This time, I will like to introduce some examples of EDO-SHIGUSA, certain implicit rules (ideal behaviors) of EDO people (EDOKKO) mentioned in the last article.
EDOKKO is as gentlemen as Westerner.
People in the world tend to think that Japan is quite feudal and the idea that men are superior to women is still deep-rooted.
However in EDO, the status of women was higher than you imagine, especially in merchant families.
Since a lady also worked in front line in this business field, she was highly evaluated when she had such effort-based capabilities as good handling of customers, friendliness, being a good listener and a good cooking skill rather than innate gift like a good-looking.
When a gathering is held among neighbors in a kind of community center, as you know we Japanese put off our shoes in a house.
In such occasions, men put the shoes away from the entrance of the meeting room for women who wear KIMONO. This is a gentlemanship of EDOKKO, knowing that women in KIMONO cannot go into the room with big strides.
Rise to the occasion in a sophisticated manner
In EDO-SHIGUSA, when your friend asks you to do something for him, it is not cool to ask him for details.
To understand 10 things just by hearing one thing in a quick-witted manner and to expect the next step are an important element to be an EDOKKO.
The thief of time should be fined ten Ryo (old unit of Japanese currency)
* 20 Ryo are equivalent to 2 million yen
The idea of “TIME IS MONEY” hasn’t changed since a long time ago, especially for EDOKKO, the time was like a gold while people didn’t have a watch at that time.
When you visit at other’s home, it was a must to check his or her availability by sending a letter or messenger in advance.
In the modern time, it is easy to make such confirmation by email or telephone, however, it wasn’t so simple to make appointment in the EDO period but EDOKKO didn’t get bothered to make such preparation, respecting others and knowing the value of time. (It is said even when a mother visiting the house which her daughter married into, she didn’t drop by just because she came in the vicinity.)
In the case of meeting with a stranger too, you (as a stranger) were judged immediately for your reliability by the gap between the time of appointment and the time you actually arrived there: If the gap is within five minutes, you are categorized as reliability A, then if the gap is between 10 and 15 minutes, reliability B.
Except some countries, it looks normal, but thinking of the transportation and communication system at that time which were not well-established like today, you may understand how big effort the EDOKKOs made to build a good relationship with others.
I think this is because people in EDO had lots of consideration to others, and which was regarded as greatly valuable.