tokikuni Family Documents”). However, recent research by the Wajima City government has confirmed the existence of unreleased Tokikuni family documents and non-designated Kami-Tokikuni family documents. In response, the research institute was entrusted with the research projects involving historical documents, including replenishing the document catalogs of the Kami-Tokikuni and Tokikuni families and preparing evaluation reports on both sets of documents. At the same time, the institute will continue to conduct surveys and research on the historical documents owned by the Konishi Shogoro lacquerware store.
The historical documents belonging to the two Tokikuni families were long treated as strictly confidential and private possessions. Keizo Shibusawa, the founder of the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture (ISJFC), made these documents publicly available. Since then, the documents belonging to both Tokikuni families have been the subject of investigation and research in several studies, such as the extensive survey by the Kyugakkai Rengo (a consortium of nine academic associations) led by Tsuneichi Miyamoto (when the ISJFC was an incorporated foundation) and the comprehensive study of the Tokikuni family of Oku-Noto led by Yoshihiko Amino (following the move to Kanagawa University). The comprehensive study conducted by the ISJFC at Kanagawa University clarified that the two Tokikuni families of the early modern period were developing large-scale trading in the Sea of Japan as the owners of the Kitamaebune ships despite being of the hyakushō (“peasant”) class. This has overturned the conventional belief in Japanese history that hyakushō is synonymous with farmers. The institute hopes that this commissioned research will also make discoveries that will contribute not only to the historical understanding of Wajima City but also to the academic community as a whole.
Duration: from 2022