In the past article, we discovered KYOTO people, this time, let’s explore the origin of TOKYO people called “EDOKKO”!
“EDO”, the name of ancient Tokyo, was a castle city originally established by IEYASU TOKUGAWA as a feudal lord responsible for today’s KANTŌ region in 1590 before he started his TOKUGAWA Shogunate in 1603 in this place.
The development of the city was unprecedented, finally its population reached more than one million, making it the largest city in the world at that time.
Reportedly, there were countless of towns in the city which consisted of people with different cultures and customs coming from throughout the archipelago,
Talking about EDOKKOs, they had family-like, good relations with neighbors.
Under the environment where various people gathered in a small area, it was important to share information and help each other, creating a reasonable but warm human relationship.
I think it was a wisdom of EDOKKOs to get along with each other.
The leaders in each neighborhood were called “MACHIKATA”, mostly financially well off merchants, were proactively making efforts to prevent possible troubles in order to create a system where people could live in peace.
Over the course of these efforts, certain implicit rules were spontaneously generated from EDOKKOs, which is called “EDO SHIGUSA” (behaviors of EDO).
The rule for EDOKKOs is different compared to the unspoken rules by KYOTO people mentioned here, which is explained by not to get involved in others matter even if the relationship is very close, and not to be busy with other people’s affairs,.
EDO people valued so-called “ICHI-GO-ICHI-E” which is a favorite word for EDOKKOs.
This means to treasure each moment when meeting people under the principal that the person you meet today will not necessarily exist tomorrow and now, this moment might be the last chance for you to meet him.
As explained by a saying “Kaji to Kenka ha Edo no Hana” (literally, fires and fighting are flowers in Edo), people often died of fire because the houses in EDO were made from wood and the space between each house was very narrow.
So, it was often the case that you couldn’t see anymore the person you met yesterday.
Due to these structural facts, EDO people always tried to deepen the bond with neighbors.
I will be introducing each EDO-SHIGUSA specifically in the next article!